Action Unified

Philosophical Quarterly:pqv056 (forthcoming)

Yair Levy
Tel Aviv University
Mental acts are conspicuously absent from philosophical debates over the nature of action. A typical protagonist of a typical scenario is far more likely to raise her arm or open the window than she is to perform a calculation in her head or talk to herself silently. One possible explanation for this omission is that the standard ‘causalist’ account of action, on which acts are analyzed in terms of mental states causing bodily movements, faces difficulties in accommodating some paradigmatic cases of mental action – or so I argue. After drawing out these objections to causalism, I outline a more promising approach. Building on previous work, I show how the approach I favour, on which the attempt to analyze action is dispensed with, provides a unified account of both mental and physical action.
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DOI 10.1093/pq/pqv056
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Intentionality.John Searle - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.

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Citations of this work BETA

Meditation and the Scope of Mental Action.Michael Brent & Candace Upton - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (1):52-71.
The Mental Affordance Hypothesis.Tom McClelland - 2020 - Mind 129 (514):401-427.

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