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PPE Speaker Series: “The Normative Function of Intentional Action” with Mikayla Kelley (University of Chicago)

April 4 @ 6:30 pm - 7:45 pm


Our sophisticated capacities for normative thought, talk, and practice are supported by some fundamental, seemingly non-normative concepts. In this talk, I identify one such concept—the concept of intentional action—by identifying its distinctive normative function. Specifically, I argue that the concept of intentional action functions to focus our evaluative concern on the things done that are most requiring of our normative evaluation. It is a “normative filter” on our engagement with the world. I then consider an important upshot of this picture of what our concept of intentional action is doing for us: judgments of intentionality cannot do all the justificatory work they’re expected to do in moral and legal contexts.

Speaker Bio:

Mikayla Kelley is a Neubauer Family Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago who works mainly in philosophy of action and formal epistemology. She also has interests in metaethics and social choice theory. 

She received a Ph.D in Philosophy from Stanford University, an M.A. in Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 


April 4
6:30 pm - 7:45 pm
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