Do actions occur inside the body?

Mind and Society 1 (2):107-125 (2000)
The paper offers a critical examination of Jennifer Hornsby's view that actions are internal to the body. It focuses on three of Hornsby's central claims: (P) many actions are bodily movements (in a special sense of the word “movement”) (Q) all actions are tryings; and (R) all actions occur inside the body. It is argued, contra Hornsby, that we may accept (P) and (Q) without accepting also the implausible (R). Two arguments are first offered in favour of the thesis (Contrary-R): that no actions occur inside the body. Three of Hornsby's arguments in favour of R are then examined. It is argued that we need to make a distinction between the causes and the causings of bodily movements (in the ordinary sense of the word “movement”) and that actions ought to be identified with the latter rather than the former. This distinction is then used to show how Hornsby's arguments for (R) may be resisted
Keywords action  bodily movement  causation  Hornsby  mental events  trying
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF02512316
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,707
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Jennifer Hornsby (1980). Actions. Routledge and Kegan Paul.

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Jennifer Hornsby (2012). Actions and Activity. Philosophical Issues 22 (1):233-245.
Helen Steward (2008). Fresh Starts. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1pt3):197-217.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Anton Lethin (2005). Covert Agency with Proprioceptive Feedback. Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (s 4-5):96-114.
Katherine J. Morris (1988). Actions and the Body: Hornsby Vs. Sartre. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 48 (3):473-488.
Michael Smith (2009). The Explanatory Role of Being Rational. In David Sobel & Steven Wall (eds.), Reasons for Action. Cambridge University Press 58--80.
Edmund Henden (2012). Addictive Actions. Philosophical Psychology 26 (3):362-382.
Jennifer Hornsby (1980). Actions. Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Hanna Pickard (2004). Knowledge of Action Without Observation. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 104 (3):203–228.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

42 ( #80,232 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #147,227 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.