Reasons in Action: A Reductionist Account of Intentional Action

Reasons in Action: A Reductionist Account of Intentional Action

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Author/Contributor(s): Persson, Ingmar
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Date: 11/05/2019
Binding: Hardcover
Condition: NEW
Ingmar Persson offers an original view of the processes of human action: deliberating on the basis of reasons for and against actions, making a decision about what to do, and from there implementing the decision in action in a way that makes the action intentional. Persson's analysis is mainly developed to suit physical actions, though how it needs to be modified to cover mental acts is also discussed. The interpretation of intentional action that is presented is reductionist in the sense that it does not appeal to any concepts that are distinctive of the domain of action theory, such as a unique type of agent-causation, or irreducible mental acts, like acts of will, volitions, decisions, or tryings. Nor does it appeal to any unanalyzed attitudes or states essentially related to intentional action, like intentions and desires to act. Instead, the intentionality of actions is construed as springing from desires conceived as physical states of agents which cause facts because of
the way agents think of them. A sense of our having responsibility that is sufficient for our acting for reasons is also sketched out.