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Reasons and PurposesHuman Rationality and the Teleological Explanation of Action$
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G. F. Schueler

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199250370

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199250375.001.0001

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Non‐Teleological Explanations of Actions

Non‐Teleological Explanations of Actions

Chapter:
(p.21) 2 Non‐Teleological Explanations of Actions
Source:
Reasons and Purposes
Author(s):

G. F. Schueler

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199250375.003.0002

There are well‐known arguments in favour of the idea that explanations of actions are at bottom non‐teleological. Michael Smith's ‘direction‐of‐fit’ argument entails this, and both Davidson and Thomas Nagel give general arguments that only causal explanations actually explain. In this chapter, it is argued that all these arguments are unsuccessful.

Keywords:   action explanation, belief‐desire theory, causal explanation, Davidson, direction of fit, Thomas Nagel, Michael Smith, teleological

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