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« Tim Scanlon on Free Speech | Main | Will Kymlicka on Minority Rights »

June 01, 2008



I listened to this twice and I still don't get it.

Simon Hibbs

Me too, and I don't get it either. Surely the idea that 'someone who knows the eprson'woukld understand their motivation for doign somethign is an appeal to the 'standard model' because it's surely based on insights into their internal mental processes.

Jennifer talks about the standard model denying the person's agency by looking for internal and external causes, but why should we assume special status for people as agents? On what basis is that justified? And if we can find inetrnal and external causes for behaviour then surely those are perfectly valid grounds to denying special agency?

Her argument seems to be that we should just not think about it. Surely that can't be right, but I don't honestly know what she means.

Burk Braun

How absurd... Hornsby is butting against reality. She wants to use (of a person crossing the street to catch a bus) the "fact of their acting intentionally" as a sufficient causal narrative, with, as the host says, "nothing further to look for". I'm sorry- that is simply sticking one's philosophical head in the sand. Theists want to keep human agency out of the causal physical realm, and they will have to do a better job of it than simply saying that it ain't so, particularly when neuroscience is looking at our intentions in great detail and finding them even prior to conscious awareness. Thanks to the hosts for asking good questions, but they were awfully, awfully polite with Hornsby's non-answers.

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