Problems in the Explanation of Action
Davidson (Donald)
Source: Pettit, Sylvan & Norman - Metaphysics & Morality - Essays in Honour of J.J.C. Smart
Paper - Abstract

Paper Summary


Philosophers Index Abstract

    This paper tries to answer several objections that have been made to my causal theory of action. The claim that if one person kills another by shooting him, the shooting and the killing are one and the same event is defended. Hume's contention that a desire or pro-attitude is always involved in the causality1 and explanation of an action is upheld against criticism. It is argued that reason explanations of actions cannot be backed by strict laws, but that this does not show that reasons (beliefs and desires) are causally ineffectual.

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