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  1. added 2020-05-04
    Omissions and Expectations: A New Approach to the Things We Failed to Do.Pascale Willemsen - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1587-1614.
    Imagine you and your friend Pierre agreed on meeting each other at a café, but he does not show up. What is the difference between a friend’s not showing up meeting? and any other person not coming? In some sense, all people who did not come show the same kind of behaviour, but most people would be willing to say that the absence of a friend who you expected to see is different in kind. In this paper, I will spell (...)
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  2. added 2020-05-04
    Causation, Norms, and Omissions: A Study of Causal Judgments.Randolph Clarke, Joshua Shepherd, John Stigall, Robyn Repko Waller & Chris Zarpentine - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (2):279-293.
    Many philosophical theories of causation are egalitarian, rejecting a distinction between causes and mere causal conditions. We sought to determine the extent to which people's causal judgments discriminate, selecting as causes counternormal events—those that violate norms of some kind—while rejecting non-violators. We found significant selectivity of this sort. Moreover, priming that encouraged more egalitarian judgments had little effect on subjects. We also found that omissions are as likely as actions to be judged as causes, and that counternormative selectivity appears to (...)
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  3. added 2020-05-04
    Causalism and Intentional Omission.Joshua Shepherd - 2014 - American Philosophical Quarterly 51 (1):15-26.
    It is natural to think that at root, agents are beings that act. Agents do more than this, however – agents omit to act. Sometimes agents do so intentionally. How should we understand intentional omission? Recent accounts of intentional omission have given causation a central theoretical role. The move is well-motivated. If some form of causalism about intentional omission can successfully exploit similarities between action and omission, it might inherit the broad support causalism about intentional action enjoys. In this paper (...)
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  4. added 2020-05-04
    Omissions: Agency, Metaphysics, and Responsibility.Randolph Clarke - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    Philosophical theories of agency have focused primarily on actions and activities. But, besides acting, we often omit to do or refrain from doing certain things. How is this aspect of our agency to be conceived? This book offers a comprehensive account of omitting and refraining, addressing issues ranging from the nature of agency and moral responsibility to the metaphysics of absences and causation. Topics addressed include the role of intention in intentional omission, the connection between negligence and omission, the distinction (...)
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  5. added 2020-05-04
    Moore and Schaffer on the Ontology of Omissions.David Hommen - 2014 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (1):71-89.
    In this paper, I discuss Michael Moore’s and Jonathan Schaffer’s views on the ontology of omissions in context of their stances on the problem of omissive causation. First, I consider, from a general point of view, the question of the ontology of omissions, and how it relates to the problem of omissive causation. Then I describe Moore’s and Schaffer’s particular views on omissions and how they combine with their stances on the problem of omissive causation. I charge Moore and Schaffer (...)
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  6. added 2020-05-04
    Omissions as Causes – Genuine, Quasi, or Not at All?David Hommen & Dieter Birnbacher - 2013 - In Markus Stepanians & Benedikt Kahmen (eds.), Critical Essays on "Causation and Responsibility". De Gruyter. pp. 133-156.
    Moore is one of the many law theorists who doubt that omissions can operate as factors in the causation of events and that in cases in which potential agents remain passive in spite of an obligation to intervene ascriptions of responsibility are justified exclusively by non-causal factors. The paper argues that this is an uneasy and essentially unstable position. It also shows that Moore himself, in Causation and Responsibility, does not consistently follow his exclusion of a causal role of omission (...)
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  7. added 2020-05-04
    Absence of Action.Randolph Clarke - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (2):361-376.
    Often when one omits to do a certain thing, there's no action that is one's omission; one's omission, it seems, is an absence of any action of some type. This paper advances the view that an absence of an action--and, in general, any absence--is nothing at all: there is nothing that is an absence. Nevertheless, it can result from prior events that one omits to do a certain thing, and there can be results of the fact that one omits to (...)
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  8. added 2020-05-04
    Praise and Prevention.Matthew Talbert - 2012 - Philosophical Explorations 15 (1):47-61.
