Our Intuitions and the Paradoxes of Action

  • Daniel González Lagier
Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 67)


When we undertake an analysis of the concept of action, we can immediately come up with a number of assertions which seem plausible enough to serve as a starting point for a theory of action. As long as we look at them one at a time, they appear to be intuitive theses that can easily be inferred from an analysis of ordinary language. Thus, they seem to express more or less firmly established truths. Unfortunately, however, these theses confront us with a great inconvenience: they are not easily compatible with each other.


Bodily Movement Physical World Ordinary Language Skeptical Theory Secondary Sense 
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  1. 1.
    Some of them have been formulated in Searle 1984, ch. 4.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cf. Nino 1987, p. 23.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cf. Hampshire/Hart 1958, p. 8.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hart 1949; for a summary of this theory, cf. below Chapter III, sect. 3.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Moore 1993, pp. 9, 61–65.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    However, the problems are not identical, because one could hold that actions are ‘natural classes’ and still deny that they are bodily movements (for example, some authors prefer to identify them with mental states, such as ‘volitions’).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cf. Moore 1993, p. 90.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Feinberg 1968, p. 106.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Nino 1972, p. 43.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Cf. Moore 1993, p. 237.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Cf. Bernstein 1971, ch. 4.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel González Lagier
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AlicanteAlicanteSpain

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