Philosophical Investigations 39 (2):178-191 (2016)

Authors
Christopher Donald Cordner
University of Melbourne
Abstract
Talbot Brewer has argued that contemporary philosophy of action and ethics are hampered by a picture of human agency as essentially consisting in bringing about states of affairs – a “production-oriented” conception of action. From classical sources, centrally including Aristotle, Brewer retrieves a different picture – of human activity as fundamentally “dialectical”. Ritual activity, including a ritual dimension of many dialectical activities, affirms and deepens our human presence in and to the world, and to other human beings. I argue that this aspect of ritual activity cannot be adequately recognised in the terms of Brewer's dialectical account of human activity.
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DOI 10.1111/phin.12080
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