University of Cambridge > > Departmental Seminars in History and Philosophy of Science > Talking to our selves: reflection, scepticism and agency

Talking to our selves: reflection, scepticism and agency

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In philosophy, agents are often distinguished by a propensity for reflection – conscious and self-conscious mentation effecting control of behaviour. In psychology, quantities of research on parallel processing suggest that the philosophical conception of agency is empirically inadequate; much human behaviour is not consciously controlled, and is evaluatively incongruent with the deliverances of reflection. A psychologically lifelike conception of agency will therefore de-emphasize reflection; instead, the forms of self-direction marked with the honorific morally responsible agency emerge in the social dialogue by which humans regulate their behaviour.

This talk is part of the Departmental Seminars in History and Philosophy of Science series.

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