Chapter

Positive/Negative

Jonathan Bennett

in The Act Itself

Published in print March 1998 | ISBN: 9780198237914
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597077 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019823791X.003.0006
 Positive/Negative

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This chapter analyses making/allowing in terms of positive/negative: you allow something to happen if an explanation of its happening requires only a negative fact about your behaviour. A negative fact about your behaviour is a highly general or uninformative one; it corresponds to almost the whole of the logical space of your possible ways of moving. An objection to this analysis, based on giving a very special status to immobility, is described and countered. The possibility space might have a different metric, i.e. be structured in terms of something other than possible ways of moving. One such alternative metric is discussed.

Keywords: allowing; immobility; making; negative; positive

Chapter.  8772 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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