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  1. Modeling Action: Recasting the Causal Theory.Megan Fritts & Frank Cabrera - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    Contemporary action theory is generally concerned with giving theories of action ontology. In this paper, we make the novel proposal that the standard view in action theory—the Causal Theory of Action—should be recast as a “model”, akin to the models constructed and investigated by scientists. Such models often consist in fictional, hypothetical, or idealized structures, which are used to represent a target system indirectly via some resemblance relation. We argue that recasting the Causal Theory as a model can not only (...)
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  2. Autonomy as Practical Understanding.Reza Hadisi - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    In this paper, I offer a theory of autonomous agency that relies on the re-sources of a strongly cognitivist theory of intention and intentional action. On the proposed account, intentional action is a graded notion that is ex-plained via the agent’s degree of practical knowledge. In turn, autonomous agency is also a graded notion that is explained via the agent’s degree of practical understanding. The resulting theory can synthesize insights from both the hierarchical and the cognitivist theories of autonomy with (...)
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  3. Must Choices and Decisions be Uncaused by Prior Events or States of the Agent?David Palmer - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-8.
    There is an important but unorthodox view within the philosophy of action that when it comes to certain mental actions of a person—her decisions and choices—these actions cannot be caused by her beliefs and desires or by any prior event or state of her at all. The reason for this, it is said, is that there is something in the very nature of a person’s decisions and choices that entails that they cannot be caused in this way. The arguments for (...)
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  4. Naive Action Theory and Essentially Intentional Actions.Armand Babakhanian - 2024 - Southwest Philosophy Review 40 (1):229-237.
    In their recent paper, “Practical Knowledge without Luminosity,” Bob Beddor and Carlotta Pavese (2022) claim that the doctrine of essentially intentional actions, or “essentialism,” is false. Essentialism states that some actions are essentially intentional, such that, “whenever they are performed, they are performed intentionally” (2022, p. 926). Beddor and Pavese work to reject essentialism, which figures as a key premise in Juan Piñeros Glasscock’s anti-luminosity argument against the knowledge condition for intentional action (Piñeros Glasscock, p. 1240). Historically, essentialism has received (...)
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  5. Causation without the causal theory of action.Elena Popa - 2022 - Human Affairs 32 (4):389-393.
    This paper takes a critical stance on Tallis’s separation of causation and agency. While his critique of the causal theory of action and the assumptions about causation underlying different versions of determinism, including the one based on neuroscience is right, his rejection of causation (of all sorts) has implausible consequences. Denying the link between action and causation amounts to overlooking the role action plays in causal inference and in the origin of causal concepts. I suggest that a weaker version of (...)
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  6. Narrative Explanations of Action. Narrative Identity with Minimal Requirements.Deniz A. Kaya - 2021 - Journal of Value Inquiry 1:1-17.
    In On Not Expecting Too Much from Narrative, Lamarque (2004) challenges theories of narrative identity. For while narrativity might tell us something of interest about our selves, the requirements for this would be so strong that theories of narrative identity would not be able to meet them. In contrast, he identifies minimal conditions for narrativity, so that our identity could be of a narrative nature as well. But in that case, the concept of narrativity would be so weak that it (...)
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  7. One-particularism in the theory of action.David-Hillel Ruben - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (11):2677-2694.
    In this paper, I intend to introduce what I think is a novel proposal in the metaphysics of action: one-particularism. In order to do so, I must first explain two ideas: a concept in the semantics of English that many philosophers of action take to be of great importance in action theory, causative alternation; and the idea of an intrinsic event. By attempting to understand the role that intrinsic events are meant to play in action theory, I then introduce my (...)
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  8. Intended and foreseen unavoidable consequences.Devlin Russell - 2018 - Manuscrito 41 (4):481-499.
    What is the difference between an intended consequence and a foreseen unavoidable consequence? The answer, I argue, turns on the exercise of knowhow knowledge in the process that led to the consequence. I argue for this using a theory according to which acting intentionally is acting as a reason. I show how this gives us a more promising explanation of the difference than the dominant explanations, according to which acting intentionally is acting for a reason.
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  9. On Pereboom’s Disappearing Agent Argument.Alfred R. Mele - 2017 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 11 (3):561-574.
    This article is a critical discussion of Derk Pereboom’s “disappearing agent objection” to event-causal libertarianism in his Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life. This objection is an important plank in Pereboom’s argument for free will skepticism. It is intended to knock event-causal libertarianism, a leading pro-free-will view, out of contention. I explain why readers should not find the objection persuasive.
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  10. Bodily Movement and Its Significance.Will Small - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (1):183-206.
