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  1. Antinomy of Basic Action.Kim Frost - forthcoming - In Roman Altshuler Michael J. Sigrist (ed.), Time and the Philosophy of Action. Routledge.
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  2. Action Unified.Yair Levy - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly:pqv056.
    Mental acts are conspicuously absent from philosophical debates over the nature of action. A typical protagonist of a typical scenario is far more likely to raise her arm or open the window than she is to perform a calculation in her head or talk to herself silently. One possible explanation for this omission is that the standard ‘causalist’ account of action, on which acts are analyzed in terms of mental states causing bodily movements, faces difficulties in accommodating some paradigmatic cases (...)
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  3. Action and Rationalization.Samuel Asarnow - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy (TBA).
    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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  4. Events, Processes, and the Time of a Killing.Yair Levy - 2020 - Ratio 33 (3):138-144.
    The paper proposes a novel solution to the problem of the time of a killing (ToK), which persistently besets theories of act-individuation. The solution proposed claims to expose a crucial wrong-headed assumption in the debate, according to which ToK is essentially a problem of locating some event that corresponds to the killing. The alternative proposal put forward here turns on recognizing a separate category of dynamic occurents, viz. processes. The paper does not aim to mount a comprehensive defense of process (...)
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  5. Agency as a Two-Way Power: A Defence.Helen Steward - 2020 - The Monist 103 (3):342-355.
    This paper presents a dilemma which it has been alleged by Kim Frost must be faced by any defender of the notion of a two-way power and offers a solution to the dilemma which is distinct from Frost’s own. The dilemma is as follows: assuming that powers are to be individuated by what they are powers to do or undergo, then either there is a unified description of the manifestation-type which individuates the power, or there is not. If there is, (...)
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  6. Agency and Virtues.Zahra Khazaei - 2019 - Journal of Philosophical Theological Research 21 (3):119-140.
    In the philosophy of action, agency manifests the capacity of the agent to act. An agent is one who acts voluntarily, consciously and intentionally. This article studies the relationship between virtues and agency to learn to what extent agency is conceptually and metaphysically dependent on moral or epistemic virtues; whether virtue is a necessary condition for action and agency, besides the belief, desire and intention? Or are virtues necessary merely for the moral or epistemic character of the agent and not (...)
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  7. Anscombe’s Intention: A Guide.John Schwenkler - 2019 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Written against the background of her controversial opposition to the University of Oxford's awarding of an honorary degree to Harry S. Truman, Elizabeth Anscombe's /Intention/ laid the groundwork she thought necessary for a proper ethical evaluation of actions like the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The devoutly Catholic Anscombe thought that these actions made Truman a murderer, and thus unworthy of the university's honor — but that this verdict depended on an understanding of intentional action that had been widely rejected (...)
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  8. Agents in Movement.István Zoltán Zárdai - 2019 - Kagaku Tetsugaku 143:61-83.
    The paper discusses the category of one of the most fundamental expressions of agency, those movements of agents that are actions. There have been three dominant views of action since the 1960s: 1. the Causal Theory of Action, 2. the Tryings/Willings view, and 3. Agent Causation. These views claim that actions are: 1. events of bodily movements which have the right causes; 2. specific types of mental events causing events of bodily movements; 3. instances of the causal relationship between agents (...)
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  9. Practical Reasoning and the Act of Naming Reality.Fabrizio Macagno - 2018 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 286:393-404.
    In the tradition stemming from Aristotle through Aquinas, rational decision making is seen as a complex structure of distinct phases in which reasoning and will are interconnected. Intention, deliberation, and decision are regarded as the fundamental steps of the decision-making process, in which an end is chosen, the means are specified, and a decision to act is made. Based on this Aristotelian theoretical background, we show how the decision-making process can be modeled as a net of several patterns of reasoning, (...)
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  10. 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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  11. The Representation of Action.Anton Ford - 2017 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 80:217-233.
    For as long as there has been anything called “the philosophy of action,” its practitioners have accounted for action in terms of an associated kind of explanation. The alternative to this approach was noticed, but not adopted, by G. E. M. Anscombe. Anscombe observed that a series of answers to the reason-requesting question “Why?” may be read in reverse order as a series of answers to the question “How?” Unlike answers to the question “Why?”, answers to the question “How?” are (...)
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  12. Erkennen Und Handeln: John McDowells Naturalismus der Zweiten Natur.Hannes Ole Matthiessen - 2017 - In Martin Hähnel (ed.), Aristotelischer Naturalismus. Stuttgart: Metzler. pp. 144-153.
