Michael E. Bratman

Michael E. Bratman's Overview

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    Name:Michael E. Bratman
    Title:U. G. and Abbie Birch Durfee Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, and Professor of Philosophy
    Stanford Philosophy Department Member:Yes
    Areas of Specialization:Philosophy of Action; Practical Reason; Shared Agency
    Primary Phone:650 723 2980
    Office Number (physical):102B

    My  American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, 2010 Presidential Address, "Agency, Time, and Sociality," is available below.  From  July 2011 to June 2014  I will be Chair of the American Philosophical Association Board of Officers.

    A paper I wrote jointly with David Israel and Martha Pollock --  "Plans and Resource-Bounded Practical Reasoning," Computational Intelligence 4 (1988):  349-355 --  was a winner of the 2008 IFAAMAS  (International Foundation of Autonomous
    Agents and Multi-Agent Systems)   influential paper award to recognize papers that have had a significant impact on the field of agents and multi-agent systems.

    In 2012 I was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.



    Research Interests

    My Shared Agency: A Planning Theory of Acting Together will appear early in 2014. I am currently also working on a series of essays on practical rationality; and I continue to develop an approach to self-governance presented in my Structures of Agency (2007).  All three projects are efforts to develop further the planning theory of intention and our agency. The planning theory tries to shed light on the temporally  extended structure of our agency; and the idea that underlies much of my work is that this approach to individual human agency puts us in a position to deepen our understanding of a wide range of issues in practical philosophy.

    Short Bio

    I have been at Stanford University since 1974.  I am currently  U. G. and Abbie Birch Durfee Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences,  and Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University.  I was Olmsted Visiting Professor in Yale University's Program on Ethics, Politics and Economics, in Fall, 1994.  My  book publications are Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason (1987), Faces of Intention: Selected Essays on Intention and Agency (1999),  Structures of Agency:  Essays (2007), and Shared Agency: A Planning Theory of Acting Together (2014).  I am also a co-editor of Introduction to Philosophy:  Classical and Contemporary  Readings. I have been awarded an ACLS Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and fellowships from the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and the Stanford University Humanities Center. I am a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. I directed a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for College Teachers in 1993.

    Additional Information/ Links

    You can see a video of my Routledge lecture in June 2014 in Cambridge UK at  


    You can see a video of my keynote talk on shared agency to CogSci 2013 at 



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