    I trace the development of one aspect of Fred Stoutland’s thought about action by considering the central role given by contemporary philosophy of action to bodily movement. Those who tell the so-called standard story of action think that actions are bodily movements (arm raisings, leg bendings, etc.) caused by beliefs and desires, that cause further effects in the world (switch flippings, door movements, etc.) in virtue of which they can be described (as flippings of switches, shuttings of doors, etc.). Those (...)
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  11. Acting and Understanding.Alexander Stathopoulos - 2016 - Dissertation, University of St. Andrews
    This thesis concerns the question of what it is for a subject to act. It answers this question in three steps. The first step is taken by arguing that any satisfactory answer must build on the idea that an action is something predicable of the acting subject. The second step is taken by arguing in support of an answer which does build on this idea, and does so by introducing the idea that acting is doing something which is an exercise (...)
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  12. The Instrumental Structure of Actions.Markos Valaris - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (258):64-83.
    According to current orthodoxy in the philosophy of action, intentional actions consist in intrinsically mindless bodily movements that stand in causal relations to appropriate mental states. This paper challenges this approach to intentional action, by arguing that there are not enough appropriate mental states around to ‘animate’ all of the bodily movements we intuitively count as intentional actions. In the alternative picture I suggest, the bodily movements that constitute our intentional actions are themselves to be thought of as cognitive events, (...)
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  13. Can an Indeterministic Cause Leave a Choice Up to the Agent?Carl Ginet - 2014 - In David Palmer (ed.), Libertarian Free Will: Contemporary Debates. Oxford University Press. pp. 14-26.
    This chapter argues for a noncausal libertarian account of free will. According to this account, a person’s free actions cannot be caused at all. The chapter compares its libertarian view to Kane’s event-causal libertarian view. It critiques Kane’s proposals concerning self-forming actions and indeterministic causation. The chapter explains why it thinks that its non-causal view is to be preferred over Kane’s event-causal view. The chapter also discusses the luck objection to libertarianism. The chapter isolates what he believes is the intuition (...)
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  14. Why “Why?”? Action, Reasons and Language.Roger Teichmann - 2014 - Philosophical Investigations 38 (1-2):115-132.
    In Intention, Anscombe characterises intentional actions as “the actions to which a certain sense of the question ‘Why?’ is given application”. Some philosophers have seen Anscombe's reference to “Why?”, and to other workings of language, as heuristic devices only. I argue that, on the contrary, we should see the enquiry-and-response dialogue, and related dialogues, as essential foci of the sort of investigation Anscombe is undertaking, one which looks to a certain kind of language-game and the human purpose or purposes which (...)
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  15. Reasons and Causes: Causalism and Non-causalism in the Philosophy of Action.Giuseppina D'Oro & Constantine Sandis (eds.) - 2013 - New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.
  16. How to Respond to the Problem of Deviant Formal Causation.Stephen Davey - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (3):703-717.
    Recently, a new problem has arisen for an Anscombean conception of intentional action. The claim is that the Anscombean’s emphasis on the formally causal character of practical knowledge precludes distinguishing between an aim and a merely foreseen side effect. I propose a solution to this problem: the difference between aim and side effect should be understood in terms of the familiar Anscombean distinction between acting intentionally and the intention with which one acts. I also argue that this solution has advantages (...)
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  17. Rational causation.Eric Marcus - 2012 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
  18. The conflicting aspects of Hugh McCann's theory of action.Damir Čičić - 2011 - Filozofia 66 (9):918.
  19. Essays on Anscombe's Intention.Anton Ford, Jennifer Hornsby & Frederick Stoutland (eds.) - 2011 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
    This collection of ten essays elucidates some of the more challenging aspects of Anscombe’s work and affirms her reputation as one of our most original ...
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  20. Actions in their circumstances.Jennifer Hornsby - 2011 - In Anton Ford, Jennifer Hornsby & Frederick Stoutland (eds.), Essays on Anscombe's Intention. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
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  21. Summary of Anscombe's Intention.Frederick Stoutland - 2011 - In Anton Ford, Jennifer Hornsby & Frederick Stoutland (eds.), Essays on Anscombe's Intention. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
  22. Introduction : Anscombe's Intention in context.Frederick Stoutland - 2011 - In Anton Ford, Jennifer Hornsby & Frederick Stoutland (eds.), Essays on Anscombe's Intention. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
  23. Practical Knowledge and Foreseen Side Effects.Niels Van Miltenburg - 2011 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (1):1-7.
