By Constantine Sandis
A pretty good forged of members current the 1st number of essays at the Philosophy of motion.
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Extra info for New Essays on the Explanation of Action
What if I should tell the doctor because my pain was unexpectedly briefly intense – is the reason here to be the unexpectedness of the brevity of the intensity of my pain? No doubt with a certain ingenuity and patience one could come up with examples of even greater complexity and the state-theorist could come up with suitably complicated definite descriptions that purport to refer to states of affairs. At a certain point, however, the states that the theorist would claim to have discerned by means of the constructed definite descriptions look less like genuine individuals than gerrymandered items whose only role is to satisfy the demands of a particular theory of reasons.
In the final analysis, then, it is not merely the temporal anomalies relating to when behavior occurs that is the reason we must insist on the distinction between behavior and the results of behavior, the distinction between moving your arm and the movement of your arm. Although these anomalies are, I think, important, they are not decisive. It is, at a deeper level, the need to understand the explanatory relevance of what we believe and desire, intend and fear that is the key. Notes 1. I speak here of reasons causing actions.
This is simply to say that courts aren’t in the business of making metaphysical judgments (although we hope that their judgments are in accord with commonsense metaphysics) anymore than the courts are in the business of making moral judgments (though, again, we hope their judgments are in accord with commonsense morality). The lesson of these examples, I’m afraid, is that the law isn’t of much help with this problem. It illustrates the problem; it doesn’t solve it. I don’t know how to adjudicate disagreements about ordinary language.
New Essays on the Explanation of Action by Constantine Sandis