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Action and its Explanation

David-Hillel Ruben


This book pursues some novel and unusual standpoints in the philosophy of action. It rejects, for example, the most widely held view about how to count actions, and argues for what it calls a ‘prolific theory’ of act individuation. It also describes and argues against the two leading theories of the nature of action, the causal theory and the agent causal theory. The causal theory cannot account for skilled activity, nor for mental action. The agent causalist theory unnecessarily reifies causings. The book identifies an assumption that they share, and that most action theorists have assumed to ... More

Keywords: philosophy of action, prolific theory, act individuation, causal theory, agent causal theory, mental action, skilled activity, human action

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780198235880
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198235880.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David-Hillel Ruben, author
New York University and University of London