Action Unified

Philosophical Quarterly:pqv056 (forthcoming)
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Abstract

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 of mental action – or so I argue. After drawing out these objections to causalism, I outline a more promising approach. Building on previous work, I show how the approach I favour, on which the attempt to analyze action is dispensed with, provides a unified account of both mental and physical action.

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Yair Levy
Tel Aviv University

References found in this work

Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The Principles of Psychology.William James - 1890 - London, England: Dover Publications.
Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind.John R. Searle - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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