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An Account of Practical Decisions

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This paper offers an account of practical decisions. The author argues that decisions do not need to be conscious, nor do they need to be settled by deliberation. Agents can be mistaken about what they decided and agents can decide by doing some intentional action besides deliberating. The author argues that the functional role of a decision is to put an end to practical uncertainty. A mental event is a decision to the extent that it ends practical uncertainty and to the extent that awareness of this causal role tends to reinforce that fact. This role is causal, but has systematic connections to consciousness.

Affiliations: 1: James Madison University,


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