Talk:Agency (philosophy)

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Human agency?[edit]

This entry would be better under the entry 'Agency' than the entry 'Human agency'. 'Agency' in this philosophical use of the term refers to any beings at all that have and exercise a certain kind of ability: god(s), aliens, computers, whatever. (Anarchia 20:02, 5 October 2006 (UTC))

Agreed, though it would have to be Agency (philosophy) since there is a disambiguation page at Agency. I am all for this change. Postmodern Beatnik 19:40, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Concur - setting up Agency (philosophy) is good, and this good material on Human agency fits there.Newbyguesses 05:57, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Relationship with Structure[edit]

Should there be something in here about agency's relationship to structure? In the sociological/anthropological approach, agency is tied to structure through recursive practice. Structure is made up of continuously practiced actions by social agents and that structure then applies constraints upon further action. Social agents generally will perform actions in their own best interest and therefore will normally continue to construct preexisting structures. Support for this would be Bourdieu 1977, 1998 and Giddens 1979, 1981. (This is my very first post on Wiki ever, I apologize if it is done incorrectly.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:20, 11 December 2009 (UTC) -WAMF


I added "on a collective basis, usually through democratic means" because human agency is always done through this manner. I also added "it operates on the basis God helps those who help themselves, in other words the will of God is determined through collective consensus of human beings."

I welcome any feedback.

DanianCheong 07:41, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

I have removed that, because it is completely unsourced and enormously contraversial (as in unheard of) to boot. - mdb


I'm currently researching the subject in order to improve the article, but because the article is currently so limited I'm having trouble coming up with a reasonable structure etc. Leave a message over here or on my talk page if you want to help out a bit. Stdbrouw 22:40, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

There's an article called Moral agency that seems to be almost but not quite talking about the same thing from a different point of view. As a reader browsing through these articles, I'd like to see the two concepts distinguished, cross-referenced, or merged, whichever is appropriate. In the current state of things, they're strangers passing in the night who might happen to be long-lost siblings. -- Justinbb 15:26, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately, you are correct. And since agency and specifically moral agency are separable issues, this problem seems major. Contrary to what the current article implies, free will does not necessitate that actions have a moral dimension. Moral nihilism could be just as true in a free universe as a determined one. Perhaps a lack of agency rules out moral agency, but that's a whole other kettle of fish. If the two concepts are sufficiently distinguished, however, two separate articles are justified. Postmodern Beatnik 19:36, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

I supported the name change before, (above post), now I understand it is a requested move.
Further reasons to support the proposed name change occur to me, and I may state them;
  • Moral agency, being more along the lines of ethics, and distinguished that way at a higher level.
  • Agency (philosophy), proposed, rightly includes agency of any sentient being conceivable, (humans, fiction characters, extraterrestrials...).
  • Agency (philosophy) does not then at first address ethics, but issues of identity, intuition, knowing and acting in a world.
  • Links to these article-names, can be properly redirected, it just means sorting some how ethical quests to a section or subsection as required, and similarly for the articles and calls better going to Agency (philosophy, or any other entry on the dab page for agency).

I will watch the talkpages to follow this proposal for interests sake.Newbyguesses 02:28, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Question about unthinking, deterministic processes[edit]

(Agency) is normally contrasted to natural forces, which are causes involving only unthinking deterministic processes. This doesn't make sense. It implies that processes that are random, thus nondeterministic (e.g. quantum leaps), involve some kind of agency.-- (talk) 01:32, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

I think the sentence is reasonable (we are not considering here the "agency" of sub-atomic particles), however if you can think of a better wording than "unthinking deterministic", please try it, an improvement would be welcomed. --NewbyG (talk) 01:27, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

last sentence of intro [pre-TOC][edit]

there's a bad semi-colon. can someone who understands teh "debate" referenced fix this hanging fragment? I am going to try but I'll probably remove the word "debate" unless I figure out what debate teh orig author is talking about. S*K*A*K*K 15:04, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

looks like my objection was due to my hastily scrounging for meaning listening only for more typical phrasing more typical to a native speaker of north american english. the sentence I took issue with made sense. it's clarity was just highly convoluted, IMHO, to any casual reader. I redid. have at it, I'm sure it still needs a little more work and/or better focus. thanks S*K*A*K*K 18:23, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Contradiction concerning agency as individual or collective[edit]

For me the two beginning sentences of "In philosophy" and "In sociology" are somewhat contradictive, especially concerning the mentioning of Marx. First it is said that Hegel and Marx consider agency to be "a collective, historical dynamic, rather than a function arising out of individual behavior". Then it is said that "in the Marxist conception, "agency" refers to the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices". Confusing, isn't it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sofastar (talkcontribs) 18:23, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

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