    I argue that it is possible to prevent (and to be praiseworthy for preventing) an unwelcome outcome that had no chance of occurring. I motivate this position by constructing examples in which it makes sense to explain the non-occurrence of a certain outcome by referring to a particular agent's intentional and willing behavior, and yet the non-occurrence of the outcome in question was ensured by factors external to the agent. I conclude that even if the non-occurrence of an unwelcome outcome (...)
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  9. added 2020-05-04
    What is an Omission?Randolph Clarke - 2012 - Philosophical Issues 22 (1):127-143.
    This paper examines three views of what an omission or an instance of refraining is. The view advanced is that in many cases, an omission is simply an absence of an action of some type. However, generally one’s not doing a certain thing counts as an omission only if there is some norm, standard, or ideal that calls for one’s doing that thing.
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  10. added 2020-05-04
    Omissions, Responsibility, and Symmetry.Randolph Clarke - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (3):594-624.
    It is widely held that one can be responsible for doing something that one was unable to avoid doing. This paper focuses primarily on the question of whether one can be responsible for not doing something that one was unable to do. The paper begins with an examination of the account of responsibility for omissions offered by John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza, arguing that in many cases it yields mistaken verdicts. An alternative account is sketched that jibes with and (...)
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  11. added 2020-05-04
    Responsibility, Mechanisms, and Capacities.Randolph Clarke - 2011 - Modern Schoolman 88 (1/2):161-169.
    Frankfurt-style cases are supposed to show that an agent can be responsible for doing something even though the agent wasn’t able to do otherwise. Neil Levy has argued that the cases fail. Agents in such cases, he says, lack a capacity that they’d have to have in order to be responsible for doing what they do. Here it’s argued that Levy is mistaken. Although it may be that agents in Frankfurt-style cases lack some kind of capability, what they lack isn’t (...)
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  12. added 2020-05-04
    Most Ways I Could Move: Bennett's Act/Omission Distinction and the Behaviour Space.Fiona Woollard - 2011 - Mind 120 (477):155-182.
    The distinction between action and omission is of interest in both theoretical and practical philosophy. We use this distinction daily in our descriptions of behaviour and appeal to it in moral judgements. However, the very nature of the act/omission distinction is as yet unclear. Jonathan Bennett’s account of the distinction in terms of positive and negative facts is one of the most promising attempts to give an analysis of the ontological distinction between action and omission. According to Bennett’s account, an (...)
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  13. added 2020-05-04
    Negative Acts.Stefanov Gheorghe - 2010 - Analele Universitatii Bucuresti - Filosofie (LIX):3-9.
    In this paper I try to use the conceptual framework of the speech act theory to clarify a few points regarding the philosophical debate about the existence of negative acts. For this, I start by looking at some of the most popular candidates to this title: failing, omitting, avoiding and refraining. In the second part of my paper I consider some examples of verbal actions and try to investigate how would the property of 'being negative' apply to them, concluding that (...)
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  14. added 2020-05-04
    Intentional Omissions.Randolph Clarke - 2010 - Noûs 44 (1):158-177.
    It is argued that intentionally omitting requires having an intention with relevant content. And the intention must play a causal role with respect to one’s subsequent thought and conduct. Even if omissions cannot be caused, an account of intentional omission must be causal. There is a causal role for one’s reasons as well when one intentionally omits to do something.
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  15. added 2020-05-04
    Killing, Letting Die, and the Case for Mildly Punishing Bad Samaritanism.Ken Levy - 2010 - Georgia Law Review 44:607-695.
    For over a century now, American scholars (among others) have been debating the merits of “bad Samaritan” laws — laws punishing people for failing to attempt easy and safe rescues. Unfortunately, the opponents of bad Samaritan laws have mostly prevailed. In the United States, the “no-duty-to-rescue” rule dominates. Only four states have passed bad Samaritan laws, and these laws impose only the most minimal punishment — either sub-$500 fines or short-term imprisonment. -/- This Article argues that every state should criminalize (...)
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  16. added 2020-05-04
    A Companion to the Philosophy of Action.Timothy O'Connor & Constantine Sandis (eds.) - 2010 - 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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  17. added 2020-05-04
    Agential Reasons and the Explanation of Human Behaviour.Peter Hacker - 2009 - In Constantine Sandis (ed.), New Essays on the Explanation of Action. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 75--93.
