Passive Action

  • Alfred R. Mele
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 266)


Peter was placed — face down and head first — on a sled, and pushed from the top of a high, snow-covered hill. The brisk wind and flying snow swiftly awoke him. In moments, he had his wits about him and surmised that this early morning trip down the hill was part of his initiation into the SAE fraternity. Peter quickly surveyed his options. He could put an end to his trip by sliding off the sled, or by turning it sharply. He could grasp the steering handles and guide the sled down the slope. Or, in an effort at one-upmanship, he could pretend to remain asleep the entire time, lying still on the sled without grasping the handles or making any voluntary motions: what a coup it would be to convince his prospective fraternity brothers that he had been utterly unfazed by the prank, indeed, that he was never aware that it had occurred! Peter opted for the devious strategy. He was prepared to take control of the sled should disaster threaten: the rogues might have placed a log in the path of the speeding sled. But, as it happened, he had no need to intervene and simply allowed the sled to take its course.


Bodily Movement Intentional Action Causal Theory Mental Causation Passive Action 
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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alfred R. Mele
    • 1
  1. 1.Davidson CollegeUSA

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