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Act and CrimeThe Philosophy of Action and its Implications for Criminal Law$
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Michael S. Moore

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599509

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599509.001.0001

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The Metaphysics of Basic Acts III: Volitions as the Essential Source of Actions

The Metaphysics of Basic Acts III: Volitions as the Essential Source of Actions

Chapter:
(p.113) 6 The Metaphysics of Basic Acts III: Volitions as the Essential Source of Actions
Source:
Act and Crime
Author(s):

Michael S. Moore (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599509.003.0006

Actions are partially identical with bodily movements; they are fully identical only with the sequence, volitions-cause-bodily movement. Volitional causation of bodily movements is thus an essential feature of actions. What sort of mental state a volition is claimed to be is examined in nine successive steps. Why we have reason to think that volitions exist is given in two steps: first, that there are mental states of intention that are not reducible to beliefs or desires, either singly or in combination; and second, that among the hierarchy of intentions that guide rational action there will be an intention to do the simplest thing we know how to do, which intention will be a volition. A variety of scepticisms about volitions, many stemming from ordinary language philosophy, are also examined and rejected.

Keywords:   volitions, basic acts, intentions, scepticism

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