Read e-book online Agency and Action (Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement; PDF

By John and Helen Steward, editors Hyman

ISBN-10: 0521603560

ISBN-13: 9780521603560

This number of unique essays by way of best philosophers covers the whole variety of the philosophy of motion.

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Extra resources for Agency and Action (Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement; 55)

Sample text

But the position one would expect to find favoured by those who want to promote the sort of causal explanation that I am here discussing would claim that we need both belief and desire if an action is to ensue. To make explicit room for this, both C and C* could be complicated in the same way, by introducing considerations to do with desires. Let us take p now to be the more complicated 'having lunch would be good and now is the moment'. We then get something like: Cd: S acts for the reason that p only if 5 is caused to act by his believing that p and by 'relevant' desires of his.

Anscombe, of course, rejects any such account, and for good reasons, as we shall see. C—Further differences between the cases emerge when we consider the next category of the 'non-observational', what is sometimes called 'practical foreknowledge', which is the ordinary knowledge I may have that I will do something in the future because this is one of the options that is open to me and I have made up my mind to do it. This sort of knowledge is different, and differently based, from the sort of predictive, evidence-based, knowledge that another person may have of what I am going to do.

An agent is shown to be acting rationally if, as we might put it, he is shown to be trying to do what there is good reason to do, even if as a matter of fact he is quite mistaken on that front. If he is mistaken, then though he is trying to follow where the reasons lead he is failing in that attempt, and has ended up doing what he has no good reason to do. 33 Jonathan Dancy There is a certain temptation to say at this point that instead of accusing the agent of failing to act according to objective norms, we should congratulate him for succeeding in acting in accordance with subjective ones.

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Agency and Action (Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement; 55) by John and Helen Steward, editors Hyman


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