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

By John and Helen Steward, editors Hyman

This selection of unique essays by way of prime philosophers covers the complete diversity of the philosophy of motion.

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

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The 'because' in them need not be understood as 'for the reason that'. But it does mean that the causal status of A-type explanations is in doubt, for two reasons. First, it is not as if the relevant normative principles themselves recommend any causal relation between mental states and action, so that if they are satisfied, some form of causation must be going on. Second, the sort of intelligibility generated by an A-type explanation is quite different from that generated by B-type ones, which all allow to be causal.

P. 13) Certain aspects of this idea have been contested, of course, but it seems undeniable that a person does have an awareness of his 44 Anscombe on 'Practical Knowledge' bodily position and bodily movements which is different from the knowledge he may have of another person's position and movements by watching what they do. Normally one doesn't need to look down at one's leg to tell if it is bent or not, and while there may be kinesthetic sensations which accompany such awareness, it is not plausible that it is on the basis of attending to them that one can tell one's bodily position.

And perhaps there is a tendency simply (unreflectively) to equate a person's moving her body with the movement that she makes. But none of these slides and confusions is as powerful as the outlook which encourages them and which they encourage. From this outlook, the only possible reality is one in which any causal fact fits into an account in which everything that does any causal work is an event or state. Thus the correct and ordinary idea that to explain what human beings do is to give a kind of causal explanation is thought to be amenable to reconstruction as the idea that some events have causes belonging in a category of psychological occurrences.

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