Action individuation: a normative functionalist approach

Philosophical Explorations 14 (1):99-116 (2011)
How or in virtue of what does any one particular action differ from another? Available views on the issue of action individuation tend to emphasize the descriptive features of actions, such as where and when they occur, or what they cause or are caused by. I contend instead that actions are individuated by their normative features, such as what licenses them and what they license in turn. In this essay, deploying a suggestion from Sellars and Brandom, I argue specifically that actions are individuated by their normative function or role.
Keywords Action  Individuating actions  Normative functionalsim  Wilfrid Sellars
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DOI 10.1080/13869795.2011.544396
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G. E. M. Anscombe (1957). Intention. Harvard University Press.

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