Chapter

The Agent as Cause

Timothy O'Connor

in Persons and Causes

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780195153743
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199867080 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019515374X.003.0003
 The Agent as Cause

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The concept of agent causation is introduced and queried through an examination of the account given by the eighteenth‐century Scottish philosopher, Thomas Reid, and the more recent accounts of Richard Taylor and Roderick Chisholm. With Reid, the author emphasizes that an exertion of active power is not prior to or logically independent of the intention that is the agent's immediate effect. Against Taylor, he argues that an exertion of active power cannot itself be causally produced. Finally, contra Chisholm, once we recognize that an agent's exertion of active power is intrinsically a direct exercise of control, there is no need to further explain how the agent controls this event itself.

Keywords: active power; agent causation; Chisholm; control; event; Reid; Richard Taylor; volition

Chapter.  13935 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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