Topoi 41 (1):171-181 (2022)

Sonja Schierbaum
Martin Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Any account of intentional action has to deal with the problem of how such actions are individuated. Medieval accounts, however, crucially differ from contemporary ones in at least three respects: for medieval authors, individuation is not a matter of description, as it is according to contemporary, ‘Anscombian’ views; rather, it is a metaphysical matter. Medieval authors discuss intentional action on the basis of faculty psychology, whereas contemporary accounts are not committed to this kind of psychology. Connected to the use of faculty psychology is the distinction between interior and exterior acts. Roughly, interior acts are mental as opposed to physical acts, whereas exterior acts are acts of physical powers, such as of moving one’s body. Of course, contemporary accounts are not committed to this distinction between two ontologically different kinds of acts. Rather, they might be committed to views consistent with physicalist approaches to the mind. The main interpretative task in this paper is to clarify how Scotus and Ockham explain moral intentional action in terms of the role and involvement of these kinds of acts respectively. I argue that Scotus’s account is close to contemporary, ‘Anscombian’ accounts, whereas Ockham’s account is incompatible with them.
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DOI 10.1007/s11245-021-09741-6
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References found in this work BETA

Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Harvard University Press.
Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility.Harry Frankfurt - 1969 - Journal of Philosophy 66 (23):829.
Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 57:321-332.

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