Causing Human Actions
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Causing Human Actions

New Perspectives on the Causal Theory of Action

Edited by Jesús H. Aguilar and Andrei A. Buckareff

Leading figures working in the philosophy of action debate foundational issues relating to the causal theory of action.

A Bradford Book

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Summary

Leading figures working in the philosophy of action debate foundational issues relating to the causal theory of action.

The causal theory of action (CTA) is widely recognized in the literature of the philosophy of action as the "standard story" of human action and agency—the nearest approximation in the field to a theoretical orthodoxy. This volume brings together leading figures working in action theory today to discuss issues relating to the CTA and its applications, which range from experimental philosophy to moral psychology. Some of the contributors defend the theory while others criticize it; some draw from historical sources while others focus on recent developments; some rely on the tools of analytic philosophy while others cite the latest empirical research on human action. All agree, however, on the centrality of the CTA in the philosophy of action. The contributors first consider metaphysical issues, then reasons-explanations of action, and, finally, new directions for thinking about the CTA. They discuss such topics as the tenability of some alternatives to the CTA; basic causal deviance; the etiology of action; teleologism and anticausalism; and the compatibility of the CTA with theories of embodied cognition. Two contributors engage in an exchange of views on intentional omissions that stretches over four essays, directly responding to each other in their follow-up essays. As the action-oriented perspective becomes more influential in philosophy of mind and philosophy of cognitive science, this volume offers a long-needed debate over foundational issues.

Contributors Fred Adams, Jesús H. Aguilar, John Bishop, Andrei A. Buckareff, Randolph Clarke, Jennifer Hornsby, Alicia Juarrero, Alfred R. Mele, Michael S. Moore, Thomas Nadelhoffer, Josef Perner, Johannes Roessler, David-Hillel Ruben, Carolina Sartorio, Michael Smith, Rowland Stout

Hardcover

Out of Print ISBN: 9780262014564 336 pp. | 9 in x 6 in 2 b&w illus.

Paperback

$37.00 S ISBN: 9780262514767 336 pp. | 9 in x 6 in 2 b&w illus.

Editors

Jesús H. Aguilar

Jesús H. Aguilar is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Andrei A. Buckareff

Andrei A. Buckareff is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Marist College.

Reviews

  • The editors can be congratulated on having put together a stimulating collection of papers on a debate which, as the quality and intensity of the discussions shows, is far from exhausted.

    Analysis