Office of Academic Resources
Chulalongkorn University
Chulalongkorn University

Home / Help

TitleHuman Action, Deliberation and Causation [electronic resource] / edited by Jan Bransen, Stefaan E. Cuypers
ImprintDordrecht : Springer Netherlands : Imprint: Springer, 1998
Connect to
Descript VI, 301 p. online resource


There is an interesting and far-reaching disagreement between Smith and Frederick Stoutland. In his 'The Real Reasons' Stoutland argues that one of the mistakes that turned the belief-desire model of action into the 'received view' is the underlying commitment to the idea that there is an underlying unity to all action explanations. According to Stoutland the unity is no deeper than the superficial fact that actions are responses of agents to the world, and the challenge for the philosophy of action is to make sense of that fact without falling victim to the unยญ fruitful assumption that reasons should be understood as the normative content of determinate representational inner states of agents. Stoutland suggests an alternative according to which reasonable agents possess the know how to respond appropriately to the normative import of the external situations they find themselves in. These situations are, Stoutยญ land claims, the real reasons. Stoutland raises an important issue. If beliefs and desires should be understood as reasons, as introducing normative constraints that deยญ serve respect, it seems we are bound to distinguish between on the one hand the content of our beliefs and desires and on the other hand their objects. Moreover, it seems we have good reasons to believe that the content of our beliefs and desires derives its normative import qua normative import from the objects of our beliefs and desires


I: Deliberation -- The Possibility of Philosophy of Action -- The Real Reasons -- Reasons and the First Person -- Freedom in Belief and Desire -- Goodwill, Determinism and Justification -- Making X Happen: Prolepsis and the Problem of Mental Determination -- II: Causation -- Minds, Machines, and Money: What Really Explains Behavior -- What Can the Semantic Properties of Innate Representations Explain? -- The Efficacy of Content: A Functionalist Theory -- Two Claims that Can Save a Nonreductive Account of Mental Causation -- What We Do: a Nonreductive Approach to Human Action -- Robust Activity, Event-Causation, and Agent-Causation -- Name Index

Philosophy Metaphysics Modern philosophy Ontology Philosophy and social sciences Philosophy Philosophy of Education Metaphysics Ontology Philosophy of Man Modern Philosophy


Office of Academic Resources, Chulalongkorn University, Phayathai Rd. Pathumwan Bangkok 10330 Thailand

Contact Us

Tel. 0-2218-2929,
0-2218-2927 (Library Service)
0-2218-2903 (Administrative Division)
Fax. 0-2215-3617, 0-2218-2907

Social Network


facebook   instragram