Grazer Philosophische Studien 61 (1):21-42 (2001)

Ralf Stoecker
Bielefeld University
I offer a justification for the received view that the characteristic feature of agents is to be found in the particular way their behaviour is explainable. Agents are people who have acquired three skills: (i) to act in accordance with inner or public deliberation; (ii) to do many things almost as if they had deliberated; and (iii) to recognize situations where it is worthwhile to switch from the second to the first skill. We can therefore assume that agents behave as if they were accompanying their behaviour by constant thinking although they don't actually deliberate all the time. This view allows for some attractive solutions for notorious problems in action theory but has the surprising ontological consequence that, although there are agents in action, there are no actions.
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DOI 10.1163/18756735-061001004
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Why Animals Can't Act.Ralf Stoecker - 2009 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 52 (3):255-271.

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