By John and Helen Steward, editors Hyman
This number of unique essays through best philosophers covers the total diversity of the philosophy of motion.
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Additional info for Agency and Action (Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement; 55)
But the notion of normativity is notoriously slippery, and it is especially slippery in the present context, where we have not yet asked what is meant by calling the 'rational' explanation normative. To answer 28 Two Ways of Explaining Actions this question, we need to run through some possibilities. Here they are: 1. The explanation is normative because it is a good explanation. ) 2. The explanation is normative because it specifies the agent's reason, and reasons are normative. ) 3. The explanation is normative because it specifies a good reason.
Some might seek to evade this conclusion by adjusting our conception of what is to count as the cause at issue. The previous paragraph was expressed in terms of states of agents causing actions. Perhaps it is obviously senseless to require of us that certain of our states cause us to act in one way rather than another. 7 The difference between this way of running the causal explanation and the one we have been largely considering is that for the latter, the causes are states that we have got into, while for the new suggestion the cause is thought of as including, or even just as being, the person who is in that state; it is I who believe this, not a state that I am in, that functions as cause.
And we conceive of a belief that p as a disposition to do whatever action is likely to promote one's ends, given that p. Now with this sort of interconnection between the two concepts, it seems natural that we will have a preference for explanations that, as one might put it, follow the flow of that interconnection. And that preference will be, in the relevant sense, a priori. ) It is important for this alternative explanation that the possibility of B-type explanations be still allowed. For otherwise the A-type explanations will not be suitably causal.
Agency and Action (Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement; 55) by John and Helen Steward, editors Hyman