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  13. Actions as Prime.Lucy O'Brien - 2017 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 80:265-285.
    In this paper I am going to argue that we should take actions to be prime. This will involve clarifying what it means to claim that actions are prime. I will consider Williamson's construal of actions as prime in a way that parallels his treatment of knowledge. I will argue that we need to be careful about treating our actions in the way suggested because of an internal relation between the success condition of an action and the action itself; a (...)
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  14. Action Without Attention.Carolyn Dicey Jennings & Bence Nanay - 2016 - Analysis 76 (1):29-36.
    Wayne Wu argues that attention is necessary for action: since action requires a solution to the ‘Many–Many Problem’, and since only attention can solve the Many–Many Problem, attention is necessary for action. We question the first of these two steps and argue that it is based on an oversimplified distinction between actions and reflexes. We argue for a more complex typology of behaviours where one important category is action that does not require a solution to the Many–Many Problem, and so (...)
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  15. 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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  16. A Conditional Theory of Trying.David-Hillel Ruben - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):271-287.
    What I shall do in this paper is to propose an analysis of ‘Agent P tries to A’ in terms of a subjunctive conditional, that avoids some of the problems that beset most alternative accounts of trying, which I call ‘referential views’. They are so-named because on these alternative accounts, ‘P tries to A’ entails that there is a trying to A by P, and therefore the expression ‘P’s trying to A’ can occur in the subject of a sentence and (...)
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  17. 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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  18. Second Nature and Basic Action.Ben Wolfson - 2016 - In Roman Altshuler & Michael Sigrist (eds.), Time and the Philosophy of Action. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 52-66.
  19. Recensement: Hyman - Action, Knowledge and Will. [REVIEW]Simon-Pierre Chevarie-Cossette - 2015 - Philosophiques 42 (2):435-440.
    Ce compte-rendu résume les quatre dimensions de la philosophie de l’ action défendue dans Action, Knowledge and Will : physique, éthique, psychologique et intellectuel. Cela dit, les deux contributions principales du livre recensé relèvent de liens entre les différentes dimensions de l’ action. Il s’agit d’une distinction et d’une connexion. Premièrement, Hyman croit qu’il faut distinguer la dimension éthique et la dimension physique de l’ action. Plus précisément, il pense que le concept de volonté et le concept de volontaire doivent (...)
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  20. Agency.Markus E. Schlosser - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    In very general terms, an agent is a being with the capacity to act, and 'agency' denotes the exercise or manifestation of this capacity. The philosophy of action provides us with a standard conception and a standard theory of action. The former construes action in terms of intentionality, the latter explains the intentionality of action in terms of causation by the agent’s mental states and events. From this, we obtain a standard conception and a standard theory of agency. There are (...)
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  21. Why “Why?”? Action, Reasons and Language.Roger Teichmann - 2015 - Philosophical Investigations 38 (1-2):115-132.
    In Intention, Anscombe characterises intentional actions as “the actions to which a certain sense of the question ‘Why?’ is given application”. Some philosophers have seen Anscombe's reference to “Why?”, and to other workings of language, as heuristic devices only. I argue that, on the contrary, we should see the enquiry-and-response dialogue, and related dialogues, as essential foci of the sort of investigation Anscombe is undertaking, one which looks to a certain kind of language-game and the human purpose or purposes which (...)
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  22. Causing Things and Doing Things.Helen Steward - 2014 - In C. G. Pulman (ed.), Hart on Responsibility.
    This paper considers and criticises what appears to be a suggestion by Hart and Honore in 'Causation in the Law' that there is a category of basic doings, which ought not themselves to be regarded as causings. It argues instead that all actions are causings by the agent.
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  23. Intentional Action First.Yair Levy - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):705-718.
    The paper motivates a novel research programme in the philosophy of action parallel to the ‘Knowledge First’ programme in epistemology. It is argued that much of the grounds for abandoning the quest for a reductive analysis of knowledge in favour of the Knowledge First alternative is mirrored in the case of intentional action, inviting the hypothesis that intentional action is also, like knowledge, metaphysically basic. The paper goes on to demonstrate the sort of explanatory contribution that intentional action can make (...)
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  24. Elizabeth Anscombe and the New Natural Lawyers on Intentional Action.Matthew B. O'Brien - 2013 - National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly (1):47-56.
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  25. Mental Acts as Natural Kinds.Joëlle Proust - 2013 - In Till Vierkant, Julian Kieverstein & Andy Clark (eds.), Decomposing the Will. Oxford University Press. pp. 262-282.
