Synthese 194 (7):2489-2500 (2017)

Xiaoxing Zhang
Yunnan University
Although the topic of basic act is controversial, theorists of agency normally agree that complex performances are based on comparatively simple ones. To the extent that we can attribute powers to agents over various tasks, it is also plausible to suppose that our powers over complex tasks are based on powers over the simple. Chisholm once formulated this idea in terms of the principle of the diffusiveness of power. In the present paper, however, we shall argue that the principle which articulates this intuitive idea is incompatible with the assumption that we can sometimes do otherwise.
Keywords Power  Ability  Agency  The principle of diffusiveness  Basic action
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-016-1061-9
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References found in this work BETA

Must There Be Basic Action?Douglas Lavin - 2013 - Noûs 47 (2):273-301.
Abilities.John Maier - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Agents' Abilities.Alfred R. Mele - 2003 - Noûs 37 (3):447–470.

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