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The Philosophy of Action

Oxford University Press (1997)

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  1. Wouldn't It Be Nice: Enticing Reasons for Love.N. L. Engel-Hawbecker - forthcoming - In Simon Cushing (ed.), New Philosophical Essays on Love and Loving. Palgrave Macmillan.
    A central debate in the philosophy of love is whether people can love one another for good reasons. Reasons for love seem to help us sympathetically understand and evaluate love or even to count as loving at all. But it can seem that if reasons for love existed, they could require forms of love (like rampant infidelity) presumably illicit. It might seem that only some form of wishful thinking would lead us to believe reasons for love could never do this. (...)
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  • New Essays on the Metaphysics of Moral Responsibility.Joseph Keim Campbell - 2008 - The Journal of Ethics 12 (3-4):193 - 201.
    This is the introduction to a volume of new essays in the metaphysics of moral responsibility by John Martin Fischer, Carl Ginet, Ishtiyaque Haji, Alfred R. Mele, Derk Pereboom, Paul Russell, and Peter van Inwagen. I provide some background for the essays, cover the main debates in the metaphysics of moral responsibility, and emphasize some of the authors' contributions to this area of philosophy.
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  • DE NATURA RERUM - Scripta in Honorem Professoris Olli Koistinen Sexagesimum Annum Complentis.Hemmo Laiho & Arto Repo (eds.) - 2016 - Turku: University of Turku.
  • Failed-Art and Failed Art-Theory.Christy Mag Uidhir - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):381-400.
    An object being non-art appears only trivially informative. Some non-art objects, however, could be saliently 'almost' art, and therefore objects for which being non-art is non-trivially informative. I call these kinds of non-art objects 'failed-art' objects—non-art objects aetiologically similar to art-objects, diverging only in virtue of some relevant failure. I take failed-art to be the right sort of thing, to result from the right sort of action, and to have the right sort of history required to be art, but to (...)
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  • Minimally Creative Thought.Dustin Stokes - 2011 - Metaphilosophy 42 (5):658-681.
    Creativity has received, and continues to receive, comparatively little analysis in philosophy and the brain and behavioural sciences. This is in spite of the importance of creative thought and action, and the many and varied resources of theories of mind. Here an alternative approach to analyzing creativity is suggested: start from the bottom up with minimally creative thought. Minimally creative thought depends non-accidentally upon agency, is novel relative to the acting agent, and could not have been tokened before the time (...)
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  • Omissions and Causalism.Carolina Sartorio - 2009 - Noûs 43 (3):513-530.
  • Mental Health Without Well-Being.Sam Wren-Lewis & Anna Alexandrova - 2021 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 46 (6):684-703.
    What is it to be mentally healthy? In the ongoing movement to promote mental health, to reduce stigma, and to establish parity between mental and physical health, there is a clear enthusiasm about this concept and a recognition of its value in human life. However, it is often unclear what mental health means in all these efforts and whether there is a single concept underlying them. Sometimes, the initiatives for the sake of mental health are aimed just at reducing mental (...)
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  • Freedom and Enforcement in Action: A Study in Formal Action Theory.Janusz Czelakowski - 2015 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
    Situational aspects of action are discussed. The presented approach emphasizes the role of situational contexts in which actions are performed. These contexts influence the course of an action; they are determined not only by the current state of the system but also shaped by other factors as time, the previously undertaken actions and their succession, the agents of actions and so on. The distinction between states and situations is explored from the perspective of action systems. The notion of a situational (...)
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  • Philosophy of Contract Law.Daniel Markovits & Emad Atiq - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The law of contracts, at least in its orthodox expression, concerns voluntary, or chosen, legal obligations. When Brody accepts Susan’s offer to sell him a canoe for a set price, the parties’ choices alter their legal rights and duties. Their success at changing the legal landscape depends on a background system of rules that specify when and how contractual acts have legal effects, rules that give the offer and acceptance of a bargain-exchange a central role in generating obligations. Contract law (...)
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  • Kantian Non-Conceptualism.Robert Hanna - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 137 (1):41 - 64.
    There are perceptual states whose representational content cannot even in principle be conceptual. If that claim is true, then at least some perceptual states have content whose semantic structure and psychological function are essentially distinct from the structure and function of conceptual content. Furthermore the intrinsically “orientable” spatial character of essentially non-conceptual content entails not only that all perceptual states contain non-conceptual content in this essentially distinct sense, but also that consciousness goes all the way down into so-called unconscious or (...)
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  • Free Will, Causality, and Neuroscience.Bernard Feltz, Marcus Missal & Andrew Cameron Sims (eds.) - 2019 - Brill.
    This book aims to show that recent developments in neuroscience permit a defense of free will. Through language, human beings can escape strict biological determinism.
