Actions, Reasons, and Intentions: Overcoming Davidson's Ontological Prejudice

Dialogue 46 (3):459-479 (2007)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

ABSTRACTThis article defends the idea that causal relations between reasons and actions are wholly irrelevant to the explanatory efficacy of reason-explanations. The analysis of reason-explanations provided in this article shows that the so-called “problem of explanatory force” is solved, not by putative causal relations between the reasons for which agents act and their actions, but rather by the intentions that agents necessarily have when they act for a reason. Additionally, the article provides a critique of the principal source of support for the thesis that reason-explanations are causal explanations, namely, Davidson's argument in “Actions, Reasons, and Causes.” It is shown that Davidson's argument for this thesis rests crucially on two mistakes: his definition of intentional action and his ontological prejudice against intentions.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,569

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Reasons, Causes, and Action Explanation.Mark Risjord - 2005 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 35 (3):294-306.
Reasons Explanations of Actions: Causal, Singular, and Situational.Abraham S. Roth - 1999 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (4):839-874.
Explaining Action: A Functionalist Approach.Peter Gregory Dlugos - 1996 - Dissertation, University of Virginia
Reason in Action.John Gibbons - 2009 - In Lucy O'Brien & Matthew Soteriou (eds.), Mental Actions. Oxford University Press. pp. 72.
A Cause for Concern: Reasons, Causes and Explanations.Daniel Hutto - 1999 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 59 (2):381-401.
How to Explain Meaningful Actions.C. Mantzavinos - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 46:53-61.
In Defense of a Non-Causal Account of Reasons Explanations.Carl Ginet - 2008 - The Journal of Ethics 12 (3-4):229 - 237.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
75 (#159,534)

6 months
1 (#418,511)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

John McGuire
Hanyang University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Harvard University Press.
On Action.Carl Ginet - 1990 - Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

View all 41 references / Add more references