About this topic
Summary The Causal Theory of Action (CTA) is often referred to as "the standard story" of human action and agency in the philosophy of action. Strictly speaking, it is misleading to think of the CTA as a single theory of action. A better way to think about the CTA is in terms of a set of theories that bear a family resemblance by accepting the following schema about what makes some behavior count as an action and what explains an action: Any behavior A (whether overt or mental) of an agent S is an action if and only if S's A-ing is caused in the right way and causally explained by some appropriate nonactional mental item(s) that mediate or constitute S's reasons for A-ing.
Key works Perhaps the touchstone essay for contemporary formulations of the CTA is Davidson 1963. For a review of the historical development of the CTA, including a discussion of the refinements of the CTA that have been offered, along with a survey of  some problems faced by the theory and proposed solutions, see the introductory essay in Aguilar & Buckareff 2010. For seminal recent refinements of the CTA, see Bishop 1989, Enç 2003, Mele 1992, Mele 2000, Mele 2003Stout 1996, and the essays in Aguilar & Buckareff 2010.
Introductions For an accessible introduction to options in the theory of action, including variants of CTA, see the introduction to Aguilar & Buckareff 2010 and Brand 1979.
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  1. Intentional Action, Causation, and Deviance.Peter Brian Barry - manuscript
    It is reasonably well accepted that the explanation of intentional action is teleological explanation. Very roughly, an explanation of some event, E, is teleological only if it explains E by citing some goal or purpose or reason that produced E. Alternatively, teleological explanations of intentional action explain “by citing the state of affairs toward which the behavior was directed” thereby answering questions like “To what end was the agent’s behavior directed?” Causalism—advocated by causalists—is the thesis that explanations of intentional action (...)
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  2. Causation, perspective and agency.Jenann Ismael - manuscript
    Philosophers of mind tend to take it for granted that causal relations are part of the mind-independent, objective fabric of the physical world. In fact, their status has been hotly contested since Russell famously observed that the closest thing to causal relations in physics are timesymmetric dynamical laws relating global time slices of world-history. 1 These bear a distant relationship to the local, asymmetric relations that form the core of the folk notion of cause. Nancy Cartwright, in an influential response, (...)
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  3. What is the feeling of effort about?Juan Pablo Bermúdez - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    For agents like us, the feeling of effort is a very useful thing. It helps us sense how hard an action is, control its level of intensity, and decide whether to continue or stop performing it. While there has been progress in understanding the feeling of mental effort and the feeling of bodily effort, this has not translated into a unified account of the general feeling of effort. To advance in this direction, I defend the single-feeling view, which states that (...)
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  4. Knowing-to in Wang Yangming.Waldemar Brys - forthcoming - In Justin Tiwald (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Chinese Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press.
    Wang Yangming 王陽明 (1472 – 1529) is famously associated with the view that knowledge and action are unified (zhī xíng hé yī 知行合一). Call this the Unity Thesis. Given standard assumptions about what it means for a person to know, it may seem that the Unity Thesis is clearly false: I can know that p without currently acting in p-related ways, and I can know how to φ without currently φ-ing. My aims in this paper are, first, to draw on (...)
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  5. ACTION, Philosophy of.Hegel Gwf - forthcoming - Philosophy Today.
  6. Autonomy as Practical Understanding.Reza Hadisi - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    In this paper, I offer a theory of autonomous agency that relies on the re-sources of a strongly cognitivist theory of intention and intentional action. On the proposed account, intentional action is a graded notion that is ex-plained via the agent’s degree of practical knowledge. In turn, autonomous agency is also a graded notion that is explained via the agent’s degree of practical understanding. The resulting theory can synthesize insights from both the hierarchical and the cognitivist theories of autonomy with (...)
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  7. The Disappearing Agent as an Exclusion Problem.Johannes Himmelreich - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    The disappearing agent problem is an argument in the metaphysics of agency. Proponents of the agent-causal approach argue that the rival event-causal approach fails to account for the fact that an agent is active. This paper examines an analogy between this disappearing agent problem and the exclusion problem in the metaphysics of mind. I develop the analogy between these two problems and survey existing solutions. I suggest that some solutions that have received significant attention in response to the exclusion problem (...)
