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Philosophy of Action: A Contemporary Introduction

What Is the Problem of Action?Activity and PassivityGoal-DirectednessAttributability“Actish” Phenomenal QualityVoluntary ActionRational Action, or Acting for ReasonsPractical KnowledgeIntentional ActionIntentionAutonomy, Identification, and Self-GovernanceFurther Choice Pointsa Which Cases Are Paradigmatic?b Questions About Action: Conceptual or Ontological?ConclusionSuggested ReadingAction ExplanationGuises of Rationalizing ExplanationReasons for Action: Motivating vs. NormativeMore on the “Why?” QuestionAction Explanation: Four Viewsa The Rational Interpretation Viewb The Causal Theory of Action Explanationc Teleological Realismd Naïve Action TheoryArational ActionSummarySuggested ReadingThe Ontology of ActionWhich Things in the World Can Be Actions?Under a DescriptionBasic Actionsa Bodily Movementsb Volitionsc Beyond the BodyThe Accordion EffectHow Many Actions?The Causal Theory of Actiona Objection I: Deviant Causal Chains, Reduxb Objection 2: The Disappearing AgentAlternatives to the Causal Theorya Quietismb Agent-Causation and Causal Powersc Formal Causationd An “Actish" Phenomenal QualityOmissionsMental ActionsSummarySuggested ReadingIntentionMethodological Priority: Present or Future?Goal States and Plan StatesReductive Accounts of Intentiona Predominant Desireb Predominant Desire Plus Beliefc Evaluative JudgmentPlan States and Plan RationalityCognitivism About IntentionA Distinctively Practical AttitudeIntending and Intentional ActionSummarySuggested ReadingPractical KnowledgeWhat Do We Mean by “Practical Knowledge?”a Knowledge Without Observationb Knowledge Without Inferencec Mistakes Are in the Performance, Not the Judgmentd The Cause of What It Understandsle Contradicted by InterferenceThe Scope and Object of Practical KnowledgeAccounts of Practical Knowledgea Cognitivism About Intentionb Imperfective Knowledgec The Inferential AccountSummarySuggested ReadingDoes Action Have a Constitutive Aim?The Guise of the GoodThe Aim of Self-UnderstandingThe Aim of Self-ConstitutionThe Will to PowerNo Constitutive AimImplications for Ethics and MetaethicsSummarySuggested ReadingIdentification and Self-GovernanceFrankfurt on IdentificationWatson’s Objection and Platonic AlternativeFrankfurt Redux: WholeheartednessBratman on Self-governing PoliciesSkepticism About Self-Governance: A Genealogical WorrySelf-Governance and Plan RationalitySummarySuggested ReadingTemptation, Weakness, and Strength of WillIs Synchronic Akrasia Even Possible?A Failure of Reasoning?A Divergence Between Evaluation and Motivation?Is Akrasia Necessarily Irrational?Weakness of Will Over TimeSelf-ControlSummarySuggested ReadingCollective AgencyQuestions and ConstraintsGroup AgentsCollective Intentionsa Tuomela and Millerb Searlec Bratmand Vellemane GilbertActing TogetherSummarySuggested ReadingConcluding ThoughtsBibliography

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