Chapter

Basic Actions

Berent Enç

in How We Act

Published in print August 2003 | ISBN: 9780199256020
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602238 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199256020.003.0003
Basic Actions

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Enç’s naturalistic foundationalism divides actions into two sub-categories, namely, basic acts and non-basic acts. This chapter develops this foundationalism into a causal theory of action, which has as its central thesis the proposition that an action consists of a behavioural output that is caused by the reasons the agent has for producing that behaviour, reasons that consist of the agent’s beliefs and desires. In other words, reasons feed into a computational process of deliberation, the causal consequence of which is the formation of an intention. The intention causes the behavioural output. On this thesis, actions are defined as changes in the world that are caused by natural events.

Keywords: action; basic acts; behaviour; beliefs; causal theory of action; deliberation; desires; Enç; foundationalism; intention; natural events; reasons

Chapter.  17717 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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