David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Essays in Philosophy 7 (2):12 (2006)
This paper focuses on two conflations which frequently appear within the philosophy of history and other fields concerned with action explanation. The first of these, which I call the Conflating View of Reasons, states that the reasons for which we perform actions are reasons why (those events which are) our actions occur. The second, more general conflation, which I call the Conflating View of Action Explanation, states that whatever explains why an agent performed a certain action explains why (that event which was) her action occurred. Both conflations ignore the fact that there are at least two distinct objects that legitimately qualify as objects of action explanation2. As Jennifer Hornsby (1993) has previous suggested, one thing we might wish to explain is ‘why did A do what she did?’ another is, ‘why did the event of her doing it occur?’ I shall argue that when these two views are combined they give rise to a futile debate about explanation in the philosophies of history and the social sciences, and to an almost identical debate in moral psychology and the philosophy of mind. In so doing, I shall also examine a proposed distinction between explaining a phenomenon, and rendering it intelligible. I conclude by distinguishing between four different objects of historical understanding, each of which is to be understood in the light of the aforementioned distinctions between event and thing done, and explanation and intelligibility.
|Keywords||action explanation philoosphy fo history reasons for action causal explanation|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Rowland Stout (2004). Internalising Practical Reasons. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 104 (3):229–243.
D. Lynn Holt (1988). Teleological Explanation: A Species of Causal Explanation. Philosophical Psychology 1 (3):313-325.
Constantine Sandis (2009). Gods and Mental States : The Causation of Action in Ancient Tragedy and Modern Philosophy of Mind. In , New Essays on the Explanation of Action. Palgrave Macmillan. 358--385.
Giuseppina D'Oro (2007). Two Dogmas of Contemporary Philosophy of Action. Journal of the Philosophy of History 1 (1):10-24.
Stephen Andrew Butterfill (2001). Two Kinds of Purposive Action. European Journal of Philosophy 9 (2):141–165.
Carl Ginet (1990). On Action. Cambridge University Press.
Duncan Macintosh (2007). Reasons and Purposes: Human Rationality and the Teleological Explanation of Action - By G.F. Schueler. Philosophical Books 48 (1):86-88.
Pamela Hieronymi (2011). Reasons for Action. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (3pt3):407-427.
Mark Risjord (2005). Reasons, Causes, and Action Explanation. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 35 (3):294-306.
Added to index2010-08-17
Total downloads37 ( #45,134 of 1,098,129 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #112,729 of 1,098,129 )
How can I increase my downloads?