Philosophia 37 (2):307-333 (2009)
|Abstract||Some philosophers have argued that refraining from performing an action consists in actively keeping oneself from performing that action or preventing one’s performing it. Since activities must be held to be positive actions, this implies that negative actions are a species of positive actions which is to say that all actions are positive actions. I defend the following claims: (i) Positive actions necessarily include activity or effort, negative actions may require activity or effort, but never include the activity or effort which may be required. (ii) Unless it is, or was, at some time in P’s power to Q, P does not refrain from Q-ing. (iii) Negative actions are actions , they are causings of negative facts.|
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