Thought and purpose

The concepts of (i) being, (ii) change, (iii) causation, (iv) action, and (v) purpose are concepts of decreasing generality, in this sense: (a) each can be understood only in terms of its predecessor on the list, and (b) while the first applies to everything, the others, in order, have an increasingly narrow scope. Much Western philosophy has amounted to an attempt to reduce one or more of these to those that precede them, and thus eliminate them as concepts necessary for philosophical understanding, but all such attempts seem to have failed. Hume did not reduce (iii) to (ii), the numberless attempts to reduce (iv) to (iii) seem clearly to have failed, and, what very few seem as yet to have realized, the attempts to reduce (v) to (iv) are unpromising. Not only is agency necessary for understanding human behavior, it seems also necessary to understanding thought, and the same appears true of the concept of purpose
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/00201746908601554
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,829
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Action, Movement, and Neurophysiology.Don Locke - 1974 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 17 (1-4):23 – 42.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Behaviourism.Rowland Stout - 2003 - Think 5 (5):37-44.
The Why's of Business Revisited.Ronald F. Duska - 1997 - Journal of Business Ethics 16 (12-13):1401-1409.
Cause and Norm.Christopher Hitchcock & Joshua Knobe - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (11):587-612.
A Study of Purpose. III: The Rôle of Purpose in Nature.Howard C. Warren - 1916 - Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 13 (3):57-72.
Social Facts Explained and Presupposed.Boris Hennig - 2006 - In Nikos Psarros & Katinka Schulte-Ostermann (eds.), Facets of Sociality. Ontos Verlag.
Truly Human Reproduction.Alexander R. Cohen - 2007 - Journal of Philosophical Research 32 (Supplement):305-313.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

24 ( #213,084 of 2,178,178 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #316,504 of 2,178,178 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums