About this topic
Summary "Action Theory" as it is used here is the sub-area in the philosophy of action/agency that is concerned chiefly with the foundations of the broader sub-discipline. Central problems include the nature and scope of intentional action and agency, the explanation of action, and our knowledge of our actions. Most of the other problems that fall within the scope of this category at PhilPapers are closely related to such foundational questions.
Key works Perhaps the two most influential works that have shaped the current state of action theory are Anscombe 1957 and Davidson 1963. Davidson's essay is the locus classicus for the causal theory of action and for causalism about reason-explanations of actions. Anscombe's book has been influential among proponents of non-causal theories of action and reason-explanation. For a classic defense of the agent-causal perspective, see Chisholm 1966. And for a volitionist perspective, see McCann 1974. Some collections of essays that may help readers get a sense of the major debates in action theory today include Mele 1997, Aguilar & Buckareff 2010, Aguilar & Buckareff 2009, and D'Oro & Sandis 2013.
Introductions The following are good places to start to for those looking for guides to the current state of the art in action theory. Mele 2005 Mele 1992 Wilson 2008
Related categories
Subcategories:
Moral Responsibility* (2,872 | 543)
See also:History/traditions: Action Theory

9231 found
Order:
1 — 50 / 9231
Material to categorize
  1. All of Your Choices Matter. Charakterbildungsrelevante Entscheidungen in Videospielen am Beispiel von Telltales The Walking Dead.Rebecca Bachmann - 2019 - In Vom Binge Watching zum Binge Thinking. Untersuchungen im Wechselspiel zwischen Wissenschaften und Popkultur. Bielefeld, Deutschland: pp. 81-100.
    This paper is devoted to the concept of decisions in video games. In doing so, I start from the frequently applied criticism that they are irrelevant, since the course of the game is almost identical regardless of the individual decision. I follow this criticism with examples from "Telltale's The Walking Dead - Season Two" and work out a certain understanding of decisions in video games that characterizes them as relevant to the outcome. In contrast, using Robert Kane's theory of free (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  2. The Moral Problem.Christian Seidel - 2016 - In Michael Kühler & Markus Rüther (eds.), Handbuch Handlungstheorie: Grundlagen, Kontexte, Perspektiven. Stuttgart, Deutschland: pp. 309-315.
    Remove from this list  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  3. “Responsibility After ‘Morality’: Strawson’s Naturalism and Williams’ Genealogy”.Paul Russell - forthcoming - In P.F. STRAWSON AND HIS LEGACY. Oxford, UK:
    “Responsibility After ‘Morality’: Strawson’s Naturalism and Williams’ Genealogy” -/- Although P.F. Strawson and Bernard Williams have both made highly significant and influential contributions on the subject of moral responsibility they never directly engaged with the views of each other. On one natural reading their views are directly opposed. Strawson seeks to discredit scepticism about moral responsibility by means of naturalistic observations and arguments. Williams, by contrast, employs genealogical methods to support sceptical conclusions about moral responsibility (and blame). This way of (...)
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  4. Du Châtelet’s Libertarianism.Aaron Wells - forthcoming - History of Philosophy Quarterly.
    There is a growing consensus that Emilie Du Châtelet’s challenging essay “On Freedom” defends compatibilism. I offer an alternative, libertarian reading of the essay. I lay out the prima facie textual evidence for such a reading. I also explain how apparently compatibilist remarks in “On Freedom” can be read as aspects of a sophisticated type of libertarianism that rejects blind or arbitrary choice. To this end, I consider the historical context of Du Châtelet’s essay, and especially the dialectic between various (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  5. G.E.M Anscombe, Scritti di etica, a cura di Sergio Cremaschi.Sergio Cremaschi & Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe - 2022 - Brescia: Morcelliana.
