Document Type



Master of Arts



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Eric Wiland


Eric Wiland

Billy Dunaway

Dan Haybron


In this paper, I present a new problem to constitutivism (the idea that agency grounds our practical norms) and argue that the solution to this problem also solves Enoch’s shmagency question. The problem I bring forth involves the fact that agency seems to be metaphysically escapable, such as when we fall asleep, or get hit by a truck. If this is correct, then we allow for perplexing cases in which a wrongdoing is done, but no agent is responsible, nor is any norm broken—for, what grounds responsibility and norms, our agency, has disappeared. I thus argue for a notion of agency immune to such cases (metaphysically inescapable), and argue that as long as this is true, the shmagency question is in fact moot: the content of the question of whether we have reasons to be agents in the first place will make as much sense as asking whether we have reasons to be an elf, a hobbit, or a garuda.