Chapter

The Possibility of Externalist Explanation of Action

Rowland Stout

in Things That Happen Because They Should

Published in print October 1996 | ISBN: 9780198240631
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680212 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198240631.003.0002

Series: Oxford Philosophical Monographs

The Possibility of Externalist Explanation of Action

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Preview

One way one has of explaining things is to say that they happen because they should happen. Certain stories suggest the thought that it is only by being able to explain one's activity in terms of a practical justification that one can claim to be a real agent at all. This chapter develops this thought into a fully blown theory of agency. The theory the books wants to develop is not just a theory of action; it is also an account of those intentional mental states and processes, such as believing and intending, which are essential to agency. It is an account of these things entirely in terms of explanations and potential explanations of activity by practical justifications.

Keywords: action; agency; mental states; belief; practical justification; theory of agency

Chapter.  13776 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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