1 New Essays on the Explanation of Action
2 Forthcoming By Constantine Sandis A Companion to the Philosophy of Action (Wiley-Blackwell) (co-edited with Timothy O Connor)
3 New Essays on the Explanation of Action Edited by Constantine Sandis Oxford Brookes University and NYU in London
4 Editorial selection and matter Constantine Sandis 2009 Chapters their individual authors 2009 Softcover reprint of the hardcover 1st edition All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication may be made without written permission. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted save with written permission or in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, or under the terms of any licence permitting limited copying issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency, Saffron House, 6-10 Kirby Street, London EC1N 8TS. Any person who does any unauthorized act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages. The authors have asserted their rights to be identified as the authors of this work in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act First published 2009 by PALGRAVE MACMILLAN Palgrave Macmillan in the UK is an imprint of Macmillan Publishers Limited, registered in England, company number , of Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS. Palgrave Macmillan in the US is a division of St Martin's Press LLC, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY Palgrave Macmillan is the global academic imprint of the above companies and has companies and representatives throughout the world. Palgrave and Macmillan are registered trademarks in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe and other countries. ISBN ISBN (ebook) DOI / This book is printed on paper suitable for recycling and made from fully managed and sustained forest sources. Logging, pulping and manufacturing processes are expected to conform to the environmental regulations of the country of origin. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. A catalog record for this book is available from the Library of Congress
5 This volume is dedicated to Elizabeth Alice Sandis With all my love, in the year of our wedding
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7 Contents Notes on Contributors ix Introduction 1 Constantine Sandis Part I Reasons and Causes 1 What Must Actions Be for Reasons to Explain Them? 13 Fred Dretske 2 What Are Reasons for Action? 22 Stephen Everson 3 Was Sally s Reason for Running from the Bear that She Thought it was Chasing Her? 48 Rowland Stout 4 Con-reasons as Causes 62 David-Hillel Ruben 5 Agential Reasons and the Explanation of Human Behaviour 75 Peter Hacker 6 Reasons as Non-causal, Context-placing Explanations 94 Julia Tanney 7 Interpretative Explanations 112 G. F. Schueler 8 Anscombe on Expression of Intention 132 Richard Moran and Martin J. Stone 9 Can One Act for a Reason without Acting Intentionally? 169 Joshua Knobe and Sean D. Kelly 10 Reasons: Explanatory and Normative 184 Joseph Raz 11 Reasons, Desires and Intentional Actions 203 Maria Alvarez 12 A Niggle at Nagel: Causally Active Desires and the Explanation of Action 220 Charles Pigden vii
8 viii Contents 13 Acting in Character 241 Annette Baier 14 Aquinas on Action and Action Explanation 257 Stephen Boulter 15 Acting for Reasons A Grass Root Approach 276 Ralf Stoecker Part II Agency and Moral Psychology 16 Sub-intentional Actions and the Over-mentalization of Agency 295 Helen Steward 17 Determinism, Intentional Action, and Bodily Movements 313 Frederick Stoutland 18 Free Agency, Causation and Action Explanation 338 E. J. Lowe 19 Gods and Mental States: The Causation of Action in Ancient Tragedy and Modern Philosophy of Mind 356 Constantine Sandis 20 Aristotle s Conception of Practical Thinking 384 A. W. Price 21 Action in Moral Metaphysics 396 Jonathan Dancy 22 Non-cognitivism and Motivation 416 Nick Zangwill Index 425
9 Contributors Maria Alvarez is a philosophy lecturer at the University of Southampton, United Kingdom. She has published widely on actions, reasons, and their relation. Her most recent book is Acts and Facts: Reasons, Desires and the Explanation of Action (Oxford University Press, 2009). Annette Baier was educated at the Universities of Otago and Oxford. She taught at the universities of Aberdeen, Auckland, Sydney, Carnegie-Mellon, and Pittsburgh, and held visiting appointments at Florida Gainesville, City University of New York, and Michigan. Since retiring she lives in Queenstown, her birthplace, and Dunedin. She has published much about Hume, on trust, and about the philosophy of mind. Her books are Postures of the Mind (1985), A Progress of Sentiments (1991), Moral Prejudices (1994), and