    -/- Did the US president who signed the order to use the atomic bomb stain his hands with blood or just ink? Are there cases in which a war is just? In such cases, is any war justifiable? Is ending the life of a terminally ill person different from murder? Do we need to agree on the definition of the embryo as a 'person' to know whether any action on the embryo is prohibited? Is the prohibition of contraception justified even (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  6. Actions Embedded in Forms of Life.Margit Gaffal - 2016 - In Jesús Padilla Gálvez (ed.), Action, Decision-Making and Forms of Life. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. pp. 45-59.
    n this paper I propose that any action attained through education and for-mation is embedded in a person’s form of life. The experiences that one was exposed to in early socialisation are crucial for the construction of a form of life. Actions are not regarded as acts per se or solely conceived of as singular move-ments but they are linguistically introduced and practiced. Someone’s acting or behaving in a specific way becomes manifest in language. Individuals com-municate with each other through (...)
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  7. Ethics of Computer Gaming: A Groundwork.Samuel Ulbricht - 2022 - Berlin: Springer Berlin: Palgrave Macmillan.
    Despite the increasing number of gamers worldwide, the moral classification of computer gaming marks an as yet unsolved riddle of philosophical ethics. In view of the explosive nature of the topic in everyday life (as seen in various debates about rampages), it is obvious that a differentiated professional clarification of the phenomenon is needed: Can playing computer games be immoral? -/- To answer this question, the author first discusses what we do at all when we play computer games: What kind (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  8. Against the Distinction Between Intentions for the Future and Intentions for the Present.Chiara Brozzo - 2021 - American Philosophical Quarterly 4 (58):333-346.
    How should we account for the planning and performance of a bodily action in terms of the agent’s intentions? An influential answer invokes two distinct kinds of intention: intentions for the future (also known as prior intentions or distal intentions), responsible for action planning, and intentions for the present (also known as intentions in action or proximal intentions), responsible for action performance. I argue that there is something wrong with this influential answer: the notion of intention for the present is (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  9. Accessing Self-Control.Polaris Koi - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    Self-control is that which is enacted to align our behaviour with intentions, motives, or better judgment in the face of conflicting impulses of motives. In this paper, I ask, what explains interpersonal differences in self-control? After defending a functionalist conception of self-control, I argue that differences in self-control are analogous to differences in mobility: they are modulated by inherent traits and environmental supports and constraints in interaction. This joint effect of individual biology and environmental factors is best understood in terms (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  10. Talking about Good Deeds: Elaborative Discourse and Moral Virtue.Sabrina Little - 2021 - Journal of Value Inquiry 55 (4):725-743.
  11. Guard Against Temptation: Intrapersonal Team Reasoning and the Role of Intentions in Exercising Willpower.Natalie Gold - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Sometimes we make a decision about an action we will undertake later and form an intention, but our judgment of what it is best to do undergoes a temporary shift when the time for action comes round. What makes it rational not to give in to temptation? Many contemporary solutions privilege diachronic rationality; in some “rational non-reconsideration” (RNR) accounts once the agent forms an intention, it is rational not to reconsider. This leads to other puzzles: how can someone be motivated (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  12. The Claimability Condition: Rights as Action‐Guiding Standards.Cristián Rettig - 2020 - Journal of Social Philosophy 51 (2):322-340.
    Journal of Social Philosophy, EarlyView.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  13. On Fundamental Responsibility.Anna Sara Malmgren - 2019 - Philosophical Issues 29 (1):198-213.
    Some psychological states—paradigmatically, beliefs and intentions—are rationally evaluable: they can be rational or irrational, justified or unjustified. Other states—e.g. sensations and gastrointestinal states—aren’t: they’re a-rational. On a familiar but hard-to-make-precise line of thought, at least part of what explains this difference is that we’re somehow responsible for (having/being in) states of the former sort, in a way we’re not for the others. But this responsibility can’t be modeled on the responsibility we have for our (free, intentional) actions. So how should (...)