  18. added 2020-05-04
    Agents and Their Actions.Johannes L. Brandl, Marian David & Leopold Stubenberg (eds.) - 2001 - 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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  19. added 2020-05-04
    Reactive Attitudes, Reactivity, and Omissions. [REVIEW]Alfred R. Mele - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (2):447-452.
    Regarding a recent book of mine, John Fischer wrote : “I am faced with the difficult task of doing a critical notice of a book, with almost all of which I agree!” I face a similar task here. Fischer and Ravizza’s Responsibility and Control is an excellent book. It develops, in admirable detail, an attractive compatibilist position on moral responsibility in a trio of related spheres—actions, consequences, and omissions—and it presents powerful objections to leading arguments for incompatibilism. Incompatibilists undoubtedly will (...)
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  20. added 2020-05-04
    I Intend That We J.Michael Bratman - 1999 - In Faces of Intention: Selected Essays on Intention and Agency. Cambridge University Press. pp. 142–161.
  21. added 2020-05-04
    Blanks: Signs of Omission.Roy Sorensen - 1999 - American Philosophical Quarterly 36 (4):309 - 322.
    The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes -- ah, that is where the art resides." -- Artur Schabel..
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  22. added 2020-05-04
    Contemporary Action Theory.Ghita Holmström-Hintikka & Raimo Tuomela - 1997
  23. added 2020-05-04
    Ethics and Action Theory on Refraining: A Familiar Refrain in Two Parts. [REVIEW]Patricia G. Smith - 1986 - Journal of Value Inquiry 20 (1):3-17.
    We can see from the analysis set out here that the two accounts that were the focus of consideration are complementary to one another. It has been my contention that a problem like specifying a concept such as ‘refrain’ is highly complex. One part of it is the problem of determining the relation between the action (or event) and the result. Another part of the problem is that of describing the event itself; what kind of an event is it? These (...)
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  24. added 2020-05-04
    Actions and Events: Perspectives on the Philosophy of Donald Davidson.Ernest Lepore & Brian P. McLaughlin (eds.) - 1985 - Blackwell.
  25. added 2020-05-04
    Essays on Davidson.Bruce Vermazen & Merrill B. Hintikka (eds.) - 1985 - Oxford University Press.
    This collection brings together previously unpublished works by well-known philosophers on the philosophy of action, the metaphysics of causality, and the philosophy of psychology. Nine of the essays directly discuss Donald Davidson's work on these topics, while three others challenge a Davidsonian approach through discussion of independent but related issues. These essays are followed by replies from Davidson, including a previously unpublished essay, "Adverbs of Action.".
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  26. added 2020-05-04
    Milanich and the Structure of Omissions.Noah M. Lemos - 1985 - Philosophical Studies 47 (2):305 - 312.
  27. added 2020-05-04
    Omissions and Other Acts.Alison G. Mcintyre - 1985 - Dissertation, Princeton University
    Philosophical discussion of the topic of intentional agency has often focused on questions about the nature of the events which are intentional actions. This event-oriented approach cannot yield an adequate account of human agency because it cannot accommodate negative acts, or acts of omission. Agents may act intentionally by omitting to act, but many such acts of omission cannot be identified with any event consisting of a bodily movement. This dissertation is an attempt to develop an account of agency which (...)
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  28. added 2020-05-04
    Allowing, Refraining, and Failing: The Structure of Omissions. [REVIEW]Patricia G. Milanich - 1984 - Philosophical Studies 45 (1):57 - 67.
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  29. added 2020-05-04
    The Moral Equivalence of Action and Omission.Judith Lichtenberg - 1982 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume 8:19.
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  30. added 2020-05-04
    Omitting, Refraining and Letting Happen.Douglas N. Walton - 1980 - American Philosophical Quarterly 17 (4):319 - 326.
  31. added 2020-05-04
    Omissions.Steven Lee - 1978 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 16 (4):339-354.
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  32. added 2020-02-18
    Semicompatibilism and Moral Responsibility for Actions and Omissions: In Defense of Symmetrical Requirements.Taylor W. Cyr - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-15.