The Commons of the Mind (1997). (The last were her Carus Lectures. She also gave Tanner Lectures, on trust.) She has just published a new collection of essays entitled Death and Character: Future Reflection on Hume. Stephen Boulter is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom. Prior to taking up his current post he was Gifford Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Glasgow in He is the author of The Rediscovery of Common Sense Philosophy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) and is currently working on a book on Medieval Philosophy. Jonathan Dancy is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Reading, United Kingdom, and at the University of Texas at Austin. Previously he taught for 25 years at the University of Keele. He has written many articles on moral philosophy and on the philosophy of action, and his books include Moral Reasons (1993), Practical Reality (2000), and Ethics Without Principles (2004). He is currently working on a new account of the force of practical deliberation. Fred Dretske is Professor Emeritus at both Stanford University where he taught for 10 years and the University of Wisconsin where he taught for 25 years. He is currently a senior research professor (no teaching) at Duke University, United States. He has several books to his credit: He is the author of several books: Seeing and Knowing (1969), Knowledge and the Flow of Information (1981), Explaining Behavior (1988), and Naturalizing the Mind (1995) as well as numerous articles. Some of these articles have been collected in Perception, Knowledge, and Belief (2000). His current research interests centre on the nature of conscious experience and problems about self-knowledge. ix
10 x Contributors Stephen Everson has taught at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is currently a lecturer at the University of York, United Kingdom. He has published on various topics in ancient philosophy, ethics, and the philosophy of action. Peter Hacker is currently Emeritus Research Fellow of St John s College, Oxford, United Kingdom, where he was a Tutorial Fellow from He is author of numerous books on the philosophy of Wittgenstein, including the 4 volume Analytical Commentary on the Philosophical Investigations ( ), the first two volumes of which were co-authored with Gordon Baker, Insight and Illusion (1972, 2nd edition 1986), Wittgenstein s Place in Twentieth Century Analytic Philosophy (1996), and Wittgenstein: Connections and Controversies (2001). He has also written extensively, together with Max Bennett, on philosophy and cognitive neuroscience: Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience (2003), and A History of Cognitive Neuroscience (forthcoming 2008). His most recent work is Human Nature the Categorial Framework (2007), which is the first volume of a projected trilogy on human nature. Sean D. Kelly is Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University, United States. His work focuses on various aspects of the philosophical, phenomenological, and cognitive neuroscientific nature of experience. This gives him a broad forum: recent publications have addressed, for example, the experience of time, the possibility of demonstrating that monkeys have blindsighted experience, and the understanding of the sacred in Homer. He has taught courses on twentieth century French and German Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Cognitive Science, Philosophy of Perception, Imagination and Memory, Aesthetics, and Philosophy of Literature. He also runs the Philosophical Psychology Lab at Harvard, and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEH, the NSF and the James S. McDonnell Foundation, among others. Joshua Knobe is Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, United States. He works primarily in experimental philosophy and is especially interested in the ways in which people s moral judgments impact their use of various apparently non-moral concepts. His research thus far has investigated the concepts of intentional action, causation, and consciousness, as well as the distinction between doing and allowing and the practice of reason explanation. E. J. Lowe is Professor of Philosophy at Durham University, United Kingdom, specialising in metaphysics, the philosophy of mind and action, the philosophy of logic and language, and early modern philosophy. Author of, amongst other things, Kinds of Being (1989), Subjects of Experience (1996), The Possibility of Metaphysics (1998), An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind (2000), A Survey of Metaphysics (2002), Locke (2005), The Four-Category Ontology (2006), and Personal Agency (2008).
