Philosophical Explorations 13 (1):65 – 79 (2010)

In 'A Theory of Human Action' (1970) Alvin Goldman launched an attack on what has become known as the Anscombe-Davidson Identity Thesis. In brief, this is the thesis that our acts are our body movements, and that all the different effects of that movement do not entail that different acts have been performed, but only that an identical act has different descriptions. In her response to Goldman, Anscombe (1981) claims that Goldman is arguing at cross-purposes. I will argue that this is partially true, but only because she accepts what I shall call the Symmetry Thesis. This thesis in turn is natural if you accept a third thesis called the Irreducibility Thesis. These three theses form a consistent set that the defenders of the Identity Thesis would accept and its detractors would deny. It follows that the best way to attack the Identity Thesis is to attack the Irreducibility Thesis on which it is based. I believe that this can be done and that Goldman is basically right, but I will not be concerned with a full defense of Goldman's method of individuating actions against its competitors. Rather, I want to show the grounds, some of them extralogical, upon which preference can be made
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/13869790903324803
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,194
External links

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

A Theory of Human Action.Alvin I. Goldman - 1970 - Princeton University Press.
The Logical Form of Action Sentences.Donald Davidson - 1967 - In Nicholas Rescher (ed.), The Logic of Decision and Action. University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 81--95.
Causal Relations.Donald Davidson - 1967 - Journal of Philosophy 64 (21):691-703.
The Individuation of Events.Donald Davidson - 1969 - In Nicholas Rescher (ed.), Essays in Honor of Carl G. Hempel. Reidel. pp. 216-34.

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Five Theses on Instrumental Realism.Davis Baird - 1988 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:165 - 173.
The Conjunction and Disjunction Theses.Mark Jago - 2009 - Mind 118 (470):411-415.
Three Separation Theses.James Morauta - 2004 - Law and Philosophy 23 (2):111-135.
Buck-Passers' Negative Thesis.Mark Schroeder - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (3):341-347.


Added to PP index

Total views
42 ( #254,636 of 2,448,328 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #450,727 of 2,448,328 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes