Causing Actions by Paul M. Pietroski
By Paul M. Pietroski
Paul Pietroski provides an unique philosophical conception of activities and their psychological motives. we regularly act for purposes, contemplating and selecting between suggestions, according to our ideals and needs. yet simply because physically motions regularly have biochemical explanations, it could look that pondering and appearing are biochemical strategies. Pietroski argues that options and deeds are actually specific from, even though depending on, underlying biochemical tactics inside folks.
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If I throw a ball in outer space, the ball may still be in motion when I die; but my causal contribution—the event explained by citing my reasons for throwing the ball—consists in moving my body in a certain way for just a little while. ) A person is responsible for the effects of his actions. But this suggests a distinction between actions and their effects. So we should not individuate actions in terms of events that persons bring about via forces and facts beyond their control. At this point, one might introduce talk of basic actions and non-basic actions, where the former are changes in persons, and the latter are partly individuated by (person-external) effects of basic actions.
Modiﬁes what Nora did, not what happened to the chocolate/lens. Moreover, ‘the chocolate meltedI with her lens/hand’ and ‘the lens movedI with her lens/hand’ are barely intelligible; yet the intransitive verbs easily take modiﬁers, as in ‘the chocolate meltedI slowly on Monday’. ) So there seem to be two events: Patient(e1, the chocolate) & With-herlens(e1) & ¬ With-her-hand(e1); Patient(e2, the lens) & ¬ With-her-lens(e2) & With-her-hand(e2). This suggests that e1 and e2 are complex events with different end points: e1 is a meltingT of the chocolate, e2 is a movingT of Nora's lens.
Moreover, a person's actions are in his control in a way that effects of his actions are not. It was up to Booth whether or not to act as he did; but it was not up to Booth that Lincoln would die, or even that the bullet would leave the pistol. e. the motion of the bullet into Lincoln, and Lincoln's death) was due to natural processes that were external to Booth and beyond his control. This suggests that the action of killing Lincoln, which occurred where Booth was when he shot Lincoln, was Booth's action of pulling the trigger.