11 Contributors xi Richard Moran is the Brian D. Young Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University, United States. He is the author of Authority and Estrangement: An Essay on Self-Knowledge (2001), and various articles the on philosophy of mind, action, aesthetics, and moral psychology. Charles Pigden was born in England and studied philosophy at Cambridge, before going on to do a PhD at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. Since 1988 he has taught philosophy at Otago University, Dunedin, New Zealand. He has published on a wide range of topics from conspiracy theories to the reality of numbers, but, if pressed, will admit to being a meta-ethicist with special interests in Russell, Moore, and Hume. He is the author of the entry on Russell s Moral Philosophy in the Stanford Online Encyclopedia of Philosophy and is one of the very few academics to have published a philosophical dialogue in blank verse. A. W. Price is Reader in Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London, United Kingdom. He works on ethics and moral psychology, ancient and contemporary. He is the author of Mental Conflict (1995), Love and Friendship in Plato and Aristotle (extended edition 1997), and Contextuality in Practical Reason (2008). Joseph Raz is professor at Columbia Law School, United States, and a Research Professor University of Oxford, United Kingdom. His books include The Authority of Law (1979), The Concept of a Legal System (2nd edn 1980), The Morality of Freedom (1986), Practical Reason and Norms ( 2nd edn 1990), Ethics in the Public Domain (1994), Engaging Reason (2000), Value Respect and Attachment (2001), and The Practice of Value (2003). He is also a Fellow of the British Academy and a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. David-Hillel Ruben has a BA in Philosophy from Dartmouth College, United States and a PhD from Harvard University. He is the author of Marxism and Materialism (1977 and 1979), The Metaphysics of the Social World (1985), Explaining Explanation (1990), Action and its Explanation (2003), numerous edited volumes, and many journal articles. Ruben was Professor of Philosophy for many years at the London School of Economics and is now Director of New York University in London and Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London, United Kingdom. Constantine Sandis is a senior lecturer in Philosophy at Oxford Brookes University and New York University in London. He works on the philosophy of action and its explanation and is the author of numerous related articles and a forthcoming book. He is currently co-editing, with Timothy O Connor, A Companion to the Philosophy of Action. G. F. Schueler is Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Philosophy Department at the University of Delaware, United States. He is the author of Reasons and Purposes (2003) and Desire (1995).
12 xii Contributors Helen Steward did her graduate work at the University of Oxford before becoming a Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford in She moved to the University of Leeds in Her first book, The Ontology of Mind, was published in She is currently working on topics in the philosophy of action, specifically as they relate to the free will debate, and her next book, A Metaphysics for Freedom will be out in Ralf Stoecker is professor for philosophy, particularly applied ethics, at the University of Potsdam, Germany. Stoecker studied philosophy in Hamburg, Heidelberg and Bielefeld. He wrote a dissertation on the topic of events (Was sind Ereignisse?, Berlin, New York 1992) and a Habilitation on the brain death debate and its moral and metaphysical bearings (Der Hirntod, Freiburg 1999). His areas of specialisation are applied ethics, philosophy of personhood and action theory. Since the 1990s Stoecker published papers on various aspects of human action, in order to establish a radical non-standard account of agency that attempts to combine Davidson s insights with those from, for example, Ryle and Wittgenstein. Martin J. Stone teaches Law at Cardozo Law School, Yeshiva University and Philosophy at the New School Graduate Faculty in New York, United States. He is the author of various articles on Wittgenstein, action, interpretation, and philosophy of law. Rowland Stout is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at University College Dublin, Ireland. Prior to this he was based at Oxford then Manchester University. He works on problems in the philosophy of agency and the philosophy of mind, in particular on rationality, causation and emotion. He is the author of Things that Happen Because they Should (1996), Action (2005), and The Inner Life of a Rational Agent (2006). Frederick Stoutland is Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at St. Olaf College, Minnesota, United States and Permanent Visiting Professor at Uppsala University, Sweden. His main interests are in philosophy of mind and action. His book on Recent Theories of Meaning was published in German in He has published papers and reviews on various issues in philosophy of action, on aspects of von Wright s life and philosophy, on Davidson s philosophy, on Wittgestein, and on truth. Julia Tanney was educated at UCLA and the University of Michigan. Now living in Paris, she is a Senior Lecturer and presently Head of Philosophy at the University of Kent, United Kingdom and holds visiting and guest professorships at the Université de Picardie (Amiens) and the Université de Paris-IV (Sorbonne), and is on the Philosophy planning board at the Université de Paris-I (Sorbonne-Panthéon). She has written numerous articles in philosophy of mind, focussing especially on reason explanation, normativity, rule-following, and self-knowledge. While continuing to insist on the relevance of the later Wittgenstein s philosophy to the contemporary debate,
13 Contributors xiii she has also contributed a number of pieces (in both French and English) and is presently writing a book on Gilbert Ryle s philosophy of mind and language. Nick Zangwill is Professor of Philosophy at Durham University, United Kingdom. He is the author of The Metaphysics of Beauty (2001) and Aesthetic Creation (2007) as well as many papers on moral philosophy and philosophy of mind.