Philosophical Psychology 1 (3):313-325 (1988)
|Abstract||Abstract The thesis that teleological explanations are best understood as causal explanations is defended (contra Valentine). I shift the focus of debate from behavior simpliciter to allegedly rational behavior. Teleological explanation, in the case of rational agents, involves reason?giving; and the reasons agents give for acting must be causative of that action if those agents are to be rational in practice. I argue initially that to abandon the claim that reasons are causes of action is to abandon that which renders many generalisations of systematic human behavior intelligible. I then adduce and defend against two major objections to the secondary thesis that reasons can be causes of action: (1) Experiments in attribution research suggest that agents are characteristically mistaken when reporting on the causes of their behavior; (2) Causal explanation must refer to some law, and reasons cannot enter into such laws as causes of action. In responding to these objections, I note that strict predictability is probably not a reliable indicator of genuine causal explanation; some explanations will afford predictions, others will not|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Scott R. Sehon (2000). An Argument Against the Causal Theory of Action Explanation. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (1):67-85.
Elizabeth Valentine (1988). Teleological Explanations and Their Relation to Causal Explanation in Psychology. Philosophical Psychology 1 (1):61-68.
Scott R. Sehon (1997). Deviant Causal Chains and the Irreducibility of Teleological Explanation. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 78 (2):195–213.
Mark Risjord (2005). Reasons, Causes, and Action Explanation. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 35 (3):294-306.
Duncan Macintosh (2007). Reasons and Purposes: Human Rationality and the Teleological Explanation of Action - By G.F. Schueler. Philosophical Books 48 (1):86-88.
Abraham S. Roth (1999). Reasons Explanations of Actions: Causal, Singular, and Situational. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (4):839-874.
Zhu Xu (2010). Laws, Causality and the Intentional Explanation of Action. Frontiers of Philosophy in China 5 (2):280-293.
Merrilee H. Salmon (2003). Causal Explanations of Behavior. Philosophy of Science 70 (4):720-738.
Jason Bridges (2011). Dispositions and Rational Explanation. In Jason Bridges Niko Kolodny & Wai-Hung Wong (eds.), The Possibility of Philosophical Understanding: Reflections on the Thought of Barry Stroud. Oxford University Press.
Denis J. Hilton (1996). Mental Models and Causal Explanation: Judgements of Probable Cause and Explanatory Relevance. Thinking and Reasoning 2 (4):273 – 308.
Erik Weber, Jeroen Van Bouwel & Robrecht Vanderbeeken (2005). Forms of Causal Explanation. Foundations of Science 10 (4):437-454.
Added to index2010-09-14
Total downloads4 ( #188,906 of 722,867 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #60,917 of 722,867 )
How can I increase my downloads?