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Things That Happen Because They Should - A Teleological Approach to Action | Oxford Scholarship Online
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Things That Happen Because They Should: A Teleological Approach to Action

Rowland Stout


Philosophers have usually argued that the right way to explain people's actions is in terms of their beliefs and intentions rather than in terms of objective facts. This book takes the opposite line. Appeal to teleology is widely regarded with suspicion, but he argues that there are things in nature, namely actions, which can be teleologically explained: they happen because they serve some end. Moreover, this teleological explanation is externalist: it cites facts about the world, not beliefs and intentions which only represent the world. Such externalism about the explanation of action is a n ... More

Keywords: beliefs, intentions, teleology, externalism, action, knowledge

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1996 Print ISBN-13: 9780198240631
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198240631.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Rowland Stout, author
Oriel College, Oxford