The Incredibility of Rejecting Belief-Desire-Action Explanations

PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:117 - 126 (1982)
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If the conceptions of belief, desire, and action resemble phlogiston in their scientific standing, how is it that so many true, singular, causal claims about human behavior are made using these concepts? Alexander Rosenberg appeals to the distinction between attributive and referential uses of language to handle this objection. It is argued that this does not work, and that the truth of our singular, causal explanations of human behavior is little short of miraculous given his account of the nomological situation.



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