The Contours of Agency

Essays on Themes from Harry Frankfurt
Edited by Sarah Buss and Lee Overton

The original essays in this book address Harry Frankfurt's influential writing on personal identity, love, value, moral responsibility, and the freedom and limits of the human will. Many of Frankfurt’s deepest insights come from exploring the self-reflective nature of human agents and the psychic conflicts that self-reflection often produces. His work has informed discussions in metaphysics, metaethics, normative ethics, and action theory.

The authors, recognized for their own contributions to the understanding of human agency, defend their original philosophical positions at the same time that they respond to Frankfurt's. Each essay is followed by a response from Frankfurt, in which he clarifies and elaborates on his views.

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgments
  2. Contributors
  3. Introduction
  4. 1. Frankfurt-Style Compatibilism

    John Martin Fischer

  5. 2. Control and Causal Determinism

    Eleonore Stump

  6. 3. Hierarchy, Circularity, and Double Reduction

    Michael E. Bratman

  7. 4. Identification and Identity

    J. David Velleman

  8. 5. Volitional Necessities

    Gary Watson

  9. 6. Reasons and Passions

    T. M. Scanlon

  10. 7. Frankfurt on Identification: Ambiguities of Activity in Mental Life

    Richard Moran

  11. 8. The True, the Good, and the Lovable: Frankfurt's Avoidance of Objectivity

    Sisam Wolf

  12. 9. Bootstrapping

    Barbara Herman

  13. 10. Love's Authority

    Jonathan Lear

  14. 11. On Frankfurt's Explanation of Respect for People

    Joseph Raz

  15. 12. Deeper into Bullshit

    G. A. Cohen

  16. Bibliography of Harry Franfurt's Work
  17. References
  18. Index