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  • Action.Elisabeth Pacherie - 2012 - In Keith Frankish & William Ramsey (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Cognitive Science. Cambridge University Press. pp. 92--111.
    In recent years, the integration of philosophical with scientific theorizing has started to yield new insights. This chapter surveys some recent philosophical and empirical work on the nature and structure of action, on conscious agency, and on our knowledge of actions.
     
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  • Agent-Causation and Agential Control.Markus Ernst Schlosser - 2008 - Philosophical Explorations 11 (1):3-21.
    According to what I call the reductive standard-causal theory of agency, the exercise of an agent's power to act can be reduced to the causal efficacy of agent-involving mental states and events. According to a non-reductive agent-causal theory, an agent's power to act is irreducible and primitive. Agent-causal theories have been dismissed on the ground that they presuppose a very contentious notion of causation, namely substance-causation. In this paper I will assume, with the proponents of the agent-causal approach, that substance-causation (...)
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  • Failed-Art and Failed Art-Theory.Christopher Mag Uidhir - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):381-400.
    An object being non-art appears only trivially informative. Some non-art objects, however, could be saliently ‘almost’ art, and therefore objects for which being non-art is non-trivially informative. I call these kinds of non-art objects ‘failed-art’ objects—non-art objects aetiologically similar to art-objects, diverging only in virtue of some relevant failure. I take failed-art to be the right sort of thing, to result from the right sort of action, and to have the right sort of history required to be art, but to (...)
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  • Actions, Reasons, and Intentions: Overcoming Davidson’s Ontological Prejudice.John Michael Mcguire - 2007 - Dialogue 46 (3):459-479.
    ABSTRACT This article defends the idea that causal relations between reasons and actions are wholly irrelevant to the explanatory efficacy of reason-explanations. The analysis of reason-explanations provided in this article shows that the so-called “problem of explanatory force” is solved, not by putative causal relations between the reasons for which agents act and their actions, but rather by the intentions that agents necessarily have when they act for a reason. Additionally, the article provides a critique of the principal source of (...)
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  • Events.Roberto Casati & Achille C. Varzi - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    A critical survey of the main philosophical theories about events and event talk, organized in three main sections: (i) Events and Other Categories (Events vs. Objects; Events vs. Facts; Events vs. Properties; Events vs. Times); (ii) Types of Events (Activities, Accomplishments, Achievements, and States; Static and Dynamic Events; Actions and Bodily Movements; Mental and Physical Events; Negative Events); (iii) Existence, Identity, and Indeterminacy.
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  • The Depths and Shallows of Psychological Externalism.Andrew Sneddon - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 138 (3):393 - 408.
    This paper examines extant ways of classifying varieties of psychological externalism and argues that they imply a hitherto unrecognized distinction between shallow and deep externalism. The difference is between starting points: shallowly externalist hypotheses begin with the attribution of psychological states to individuals, just as individualistic hypotheses do, whereas deeply externalistic hypotheses begin with agent-environment interaction as the basis of cognitive processes and attribute psychological states to individuals as necessary for such interaction. The over-arching aim is to show how deep (...)
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  • Is What is Worse More Likely?—The Probabilistic Explanation of the Epistemic Side-Effect Effect.Nikolaus Dalbauer & Andreas Hergovich - 2013 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (4):639-657.
    One aim of this article is to explore the connection between the Knobe effect and the epistemic side-effect effect (ESEE). Additionally, we report evidence about a further generalization regarding probability judgments. We demonstrate that all effects can be found within German material, using ‘absichtlich’ [intentionally], ‘wissen’ [know] and ‘wahrscheinlich’ [likely]. As the explanations discussed with regard to the Knobe effect do not suffice to explicate the ESEE, we survey whether the characteristic asymmetry in knowledge judgments is caused by a differing (...)
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  • Making a Start with the Stit Logic Analysis of Intentional Action.Jan M. Broersen - 2011 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 40 (4):499-530.
    This paper studies intentional action in stit logic. The formal logic study of intentional action appears to be new, since most logical studies of intention concern intention as a static mental state. In the formalization we distinguish three modes of acting: the objective level concerning the choices an agent objectively exercises, the subjective level concerning the choices an agent knows or believes to be exercising, and finally, the intentional level concerning the choices an agent intentionally exercises. Several axioms constraining the (...)
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  • Action.Luca Ferrero - 2009 - In John Shand (ed.), Central Issues of Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 137-151.
  • On the Conceptual Discontinuity Between Moral Normativity and Factuality: A Reply to Brito.Tiago Magalhães & Marcos Silva - 2017 - Prometeus: Filosofia em Revista 10 (22).
