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Motor Intentions and Non-Observational Knowledge of Action : A Standard Story

Blomberg, Olle LU and Brozzo, Chiara (2017) In Thought: A Journal of Philosophy p.137-146
Abstract
According to the standard story given by reductive versions of the Causal Theory of Action, an action is an intrinsically mindless bodily movement that is appropriately caused by an intention. Those who embrace this story typically take this intention to have a coarse-grained content, specifying the action only down to the level of the agent’s habits and skills. Markos Valaris (2015) argues that, because of this, the standard story cannot make sense of the deep reach of our non-observational knowledge of action. He concludes that we therefore have to jettison its conception of actions as mindless bodily movements animated from the outside by intentions. Here we defend the standard story. We can make sense of the reach of non-observational... (More)
According to the standard story given by reductive versions of the Causal Theory of Action, an action is an intrinsically mindless bodily movement that is appropriately caused by an intention. Those who embrace this story typically take this intention to have a coarse-grained content, specifying the action only down to the level of the agent’s habits and skills. Markos Valaris (2015) argues that, because of this, the standard story cannot make sense of the deep reach of our non-observational knowledge of action. He concludes that we therefore have to jettison its conception of actions as mindless bodily movements animated from the outside by intentions. Here we defend the standard story. We can make sense of the reach of non-observational knowledge of action once we reject the following two assumptions: (i) that an intended habitual or skilled action is a so-called basic action—that is, an action that doesn’t involve any finer-grained intentions—and (ii) that an agent, in acting, is merely executing one intention rather than a whole hierarchy of more or less fine-grained intentions. We argue that (i) and (ii) are false. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Thought: A Journal of Philosophy
pages
137 - 146
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:85029397418
  • wos:000409449300001
ISSN
2161-2234
DOI
10.1002/tht3.249
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5a509a98-0e3e-446a-8684-c212e0f6cc11
date added to LUP
2017-07-04 14:56:34
date last changed
2018-01-16 13:21:01
@article{5a509a98-0e3e-446a-8684-c212e0f6cc11,
  abstract     = {According to the standard story given by reductive versions of the Causal Theory of Action, an action is an intrinsically mindless bodily movement that is appropriately caused by an intention. Those who embrace this story typically take this intention to have a coarse-grained content, specifying the action only down to the level of the agent’s habits and skills. Markos Valaris (2015) argues that, because of this, the standard story cannot make sense of the deep reach of our non-observational knowledge of action. He concludes that we therefore have to jettison its conception of actions as mindless bodily movements animated from the outside by intentions. Here we defend the standard story. We can make sense of the reach of non-observational knowledge of action once we reject the following two assumptions: (i) that an intended habitual or skilled action is a so-called basic action—that is, an action that doesn’t involve any finer-grained intentions—and (ii) that an agent, in acting, is merely executing one intention rather than a whole hierarchy of more or less fine-grained intentions. We argue that (i) and (ii) are false.},
  author       = {Blomberg, Olle and Brozzo, Chiara},
  issn         = {2161-2234},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {137--146},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Thought: A Journal of Philosophy},
  title        = {Motor Intentions and Non-Observational Knowledge of Action : A Standard Story},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tht3.249},
  year         = {2017},
}