By E. Leader, E. Predazzi
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Additional resources for An Intro to Gauge Theories and Modern Particle Physics [Vol 1]
It is an accustom'd action with her, to seem thus washing her hands. I have known her continue in this a quarter of an hour. This example, described with such absolute precision,2 is, like hypnosis, a radical case. At one level, the agent does not know what she is doing at all, though at another she knows, as is revealed by the effective intentional contour of what she does: for instance, she had brought the light from her bedroom. 22 Cambridge Books Online © Cambridge University Press, 2010 Voluntary acts and responsible agents There is another kind of case, where agents do at an everyday level know what they are doing, but the cause of their doing it does not bear the usual relation to their reasons.
This helps to explain why the impossibility applies only to the intentional action. It also explains something else, that the conclusion 'I cannot do this' does not imply that there is no possible world in which I figure as doing this thing intentionally. For, granted that there are other possible worlds in which I figure, I figure in some of them without my actual projects, and without my actual projects this practical necessity will not arise. This shows something further again; that my conclusion does not after all imply without qualification that the actual world will not contain my intentionally doing this very thing, where 'this very thing' refers to the most specific description available to me of what I have decided I cannot do.
What is the voluntary? We might say: an agent does X fully voluntarily if X-ing is an intentional aspect of an action he does, which has no inherent or deliberative defect. 8 It is, roughly, the concept of an action that is intentional in the relevant respect and that, to the extent the agent deliberated, is the appropriate product of that deliberation. We now have to ask what the ethical use of this concept might be. The Aristotle-Irwin theory Should this concept be turned to ethical use and, if so, how?