Dynamics in Action

Dynamics in Action : Intentional Behavior as a Complex System

4.4 (30 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 
4.4 (30 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

What is the difference between a wink and a blink? The answer is important not only to philosophers of mind, for significant moral and legal consequences rest on the distinction between voluntary and involuntary behavior. However, action theory--the branch of philosophy that has traditionally articulated the boundaries between action and non-action, and between voluntary and involuntary behavior--has been unable to account for the difference.

Alicia Juarrero argues that a mistaken, 350-year-old model of cause and explanation--one that takes all causes to be of the push-pull, efficient cause sort, and all explanation to be prooflike--underlies contemporary theories of action. Juarrero then proposes a new framework for conceptualizing causes based on complex adaptive systems. Thinking of causes as dynamical constraints makes bottom-up and top-down causal relations, including those involving intentional causes, suddenly tractable. A different logic for explaining actions--as historical narrative, not inference--follows if one adopts this novel approach to long-standing questions of action and responsibility.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 300 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 13mm | 417g
  • Bradford Books
  • Massachusetts, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0262600471
  • 9780262600477
  • 66,102

Review quote

& quot; Juarrero's lively text skillfully applies the kinds of causal analyses required in non-equilibrium, complex systems theory to the problems of action theory.& quot; -- Stanley N. Salthe, Biological Sciences, Binghamton University
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About Alicia Juarrero

Alicia Juarrero is Professor of Philosophy at Prince George's Community College, Maryland. She is a member of the National Council on the Humanities, the governing board of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
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Rating details

30 ratings
4.4 out of 5 stars
5 50% (15)
4 40% (12)
3 10% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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