    Brito proposes a naturalistic analysis of morality, disagreeing with some authors who postulate an insurmountable is-ought gap. Here, we present his main arguments and advance some criticisms to them. Brito’s strategy consists in grounding the normative notion of ought on volitive notions, like “will” and “want”. In his perspective, to reach the moral level, a will has to be directed to itself and to all other wills. We try to show that this strategy fails, since moral normativity cannot be grounded (...)
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  • The Standard Story of Action and the Problem of Agential Guidance.Jesús H. Aguilar - 2020 - Critica 52 (155).
    The problem of agential guidance consists in explaining the possibility of guiding an action in purely reductive causal terms. After examining Harry Frankfurt’s articulation of this problem, the standard systemic reductive causal answer is explored and found wanting. Two general explanatory challenges are singled out as decisive in assessing the viability of a causal answer to the problem of agential guidance: first, the correct identification of the actual sources of action guidance in the form of guiding intentions, and, second, the (...)
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  • Punto de fuga para la Acción. Pequeño esbozo de una facultad inexistente.Ricardo Gutiérrez Aguilar - 2007 - Isegoría 37:257-266.
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  • Basic Deviance Reconsidered.Markus E. Schlosser - 2007 - Analysis 67 (3):186–194.
    Most contemporary philosophers of action agree on the following claims. Firstly, the possibility of deviant or wayward causal chains poses a serious problem for the standard-causal theory of action. Secondly, we can distinguish between different kinds of deviant causal chains in the theory of action. In particular, we can distinguish between cases of basic and cases of consequential deviance. Thirdly, the problem of consequential deviance admits of a fairly straightforward solution, whereas the possibility of basic deviance constitutes a separate and (...)
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  • How Many Accounts of Act Individuation Are There?Joseph Ulatowski - 2008 - Dissertation, University of Utah
    The problem of act individuation is a debate about the identity conditions of human acts. The fundamental question about act individuation is: how do we distinguish between actions? Three views of act individuation have dominated the literature. First, Donald Davidson and G.E.M. Anscombe have argued that a number of different descriptions refer to a single act. Second, Alvin Goldman and Jaegwon Kim have argued that each description designates a distinct act. Finally, Irving Thalberg and Judith Jarvis Thomson have averred that (...)
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  • Intentional Action: Controversies, Data, and Core Hypotheses.Alfred R. Mele - 2003 - Philosophical Psychology 16 (2):325-340.
    This article reviews some recent empirical work on lay judgments about what agents do intentionally and what they intend in various stories and explores its bearing on the philosophical project of providing a conceptual analysis of intentional action. The article is a case study of the potential bearing of empirical studies of a variety of folk concepts on philosophical efforts to analyze those concepts and vice versa. Topics examined include double effect; the influence of moral considerations on judgments about what (...)
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  • A Problem for Causal Theories of Action.Mark Thomas Walker - 2003 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 84 (1):84–108.
    Philosophical accounts of "action" standardly take an action to be a doing which _satisfies some description that is semantically related to the content of a propositional attitude of the subject's which _explains why that doing occurred. Causal theories of action require that the explanation in question must involve the causation of action-doings by propositional attitudes (typically intentions, volitions, or combinations of belief and desire). I argue that there are actions whose status, as such, cannot be acknowledged by any causal theory, (...)
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  • A New Kantian Response to Maxim-Fiddling.Andrew Sneddon - 2011 - Kantian Review 16 (1):67-88.
    There has long been a suspicion that Kant's test for the universalizability of maxims can be easily subverted: instead of risking failing the test, design your maxim for any action whatsoever in a manner guaranteed to pass. This is the problem of maxim-fiddling. The present discussion of this problem has two theses: 1] That extant approaches to maxim-fiddling are not satisfactory;2] That a satisfactory response to maxim-fiddling can be articulated using Kantian resources, especially the first two formulations of the categorical (...)
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  • Motivated Belief and Agency.Alfred R. Mele - 1998 - Philosophical Psychology 11 (3):353 – 369.
    Can the existence of motivationally biased beliefs plausibly be explained without appealing to actions that are aimed at producing or protecting these beliefs? Drawing upon some recent work on everyday hypothesis testing, I argue for an affirmative answer. Some theorists have been too quick to insist that motivated belief must involve, or typically does involve, our trying to bring it about that we acquire or retain the belief, or our trying to make it easier for ourselves to believe a preferred (...)
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  • The Special Composition Question in Action.Sara Rachel Chant - 2006 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (4):422-441.
    Just as we may ask whether, and under what conditions, a collection of objects composes a single object, we may ask whether, and under what conditions, a collection of actions composes a single action. In the material objects literature, this question is known as the "special composition question," and I take it that there is a similar question to be asked of collections of actions. I will call that question the "special composition question in action," and argue that the correct (...)
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  • 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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