    This chapter examines whether, and in what sense, one can speak of agentive mental events. An adequate characterization of mental acts should respond to three main worries. First, mental acts cannot have pre-specified goal contents. For example, one cannot prespecify the content of a judgment or of a deliberation. Second, mental acts seem to depend crucially on receptive attitudes. Third, it does not seem that intentions play any role in mental actions. Given these three constraints, mental and bodily actions appear (...)
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  26. Action, Responsibility and the Ability to Do Otherwise.Justin A. Capes - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (1):1-15.
    Here it is argued that in order for something someone “does” to count as a genuine action, the person needn’t have been able to refrain from doing it. If this is right, then two recent defenses of the principle of alternative possibilities, a version of which says that a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have refrained from doing it, are unsuccessful.
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  27. Action and Generality.Anton Ford - 2011 - In Anton Ford, Jennifer Hornsby & Frederick Stoutland (eds.), Essays on Anscombe's Intention. Harvard University Press.
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  28. Practical Knowledge and Foreseen Side Effects.Niels Van Miltenburg - 2011 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (1):1-7.
    On Anscombe's view, intentional actions are characterized by a specific type of knowledge (practical knowledge) possessed by the agents that perform them. Recently, interest in Anscombean action theory has been renewed. Sarah Paul argues that Anscombean action theory faces a serious problem: It fails to discriminate between an action’s intended aim or purpose and its foreseen side effects. Since Anscombeans conceive practical knowledge as the formal cause of intentional actions, Paul dubs this a problem of “deviant formal causation.” In this (...)
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  29. New Waves in Philosophy of Action.Jesús H. Aguilar, Andrei A. Buckareff & Keith Frankish (eds.) - 2010 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
  30. Kinds of Reasons: An Essay in the Philosophy of Action.Maria Alvarez - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
    Understanding human beings and their distinctive rational and volitional capacities requires a clear account of such things as reasons, desires, emotions, and motives, and how they combine to produce and explain human behaviour. Maria Alvarez presents a fresh and incisive study of these concepts, centred on reasons and their role in human agency.
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  31. The End of Action: An Arendtian Critique of Aristotle’s Concept of Praxis.Jussi Backman - 2010 - Hannah Arendt: Practice, Thought and Judgement.
    The article re-examines the Aristotelian backdrop of Arendt’s notion of action. On the one hand, Backman takes up Arendt’s critique of the hierarchy of human activities in Aristotle, according to which Aristotle subordinates action (praxis) to production (poiesis) and contemplation (theoria). Backman argues that this is not the case since Aristotle conceives theoria as the most perfect form of praxis. On the other hand, Backman stresses that Arendt’s notion of action is in fact very different from Aristotle’s praxis, to the (...)
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  32. The Standards of Practical Reasoning. [REVIEW]Matthew Silverstein - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (240):631-638.
    A critical study of Kieran Setiya's *Reasons without Rationalism*.
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  33. The Water Falls but the Waterfall Does Not Fall: New Perspectives on Objects, Processes and Events.Antony Galton & Riichiro Mizoguchi - 2009 - Applied Ontology 4 (2):71-107.
  34. On How to Act - Disjunctively.Jonathan Dancy - 2008 - In Adrian Haddock & Fiona Macpherson (eds.), Disjunctivism: Perception, Action, Knowledge. Oxford University Press. pp. 262--282.
  35. Kinesis and Energeia—and What Follows. Outline of a Typology of Human Actions.Carl Erik Kühl - 2008 - Axiomathes 18 (3):303-338.
    This paper presents a typology of human actions, based on Aristotle’s kinesis–energeia dichotomy and on a formal elaboration (with some refinement) of the Vendler–Kenny classificatory schemes for action types (or action verbs). The types introduced are defined throughout by inferential criteria, in terms of what here are referred to as “modal-temporal expressions” (‘MT-terms’). Examples of familiar categories analysed in this way are production and maintenance, but the procedure is meant to offer a basis for defining various other commonsense categories. Among (...)
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  36. Introduction to Agency Symposium.Christian Miller - 2008 - Ethics 118 (3):385-387.
    The three essays which make up this symposium engage with some of the most important issues in the theory of action and agency today. Among the topics which are considered at length are the possibility of practical knowledge, the relationship between knowledge how versus knowledge that, the constitution of intentions, the importance of knowledge without observation, the difference between genuine actions versus mere bodily movements, the role of making sense in action and valuing, the nature of valuing and of values, (...)