    Although convinced by Frankfurt-style cases that moral responsibility does not require the ability to do otherwise, semicompatibilists have not wanted to accept a parallel claim about moral responsibility for omissions, and so they have accepted asymmetrical requirements on moral responsibility for actions and omissions. In previous work, I have presented a challenge to various attempts at defending this asymmetry. My view is that semicompatibilists should give up these defenses and instead adopt symmetrical requirements on moral responsibility for actions and omissions, (...)
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  33. added 2020-01-29
    Toimijuuden piilevästä puolesta.Kaisa Kärki - 2019 - Ajatus 75 (1):359-365.
    Tarkoitukselliset tekemättä jättämiset ovat osa toimijuutta siinä missä tarkoitukselliset teotkin. Tarkoitukselliset tekemättä jättämiset ovat kuitenkin piileviä toimijuuden ilmentymiä siinä mielessä, että on vaikea ulkopuolisen tarkkailijan näkökulmasta sanoa, jättääkö joku jotakin tekemättä tarkoituksella vai vahingossa. Teon filosofista lähestymistapaa tarvitaan siksi sen selvittämiseen, mitä tapahtuu, kun ihminen tarkoituksella jättää teon tekemättä. -/- Filosofinen työ pystyy erottelemaan tekemättä jättämisiä toisistaan, etsimään niiden välttämättömiä ja riittäviä ehtoja ja sijoittamaan ne osaksi toimijuutemme kokonaisuutta. Käsitteellinen työ auttaa tekemään piilevistä ilmiöistä todellisia antamalla niille nimen. Ontologinen työ (...)
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  34. added 2020-01-29
    Investigating the Other Side of Agency: A Cross-Disciplinary Approach to Intentional Omissions.Kaisa Kärki - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Jyväskylä
    This study develops conceptual means in philosophy of agency to better and more systematically address intentional omissions of agents, including those that are about resisting the action not done. I argue that even though philosophy of agency has largely concentrated on the actions of agents, when applying philosophy of action to the social sciences, a full-blown theoretical account of what agents do not do and a non-normative conceptual language of the phenomena in question is needed. Chapter 2 aims to find (...)
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  35. added 2020-01-29
    Not Doings as Resistance.Kaisa Kärki - 2018 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 48 (4):364-384.
    What does it mean to intentionally not perform an action? Is it possible to not perform an action out of resistant intention? Is there sufficient language for talking about this kind of behavior in the social sciences? In this article, a nonnormative vocabulary of not doings including resistant intentional omissions is developed. Unlike concepts that describe official, overt, and public resistance, James Scott’s everyday resistance and Albert Hirschman’s exit have made it possible to talk about the resistant inactions of agents (...)
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  36. added 2020-01-25
    Moral Responsibility for Actions and Omissions: A New Challenge to the Asymmetry Thesis.Taylor Cyr - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (12):3153-3161.
    This paper presents a new challenge to the thesis that moral responsibility for an omission requires the ability to do the omitted action, whereas moral responsibility for an action does not require the ability to do otherwise than that action. Call this the asymmetry thesis. The challenge arises from the possibility of cases in which an omission is identical to an action. In certain of such cases, the asymmetry thesis leads to a contradiction. The challenge is then extended to recent (...)
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  37. added 2019-08-26
    Moral Responsibility for Actions and Omissions: The Asymmetry Thesis Rejected.David Palmer & Yuanyuan Liu - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-13.
    There is an important contemporary debate in moral responsibility about whether the following asymmetry thesis is true: moral responsibility for actions does not require alternative possibilities but moral responsibility for omissions does. In this paper, we do two things. First, we consider and reject a recent argument against the asymmetry thesis, contending that the argument fails because it rests on a false view about the metaphysics of omissions. Second, we develop and defend a new argument against the asymmetry thesis, one (...)
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  38. added 2018-09-16
    Omissions: The Constitution View Defended.David Palmer - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (3):739-756.
    Omissions are metaphysically puzzling: Are they something or are they nothing? This paper develops and defends the constitution view of omissions, according to which a correct analysis of a person’s omission has the form “S omitted to X by Y-ing,” where her Y-ing is what constitutes her not-X-ing. The paper explains why the constitution view should be preferred to other views of omissions and defends the view against objections.
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  39. added 2018-09-07
    Omissions as Events and Actions.Kenneth Silver - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (1):33-48.