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  8. Actions, Explanations, and Causes.Alfred Mele - forthcoming - In G. D'Oro (ed.), Reasons and Causes: Causalism and Non-causalism in the Philosophy of Action. Palgrave-Macmillan.
  9. Introduction.Samuel Murray & Paul Henne - forthcoming - In Paul Henne & Samuel Murray (eds.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Action. New York: Bloomsbury. pp. 1 - 12.
  10. Law and the Philosophy of Action.Enrique Villanueva V. (ed.) - forthcoming - Rodopi.
  11. The Know-How Solution to Kraemer's Puzzle.Carlotta Pavese & Henne Paul - 2023 - Cognition 238 (C):105490.
    In certain cases, people judge that agents bring about ends intentionally but also that they do not bring about the means that brought about those ends intentionally—even though bringing about the ends and means is just as likely. We call this difference in judgments the Kraemer effect. We offer a novel explanation for this effect: a perceived difference in the extent to which agents know how to bring about the means and the ends explains the Kraemer effect. In several experiments, (...)
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  12. Kausalität und mentale Verursachung: Eine Verteidigung des nicht-reduktiven Physikalismus.Matthias Rolffs - 2023 - Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
    In diesem Open-Access-Buch wird eine Verteidigung des nicht-reduktiven Physikalismus gegen den Vorwurf des Epiphänomenalismus entwickelt. Der nicht-reduktive Physikalismus besagt im Kern, dass mentale Eigenschaften zwar nicht mit physischen Eigenschaften identisch sind, sie aber dennoch so eng an physische Eigenschaften gebunden sind, dass man sinnvollerweise von einer auf grundlegender Ebene rein physischen Welt sprechen kann. Der Vorwurf des Epiphänomenalismus wendet gegen den nicht-reduktiven Physikalismus ein, dass aus seiner Grundidee folgt, dass es keine mentale Verursachung gibt: Wenn mentale Eigenschaften tatsächlich nicht mit (...)
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  13. Agency: Let's Mind What's Fundamental.Robert H. Wallace - 2023 - Philosophical Issues 33 (1):285–298.
    The standard event-causal theory of action says that an intentional action is caused in the right way by the right mental states. This view requires reductionism about agency. The causal role of the agent must be nothing over and above the causal contribution of the relevant mental event-causal processes. But commonsense finds this reductive solution to the “agent-mind problem”, the problem of explaining the relationship between agents and the mind, incredible. Where did the agent go? This paper suggests that this (...)
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  14. Agency and causation.Jesús Aguilar & Andrei A. Buckareff - 2022 - In The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Agency. New York: Routledge. pp. 27-36.
    In this chapter, we examine some foundational issues at the intersection of the metaphysics of agency and the metaphysics of causation. We explore three broad issues concerning the metaphysics of causation and intentional agency. We first consider the best way to think about the relationship between exercising agency and causation. Specifically, is intentional agency best identified with a causal process or should we take intentional agency to be either the causal initiation of some outcome or the effect of a cause? (...)
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  15. Negative Agency.Randolph Clarke - 2022 - In Luca Ferrero (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Agency. London: Routledge. pp. 59-67.
    A comprehensive theory of agency will encompass not just acting but also omitting to act and refraining from acting. Some theorists maintain that a causal theory can be applied to acting, omitting, and refraining in a perfectly uniform manner, for each omission or instance of refraining can be identified with some garden-variety action. Here it is argued that in plenty of cases this strategy fails. Sufficient conditions for omitting or refraining are offered that do not require there to be, in (...)
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  16. How Simple is the Humean Theory of Motivation?Olof Leffler - 2022 - Philosophical Explorations 25 (2):125-140.
    In recent discussions of the Humean Theory of Motivation (HTM), several authors – not to mention other philosophers around the proverbial water cooler – have appealed to the simplicity of the theory to defend it. But the argument from simplicity has rarely been explicated or received much critical attention – until now. I begin by reconstructing the argument and then argue that it suffers from a number of problems. Most importantly, first, I argue that HTM is unlikely to be simpler (...)
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  17. Mental Causation, Autonomy and Action Theory.Dwayne Moore - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (1):53-73.
