By Alvin I. Goldman
This publication articulates an unique scheme for the conceptualization of motion. starting with a brand new method of the individuation of acts, it delineates the relationships among easy and non-basic acts and makes use of those relationships within the definition of skill and intentional motion. the writer shows the critical function of desires and ideology within the causation of acts and within the research of the concept that of action.
Professor Goldman indicates solutions to basic questions on acts, and develops a collection of principles and ideas that may be utilized in the philosophy of brain, the philosophy of language, ethics, and different fields, together with the behavioral sciences.
Originally released in 1977.
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Extra info for A Theory of Human Action
S"s moving his hand one inch— which would also be act-tokens. Having developed techniques for individuating and interrelating acts of various kinds, we might pause to notice that our scheme provides a fairly natural way of interpreting the sort of thing which Anscombe and Davidson would regard as a "single" action. Setting aside the complications introduced by co-temporal acts or temporal sequences of acts, let us consider a single act-tree at the bottom of which is some basic act. Two acts are on the same act-tree if and only if they satisfy one of the following conditions: (A) they are identical; (B) they are same-level acts; (C) one of them generates the other; (D) both are generated by some common act.
Finally, it is not clear why the falsity of the reducibility thesis should suggest that higher-level acts, in particular conventional acts, should not be susceptible of causal explanations. I defer a discussion of this point, however, to Chapter Three. We have seen, then, that the notion of level-generation cannot be analyzed in terms of purpose or teleology, nor in terms of the concept of reduction. It is time now to provide, or at least to attempt to provide, a more adequate analysis of generation.
We see, then, that the theory presented here enables us to deal comfortably with the cases that prove difficult for the identity thesis, yet at the same time providing the tools for capturing the intuitive idea that lies at the heart of the identity thesis. 3. The Definition of Level-Generation The notion of level-generation is obviously the central notion in the scheme of action I have been constructing. Although various restrictions have been placed on it, and although a variety of illustrations of it have been given, a formal definition remains to be presented.
A Theory of Human Action by Alvin I. Goldman