Underdetermination and the Will
Heuer, Kelly Whelan
Little, Margaret O
Good choices are guided by the balance of reasons for and against the options at hand; bad ones made in defiance of it. This suggests a comparative standard of practical reasoning: do what you have most reason to do, on pain of irrationality. Yet many decisions are rationally underdetermined. When there is no favored alternative, we must choose by sheer will--the force of reasons cannot guide us. What does underdetermination mean for us as agents? Some see it as a threat to self-intelligibility; others as an opportunity for identity-forging choice. This dissertation analyzes both perspectives, finds them important but flawed, and thematizes the basic truths about human agency each highlights to generate a deeper understanding of the connection between agency and choice.
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