A Theory of Human Action by Alvin I. Goldman
By Alvin I. Goldman
This booklet articulates an unique scheme for the conceptualization of motion. starting with a brand new method of the individuation of acts, it delineates the relationships among easy and non-basic acts and makes use of those relationships within the definition of skill and intentional motion. the writer shows the valuable function of wishes and ideology within the causation of acts and within the research of the concept that of action.
Professor Goldman indicates solutions to primary questions on acts, and develops a suite of principles and rules that may be utilized in the philosophy of brain, the philosophy of language, ethics, and different fields, together with the behavioral sciences.
Originally released in 1977.
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Additional resources for A Theory of Human Action
Peters,6 and P. F. Strawson. 7 But they have, I think, put a mistaken interpretation on it and drawn unwarranted inferences. Because such "full-fledged" actions as signing a contract or mailing a letter cannot be reduced to bodily movements, they have concluded that there is a "logical gulf " between action and movement. From this they have concluded that there can be no causal explanations of actions, only of movements. 8 4 Compound generation provides an exception to this generalization. A conjunction of statements describing each of two co-temporal acts does entail a statement describing the compound act which is generated by each of them.
Suppose, for example, that S wiggles his toes while, at the same time, strumming a guitar. Neither of these acts is subsequent to the other, but they are not related by level-generation. I shall call pairs of acts of this sort "co-temporal" acts. The criterion of co-temporality is the correctness of saying that one of the acts is done "while also" doing the other. It is correct to say that S wiggled his toes "while also" strumming a guitar; hence these two acts are co-temporal. But it is incorrect to say that S checkmated his opponent "while also" moving his queen to king-knight-seven (or vice versa), and it is incorrect to say that S turned on the light "while also" flipping the switch (or vice versa).
But they are not same-level acts, a fact symbolized by the absence of a horizontal line between them. Actually, there is no need to draw these acts at the same height; they could be drawn at different distances above the act of playing the piano. The important thing in drawing branching acts is that they not be connected by a diagonal or vertical line or by a horizontal line. This shows that they are, strictly speaking, level-indeterminate with respect to each other. , generated by, some common act; but neither is higher than the other nor on the same level as the other.