Download e-book for iPad: Agency and Action (Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement; by John and Helen Steward, editors Hyman

By John and Helen Steward, editors Hyman

ISBN-10: 0521603560

ISBN-13: 9780521603560

This selection of unique essays via major philosophers covers the total diversity of the philosophy of motion.

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If they play the second role, subjective principles establish the rationality of an 34 Two Ways of Explaining Actions agent who is responding (so far as he can tell) to the corresponding objective principles of good reasons. But if they play the first role, that of specifying further sets of reasons, subjective principles are parasitic on objective ones in a different way. What we do, in working from an objective to a subjective principle, is to turn a requirement or reason which would obtain if things were as the agent supposes into one that in fact obtains for an agent who merely takes things to be so, whether they are so or not.

What will emerge, I think, is that evaluative knowledge is indeed required for us to wield the supposedly causal explanation offered by the right-hand side of C. This removes the worry that our causal explanation cannot be what it is for a normative explanation to be sound, but only at the risk of diminishing the difference between the two explanations, in a way that threatens to collapse that difference altogether. II The clue to this issue, as I see it, lies in a revealing epithet which often appears unremarked in statements of Humean conceptions of motivation (which are themselves supposedly causal in style).

Whether one's knee is bent or not. But examples of this sort are in fact ill suited to shed light on the idea of 'practical knowledge', which is the true focus of the idea of the non-observational in the study of action. When we see this we will be better able to see why Anscombe is concerned with the non-observational in the first place, and how this concern is tied to other characteristic Anscombian theses, for instance that an action will be intentional under some descriptions but not others, and that practical knowledge is distinguished from 1 G.

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Agency and Action (Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement; 55) by John and Helen Steward, editors Hyman


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