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  14. Action and Its Explanation.David-Hillel Ruben - 2003 - Duke University Press.
    an examination of both the causal theory of action and the agent causalist theory, and a proposal for a third alternative.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  15. Action.Fred I. Dretske & Malcolm Knox - 1971 - Philosophical Review 80 (2):251.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  16. 5. The New Problem of the Imputability of Actions.Robert Greenberg - 2016 - In The Bounds of Freedom: Kant’s Causal Theory of Action. De Gruyter. pp. 61-80.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  17. 5. Rational Agency.Paul Fairfield - 2000 - In Moral Selfhood in the Liberal Tradition. University of Toronto Press. pp. 184-209.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  18. Catholic Action and Unemployables.L. O'Hea - 1934 - New Blackfriars 15 (174):606-609.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  19. The Apostolate of the Laity Through Catholic Action.Victor White - 1934 - New Blackfriars 15 (174):575-582.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  20. The Action Ofeucomis Undulata, Ait.J. W. C. Gunn - 1922 - Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 10 (1):1-4.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  21. The Action Ofurginea Burkei.J. W. C. Gunn - 1921 - Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 9 (2):197-204.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  22. Some Proposals for Action.Luther H. Evans - 1962 - Isis 53 (1):101-105.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  23. Sincere-Strategy Preference-Based Approval Voting Fully Resists Constructive Control and Broadly Resists Destructive Control.Gábor Erdélyi, Markus Nowak & Jörg Rothe - 2009 - Mathematical Logic Quarterly 55 (4):425-443.
    We study sincere-strategy preference-based approval voting, a system proposed by Brams and Sanver [1] and here adjusted so as to coerce admissibility of the votes, with respect to procedural control. In such control scenarios, an external agent seeks to change the outcome of an election via actions such as adding/deleting/partitioning either candidates or voters. SP-AV combines the voters' preference rankings with their approvals of candidates, where in elections with at least two candidates the voters' approval strategies are adjusted – if (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  24. L'action. Tome II. L'action Humain Et les Conditions de Son Aboutissement. [REVIEW]B. G. - 1938 - Journal of Philosophy 35 (8):222-222.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  25. 3. Thought and Action.Stuart Hampshire - 2014 - In Bernard Williams (ed.), Essays and Reviews: 1959-2002. Princeton University Press. pp. 8-17.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  26. Human Thought and Action: Readings in Western Intellectual History.Forrest E. Baird - 1992 - Upa.
    A book of readings in Western intellectual history focusing on the role of reason in human action. Contents:^ Plato: Myth of the Cave; Plato: ^IThe Four Virtues; Aristotle: Knowledge of Causes; Aristotle: The Types of Governments; Epicurus: Epicureanism; Epictetus: Stoicism; St. Augustine: The Platonist; St. Augustine: The Nature of Sources of Evil; St. Thomas Aquinas: The Four Laws; St. Thomas Aquinas: The Nature of the Soul; Pico: The Oration on the Dignity of Man; John Calvin: Reason, Sin and Illumination; St. (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  27. A New American Agency. Russell - 1958 - Hibbert Journal 57:1.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  28. LAWRENCE, R. "Motive and Intention". [REVIEW]O. Hanfling - 1975 - Mind 84:142.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  29. The Philosophy of Action of Lok. B.G. Tilak's Githarahasya.V. Mangalvedkar - 1919 - Indian Literature Publishers.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  30. Speech and Action in Heraclitus. On the Theoretical Foundations of Moral Action.Michel Fattal - 2013 - Archiwum Historii Filozofii I Myśli Społecznej 58.
    Doesn’t the originality of Heraclitus reside in elaborating, well before Socrates and Plato, a philosophical and theoretical reflection on the foundations of moral and political action? In what ways does Heraclitus envisage the relations between speech and action? The logos and epos of the philosopher, which are behind the doctrine of the harmony of opposites, don’t they offer a pathway, a stable criterion and norm for individual and collective action?Our contemporaries of the 21th century, conscious of the “crisis of values” (...)
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  31. Simulation Methods for an Abductive System in Science.T. R. Addis & D. C. Gooding - 2008 - Foundations of Science 13 (1):37-52.