    On Anscombe's view, intentional actions are characterized by a specific type of knowledge (practical knowledge) possessed by the agents that perform them. Recently, interest in Anscombean action theory has been renewed. Sarah Paul argues that Anscombean action theory faces a serious problem: It fails to discriminate between an action’s intended aim or purpose and its foreseen side effects. Since Anscombeans conceive practical knowledge as the formal cause of intentional actions, Paul dubs this a problem of “deviant formal causation.” In this (...)
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  24. Kinds of Reasons: An Essay in the Philosophy of Action.Maria Alvarez - 2010 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
    Understanding human beings and their distinctive rational and volitional capacities requires a clear account of such things as reasons, desires, emotions, and motives, and how they combine to produce and explain human behaviour. Maria Alvarez presents a fresh and incisive study of these concepts, centred on reasons and their role in human agency.
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  25. Because She Wanted To.Randolph Clarke - 2010 - The Journal of Ethics 14 (1):27-35.
    Carl Ginet has advanced an account of action explanation on which actions can be entirely uncaused and action explanations need not cite causal factors. Several objections have been raised against this view, and Ginet has recently defended the account. Here it is argued that Ginet’s defense fails to come to grips with the chief problems faced by his view.
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  26. A Companion to the Philosophy of Action.Timothy O'Connor & Constantine Sandis (eds.) - 2010 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
    A Companion to the Philosophy of Action offers a comprehensive overview of the issues and problems central to the philosophy of action. The first volume to survey the entire field of philosophy of action (the central issues and processes relating to human actions). Brings together specially commissioned chapters from international experts. Discusses a range of ideas and doctrines, including rationality, free will and determinism, virtuous action, criminal responsibility, Attribution Theory, and rational agency in evolutionary perspective. Individual chapters also cover prominent (...)
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  27. Rational Action: Reasons, Causes, and Choices.David Redmond - 2010 - Dissertation, University of Missouri, St. Louis
    I argue that agents, by exercising their wills, cause action-results and that volitions or willings are uncaused basic actions. I motivate the existence of volitions by highlighting the important role they play in providing an answer to Wittgenstein's famous question, “What is left over if I subtract the fact that my arm goes up from the fact that I raise my arm?” That volitions do not have action-results is central to my argument. This has as a consequence that volitions are (...)
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  28. Reasons, desires and intentional actions.Maria Alvarez - 2009 - In Constantine Sandis (ed.), New essays on the explanation of action. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.
  29. Naive action theory.Michael Thompson - 2008 - In Life and action: elementary structures of practice and practical thought. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
    The question "Why?" that is deployed in these exchanges evidently bears the "special sense" Elizabeth Anscombe has linked to the concepts of intention and of a reason for action; it is the sort of question "Why?" that asks for what Donald Davidson later called a "rationalization".2 The special character of what is given, in each response, as formulating a reason ── a description, namely, of the agent as actually doing something, and, moreover, as..
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  30. Neurosciences of action and noncausal theories.Don Gustafson - 2007 - Philosophical Psychology 20 (3):367–374.
    Recent neuroscience and psychology of behavior have suggested that conscious decisions may have no causal role in the etiology of intentional action. Such results pose a threat to traditional philosophical analyses of action. On such views beliefs, desires and conscious willing are part of the causal structure of intentional action. But if the suggestions from neuroscience/psychology are correct, analyses of this kind are wrong. Conscious antecedents of action are epiphenomenal. This essay explores this consequence. It also notes that the traditional (...)
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  31. Review: Reasons and Purposes: Human Rationality and the Teleological Explanation of Action. [REVIEW]J. Lenman - 2007 - Mind 116 (463):776-778.
  32. 8 Goal-Directed Action and Teleological Explanation.Scott R. Sehon - 2007 - In J. K. Campbell, M. O'Rourke & H. S. Silverstein (eds.), Causation and Explanation. MIT Press. pp. 4--155.
  33. Reasons and Purposes: Human Rationality and the Teleological Explanation of Action. [REVIEW]Chrisoula Andreou - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (3):411-413.
  34. Book Review: Reasons and Purposes: Human Rationality and the Teleological Explanation of Action. [REVIEW]Constantine Sandis - 2004 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 1 (2):223-225.
