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Options and Agency

Palgrave Macmillan

Authors:

  • Resolves many of the outstanding questions in the metaphysics and semantics of agentive modality

  • Develops original accounts of topics that have been central to philosophy since Aristotle

  • Articulates an austere and uncompromising form of compatibilism about free will

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eBook USD 109.00
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  • ISBN: 978-3-031-10243-1
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  • Own it forever
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Hardcover Book USD 139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

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Table of contents (7 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxx
  2. Foundations

    • John T. Maier
    Pages 1-16
  3. The Simplicity of Options

    • John T. Maier
    Pages 17-40
  4. The Analysis of Ability

    • John T. Maier
    Pages 41-65
  5. The Active and Passive Powers

    • John T. Maier
    Pages 67-97
  6. A Picture of Agentive Possibility

    • John T. Maier
    Pages 99-113
  7. Against Reconciliation

    • John T. Maier
    Pages 115-132
  8. Simple Compatibilism

    • John T. Maier
    Pages 133-150
  9. Back Matter

    Pages 151-170

About this book


This book develops an original theory of agentive modality: the kind of modality that is distinctive to agents. The central thesis is that the idea of an option should be taken as primitive, and that other agentive notions – such as ability, skill, and free will – should be understood in terms of options. 

The main contributions of this book are twofold. First, it resolves many of the outstanding questions in the metaphysics and semantics of agentive modality. In doing so, it develops original accounts of topics that have been central to philosophy since Aristotle. It also contributes to a lively contemporary literature on these topics. Second, it articulates an austere and uncompromising form of compatibilism about free will, termed “simple compatibilism.” Simple compatibilism is so-called because it rejects both the reductive theses endorsed by traditional compatibilists and the sophisticated proposals of many contemporary compatibilists. Instead, it turns precisely on insisting that options are analytically simple. Arguments for incompatibilism are shown to rest on auxiliary principles that should, in light of the book’s general account of options, be rejected.

Keywords

  • Agency
  • Option
  • Modality
  • Ability
  • Skill
  • Free will
  • Compatabilism

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cambridge, USA

    John T. Maier

About the author


John T. Maier is an Outpatient Therapist at the Freedom Trail Clinic in Boston. He is also adjunct faculty in Philosophy at Bentley University and in Educational Studies at Lesley University. He has previously held positions at the Australian National University, Cambridge University, and Peking University.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook USD 109.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-031-10243-1
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book USD 139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)