Time in Action
The Temporal Structure of Rational Agency and Practical Thought
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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 practical problem to explain whether and how time shapes rational agency and practical thought.
The essays in this book are divided in 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. Finally, Part III includes essays about to 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.
Table of Contents
Part I. Acting in Time
1. Verbs of Action and Acting in Time
2. Action, Cubes, and Traces
3. Temporality and Determinate Situation-Specific Truths
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
6. Agency and Time
7. Sticking to it and Settling: Commitments, Normativity, and the Future
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
Part III. Failures of Temporal Agency
10. Weakness and the Memory of Resolutions
11. Inverted Akrasia
12. Individual Time-Bias and Social Discounting
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.