Chapter

The Metaphysics of Basic Acts II: The Identity of Actions With Bodily Movements

Michael S. Moore

in Act and Crime

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199599509
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191594656 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599509.003.0005
The Metaphysics of Basic Acts II: The Identity of Actions With Bodily Movements

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A much-maligned thesis of the Nineteenth Century jurisprudence of Austin and Holmes was that all actions are essentially bodily movements of a certain kind. This is not a thesis about the law's requirements about action (the subject of chapters 2 and 3); it is rather a metaphysical thesis about what actions essentially are. The thesis is defended through the examination of a number of criticisms of it by ordinary language philosophers, by the legal theorists who followed them, and by mental action theorists. The thesis defended is Mill's version of it: actions are only partially identical with bodily movements of a certain kind, being fully identical only with the causal sequence, volition-cause-bodily movement.

Keywords: bodily movements; basic acts; mental action theory

Chapter.  14288 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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