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Published Work


Published & Forthcoming Work


(7) Mental Action and the Conscious Mind (Routledge, UK, forthcoming 2019)

Edited Book. (Introduction) Mental Action: Then and Now, by Michael Brent. (1) Skepticism about Self-Understanding, by Matthew Boyle. (2) Agent Causation and Inference, by David Hunter. (3) The Most General Mental Act, by Yair Levy. (4) Are Our Practical Decisions Mental Actions?, by Alfred R. Mele. (5) Practical Rationality and the Problem of Agency, by Joshua Shepherd. (6) Reasoning and the Metaphysics of the Active Mind, by Markos Valaris. (7) Attention and Self-Control, by Sebastian Watzl. (8) Modeling the Causal Efficacy of Mental Action, by Holly Andersen. (9) Reducing Two-Way Powers, by Andrei Buckareff. (10) Embodied Cognition and the Causal Roles of the Mental, by Lisa Miracchi. (11) How to Think Many Thoughts at Once: Content Plurality in Mental Action, by Antonia Peacocke. (12) Movements of the Mind, by Wayne Wu.

(6) Mental Action: Then and Now (forthcoming 2019)

Introductory chapter for “Mental Action and the Conscious Mind” (Routledge, UK)

(5) Meditation and the Scope of Mental Action  (w. Candace L. Upton)

We argue that meditation provides a useful model for understanding a wide range of types of mental action. Current psychological research on meditation and cognition, and meditation and introspection, buttress the suitability of meditation for this role. In 'Philosophical Psychology'. Available here.

(4) Confessions of a Deluded Westerner

I claim that there are multiple, at times conflicting, concepts of free will in the essays collected in Repetti (2017). Then, I argue that the Buddhist no-self doctrine is problematic, for it undermines the existence of intentional action and, thus, any hope for Buddhist enlightenment. In the 'Journal of Buddhist Ethics'. Available here.

(3) Agent Causation as a Solution to the Problem of Action

I defend a non-reductive solution to the problem of action, using the notions of agent causation and exerting effort to explain how you make your body move when acting. In the 'Canadian Journal of Philosophy'. Available here.

(2) Understanding Strength of Will 

I argue that Richard Holton's account of strength of will falls short, and suggest that it can be improved by including a more substantial role for exerting effort. In 'New Advances in Causation, Agency, and Moral Responsibility' (Bacchini, Dell'Utri & Caputo, eds.) Available here.

(1) Effort and the Standard Story of Action 

I argue that the standard story of action is problematic because it depicts the relation between you and your bodily actions as causally mediated by your desires, beliefs, intentions, and other motivational factors. Then, I sketch the beginnings of an alternative account in which overt bodily action requires a distinctive kind of effort when using your bodily capacities. In a Special Issue of 'Philosophical Writings'. Available here.