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The Philosophy of Action: An Introduction



The Philosophy of Action: An Introduction

Carlos J. Moya, Wouter Wieling (Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-745-60747-4 January 1991 Polity 200 Pages


This new textbook is an exceptionally clear and concise introduction to the philosophy of action, suitable for students interested in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of social sciences. 
Moya begins by considering the problem of agency: how are we to understand the distinction between actions and happenings, between actions we perform and things that happen to us? Moya outlines and examines a range of philosophical responses to this problem. He also develops his own original view, treating the analysis of meaningful action as the basis for understanding the distinctive interplay of agency, intention and commitment.

Subsequent chapters examine recent attempts to integrate our understanding of action with the view of the world provided by the natural sciences. The work of Donald Davidson is examined in detail. Moya also discusses the views of many other authors who have contributed to recent debates in the philosophy of action, including Anscombe, Churchland, Harman, Hornsby, Goldman and O'Shaughnessy.



1. Actions and Happenings.

2. The New Volitional Theory.

3. Some Remarks about the Ontology of Actions.

4. Meaningful Actions.

5. Agency and Intentional Action.

6. The Intentionality of Mind.

7. Intentionality and Science.

8. Laws and Explanation of Actions.

9. Laws and Prediction of Actions.

10. Davidson's Causal Theory of Intentional Action.

11. Wayward Causal Chains.

12. Intention and Intentional Action.

13. Davidson's Theory of Intention.

14. Agency and Physical Determinism.




'This is primarily a textbook. It could be used by good students in any subject wanting to learn what in the analytical philosophy of action might be of use to them.' Political Studies