    Nonreductive physicalism states that actions have sufficient physical causes and distinct mental causes. Nonreductive physicalism has recently faced the exclusion problem, according to which the single sufficient physical cause excludes the mental causes from causal efficacy. Autonomists respond by stating that while mental-to-physical causation fails, mental-to-mental causation persists. Several recent philosophers establish this autonomy result via similar models of causation :1031–1049, 2016; Zhong, J Philos 111:341–360, 2014). In this paper I argue that both of these autonomist models fail on account (...)
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  18. Causation without the causal theory of action.Elena Popa - 2022 - Human Affairs 32 (4):389-393.
    This paper takes a critical stance on Tallis’s separation of causation and agency. While his critique of the causal theory of action and the assumptions about causation underlying different versions of determinism, including the one based on neuroscience is right, his rejection of causation has implausible consequences. Denying the link between action and causation amounts to overlooking the role action plays in causal inference and in the origin of causal concepts. I suggest that a weaker version of Tallis’ claim, compatible (...)
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  19. A Teleofunctionalist Solution to the Problem of Deviant Causal Chains of Actions.Jakob Roloff - 2022 - Kriterion – Journal of Philosophy (3-4):247-261.
    Donald Davidson’s causal theory of actions states that actions must be rationalized and caused by a belief-desire-pair. One problem of such a causal theory are cases of deviant causal chains. In these cases, the rationalized action is not caused in the right way but via a deviant causal chain. It therefore intuitively seems to be no action while all conditions of the causal theory are met. I argue that the problem of deviant causal chains can be solved by adding a (...)
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  20. Action and Rationalization.Samuel Asarnow - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy (TBA):758-773.
    According to the ‘standard story’ in the philosophy of action, actions are those movements of a creature’s body that are caused and rationalized by the creature’s mental states. The attractions of the causal condition have been widely discussed. The rationalization condition is nearly ubiquitous, but it is notoriously obscure, and its motivation has rarely been made explicit. This paper presents a new argument for including the rationalization condition in the causal theory of action, and sketches a broadly Davidsonian theory of (...)
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  21. Causal Agency and Responsibility: A Refinement of STIT Logic.Alexandru Baltag, Ilaria Canavotto & Sonja Smets - 2021 - In Alessandro Giordani & Jacek Malinowski (eds.), Logic in High Definition, Trends in Logical Semantics. Berlin, Germany: pp. 149-176.
    We propose a refinement of STIT logic to make it suitable to model causal agency and responsibility in basic multi-agent scenarios in which agents can interfere with one another. We do this by supplementing STIT semantics, first, with action types and, second, with a relation of opposing between action types. We exploit these novel elements to represent a test for potential causation, based on an intuitive notion of expected result of an action, and two tests for actual causation from the (...)
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  22. Pluralistic Attitude-Explanation and the Mechanisms of Intentional Action.Daniel Burnston - 2021 - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility, Vol 7. Oxford, UK: pp. 130-153.
    According to the Causal Theory of Action (CTA), genuine actions are individuated by their causal history. Actions are bodily movements that are causally explained by citing the agent’s reasons. Reasons are then explained as some combination of propositional attitudes – beliefs, desires, and/or intentions. The CTA is thus committed to realism about the attitudes. This paper explores current models of decision-making from the mind sciences, and argues that it is far from obvious how to locate the propositional attitudes in the (...)
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  23. Reasons explanations (of actions) as structural explanations.Megan Fritts - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):12683-12704.
    Non-causal accounts of action explanation have long been criticized for lacking a positive thesis, relying primarily on negative arguments to undercut the standard Causal Theory of Action The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2016). Additionally, it is commonly thought that non-causal accounts fail to provide an answer to Donald Davidson’s challenge for theories of reasons explanations of actions. According to Davidson’s challenge, a plausible non-causal account of reasons explanations must provide a way of connecting an agent’s reasons, not only to what (...)
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  24. The shape of agency: Control, action, skill, knowledge.Joshua Shepherd - 2021 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    The Shape of Agency offers interlinked explanations of the basic building blocks of agency, as well as its exemplary instances. The first part offers accounts of a collection of related phenomena that have long troubled philosophers of action: control over behaviour, non-deviant causation, and intentional action. These accounts build on earlier work in the causalist tradition, and undermine the claims made by many that causalism cannot offer a satisfying account of non-deviant causation, and therefore fails as an account of intentional (...)