    We take ourselves to be able to omit to perform certain actions and to be at times responsible for these omissions. Moreover, omissions seem to have effects and to be manifestations of our agency. So, it is natural to think that omissions must be events. However, very few people writing on this topic have been willing to argue that omissions are events. Such a view is taken to face three significant challenges: (i) omissions are thought to be somehow problematically negative, (...)
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  40. added 2018-05-24
    Causal Relevance, Permissible Omissions, and Famine Relief.Chad Vance - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (1):25-47.
    Failures are sometimes, but not always, causally relevant to events. For instance, the failure of the sprinkler was causally relevant to the house fire. However, the failure of the dam upstream to break (thus inundating the house with water) was not. Similarly, failures to prevent harms are sometimes, but not always, morally wrong. For instance, failing to save a nearby drowning child is morally wrong. Yet, you are also in some sense “allowing” someone on another continent to drown right now, (...)
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  41. added 2018-05-14
    Blameworthiness and Unwitting Omissions.Randolph Clarke - 2017 - In Dana Kay Nelkin and Samuel C. Rickless (ed.), The Ethics and Law of Omissions. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 63-83.
    This paper argues that agents can be directly blameworthy for unwitting omissions. The view developed focuses on the capacities and abilities of agents.
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  42. added 2018-02-02
    Doing and Happening.Ruth Macklin - 1968 - Review of Metaphysics 22 (2):246 - 261.
    IT IS A COMMONLY HELD VIEW that a clear distinction can be made between what a person does and what happens to him. This distinction is usually assumed, rather than argued for, and it is made to do some work--a load it seems unable to bear--in contemporary philosophy of action. Minimally, the thesis asserts that a man's actions are those things he does. This thesis is used to support the view that it is a conceptual error or otherwise inappropriate to (...)
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  43. added 2018-01-08
    Material Contribution, Responsibility, and Liability.Christian Barry - 2018 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (6):637-650.
    In her inventive and tightly argued book Defensive Killing, Helen Frowe defends the view that bystanders—those who do not pose threats to others—cannot be liable to being harmed in self-defence or in defence of others. On her account, harming bystanders always infringes their rights against being harmed, since they have not acted in any way to forfeit them. According to Frowe, harming bystanders can be justified only when it constitutes a lesser evil. In this brief essay, I make the case (...)
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  44. added 2017-09-26
    Is the Distinction Between Positive Actions and Omissions Value-Neutral?Douglas N. Husak - 1985 - Tulane Studies in Philosophy 33:83-92.
  45. added 2017-06-12
    On the Logic of Omissions.Jari Talja - 1985 - Synthese 65 (2):235 - 248.
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  46. added 2017-06-12
    Omissions.Frederick Adrian Siegler - 1968 - Analysis 28 (3):98 - 106.
  47. added 2017-05-31
    An Essay on Human Action.Carl Ginet & Michael J. Zimmerman - 1988 - Philosophical Review 97 (1):114.
  48. added 2017-05-15
    The Four Faces of Omission: Ontology, Terminology, Epistemology, and Ethics.Giovanni Boniolo & Gabriele De Anna - 2006 - Philosophical Explorations 9 (3):277 – 293.
    In this paper, the ontological, terminological, epistemological, and ethical aspects of omission are considered in a coherent and balanced framework, based on the idea that there are omissions which are actions and omissions which are non-actions. In particular, we suggest that the approach to causation which best deals with omission is Mackie's INUS conditional proposal. We argue that omissions are determined partly by the ontological conditional structure of reality, and partly by the interests, beliefs, and values of observers. The final (...)
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  49. added 2017-05-14
    I’M Just Sitting Around Doing Nothing: On Exercising Intentional Agency in Omitting to Act.Andrei Buckareff - 2018 - Synthese 195 (10):4617-4635.
    In some recent work on omissions, it has been argued that the causal theory of action cannot account for how agency is exercised in intentionally omitting to act in the same way it explains how agency is exercised in intentional action. Thus, causalism appears to provide us with an incomplete picture of intentional agency. I argue that causalists should distinguish causalism as a general theory of intentional agency from causalism as a theory of intentional action. Specifically, I argue that, while (...)
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