Problems in the Explanation of Action

Donald Davidson

in Problems of Rationality

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780198237549
Published online August 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601378 | DOI:
Problems in the Explanation of Action

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Takes up a number of problems that arise by attempts to explain actions, and defends the author's causal theory of action. In particular, the author defends the claims that, first, if a person is killed by being shot, the shooting and the killing are one and the same event; secondly, a desire (or propositional pro‐attitude) is always involved in the causality and explanation of an action; and thirdly, though reason explanations of actions cannot be backed by strict laws, this does not imply that reasons, conceived of as conjunctions of beliefs and desires, are causally ineffectual.

Keywords: action; belief; causal theory of action; causality; desire; event; explanation; propositional attitude

Chapter.  7363 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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