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  25. Hubert Dreyfus on Practical and Embodied Intelligence.Kristina Gehrman & John Schwenkler - 2020 - In Carlotta Pavese & Ellen Fridland (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Skill and Expertise. Routledge. pp. 123-132.
    This chapter treats Hubert Dreyfus’ account of skilled coping as part of his wider project of demonstrating the sovereignty of practical intelligence over all other forms of intelligence. In contrast to the standard picture of human beings as essentially rational, individual agents, Dreyfus argued powerfully on phenomenological and empirical grounds that humans are fundamentally embedded, absorbed, and embodied. These commitments are present throughout Dreyfus’ philosophical writings, from his critique of Artificial Intelligence research in the 1970s and 1980s to his rejection (...)
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  26. Motor imagery and action execution.Bence Nanay - 2020 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    What triggers the execution of actions? What happens in that moment when an action is triggered? What mental state is there at the moment of action-execution that was not there a second before? My aim is to highlight the importance of a thus far largely ignored kind of mental state in the discussion of these old and much-debated questions: motor imagery. While there have been a fair amount of research in psychology and neuroscience on motor imagery in the last 30 (...)
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  27. The World and the Will: On the Problem of Photographic Agency.John Schwenkler - 2020 - Nonsite 32.
    This essay is my contribution to a symposium responding to several papers by Walter Benn Michaels that bring the work of Elizabeth Anscombe to bear on philosophical problems of artistic representation. In it, I take Benn Michaels's side in a dispute with Dominic McIver Lopes over the difference between Anscombe's view of intentional agency and that of Donald Davidson. I also critique Benn Michaels's reading of a difficult passage in section 29 of Anscombe's INTENTION, where she presents the famous case (...)
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  28. Action always involves attention.Wayne Wu - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):693-703.
    Jennings and Nanay argue against my claim that action entails attention by providing putative counterexamples to the claim that action entails a Many–Many Problem. This reply demonstrates that they have misunderstood the central notion of a pure reflex on which my argument depends. A simplified form of the argument from pure reflex to the Many–Many Problem as a necessary feature of agency is given, and putative counterexamples of action without attention are addressed. Attention is present in every action. In passing, (...)
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  29. Rational and Social Agency: The Philosophy of Michael Bratman, edited by Manuel Vargas and Gideon Yaffe.Michael Brent - 2018 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (3):371-374.
  30. I’m just sitting around doing nothing: on exercising intentional agency in omitting to act.Andrei A. Buckareff - 2018 - Synthese 195 (10):4617-4635.
    In some recent work on omissions, it has been argued that the causal theory of action cannot account for how agency is exercised in intentionally omitting to act in the same way it explains how agency is exercised in intentional action. Thus, causalism appears to provide us with an incomplete picture of intentional agency. I argue that causalists should distinguish causalism as a general theory of intentional agency from causalism as a theory of intentional action. Specifically, I argue that, while (...)
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  31. One-particularism in the theory of action.David-Hillel Ruben - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (11):2677-2694.
    In this paper, I intend to introduce what I think is a novel proposal in the metaphysics of action: one-particularism. In order to do so, I must first explain two ideas: a concept in the semantics of English that many philosophers of action take to be of great importance in action theory, causative alternation; and the idea of an intrinsic event. By attempting to understand the role that intrinsic events are meant to play in action theory, I then introduce my (...)
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  32. The Metaphysics of Action: Trying, Doing, Causing.David-Hillel Ruben - 2018 - London: Palgrave Macmillan.
    A discussion of three central ideas in action theory; trying to act, doing or acting, one's action causing further consequences.
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  33. Motor Intentions and Non‐Observational Knowledge of Action: A Standard Story.Olle Blomberg & Chiara Brozzo - 2017 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 6 (3):137-146.
    According to the standard story given by reductive versions of the Causal Theory of Action, an action is an intrinsically mindless bodily movement that is appropriately caused by an intention. Those who embrace this story typically take this intention to have a coarse-grained content, specifying the action only down to the level of the agent's habits and skills. Markos Valaris argues that, because of this, the standard story cannot make sense of the deep reach of our non-observational knowledge of action. (...)
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  34. The Logic of Intending and Predicting.David Botting - 2017 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 31 (3):1-24.
