Canadian Journal of Philosophy 23 (3):365-384 (1993)

In the Metaphysics, Aristotle pointed out that some activities are engaged in for their own sake, while others are directed at some end. The test for distinguishing between them is to ask, ‘At any time during a period in which someone is Xing, is it also true that they have Xed?’ If both are true, the activity is being done for its own sake. If not, it is being done for the sake of some end other than itself. For example, if I am thinking, it is true that I have thought. But if I’m making a blouse, it is not true that I have made a blouse, at least not this particular blouse. That’s not true until I have completed the project.There have been a number of attempts to deepen our understanding of this distinction. Anthony Kenny devoted a chapter of Action, Emotion, and Will to this issue, exploring the effect tense has on implication relations, and using that as a basis for dividing verbs of action into state-verbs, activity-verbs and performance-verbs. In more recent years the trend has been to generalize these categories so as to include occurrences other than actions, i.e., occurrences which do not involve intentions. While interest in this area tends to focus primarily on linguistic issues, such as the categorization of verbs, or on the logical analysis of sentences, there has been some interest in related metaphysical issues. In 1978 Alexander Mourelatos published ‘Events, Processes, and States,’ a paper which has turned out to be quite influential, in which he proposes an ontological trichotomy of occurrences. In his view, processes and events form distinct categories within the general category of occurrences. In this paper I will examine the reasoning underlying Mourelatos’s claim, arguing that the differences between processes and events cannot provide the basis for an ontological subcategorization of occurrences.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0045-5091
DOI cjphil199323312
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 72,607
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Linguistics in Philosophy.Zeno Vendler - 2019 - Cornell University Press.
Events, Processes, and States.Alexander P. D. Mourelatos - 1978 - Linguistics and Philosophy 2 (3):415 - 434.
Linguistics in Philosophy.Zeno Vendler - 1967 - Philosophy 45 (171):71-72.
Tense and Continuity.Barry Taylor - 1977 - Linguistics and Philosophy 1 (2):199 - 220.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Events.Roberto Casati & Achille C. Varzi - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Actions and Activity.Jennifer Hornsby - 2012 - Philosophical Issues 22 (1):233-245.
Aboutness and Ontology: A Modest Approach to Truthmakers.Arthur Schipper - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (2):505-533.
Physical Processes, Their Life and Their History.Gilles Kassel - 2020 - Applied ontology 15 (2):109-133.

View all 22 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

A Theory of Events.Kathleen Gill - 1986 - Dissertation, Indiana University
Processes.Rowland Stout - 1997 - Philosophy 72 (279):19-27.
The Way Davidson Approaches Events.E. Zele?ák - 2008 - Filozofia 63:683-694.
Reductionism in a Historical Science.Alex Rosenberg - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (2):135-163.
The Matter of Events.Thomas Crowther - 2011 - Review of Metaphysics 65 (1):3- 39.
The Scope of Semiosis in Peirce's Philosophy.Felicia Ellen Kruse - 1989 - Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University


Added to PP index

Total views
113 ( #106,273 of 2,533,651 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #199,170 of 2,533,651 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes