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The Debate in the Philosophy of Action

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

Abstract

Around the beginning of the ’60s, studies about the concept of action and related notions such as intention, motive, reason, etc., proliferated and became an important focus of philosophical debate, especially among philosophers of an analytical orientation. It would probably be wrong to say that there was only one single reason for this development; but the discussion about the proper method of the human sciences is usually mentioned as one of the most important reasons. For Richard Bernstein, for instance, the interest in the philosophy of action grew with the reaction within analytical philosophy itself against the reductionism of authors such as Carnap or the early Wittgenstein. That reaction manifested itself in the form of a ‘new teleology’, emphasizing the intentional, purposive nature of human actions.1

Keywords

Bodily Movement Strong Sense Intentional Action Legal Concept Ascriptivist Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

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    Cf. Ginet 1990, p. 47. Between these extreme positions, we find authors who advocate intermediate criteria for the individuation of actions, i. e., they hold what can perhaps be called ‘moderate maximizing’ positions.Google Scholar
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    The problem of the individuation of actions was presented by Elizabeth Anscombe in her book Intention with the following question: „Are we to say that the man who (intentionally) moves his arm, operates the pump, replenishes the water supply, poisons the inhabitants, is performing four actions? Or only one?“ And she answers that question thus: „In short, the only distinct action of his that is in question is this one, A. For moving his arm up and down with his fingers round the punp handle is, in these circumstances, operating the pump; and, in these circumstances, it is replenishing the house water-supply; and, in these circumstances, it is poisoning the household.“ (Anscombe 1963, § 26, pp. 45, 46)Google Scholar
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    Iwill have more to say about this distinction in Chapter VI.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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