Action and Existence: A Case for Agent Causation by J. Swindal

By J. Swindal

Because the pioneering paintings of Donald Davidson on motion, many philosophers have taken serious stances on his causal account. This publication criticizes Davidson's event-causal view of motion, and gives as an alternative an agent causal view either to explain what an motion is and to set a framework for a way activities are defined.

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Thus he rejects causality as a metaphysical principle on the basis of which things (in nature or mind) can be related to themselves and to subjects. Effectively, as we shall see in the next chapter, just as Kant left us with a problematic dualism of the phenomenal and noumenal, Fichte leaves us with a less, bit still, problematic dualism of the I and not I. It would seem that if the source of determination of thought and action could be grounded in a subject relative to an indefinite object, it Methodology: Reconstructive Dialectics 37 could just as easily be grounded in the reverse: an object relative to the indefinite subject.

55 Thus actors keep two sets of books: a given propositional content has the status either of commitment, from which deductions can be made to other commitments, or of entitlement, which is inductively grasped. Both can be inherited from other actors. 58 Following Dummett, Brandom also examines the causal relations of application of norms. He insists that the entitling reasons for norms refer to both their circumstances and to their consequences of their application. 60 Brandom thus provides a non reductive and non circular 28 Action and Existence account of the factual and normative aspects of action formation and assessment.

44 Nonetheless, in supporting the creativity of spirit to be completely free in whatever its dealings with nature are, Hegel underdetermines the resistance of natural things on the onward march of spirit’s deter- Methodology: Reconstructive Dialectics 41 mination. Moreover, it also underdetermines the utter novelty of action: actions do not just co-delineate objects for a complete subsumption by spirit, they also determine new objects that are, nonetheless, resistant and initially impenetrable to the self.

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