November 12, 2008                             
Contact: Emanuel Costache ’09
Media Relations Intern

AMHERST, Mass.—Michael E. Bratman, Durfee Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and professor of philosophy at Stanford University, will give a talk titled “When and Why is it Rational to Resist Temptation?” at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 4, in Pruyne Lecture Hall of Amherst College’s Fayerweather Hall. Organized by the Amherst College Department of Philosophy, Bratman’s talk is the second event of a lecture series on the Philosophy and Science of Weakness of the Will. Bratman’s talk is free and open to the public.

Bratman’s interests center on issues in philosophy of action and moral psychology that arise from the nature of agency, intention and practical reasoning. That interest is reflected in his writings on free will, moral responsibility and shared agency. He regularly teaches on the philosophies of law and action.

His most recent book, Structures of Agency: Essays, is a collection of published and unpublished essays that revolve around his influential “planning theory of intention and agency.” Bratman’s focus on “strong” forms of human agency, such as those that concern self-determination, self-government and autonomy, makes for a text that is relevant to philosophers in ethics and metaphysics as well. He is also a co-editor of Oxford’s Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings, now in its fourth edition. He received a bachelor’s degree from Haverford College and a doctorate from Rockefeller University.

This talk is made possible through the Forry and Micken Fund in Philosophy and Science, established in 1983 by Carol Micken and John I. Forry ’66 to promote the study of philosophical issues arising out of new developments in the sciences, including mathematics, and issues in the philosophy and history of science.