The Dennes Room

Philosophy 290-8

Spring 2010

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
290-8 Graduate Seminar: Practical Knowledge: Recent Work on Agency and Action Wallace M 2-4 234 Moses Hall

There has recently been a striking resurgence of interest in the approaches of Anscombe and Aristotle to issues of agency, action, and practical norms. In this seminar we will look at some recent work in this vein. A central issue will be the explanation of what Anscombe called practical knowledge: our non-observational knowledge of what we are doing when we act. Other topics will include the character of action as a (teleological) process; the relation of intentions to action; the structure of practical justification; and the source of the norms to which action is answerable. We will start by reading Michael Thompson’s Life and Action, and then move on to look at work by Sebastian Rödl, Kieran Setiya, David Velleman, Richard Moran, Doug Lavin (among others). Participants are strongly encouraged to (re-)read Anscombe’s Intention before the seminar begins.