1st Edition

Time in Action The Temporal Structure of Rational Agency and Practical Thought

Edited By Carla Bagnoli Copyright 2022
    298 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Continue Shopping

    This book explores the role of time in rational agency and practical reasoning. Agents are finite and often operate under severe time constraints. Action takes time and unfolds in time. While time is an ineliminable constituent of our experience of agency, it is both a theoretical and a practical problem to explain whether and how time shapes rational agency and practical thought.

    The essays in this book are divided into three parts. Part I is devoted to the temporal structure of action and agency, from metaphysical and metaethical perspectives. Part II features essays about the temporal structure of rational deliberation, from the perspective of action theory and theories of practical reasoning. Part III includes essays about the temporal aspects of failures of rationality. Taken together, the essays in this book shed new light on our understanding of the temporality of agency that coheres with our subjective sense of finitude and explains rational agency both in time and over time.

    Time in Action will be of interest to advanced students and researchers working on the philosophy of time, metaphysics of action, action theory, practical reasoning, ethical theory, moral psychology, and rational justification.


    Carla Bagnoli

    Part I. Acting in Time

    1. Verbs of Action and Acting in Time

    Jennifer Hornsby

    2. Action, Cubes, and Traces

    Constantine Sandis

    3. Temporality and Determinate Situation-Specific Truths

    Arto Latinen

    Part II. Diachronic Self-Governance

    4. A Planning Agent’s Self-Governance Over Time

    Acting Together with Oneself over Time: Appendix to "A Planning Agent's Self-Governance Over Time"

    Michael E. Bratman

    5. The Structures of Temporally Extended Agents

    Luca Ferrero

    6. Agency and Time

    Abe Roth

    7. Sticking to it and Settling: Commitments, Normativity, and the Future

    Caroline Arruda

    8. Extended Agency and the Problem of Diachronic Autonomy

    Julia Nefsky and Sergio Tenenbaum

    9. Hard Times: Self-governance, Freedom to Change, and Normative Adjustment

    Carla Bagnoli

    Part III. Failures of Temporal Agency

    10. Weakness and the Memory of Resolutions

    Laurent Jaffro

    11. Inverted Akrasia

    Monika Betzler

    12. Individual Time-Bias and Social Discounting

    Brian Hedden


    Carla Bagnoli is a Professor of Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, and a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, University of Oxford. She has written extensively on moral dilemmas, moral authority, and responsibility, and is the editor of Constructivism in Ethics (Cambridge UP, 2013) and Morality and the Emotions (Oxford UP, 2011). Her Ethical Constructivism is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press.