Meeting of the Aristotelian Society held at Senate House, University of London, on 18 June 2012 at 4:15 p.m.
XV—Agents and Patients, or: What We Learn About Reasons for Action by Reflecting on Our Choices in Process-of-Thought Cases
Version of Record online: 27 DEC 2012
© 2012 The Aristotelian Society
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society (Hardback)
Volume 112, Issue 3, pages 309–331, October 2012
How to Cite
Smith, M. (2012), XV—Agents and Patients, or: What We Learn About Reasons for Action by Reflecting on Our Choices in Process-of-Thought Cases. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society (Hardback), 112: 309–331. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9264.2012.00337.x
- Issue online: 27 DEC 2012
- Version of Record online: 27 DEC 2012
Can we draw substantive conclusions about the reasons for action agents have from premisses about the desires of their idealized counterparts? The answer is that we can. The argument for this conclusion is Rawlsian in spirit, focusing on the choices that our idealized counterparts must make simply in virtue of being ideal, and inferring from these choices the contents of the desires that they must have. It turns out that our idealized counterparts must have desires in which we ourselves figure as both agents and patients, and in which others must figure too, though only as patients.