Conceptual Inventory

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Agency (General, or Minimal)

The capacity of a system to act on its own behalf: to initiate, sustain and terminate activities within an environment.


Kauffman, S.A. (2000). Investigations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Agential Explanation

A form of explanation that involves reference to the goals (real or apparent) of agents. Here “agents” should be understood as entities exhibiting at least minimal agency. See “Agency (General, or Minimal).”


Okasha, S. (2018). Agents and goals in evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press.