Download Autonomous Agents: From Self-Control to Autonomy by Alfred R. Mele PDF

By Alfred R. Mele

This booklet addresses similar issues: strength of will and person autonomy. In drawing close those concerns, Mele develops a belief of an preferably self-controlled individual, and argues that even this kind of individual can fall wanting own autonomy. He then examines what has to be further to any such individual to yield an independent agent and develops overlapping solutions: one for compatibilist believers in human autonomy and one for incompatibilists. whereas final impartial among those that carry that autonomy is appropriate with determinism and those that deny this, Mele exhibits that trust that there are self reliant brokers is healthier grounded than trust that there aren't.

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In the present chapter, Aristotle's seminal work on akrasia is used primarily for illustrative purposes. 8. For discussion of this possibility, see Mele 1987, pp. 34-44. 9. Hare quotes this material from his 1952 book, pp. 20, 168. 10. Even on a rather modest conception of intention, an agent who intends at t to A then will at least try at t to A then, provided that he has the requisite ability. Since one cannot simultaneously try to A and try not to A, this modest conception would not permit the simultaneous possession of competing intentions of the sort envisaged—on the assumption that possessing such intentions neither renders the agent unable at t to try to A then nor renders him unable at t to try not to A then.

But the idea of a conductguiding function is too thin to bolster such a claim. Presumably, prudential judgments, judgments of etiquette, and the like, are standardly intended as guides to conduct. Few, however, would seriously entertain the suggestion that the conduct-guiding function of judgments of etiquette depends on its being true that anyone who judges that he ought, from the perspective of etiquette, to A must intend to A. Additionally, if ought-judgments made from the perspectives of specific institutions or categories of value all required for their conduct-guiding work a tight connection of this sort to intending, we would often find ourselves possessed of intentions that we know cannot jointly be executed.

There is a simple way of viewing the flexibility criterion for warranted attribution of motivational states to an entity. If an entity's behavior is not influenced by means even of the most carefully designed attempts at positive and negative reinforcement, that is evidence that there is nothing the entity wants or desires—in short, that the entity is devoid of motivation. The entity might fly and drink, as a fly does; but not because it wants to. Rather, these activities are direct, mindless responses to nonmental stimuli.

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