Actions, Rules and Meanings

  • David Papineau


In everyday life we characteristically seek to explain actions by giving the reasons for which they are done. That is, we attempt to account for actions by attributing certain internal mental states to the agents performing them.


Causal Explanation Decision Scheme Social Rule Covert Communication Partial Belief 
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  1. 5.
    See O. Jones (ed.), The Private Language Argument (Macmillan, 1971 ).Google Scholar
  2. 8.
    P. Winch, The Idea of a Social Science (Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1958), especially Chapters II and III.Google Scholar
  3. 11.
    D. Lewis, Convention (Harvard University Press, 1969 ).Google Scholar
  4. 12.
    H. Garfinkel, Studies in Ethnomethodology (Prentice-Hall, 1967), pp. 68–70.Google Scholar
  5. 18.
    Cf. J. Rawls, ‘Two Concepts of Rules’, Philosophical Review, Vol. LXIV (1955).Google Scholar
  6. 19.
    See A. Wootton, Dilemmas of Discourse (Allen and Unwin, 1975), Chapter 3, where this line of reasoning is particularly clear.Google Scholar
  7. 23.
    Cf. A. Giddens, New Rules of Sociological Method (Hutchinson, 1976 ), Chapter 3.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© David Papineau 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Papineau
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of History and Philosophy of ScienceUniversity of CambridgeUK

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