What We Do: A Nonreductive Approach to Human Action
Baker (Lynne Rudder)
Source: Human Action, Deliberation and Causation (Philosophical Studies Series 77), Jan Bransen and Stefaan Cuypers, eds. (Dordrecht, Holland: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1998): 249-69
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. "What is left over," Wittgenstein1 once asked, "if I subtract the fact that my arm goes up from the fact that I raise my arm?"
  2. In this paper, I shall try to give a nonreductive and nondualistic answer to this question.
  3. First, I shall simply present a view of human action that allows a straightforward answer to Wittgenstein2’s question, and then show how this view of human action fits into a general conception of what a human person or agent is.
  4. Next, I shall show how this view can handle what Jaegwon Kim has called “the problem of explanatory exclusion”.
  5. Finally, I shall offer reasons why a nonreductive approach to action is needed.

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