Mind and Reality
--- lecturer: [email protected]
A course at the University of Warwick.
Date given: Wednesday 4th November 2020
This is the youtube page for Lecture 10. In case you prefer, I have also put a page with the videos on microsoft stream here. Or, if you prefer, you can see the slides with no audio or video here.
Action: The Question
‘The problem of action is to explicate the contrast between what an agent does and what merely happens to him’ (Frankfurt, 1978 p. 157).
- Frankfurt, Harry G. ‘The Problem of Action’. American Philosophical Quarterly 15, no. 2 (1978): 157–62.
- Davidson, D. (1971). Agency. In Binkley, R., Bronaugh, R., and Marras, A., editors, Agent, Action, and Reason,, pages 3–25. University of Toronto Press, Toronto. Reprinted in Davidson, D. (1980) Essays on Actions and Events. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Action: Three Basic Principles
Discussion about action should be informed by three basic principles. Actions have hierarchical structures. Actions are individuated by outcomes. And one action can have multiple descriptions.
Causes of Action: Belief and Desire
In order to predict a person’s next action, what is the minimum you need to know? Plausibly this includes what the person believes about actions available to her and their consequences; and also how desirable the person finds the various consequences.
Belief and desire alone are not sufficient for action. But beliefs and desires do shape deliberation about what to do. Deliberation characteristically results in intention. And intentions control action.
- Davidson, D. (1978 ). Intending. In Essays on Actions and Events, pages 83–102. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
- Bratman, M. E. (1985). Davidson’s theory of intention. In Vermazen, B. and Hintikka, M., editors, Essays on Davidson: Actions and Events, pages 13–26. Oxford University Press, Oxford. Reprinted in Bratman, M. (1999) Faces of Intention. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (pp. 209–224).
Interim Conclusion on Action
What is the mark that distinguishes actions? It is intention.
Reading (optional): Frankfurt, Harry G. ‘The Problem of Action’. American Philosophical Quarterly 15, no. 2 (1978): 157–62.
- Lecture 01
- Lecture 02
- Lecture 03
- Lecture 04
- Lecture 05
- Lecture 06
- Lecture 07
- Lecture 08
- Lecture 09
- Lecture 11
- Lecture 12
- Lecture 13
- Lecture 14
- Lecture 15
- Lecture 16
- Lecture 17
- Lecture 18
- Week 01 Questions
- Week 02 Questions
- Week 03 Questions
- Week 04 Questions
- Week 05 Questions
- Week 06 Questions
- Week 07 Questions
- Week 08 Questions
- Week 09 Questions