Levels of explanation and the individuation of events: A difficulty for the token identity theory

Acta Analytica 20 (20):7-24 (1998)
Bill Brewer
King's College London
We make how a person acts intelligible by revealing it as rational in the light of what she perceives, thinks, wants and so on. For example, we might explain that she reached out and picked up a glass because she was thirsty and saw that it contained water. In doing this, we are giving a causal explanation of her behaviour in terms of her antecedent beliefs, desires and other attitudes. Her wanting a drink and realizing that the glass contained one caused her reaching out and grasping for it. This tells us how the action came about and makes sense of why it happened. At least, something broadly along these lines strikes me as a fairly crude and partial regimentation of our pretheoretic understanding of everyday action explanation
Keywords Event  Identity  Individuation  Metaphysics  Psychology  Rationality  Science
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