Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

The Other Side of Agency

  • Soran Reader (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

In our philosophical tradition and our wider culture, we tend to think of persons as agents. This agential conception is flattering, but in this paper I will argue that it conceals a more complex truth about what persons are. In 1. I set the issues in context. In 2. I critically explore four features commonly presented as fundamental to personhood in versions of the agential conception: action, capability, choice and independence. In 3. I argue that each of these agential features presupposes a non-agential feature: agency presupposes patiency, capability presupposes incapability, choice presupposes necessity and independence presupposes dependency. In 4. I argue that such non-agential features, as well as being implicit within the agential conception, are as apt to be constitutive of personhood as agential features, and in 5. I conclude.

Copyright
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

M-A. Warren , Moral Status (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000)

M. Nussbaum The Future of Feminist Liberalism’, Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, 74 (2000), 4779

H. Frankfurt , The Importance of What we Care About (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988)

M. Karlsson , ‘Agency and Patiency: Back to Nature?’, Philosophical Explorations, 5 (2002), 5981

R. Taylor , ‘Agent and Patient: is there a Distinction?’, Erkenntnis, 18 (1982), 223232

D. Davidson , ‘Actions, Reasons and Causes’, Journal of Philosophy, 60 (1973), 685700

C.B. Martin , ‘On the Need for Properties’, Synthese, 112 (1997), 204

E. Kittay , ‘At the Margins of Moral Personhood’, Ethics, 116 (2005), 100131, 123

V. Das , Life and Words: Violence and the Descent into the Ordinary (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007)

S. Reader , ‘Does a Basic Needs Approach Need Capabilities?’, Journal of Political Philosophy, 14 (2006), 337350, 343–6

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Philosophy
  • ISSN: 0031-8191
  • EISSN: 1469-817X
  • URL: /core/journals/philosophy
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 5
Total number of PDF views: 53 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 161 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.