    Can human acts be causally explained in the same way as the rest of nature? If so, causal explanation in the manner of the Hempelian model shouldn’t the human sciences and the natural sciences equally. This is not so much a question of whether the Hempelian model is a completely adequate account of causal explanation, but about whether it is adequate or inadequate in the same way for each: if there is some unique feature of human acts that dictates that (...)
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  35. Agent causation as a solution to the problem of action.Michael Brent - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (5):656-673.
    My primary aim is to defend a nonreductive solution to the problem of action. I argue that when you are performing an overt bodily action, you are playing an irreducible causal role in bringing about, sustaining, and controlling the movements of your body, a causal role best understood as an instance of agent causation. Thus, the solution that I defend employs a notion of agent causation, though emphatically not in defence of an account of free will, as most theories of (...)
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  36. Bratman on identity over time and identification at a time.Christopher Evan Franklin - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (1):1-14.
    According to reductionists about agency, an agent’s bringing something about is reducible to states and events involving the agent bringing something about. Many have worried that reductionism cannot accommodate robust forms of agency, such as self-determination. One common reductionist answer to this worry contends that self-determining agents are identified with certain states and events, and so these states and events causing a decision counts as the agent’s self-determining the decision. In this paper, I discuss Michael Bratman’s well-known identification reductionist theory (...)
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  37. On Pereboom’s Disappearing Agent Argument.Alfred R. Mele - 2017 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 11 (3):561-574.
    This article is a critical discussion of Derk Pereboom’s “disappearing agent objection” to event-causal libertarianism in his Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life. This objection is an important plank in Pereboom’s argument for free will skepticism. It is intended to knock event-causal libertarianism, a leading pro-free-will view, out of contention. I explain why readers should not find the objection persuasive.
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  38. Action Reconceptualized: Human Agency and its Sources.David K. Chan - 2016 - Lanham: Lexington Books.
    In re-examining the concepts of desire, intention, and trying, David K. Chan brings a fresh approach toward resolving many of the problems that have occupied philosophers of action for almost a century. This book not only presents a complete theory of human agency but also, by developing the conceptual tools needed to do moral philosophy, lays the groundwork for formulating an ethics that is rooted in a clear, intuitive, and coherent moral psychology.
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  39. Acting on a Ground : Reasons, Rational Motivation, and Explanation.Magnus Frei - 2016 - Dissertation, Fribourg
    When someone does something for a reason, what are the reasons for which she does what she does? What is her ‘motivating reason’, as it is sometimes put? The simple answer is: it depends on what is meant by ‘motivating reason’. Non-Psychologists hold that motivating reasons are what the agent believes. I have shown that given that we understand ‘motivating reasons’ as what I term 'grounds', this is quite correct, as what we believe is what plays the role of a (...)
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  40. Distinguishing joint actions from collective actions.Paul Hammond - 2016 - Synthese 193 (9).
    This paper argues that the intentional actions of collective entities, such as corporations and agencies, are not necessarily joint intentional actions by several members of those collectives. I briefly summarize the social action theories of John Searle, Michael Bratman, Margaret Gilbert, Raimo Tuomela, and Seumas Miller, which I argue are all theories of joint action. I then describe a case based loosely on events from the 2008 financial crisis in which an intentional collective action is performed by a corporation due (...)
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  41. Reasons and Divine Action: A Dilemma.Rebekah L. H. Rice - 2016 - In Kevin Timpe Dan Speak (ed.), Free Will and Theism: Connections, Contingencies, and Concerns. Oxford University Press.
    Many theistic philosophers conceive of God’s activity in agent-causal terms. That is, they view divine action as an instance of (perhaps the paradigm case of) substance causation. At the same time, many theists endorse the claim that God acts for reasons, and not merely wantonly. It is the aim of this paper to show that a commitment to both theses gives rise to a dilemma. I present the dilemma and then spend the bulk of the paper defending its premises. I (...)
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  42. Bodily Movement and Its Significance.Will Small - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (1):183-206.
    I trace the development of one aspect of Fred Stoutland’s thought about action by considering the central role given by contemporary philosophy of action to bodily movement. Those who tell the so-called standard story of action think that actions are bodily movements (arm raisings, leg bendings, etc.) caused by beliefs and desires, that cause further effects in the world (switch flippings, door movements, etc.) in virtue of which they can be described (as flippings of switches, shuttings of doors, etc.). Those (...)
