David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Mind 107 (425):73-111 (1998)
The event analysis of action sentences seems to be at odds with plausible (Davidsonian) views about how to count actions. If Booth pulled a certain trigger, and thereby shot Lincoln, there is good reason for identifying Booths' action of pulling the trigger with his action of shooting Lincoln; but given truth conditions of certain sentences involving adjuncts, the event analysis requires that the pulling and the shooting be distinct events. So I propose that event sortals like 'shooting' and 'pulling' are true of complex events that have actions (and various effects of actions) as parts. Combining this view with some facts about so-called causative verbs, I then argue that paradigmatic actions are best viewed as tryings, where tryings are taken to be intentionally characterized events that typically cause peripheral bodily motions. The proposal turns on a certain conception of what it is to be the Agent of an event; and I conclude by elaborating this conception in the context of some recent discussions about the relation of thematic roles to grammatical categories.
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Kent Johnson (2004). From Impossible Words to Conceptual Structure: The Role of Structure and Processes in the Lexicon. Mind and Language 19 (3):334-358.
Paul M. Pietroski (2015). Framing Event Variables. Erkenntnis 80 (1):31-60.
Dustin Stokes (2011). Minimally Creative Thought. Metaphilosophy 42 (5):658-681.
Kent Johnson (2007). An Overview of Lexical Semantics. Philosophy Compass 3 (1):119-134.
Thor Grunbaum (2008). The Body in Action. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 7 (2):243-261.
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