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Things That Happen Because They ShouldA Teleological Approach to Action$
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Rowland Stout

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198240631

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198240631.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Things That Happen Because They Should
Author(s):

Rowland Stout

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198240631.003.0001

This book argues that intentional actions are unique among natural phenomena in that they happen because they should happen. This is not to say that they happen because they ought to morally, although perhaps they sometimes do. It is to say that there are ways of evaluating actions as rational or irrational, as justified or unjustified; and it is because they are rational or justified, according to such a way of evaluating things, that they happen. This is a highly controversial thesis; it amounts to saying that value has a causal role to play in nature. It goes against the orthodox view that evaluations are only projected on to the world by people; they are not part of the fabric of nature and so cannot themselves make anything happen.

Keywords:   intentional actions, natural phenomena, rationality, causality, value, evaluations, justification, nature

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