•  159
    Responsibility for an action requires what Professor McCann calls an exercise of legitimate agency of the part of an agent, a necessary condition for which is libertarian freedom. Free decisions are to be explained teleologically, not causally. Agent causation cannot account for the existence of a free decision, but neither does event causation account for the existence of determined events. The problem of accounting for the existence of a free decision is therefore of a piece with the problem o…Read more
  •  110
    The Simple View again: a brief rejoinder
    Analysis 71 (2): 293-295. 2011.
    In a recent issue of Analysis I gave a critique of some arguments made by Di Nucci concerning the so-called Simple View – the view that an agent performs an action intentionally only if he intends so to act. In turn Di Nucci offers a reply that concentrates on two points. The first has to do with a group of examples, one having to do with waking a flatmate, and the others with routine actions such as shifting gears while driving. I rejected these examples, arguing that it is not at all obvious t…Read more
  •  46
    Paralysis and the spring of action
    Philosophia 25 (1-4): 481. 1997.
  •  69
  •  87
    Divine Sovereignty and the Freedom of the Will
    Faith and Philosophy 12 (4): 582-598. 1995.
    Libertarian treatments of free will face the objection that an uncaused human decision would lack full explanation, and hence violate the principle of sufficient reason. It is argued that this difficulty can be overcome if God, as creator, wills that I decide as I do, since my decision could then be explained in terms of his will, which must be for the best. It is further argued that this view does not make God the author of evil in any damaging sense. Neither does it impugn my freedom. God’s cr…Read more
  •  12
    Book reviews (review)
    Mind 103 (409): 99-102. 1994.
  •  54
    Rationality and the Range of Intention
    Midwest Studies in Philosophy 10 (1): 191-211. 1986.
  •  105
    Settled objectives and rational constraints
    American Philosophical Quarterly 28 (1): 25-36. 1991.
    Some authors reject what they call the "Simple View"---i.e., the principle that anyone who A's intentionally intends to A. My purpose here is to defend this principle. Rejecting the Simple View, I shall claim, forces us to assign to other mental states the functional role of intention: that of providing settled objectives to guide deliberation and action. A likely result is either that entities will be multiplied, or that the resultant account will invite reassertion of reductionist theories. In…Read more
  •  87
    Mind in Action (review)
    with Bede Rundle
    Philosophical Review 108 (4): 566. 1999.
    To readers familiar with action theory as it was done thirty years ago, this book will strike a familiar chord. It presents an account of action of the sort that typified the ordinary language movement: fundamentally logical-behaviorist in its theory of mind, negatively disposed toward mental acts, anti-causalist in its account of explanation by reasons, and compatibilistic in its view of freedom. The object is to show that the ordinary concept of action is secured at the observational level, an…Read more
  •  51
    Intention and Motivational Strength
    Journal of Philosophical Research 20 571-583. 1995.
    One of the principal preoccupations of action theory is with the role of intention in the production of action. It should be expected that this role would be important, since an item of behavior appears to count as action just when there is some respect in which it is intended by the agent. This being the case, an account of the function of intention should provide insight into how human action might differ from other sorts of events, what the foundations of human autonomy may be, etc. But the c…Read more
  •  108
    Divine providence
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2008.
  •  2
    Alan Donagan, The Philosophical Papers of Alan Donagan Reviewed by
    Philosophy in Review 16 (2): 93-97. 1996.
  •  23
    The trouble with level-generation
    Mind 91 (364): 481-500. 1982.
  •  35
    Practical Rationality: Some Kantian Reflections
    Journal of Philosophical Research 15 57-77. 1990.
    Recent views on practical rationality harmonize well with a fundamentally Kantian conception of the foundations of morality. Rationality in practical thinking is not a matter of valid reasoning, or of foIlowing maximization principles. From an agent-centered perspective, it consists in observing certain standards of consistency. In themselves, these standards lack the force of duties, hence there can be no irresolvable conflict between rationality and morality. Furthermore, the Kantian test of u…Read more
  •  90
    Is Raising One's Arm a Basic Action?
    Journal of Philosophy 69 (9): 235. 1972.
    I hold no view as to what actions are basic, but I shall attempt to show in what follows that actions like raising an arm never are. My contention is that these actions involve actions of physical exertion on the part of the agent, the involvement being of a sort generally taken to be excluded by an actions being basic.
  •  1
    Edwards on Free Will.”
    In Paul Helm & Oliver Crisp (eds.), Jonathan Edwards: Philosophical Theologian, Burlington, Vt: Ashgate Publishing Co.. pp. 27--43. 2003.
  •  42
    Creation and the Sovereignty of God
    Indiana University Press. 2012.
    Creation and the Sovereignty of God brings fresh insight to a defense of God.