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Hardcover | Out of Print | 180 pp. | 6 x 9 in | April 1988 | ISBN: 9780262040945
Paperback | $23.00 X | £18.95 | 180 pp. | 6 x 9 in | February 1991 | ISBN: 9780262540612
CD-ROM | Out of Print | 180 pp. | 6 x 9 in | January 1988 | ISBN: 9780262570718
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Explaining Behavior

Reasons in a World of Causes


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.

About the Author

Fred Dretske is Senior Research Scholar in the Department of Philosophy, Duke University.


“[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