|Graduate Seminar: Recent Work on Rational Agency
Rational agency involves activity that is somehow responsive to our own capacity for normative or evaluative thought. We reflect on what we have reason to do, for instance, and modify our intentions on the basis of such reflection. In this seminar we will look at some important recent work on this general topic, focusing in particular on contributions by Joseph Raz, Pamela Hieronymi, Matthew Boyle, and Agnes Callard. Questions to be addressed include the following: the nature of reasons; the relation of reasons to attitudes, values, and questions; the connections between reasons, reasoning, and activity; the bases of responsibility for what we think and do; the apparent orientation of agency toward the good; and the special features of aspirational agency, which is oriented towards reasons and values that are not yet fully grasped by the agent.