Explaining Behavior

Explaining Behavior

Reasons in a World of Causes

By Fred Dretske

A Bradford Book





Why do human beings move? In this lucid portrayal of human behavior, Fred Dretske provides an original account of the way reasons function in the causal explanation of behavior. Biological science investigates what makes our bodies move in the way they do. Psychology is interested in why persons—agents with reasons—move in the way they do. Dretske attempts to reconcile these different points of view by showing how reasons operate in a world of causes. He reveals in detail how the character of our inner states—what we believe, desire, and intend—determines what we do.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262040945 182 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


$30.00 X ISBN: 9780262540612 182 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


$18.95 X ISBN: 9780262570718 182 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


  • [An] important book, as intelligent and challenging as readers of Fred Dretske's earlier works will expect.... Dretske is well-informed in cognitive science, evolutionary biology and animal behavior, and one of the pleasures of his book is the range of examples which inform the arguments.... His careful, nontechnical presentation will be a focus for discussion in the philosophy of mind.

    Christopher Hookway

    Times Higher Education Supplement

  • The problem addressed by Dretske of the relation between national and physical explanations of human action has become one of the principal problems in the philosophy of mind and of psychology, and it will be how the classic mind-body problem is going to be debated in the next decade.

    Professor Jaegwon Kim

    Chairman, Department of Philosophy, Brown University