  35. McCANN, HJ-The Works of Agency.J. Bishop - 2001 - Philosophical Books 42 (3):232-232.
  36. Agents and their Actions.Johannes L. Brandl, Marian David & Leopold Stubenberg (eds.) - 2001 - Brill | Rodopi.
    IntroductionE.J. LOWE: Event Causation and Agent CausationRalf STOECKER: Agents in ActionGeert KEIL: How Do We Ever Get Up? On the Proximate Causation of Actions and EventsMaria ALVAREZ: Letting Happen, Omissions, and CausationFrederick STOUTLAND: Responsive Action and the Belief-Desire ModelMarco IORIO: How Are Agents Related to Their Actions? The Existentialist ResponseJens KULENKAMPFF: What Oedipus Did When He Married Jocasta or What Ancient Tragedy Tells Us About Agents, Their Actions, and the WorldRüdiger BITTNER: Agents as RulersMonika BETZLER: How Can an Agent Rationally (...)
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  37. Traps and gaps in action explanation: Theoretical problems of a psychology of human action.Werner Greve - 2001 - Psychological Review 108 (2):435-451.
  38. Contemporary Action Theory.Ghita Holmström-Hintikka & R. Tuomela - 1997 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
    Contemporary Action Theory, Volume I is concerned with topics in philosophical action theory such as reasons and causes of action, intentions, freedom of will and of action, omissions and norms in legal and ethical contexts, as well as activity, passivity and competence from medical points of view. Cognitive trying, freedom of the will and agent causation are challenges in the discussion on computers in action. The Volume consists of contributions by leading experts in the field written specifically for this volume. (...)
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  39. Mind in action.Bede Rundle - 1997 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Mind in Action challenges the dominant view in contemporary philosophy that human action is driven by thoughts and desires much as a machine is made to function by the operation of physical causes. Bede Rundle rejects the materialist view of mind and the causal theory of action; his alternative approach elucidates such key concepts as thought, belief, desire, intention, and freedom to give a fresh view of human behavior.
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  40. Subjects of Experience.E. J. Lowe - 1996 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
    In this innovative study of the relationship between persons and their bodies, E. J. Lowe demonstrates the inadequacy of physicalism, even in its mildest, non-reductionist guises, as a basis for a scientifically and philosophically acceptable account of human beings as subjects of experience, thought and action. He defends a substantival theory of the self as an enduring and irreducible entity - a theory which is unashamedly committed to a distinctly non-Cartesian dualism of self and body. Taking up the physicalist challenge (...)
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  41. Reason's explanation of action.Carl Ginet - 1995 - In Timothy O'Connor (ed.), Agents, Causes, and Events: Essays on Indeterminism and Free Will. Oxford University Press.
  42. Springs of Action. [REVIEW]Hugh J. McCann - 1994 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (4):979-982.
  43. Action Explanation and the Nature of Mental States.Scott Robert Sehon - 1994 - Dissertation, Princeton University
    A developing orthodoxy in the philosophy of mind makes two fundamental claims: that ordinary explanation of action is a species of causal explanation, and that mental states are the theoretical posits of a proto-scientific theory of the mind embodied by our common sense psychological practices. I contend that this approach is wrong on both counts. In the first part of the dissertation I argue against the causal theory of action, and I propose an alternative, teleological construal of ordinary action explanation. (...)
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  44. Review of On Action, by Carl Ginet.Richard Malpas - 1993 - Philosophical Review 102 (1):134.
  45. Review of On Action, by Carl Ginet. [REVIEW]Alfred Mele - 1992 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (2):488-491.
  46. Recent Work on Intentional Action.Alfred R. Mele - 1992 - American Philosophical Quarterly 29 (3):199 - 217.
    Central to the philosophy of action is a concern to understand intentional action. Two pertinent questions may be distinguished. What is it to do something intentionally? How is intentional behavior to be explained? Although, ideally, a review of recent work in the philosophy of action would attend equally to both questions, space does not permit my doing justice to both here. I shall focus on the definitional or conceptual issue and examine work on the explanatory issue only insofar as it (...)
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  47. Carl Ginet, On Action. [REVIEW]Karl Pfeifer - 1992 - Philosophy in Review 12:196-199.
  48. Whither Action theory.John M. Connolly - 1991 - Journal of Philosophical Research 16:85-106.
    The problem of ‘wayward causal chains’ threatens any causal analysis of the concept of intentional human action. For such chains show that the mere causation of an action by the right sort of belief and/or desire does not make the action intentional, i.e. one done in order to attain the object of desire. Now if the ‘because’ in ‘wayward’ action-explanations is straightforwardly causal, that might be argued to indicate by contrast that the different ‘because’ of reasons-explanations (which both explain and (...)
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  49. On action by Carl Ginet. [REVIEW]L. H. Davis - 1991 - Mind 100:390-394.
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  50. George Wilson, The Intentionality of Human Action Reviewed by.Gerald W. Barnes - 1990 - Philosophy in Review 10 (5):212-216.
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