Erkenntnis 48 (2-3):395-413 (1998)

Ralf Stoecker
Bielefeld University
The widely agreed view that actions are events faces the problem of how to describe the “branches” in so-called action trees, i.e. actions which are done by doing other actions. Moreover, the view is also inconsistent with the existence of two familiar species of agency: omitting something and letting things happen. In this article, an alternative conception of action is proposed which takes letting happen as the paradigm of agency. Agency should be construed as an explanatory relation between agents and things happening in the world. This relational view of agency can accommodate for all kinds of agency: doing, letting happen, omitting, prohibiting. And it also provides a satisfactory account of the ontological basis of action trees. We should at first say that to do something is to originate or to bring into existence, i.e., really, to cause, some not yet existing state either of ourselves or of someone else, or, again, of some body.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Ethics   Logic   Ontology
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1005396107548
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 50,447
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
29 ( #333,951 of 2,326,391 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #73,089 of 2,326,391 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes