Essays on Actions and Events: Philosophical Essays
Donald Davidson has prepared a new edition of his classic 1980 collection of Essays on Actions and Events, including two additional essays. In this seminal investigation of the nature of human action, Davidson argues for an ontology which includes events along with persons and other objects. Certain events are identified and explained as actions when they are viewed as caused and rationalized by reasons; these same events, when described in physical, biological, or physiological terms, may be explained by appeal to natural laws. The mental and the physical thus constitute irreducibly discrete ways of explaining and understanding events and their causal relations. Among the topics discussed are: freedom to act; weakness of the will; the logical form of talk about actions, intentions, and causality; the logic of practical reasoning; Hume's theory of the indirect passions; and the nature and limits of decision theory. The introduction, cross-references, and appendices emphasize the relations between the essays and explain how Davidson's views have developed.
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action sentences adverbs agency agent analysis anomalous monism Anthony Kenny argued argument assume assumption attitudes behaviour beliefs and desires better Bloomsday Bologna Brutus causal conditional causal law causal relations cause Chisholm chooses claim concepts conclusion connection context course decision theory described difficulty Eleanore of Aquitaine entails entities Essay example existence explain expressions fact G. E. M. Anscombe give happen Hempel Hume Hume's idea identity theory incontinence inference intentional action intentionally interpretation Jocasta Jones buttered judgement language lawlike logical form mean mental events nomological object occurred Oedipus ontology particular events passion perform perhaps philosophers physical events practical reasoning predicate pride primitive actions principle problem propositional propositional attitudes psychological quantification question rational relevant Roderick Chisholm Sebastian strolled seems semantic sense Shem kicked simply singular causal statements singular terms someone sort suggests suppose things tion true truth turn verbs wrong