A Companion to the Philosophy of Action

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Timothy O'Connor, Constantine Sandis
John Wiley & Sons, Jul 5, 2011 - Philosophy - 664 pages
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A Companion to the Philosophy of Action offers a comprehensive overview of the issues and problems central to the philosophy of action.
  • The first volume to survey the entire field of philosophy of action (the central issues and processes relating to human actions)
  • Brings together specially commissioned chapters from international experts
  • Discusses a range of ideas and doctrines, including rationality, free will and determinism, virtuous action, criminal responsibility, Attribution Theory, and rational agency in evolutionary perspective
  • Individual chapters also cover prominent historic figures from Plato to Ricoeur
  • Can be approached as a complete narrative, but also serves as a work of reference
  • Offers rich insights into an area of philosophical thought that has attracted thinkers since the time of the ancient Greeks

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Table of Contents
Basic Actions and Individuation
Trying to
Bodily Movements
Adverbs of Action and Logical Form
Refraining Omitting and Negative Acts
Speech Acts
Responsibility and Autonomy
Virtuous Action
Action and Criminal Responsibility
Scientific Challenges to Free Will
Intentional Action in Folk Psychology
Attribution Theory
Rational Agency in Evolutionary Perspective
Animal Agency

Collective Action
Habitual Actions
Cambridge Actions
Pluralism about Action
Agency and Causation
The Nature of Pleasure
Reasons and Causes
Triggering and Structuring Causes
Humeanism about Motivation
Action Explanation and the Unconscious
Mental Causation and Epiphenomenalism
The Explanatory Role of Consciousness
What a Difference Emotions Make
Agency Patiency and Personhood
Mental Acts
Agent Causation
Bodily Awareness and Bodily Action
Agents Knowledge
Practical Reasoning
Deliberation and Decision
Addiction and Compulsion
Akrasia and Irrationality
Action in Special Contexts
Motivational Internalism and Externalism
Free Will and Determinism
Action in Cognitive Ethology
Action in History and Social Science
The Prediction of Action
Prominent Figures
Stoics Epicureans and Aristotelians
Assent as Principal Cause
Duns Scotus
Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Reid
A Persuasive ReDefinition of Free Will
Von Wright

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About the author (2011)

Timothy O’Connor is Professor and Department Chair of philosophy at Indiana University Bloomington, and a member of its Cognitive Sciences program. He has published extensively in metaphysics, philosophy of mind and action, and philosophy of religion. His books include Agents, Causes, and Events: Essays on Indeterminism and Free Will (ed. 1995), Persons and Causes: The Metaphysics of Free Will (2000), Philosophy of Mind: Contemporary Readings (ed. 2003), Theism and Ultimate Explanation: The Necessary Shape of Contingency (2008) and Downward Causation and the Necessity of Free Will (ed. 2010).

Constantine Sandis is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Oxford Brookes University and New York University in London. He is the editor of New Essays on the Explanation of Action (2009) and Hegel on Action (with Arto Laitinen, 2010), and author of The Things We Do and Why We Do Them (2010).

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