Arational actions

Journal of Philosophy 88 (2):57-68 (1991)

Authors
Rosalind Hursthouse
University of Auckland
Abstract
According to the standard account of actions and their explanations, intentional actions are actions done because the agent has a certain desire/belief pair that explains the action by rationalizing it. Any explanation of intentional action in terms of an appetite or occurrent emotion is hence assumed to be elliptical, implicitly appealing to some appropriate belief. In this paper, I challenge this assumption with respect to the " arational " actions of my title---a significant subset of the set of intentional actions explained by occurrent emotion. These actions threaten the standard account, not only by forming a recalcitrant set of counterexamples to it, but also, as we shall see, by undercutting the false semantic theory that holds that account in place
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0022-362X
DOI 10.2307/2026906
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