David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Axiomathes 18 (3):303-338 (2008)
This paper presents a typology of human actions, based on Aristotle’s kinesis–energeia dichotomy and on a formal elaboration (with some refinement) of the Vendler–Kenny classificatory schemes for action types (or action verbs). The types introduced are defined throughout by inferential criteria, in terms of what here are referred to as “modal-temporal expressions” (‘MT-terms’). Examples of familiar categories analysed in this way are production and maintenance, but the procedure is meant to offer a basis for defining various other commonsense categories. Among the more theoretical categories introduced are “Aristotelian projects”, i.e. actions defined in terms of Aristotle’s conceptions of movement/change, as well as “abstract projects”, in which the agent ensures that something changes from not being a fact to being a fact, and “conditional agency”, which involves actions that are to be performed when/if certain conditions come to be fulfilled. A category like “starting an action” is itself inferentially defined here in MT-terms, and so, inter alia, are proceeding with, finishing, stopping and interrupting an action. There is also a demonstration of how actions of one type may be converted into those of other types, where this is a matter of the way they are “seen” or described. There is also an implication to the effect that some of these distinctions may be useful for formulating certain critical insights regarding modern life.
|Keywords||Action types Ontology Dynamics Inferential definition Temporality Aristotle Kenny Vendler|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
John F. Horty & Nuel Belnap (1995). The Deliberative Stit: A Study of Action, Omission, Ability, and Obligation. [REVIEW] Journal of Philosophical Logic 24 (6):583 - 644.
Zeno Vendler (1967). Linguistics in Philosophy. Cornell University Press.
G. H. von Wright (1968). An Essay in Deontic Logic and the General Theory of Action. Amsterdam, North-Holland Pub. Co..
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Joseph Pilsner (2006). The Specification of Human Actions in St. Thomas Aquinas. Oxford University Press.
Charlotta Weigelt (2004). Logos as Kinesis. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 9 (1):101-116.
John R. Searle (1979). The Intentionality of Intention and Action. Inquiry 22 (1-4):253 – 280.
Rosalind Hursthouse (1991). Arational Actions. Journal of Philosophy 88 (2):57-68.
David Kirsh & P. Maglio (1995). On Distinguishing Epistemic From Pragmatic Action. Cognitive Science 18 (4):513-49.
Anfinn Stigen (1970). The Concept of a Human Action. Inquiry 13 (1-4):1 – 31.
Heath White (2011). Mattering and Mechanism: Must a Mechanistic Universe Be Depressing? Ratio 24 (3):326-339.
Maria Alvarez & John Hyman (1998). Agents and Their Actions. Philosophy 73 (2):219-245.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads60 ( #30,883 of 1,410,046 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #57,782 of 1,410,046 )
How can I increase my downloads?