    We argue that abduction does not work in isolation from other inference mechanisms and illustrate this through an inference scheme designed to evaluate multiple hypotheses. We use game theory to relate the abductive system to actions that produce new information. To enable evaluation of the implications of this approach we have implemented the procedures used to calculate the impact of new information in a computer model. Experiments with this model display a number of features of collective belief-revision leading to consensus-formation, (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  32. Order, Action, Victimage.”.Kenneth Burke - 1968 - In Paul Grimley Kuntz (ed.), The Concept of Order. Seattle, Published for Grinnell College by the University of Washington Press. pp. 167--90.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  33. WhatValues Underlie Our Actions?Graeme MacQueen - 2008 - In Neil Arya & Joanna Santa Barbara (eds.), Peace Through Health: How Health Professionals Can Work for a Less Violent World. Kumarian Press. pp. 1075.
  34. Action, See Interpreting Human Action Age Trends, 64 Harm Versus Intention, 65 Altruism. 430-434 Rescuers, 440-442.Sociomoral Competence Scales & Piaget Egocentrism - 1991 - In William M. Kurtines & Jacob L. Gewirtz (eds.), Handbook of Moral Behavior and Development. L. Erlbaum. pp. 459.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  35. The Case for “Effector”: Case Roles, Agents, and Agency Revisited.Robert D. Van Valin & David Wilkins - 1996 - In Masayoshi Shibatani & Sandra Thompson (eds.), Grammatical Constructions. Clarendon Press.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  36. 8 The Sources of Behavior: Toward a Naturalistic, Control Account of Agency.Bernhard Schlink - 2007 - In Don Ross, David Spurrett, Harold Kincaid & G. Lynn Stephens (eds.), Distributed Cognition and the Will: Individual Volition and Social Context. MIT Press. pp. 123.
  37. Control of Action and Interaction: Perceiving and Producing Effects in Action and Interaction with Objects1.Liselotte van Leeuwen, Franz Kaufrnann & Daniel Walther - 2000 - In Walter J. Perrig & Alexander Grob (eds.), Control of Human Behavior, Mental Processes, and Consciousness: Essays in Honor of the 60th Birthday of August Flammer. Erlbaum.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  38. 1 Action by Cases.Krister Segerberg - 1995 - In G. Crocco, Luis Fariñas del Cerro & Andreas Herzig (eds.), Conditionals: From Philosophy to Computer Science. Oxford University Press. pp. 5--241.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  39. How Not to Naturalize the Theory of Action.Peter Slezak - 1989 - In Computers, Brains and Minds. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 137--166.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  40. The Mind's Construction: The Ontology of Mind and Mental Action.Matthew Soteriou - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
    Matthew Soteriou provides an original philosophical account of sensory and cognitive aspects of consciousness. He explores distinctions of temporal character in our mental lives--especially in relation to the exercise of agency--and illuminates the more general issue of the place and role of mental action in the metaphysics of mind.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   95 citations  
  41. The Social Dimension of Action Theory.Raimo Tuomela - 1991 - Daimon: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 3:145-158.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  42. A Defense of Physicalism.Steven John Jensen - 1997 - The Thomist 61 (3):377-404.
  43. Les Apories de L'Action. Essai d'Une Épistémologie de l'Action Morale Et Politique, A. Kremer-Marietti.Benoît R. Timmermans - 1997 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 57:453.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  44. A Call to Action.Gary Sprandel - 1982 - Acm Sigcas Computers and Society 12 (2):12-13.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  45. Metaphysics of the Difference Between the Theoretical and the Practical: Towards the Responsibility for Our Own Action.V. Suvak - 2003 - Filozofia 58 (3):199-208.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  46. Action.Richard Taylor & Malcolm Knox - 1970 - Philosophical Quarterly 20 (80):305.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  47. The Voluntary Action of the Earthly Christ and the Necessity of the Beatific Vision.Thomas Joseph White - 2005 - The Thomist 69 (4):497-534.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  48. Interpassive Agency: Engaging Actor-Network-Theory's View on the Agency of Objects.Gijs van Oenen - 2011 - Theory and Event 14 (2).
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  49. Action.Elizabeth Telfer - 1969 - Philosophical Books 10 (3):13-15.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  50. Action.G. N. A. Vesey - 1969 - Philosophical Books 10 (3):1-2.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
1 — 50 / 9231