Topoi 1:1-12 (2019)

Annemarie Kalis
Utrecht University
Much of the time, human beings seem to rely on habits. Habits are learned behaviours directly elicited by context cues, and insensitive to short-term changes in goals: therefore they are sometimes irrational. But even where habitual responses are rational, it can seem as if they are nevertheless not done for reasons. For, on a common understanding of habitual behaviour, agents’ intentions do not play any role in the coming about of such responses. This paper discusses under what conditions we can say that habitual responses are, after all, done for reasons. We show how the idea that habitual behaviour cannot be understood as ‘acting for reasons’ stems from a widely but often implicitly held theoretical framework: the causal theory of action. We then propose an alternative, Anscombean understanding of intentional action, which can account for habitual responses being done for reasons.
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DOI 10.1007/s11245-019-09651-8
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References found in this work BETA

Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Harvard University Press.
Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.

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