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  1. Lawrence H. Davis (1979). Theory of Action. Prentice Hall.
  2. Jennifer Hornsby (1980). Actions. Routledge and Kegan Paul.
    This book presents an events-based view of human action somewhat different from that of what is known as "standard story". A thesis about trying-to-do-something is distinguished from various volitionist theses. It is argued then that given a correct conception of action's antecedents, actions will be identified not with bodily movements but with causes of such movements.
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  3. E. J. Lowe (1996). Subjects of Experience. Cambridge University Press.
    In this innovative study of the relationship between persons and their bodies, E. J. Lowe demonstrates the inadequacy of physicalism, even in its mildest, non-reductionist guises, as a basis for a scientifically and philosophically acceptable account of human beings as subjects of experience, thought and action. He defends a substantival theory of the self as an enduring and irreducible entity - a theory which is unashamedly committed to a distinctly non-Cartesian dualism of self and body. Taking up the physicalist challenge (...)
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  4. Olivier Massin (2014). Quand Vouloir, c'est Faire [How to Do Things with Wants]. In R. Clot-Goudard (Dir.), L'Explication de L'Action. Analyses Contemporaines, Recherches Sur la Philosophie Et le Langage N°30, Paris, Vrin 30.
    This paper defends the action-theory of the Will, according to which willing G is doing F (F≠G) in order to make G happen. In a nutshell, willing something is doing something else in order to bring about what we want. -/- I argue that only the action-theory can reconcile two essential features of the Will. (i) its EFFECTIVITY: willing is closer to acting than desiring. (ii) its FALLIBILITY: one might want something in vain. The action-theory of the will explains EFFECTIVITY (...)
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  5. Hugh J. McCann (1974). Volition and Basic Action. Philosophical Review 83 (4):451-473.
    The purpose of this paper is to defend the view that the bodily actions of men typicaly involve a mental action of voliton or willing, and that such mental acts are, in at least one important sense, the basic actions we perform when we do things like raise an arm, move a finger, or flex a muscle.
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  6. Suzanne McCormick & Irving Thalberg (1967). Trying. Dialogue 6 (01):29-46.
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  7. Christian Miller (2014). Furlong and Santos on Desire and Choice. In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (ed.), Moral Psychology: Freedom and Responsibility. MIT Press. 367-374.
    Ellen Furlong and Laurie Santos helpfully summarize a number of fascinating studies of certain influences on both human and monkey behavior. As someone who works primarily in philosophy, I am not in a position to dispute the details of the studies themselves. But in this brief commentary I do want to raise some questions about the inferences Furlong and Santos make on the basis of those studies. In general, I worry that they may be overreaching beyond what their own data (...)
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  8. Brian O'Shaughnessy (1973). Trying (as the Mental "Pineal Gland&Quot;). Journal of Philosophy 70 (13):365-386.
  9. David-Hillel Ruben (2013). Trying in Some Way. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):719-733.
    Does 'Person P tried to A' entail that there is some particular, whether a mental act or a brain state or whatever, that is a trying? Most discussions of trying assume that this entailment holds. There is no good reason for holding that this is a valid inference. In particular, I examine one 'Davidsonian' argument that might be used to justify the validity of such an inference and argue that the argument is not sound. See: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/IxsuPqt7rvdzqMxpFiTv/full.
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  10. Jing Zhu (2004). Locating Volition. Consciousness and Cognition 13 (2):302-322.
    In this paper, it is examined how neuroscience can help to understand the nature of volition by addressing the question whether volitions can be localized in the brain. Volitions, as acts of the will, are special mental events or activities by which an agent consciously and actively exercises her agency to voluntarily direct her thoughts and actions. If we can pinpoint when and where volitional events or activities occur in the brain and find out their neural underpinnings, this can substantively (...)
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  11. Jing Zhu (2004). Understanding Volition. Philosophical Psychology 17 (2):247-274.
    The concept of volition has a long history in Western thought, but is looked upon unfavorably in contemporary philosophy and psychology. This paper proposes and elaborates a unifying conception of volition, which views volition as a mediating executive mental process that bridges the gaps between an agent's deliberation, decision and voluntary bodily action. Then the paper critically examines three major skeptical arguments against volition: volition is a mystery, volition is an illusion, and volition is a fundamentally flawed conception that leads (...)
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