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  37. Review: Kieran Setiya: Reasons Without Rationalism. [REVIEW]Ralph Wedgwood - 2008 - Mind 117 (468):1130-1135.
    This is a review of Kieran Setiya's book, "Reasons without Rationalism" (Princeton University Press, 2007).
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  38. Action.George Wilson - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    If a person's head moves, she may or may not have moved her head, and, if she did move it, she may have actively performed the movement of her head or merely, by doing something else, caused a passive movement. And, if she performed the movement, she might have done so intentionally or not. This short array of contrasts (and others like them) has motivated questions about the nature, variety, and identity of action. Beyond the matter of her moving, when (...)
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  39. When Did the Killing Occur?Constantine Sandis - 2006 - Daimon: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 37:179-186.
  40. Revamping Action Theory.Gordon Park Stevenson - 2004 - Behavior and Philosophy 32 (2):427 - 451.
    Philosophical interest in intentional action has flourished in recent decades. Typically, action theorists propose necessary and sufficient conditions for a movement's being an action, conditions derived from a conceptual analysis of folk psychological action ascriptions. However, several key doctrinal and methodological features of contemporary action theory are troubling, in particular (i) the insistence that folk psychological kinds like beliefs and desires have neurophysiological correlates, (ii) the assumption that the concept of action is "classical" in structure (making it amenable to definition (...)
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  41. Agency and Action.John Hyman & Helen Steward (eds.) - 2003 - Cambridge University Press.
    One of the most exciting developments in philosophy in the last fifty years is the resurgence in the philosophy of action. The concept of action now occupies a central place in ethics, metaphysics and jurisprudence. This collection of original essays, by some of the most astute and influential philosophers working in this area, covers the entire range of the philosophy of action. Topics covered include the nature of actions themselves; how the concepts of act, agent, cause and event are related (...)
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  42. La philosohie de l'action.Renée Bilodeau - 2000 - In Pascal Engel (ed.), Précis de philosophie analytique. P.U.F.. pp. 189-212.
    Introduction à quelques problèmes de philosophie de l'action: la nature de l'action, l'individuation de l'action, la théorie causale, les raisons et les causes, les chaînes causales déviantes, la notion d'intention, la "simple view", les raisonnements pratiques.
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  43. Contemporary Action Theory.Ghita Holmström-Hintikka & Raimo Tuomela - 1997 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
  44. The Philosophy of Action.Alfred R. Mele (ed.) - 1997 - Oxford University Press.
    The latest offering in the highly successful Oxford Readings in Philosophy series, The Philosophy of Action features contributions from twelve leading figures in the field, including: Robert Audi, Michael Bratman, Donald Davidson, Wayne Davis, Harry Frankfurt, Carl Ginet, Gilbert Harman, Jennifer Hornsby, Jaegwon Kim, Hugh McCann, Paul Moser, and Brian O'Shaughnessy. Alfred Mele provides an introductory essay on the topics chosen and the questions they deal with. Topics addressed include intention, reasons for action, and the nature and explanation of internal (...)
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  45. Mind in Action.Bede Rundle - 1997 - Oxford University Press.
    Mind in Action challenges the dominant view in contemporary philosophy that human action is driven by thoughts and desires much as a machine is made to function by the operation of physical causes. Bede Rundle rejects the materialist view of mind and the causal theory of action; his alternative approach elucidates such key concepts as thought, belief, desire, intention, and freedom to give a fresh view of human behavior.
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  46. Review of Audi, "Action, Intention, and Reason". [REVIEW]Robert Pasnau - 1995 - Review of Metaphysics 49 (2):398-400.
  47. Carl Ginet, On Action. [REVIEW]Karl Pfeifer - 1992 - Philosophy in Review 12:196-199.
  48. Action, Purpose and Will: A Formal Theory.Ghita Holmström-Hintikka - 1991 - Akateeminen Kirjakauppa.
  49. Review of Natural Agency. [REVIEW]David-Hillel Ruben - 1991 - Mind (2):287-290.
  50. The Philosophy of Action: An Introduction.Carlos Moya - 1990 - Polity Press.
    This new textbook is an exceptionally clear and concise introduction to the philosophy of action, suitable for students interested in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of social sciences. Moya begins by considering the problem of agency: how are we to understand the distinction between actions and happenings, between actions we perform and things that happen to us? Moya outlines and examines a range of philosophical responses to this problem. He also develops his own original view, treating the analysis (...)
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