Agential Settling Requires a Conscious Intention

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Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics


Helen Steward holds that an agent’s settling something does not require a conscious, full-fledged intention. Rather, sub-intentional acts can be instances of settling by the agent if that act is subordinated to the agent’s personal-level conscious systems. I argue that this position is mistaken, and that agential settling does in fact require a conscious intention. I argue for this claim by offering a case which on Steward’s position has counterintuitive implications. I consider a variety of ways in which Steward might respond, and show how each response incurs serious dialectical burdens. I then propose my preferred view of agential settling which does not share the aforementioned counterintuitive claims.