Planning, Time, and Self-Governance

Planning, Time, and Self-Governance : Essays in Practical Rationality

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Our human capacity for planning agency plays central roles in the cross-temporal organization of our agency, in our acting and thinking together (both at a time and over time), and in our self-governance (both at a time and over time). Intentions can be understood as states in such a planning system. The practical thinking at the bottom of this planning capacity is guided by norms that enjoin synchronic plan consistency and means-end coherence as well as forms of
plan stability over time. The essays in this book aim to deepen our understanding of these norms and to defend their status as norms of practical rationality for planning agents.

The general guidance by these planning norms has many pragmatic benefits, especially given our cognitive and epistemic limits. But appeal to these general pragmatic benefits does not fully explain the normative force of these norms in the particular case. In response to this challenge some think these norms are, at bottom, norms of theoretical rationality on one's beliefs; some think these norms are constitutive of intentional agency; some think they are norms of interpretation; and some
think the idea of such norms of practical rationality is a myth. These essays chart an alternative path. This path sees these planning norms as tracking conditions of a planning agent's self-governance, both at a time and over time. It seeks associated models of such self-governance. And it appeals to
the idea that the end of one's self-governance over time, while not essential to intentional agency per se, is, within the planning framework, rationally self-sustaining and a keystone of a rationally stable reflective equilibrium that involves the norms of plan rationality. This end is thereby in a position to play a role in our planning framework that parallels the role of a concern with quality of will within the framework of the reactive emotions, as understood by Peter
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 155 x 237 x 17mm | 396g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0190867868
  • 9780190867867
  • 1,510,869

Table of contents


1. Introduction: The Planning Framework
2. Intention, Belief, Practical, Theoretical (2009)
3. Intention, Belief and Instrumental Rationality (2009)
4. Intention, Practical Rationality, and Self-Governance (2009)
5. Agency, Time, and Sociality (2010)
6. Time, Rationality, and Self-Governance (2012)
7. Temptation and the Agent's Standpoint (2014)
8. The Interplay of Intention and Reason (2013)
9. Consistency and Coherence in Plan (2014)
10. Rational Planning Agency (2017)
11. A Planning Agent's Self-Governance Over Time

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Review quote

The debate is worthy of attention from anyone interested in the philosophy of action. * Dr. Peter Stone, Trinity College, Dublin, Metapsychology * This collection of Bratman's essays deserves the attention not only of specialists in planning agency but those of us who are attentively following the reappearance of psychologistic approaches to philosophy of logic. * Elijah Millgram, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *
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About Michael E. Bratman

Michael E. Bratman is U.G. and Abbie Birch Durfee Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, and Professor of Philosophy, Stanford University
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