Philosophy of Action

Paperback | November 14, 2014

byLilian O'Brien

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What is the difference between firing a gun and the gun going off in your hand? What makes one an intentional action of yours and the other a mere happening – is the difference in their causes, in their purposes, or in the reasons behind them? Can actions be explained in the same way as mere happenings, or is there something special about the way we explain one another's actions? What kind of mind must a creature have if it is to be an agent? Can groups of human beings comprise a single agent that performs intentional actions? Such questions about the nature of intentional action and its explanation, the nature of reasons and agents are at the heart of philosophy of action. This wide-ranging and accessible introduction to contemporary debates guides the reader through the major views and arguments with the help of examples drawn from everyday life.

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What is the difference between firing a gun and the gun going off in your hand? What makes one an intentional action of yours and the other a mere happening – is the difference in their causes, in their purposes, or in the reasons behind them? Can actions be explained in the same way as mere happenings, or is there something special ab...

Lilian O'Brien received her PhD from Brown University and has taught at Vassar College, The College of William and Mary, and University College Cork. She lives and works in Cork, Ireland.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 8.52 × 5.42 × 0.48 inPublished:November 14, 2014Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230232817

ISBN - 13:9780230232815

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Table of Contents

Preface
Series Editor's Preface
1. Introduction to Intentional Action
2. Causalism and Antireductionism
3. Volitionism and Trying Theories
4. Reasons
5. From Mental to Motor Control
6. Action Explanation
7. Philosophical Psychology
8. Temptation, Control, and Autonomy
9. Agents
Bibliography
Index