A Companion to the Philosophy of Action
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A Companion to the Philosophy of Action

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A Companion to the Philosophy of Action offers a comprehensive overview of the issues and problems central to the philosophy of action. * The first volume to survey the entire field of philosophy of action (the central issues and processes relating to human actions) * Brings together specially commissioned chapters from international experts * Discusses a range of ideas and doctrines, including rationality, free will and determinism, virtuous action, criminal responsibility, Attribution Theory, and rational agency in evolutionary perspective * Individual chapters also cover prominent historic figures from Plato to Ricoeur * Can be approached as a complete narrative, but also serves as a work of reference * Offers rich insights into an area of philosophical thought that has attracted thinkers since the time of the ancient Greeks
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Product details

  • Paperback | 660 pages
  • 168 x 243 x 35mm | 1,134g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1. Auflage
  • 1118346327
  • 9781118346327
  • 670,038

Back cover copy

A Companion to the Philosophy of Action provides a comprehensive overview of the central issues and processes relating to human actions. Specially commissioned chapters from international experts cover all facets of philosophy of action - from key figures and terminology to some of the more controversial problems in the field.

Divided into thematic sections, the book begins by examining ontological and conceptual issues regarding the nature of action, its description and individuation, and its motivation and causation. Later sections focus on a range of ideas and doctrines associated with action theory, including rationality, free will and determinism, virtuous action, criminal responsibility, Attribution Theory, and rational agency in evolutionary perspective. Individual chapters also cover prominent historic figures from Plato to Ricoeur.



A Companion to the Philosophy of Action offers rich insights into an area of philosophical thought that has attracted thinkers since the time of the ancient Greeks.
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Table of contents

List of Illustrations xii Notes on Contributors xiii Preface to the Paperback Edition xxii Acknowledgments xxiii Introduction xxiv Part I Acts and Actions 1 1 Action Theory and Ontology 3 E. J. Lowe 2 Basic Actions and Individuation 10 Constantine Sandis 3 Trying to Act 18 Jennifer Hornsby 4 Bodily Movements 26 Adrian Haddock 5 The Causal Theory of Action 32 Wayne A. Davis 6 Adverbs of Action and Logical Form 40 Kirk Ludwig 7 Refraining, Omitting, and Negative Acts 50 Kent Bach 8 Speech Acts 58 Mitchell S. Green 9 Collective Action 67 Margaret Gilbert 10 Habitual Actions 74 Bill Pollard 11 Cambridge Actions 82 David-Hillel Ruben 12 Pluralism about Action 90 Elijah Millgram Part II Agency and Causation 97 13 Volition and the Will 99 Laura W. Ekstrom 14 Intention 108 Alfred R. Mele 15 Desire and Pleasure 114 Timothy Schroeder 16 Teleological Explanation 121 Scott Sehon 17 Reasons and Causes 129 Timothy O Connor 18 Triggering and Structuring Causes 139 Fred Dretske 19 Motivating Reasons 145 Stephen Everson 20 Humeanism about Motivation 153 Michael Smith 21 Deviant Causal Chains 159 Rowland Stout 22 Action Explanation and the Unconscious 166 Edward Harcourt 23 Mental Causation and Epiphenomenalism 174 John Heil 24 The Explanatory Role of Consciousness 182 Naomi Eilan 25 What a Difference Emotions Make 191 Sabine A. Doring 26 Agency, Patiency, and Personhood 200 Soran Reader 27 Mental Acts 209 Joelle Proust 28 Agent Causation 218 Randolph Clarke 29 Bodily Awareness and Bodily Action 227 Hong Yu Wong 30 Agents Knowledge 236 Johannes Roessler 31 Practical Reasoning 244 Bart Streumer 32 Deliberation and Decision 252 Philip Pettit 33 Motivational Strength 259 Alfred R. Mele 34 Addiction and Compulsion 267 Neil Levy 35 Akrasia and Irrationality 274 Sergio Tenenbaum Part III Action in Special Contexts 283 36 Rationality 285 John Broome 37 Motivational Internalism and Externalism 293 G. F. Schueler 38 Free Will and Determinism 301 Thomas Pink 39 Responsibility and Autonomy 309 John Martin Fischer 40 Virtuous Action 317 Rosalind Hursthouse 41 The Doctrine of Double Effect 324 David S. Oderberg 42 Action and Criminal Responsibility 331 R. A. Duff 43 Intention in Law 338 Gideon Yaffe 44 Scientifi c Challenges to Free Will 345 Eddy Nahmias 45 Intentional Action in Folk Psychology 357 Bertram F. Malle 46 Attribution Theory 366 Bernard Weiner 47 Rational Agency in Evolutionary Perspective 374 Kim Sterelny and Ben Jeffares 48 Animal Agency 384 Hans-Johann Glock 49 Action in Cognitive Ethology 393 Marc Bekoff 50 Action in History and Social Science 401 Daniel Little 51 The Prediction of Action 410 Nassim N. Taleb and Avital Pilpel Part IV Prominent Figures 417 52 Indian Philosophers 419 Elisa Freschi 53 Plato 429 Christine J. Thomas 54 Aristotle 439 Ursula Coope 55 Stoics, Epicureans, and Aristotelians 447 T. H. Irwin 56 Augustine and Aquinas 459 Stephen Boulter 57 Duns Scotus 466 Thomas Williams 58 Thomas Hobbes 473 Thomas Pink 59 Descartes 481 Paul Hoffman 60 Locke 490 Matthew Stuart 61 Berkeley 496 Tom Stoneham 62 Thomas Reid 505 Maria Alvarez 63 Hume 513 Annette C. Baier 64 Kant 521 Eric Watkins 65 Nietzsche 528 Brian Leiter 66 Hegel 537 Michael Quante 67 Weber 546 Kieran Allen 68 Wittgenstein 554 Severin Schroeder 69 Ryle 562 Julia Tanney 70 Sartre 570 Katherine J. Morris 71 Chisholm 578 Michael J. Zimmerman 72 von Wright 589 Frederick Stoutland 73 Davidson 598 Ralf Stoecker 74 Anscombe 606 Roger Teichmann 75 Ricoeur 613 Anna C. Zielinska Index 622
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Review Text

"I recommend this volume to all those with any interest inthe concepts treated in the philosophy of action." ( Philosophy in Review , 1 December 2012)
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Review quote

I recommend this volume to all those with any interest in the concepts treated in the philosophy of action. (Philosophy in Review, 1 December 2012)
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About Timothy O'Connor

Timothy O Connor is Professor and Department Chair of philosophy at Indiana University Bloomington, and a member of its Cognitive Sciences program. He has published extensively in metaphysics, philosophy of mind and action, and philosophy of religion. His books include Agents, Causes, and Events: Essays on Indeterminism and Free Will (ed. 1995), Persons and Causes: The Metaphysics of Free Will (2000), Philosophy of Mind: Contemporary Readings (ed. 2003), Theism and Ultimate Explanation: The Necessary Shape of Contingency (2008) and Downward Causation and the Necessity of Free Will (ed. 2010). Constantine Sandis is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Oxford Brookes University and New York University in London. He is the editor of New Essays on the Explanation of Action (2009) and Hegel on Action (with Arto Laitinen, 2010), and author of The Things We Do and Why We Do Them (2010).
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