Action

TorontoUniversity Press (1968)
Abstract
An essay in descriptive metaphysics, this book offers a sketch of the concept of action embodied in pretheoretical, folk ways of speaking. It focuses on the points of view of the agent and spectator in the kind of action in which the question of what to do can arise for the agent. It explores the relations among such action, inanimate action, and the inanimate action of parts of the body on external objects, finding in them analogous roles for the notion of attributability of effects. It contrasts the roles of theoretical and practical necessity in the accounts of action and causation found in Hume and Collingwood, in the course of suggesting that, over the whole range of the category of human doings for which there can be reasons, the existence of reasons is systematically expressed by use of the modal concepts. It has an analytical table of contents. The book was still caught up in the post-Wittgensteinian denial that the explanation of action in terms of the reasons for action was causal explanation. But that error consists in mistaking for a metaphysical claim a sound epistemological one, the claim that such causal explanations do not rest on inductive evidence of empirical regularities. Rather we are analogue computers of the motivation of others. At that time one thought of Collingwood’s re-enactment version of Verstehen in the philosophy of history; nowadays the idea becomes some version of simulation theory.
Keywords Act (Philosophy  Agent (Philosophy  Philosophical anthropology  Mind and body
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Call number BD450.B66 1968b
ISBN(s) 0041500245  
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Citations of this work BETA
Jay Alan Smith (1978). Goldman on Act Individuation. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 56 (3):230-241.
Jay Alan Smith (1978). Goldman on Act Individuation. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 56 (3):230 – 241.
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