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Alvin I. Goldman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199874187

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199874187.001.0001

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The Individuation of Action

The Individuation of Action

Chapter:
(p.259) Chapter 11 The Individuation of Action
Source:
Joint Ventures
Author(s):

Alvin I. Goldman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199874187.003.0012

This chapter explains the theory of act individuation initially through G. E. M. Anscombe's interpretation, which states that there is a natural ordering of the descriptions of actions. However, this idea is problematic since the ordering only applies to descriptions pertaining to specific acts. The chapter then looks at Donald Davidson's insight through his workThe Individuation of Events, which is similar to Anscombe's except he suggested a criterion of act individuation. It also addresses the so-called temporal problem, initiated by Lawrence Davis and Judith Jarvis Thomson, of the Anscombe-Davidson concept which calls for a deeper understanding of the ontological condition of an act. The chapter then presents an analysis of action sentences, citing the works of Romane Clark and Terence Parsons in the discussion of act type and act property.

Keywords:   act individuation, G. E. M. Anscombe, Donald Davidson, The Individuation of Events, Lawrence Davis, Judith Jarvis Thomson, action sentences, Romane Clark, Terence Parsons

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