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  43. Acting and Understanding.Alexander Stathopoulos - 2016 - Dissertation, University of St. Andrews
    This thesis concerns the question of what it is for a subject to act. It answers this question in three steps. The first step is taken by arguing that any satisfactory answer must build on the idea that an action is something predicable of the acting subject. The second step is taken by arguing in support of an answer which does build on this idea, and does so by introducing the idea that acting is doing something which is an exercise (...)
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  44. Experts and Deviants: The Story of Agentive Control.Wayne Wu - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (1):101-26.
    This essay argues that current theories of action fail to explain agentive control because they have left out a psychological capacity central to control: attention. This makes it impossible to give a complete account of the mental antecedents that generate action. By investigating attention, and in particular the intention-attention nexus, we can characterize the functional role of intention in an illuminating way, explicate agentive control so that we have a uniform explanation of basic cases of causal deviance in action as (...)
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  45. Causation, norms, and omissions: A study of causal judgments.Randolph Clarke, Joshua Shepherd, John Stigall, Robyn Repko Waller & Chris Zarpentine - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (2):279-293.
    Many philosophical theories of causation are egalitarian, rejecting a distinction between causes and mere causal conditions. We sought to determine the extent to which people's causal judgments discriminate, selecting as causes counternormal events—those that violate norms of some kind—while rejecting non-violators. We found significant selectivity of this sort. Moreover, priming that encouraged more egalitarian judgments had little effect on subjects. We also found that omissions are as likely as actions to be judged as causes, and that counternormative selectivity appears to (...)
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  46. Philosophy of Action: An Anthology.Jonathan Dancy & Constantine Sandis (eds.) - 2015 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
    _The Philosophy of Action: An Anthology_ is an authoritative collection of key work by top scholars, arranged thematically and accompanied by expert introductions written by the editors. This unique collection brings together a selection of the most influential essays from the 1960s to the present day. An invaluable collection that brings together a selection of the most important classic and contemporary articles in philosophy of action, from the 1960’s to the present day No other broad-ranging and detailed coverage of this (...)
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  47. Self-determination, self-transformation, and the case of Jean Valjean: a problem for Velleman.Christopher Evan Franklin - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2591-2598.
    According to reductionists about agency, an agent’s bringing something about is reducible to states and events involving the agent bringing something about. Many have worried that reductionism cannot accommodate robust forms of agency, such as self-determination. One common reductionist answer to this worry contends that self-determining agents are identified with certain states and events, and so these states and events causing a decision counts as the agent’s self-determining the decision. In this paper I discuss J. David Velleman’s identification reductionist theory, (...)
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  48. Psychoanalytic action explanation.Cord Friebe - 2015 - Philosophical Explorations 18 (1):34-44.
    Psychoanalysis is concerned with neurotic behaviour that counts as an action if one takes into account “repressed” mental states. Freud's paradigmatic examples are a challenge for philosophical theories of action explanation. The main problem is that such symptomatic behaviour is, in a characteristic way, irrational. In line with standard interpretations, I will recap that psychoanalytic action explanation is not in accordance with Davidson's classical reason-explanation model, and I will recall that Freud's unconsciousness is not a second mind with its own (...)
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  49. Actions and accidents.David Horst - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (3):300-325.
    In acting intentionally, it is no accident that one is doing what one intends to do. In this paper, I ask how to account for this non-accidentality requirement on intentional action. I argue that, for systematic reasons, the currently prevailing view of intentional action – the Causal Theory of Action – is ill-equipped to account for it. I end by proposing an alternative account, according to which an intention is a special kind of cause, one to which it is essential (...)
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  50. Action Knowledge & Will.John Hyman - 2015 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.
    Human agency has four irreducibly different dimensions -- psychological, ethical, intellectual, and physical -- which the traditional idea of a will tended to conflate. Twentieth-century philosophers criticized the idea that acts are caused by 'willing' or 'volition', but the study of human action continued to be governed by a tendency to equate these dimensions of agency, or to reduce one to another. Cutting across the branches of philosophy, from logic and epistemology to ethics and jurisprudence, Action, Knowledge, and Will defends (...)
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