By Andrew Sneddon

ISBN-10: 1402039824

ISBN-13: 9781402039829

ISBN-10: 1402039964

ISBN-13: 9781402039966

What makes an occasion count number as an motion? average solutions attract the best way the development used to be produced: e.g., maybe an arm move is an motion while because of psychological states (in specific ways), yet no longer while prompted in alternative ways. Andrew Sneddon argues that this sort of resolution, which he calls "productionism", is methodologically and considerably unsuitable. specifically, productionist solutions to this question are typically both individualistic or foundationalist, or either, with no specific defence. in its place, Sneddon deals an externalist, anti-foundationalist account of what makes an occasion count number as an motion, which he calls neo-ascriptivism, after the paintings of H.L.A. Hart. particularly, Sneddon argues that our practices of attributing ethical accountability to one another are at the very least partially constitutive of occasions as activities.

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Extra resources for Action and Responsibility

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Instead of a thesis about the meaning of ‘action’, I am casting the ascriptivist insight as pertaining to the nature of certain sorts of events. Geach’s concerns just do not apply to this variety of ascriptivism. Hence even if the foregoing exploration of Geach’s worries fails to answer them, the present project is not affected. 46 Rather, we are responsible for (amongst other things) the consequences of our actions. Hence, Hart’s position is a non-starter: we never hold people responsible for actions, and that means actions cannot be those events for which we hold people responsible.

Normally, such inquiry occurs only when there is something serious at stake, or when an ascription is being challenged; the theorist’s pursuit of general conditions of action is an oddity. , the vase was broken when X slipped on ice. In the absence of such a defense, we would probably decide that X ‘meant’ to do the action. Hart’s contention is that whatever we represent as a positive condition of the action is actually to be understood through reference to the defenses that might be offered to get off the hook.

Narrow ascriptivism (apparently) denies that this is an action, but wide ascriptivism presents no obstacle to accepting such events as actions. If these cases pose a problem, it is for narrow ascriptivism only, not wide ascriptivism. And wide ascriptivism is the variety I have chosen as my preferred interpretation. Recall that the wide ascriptivist is inclined to reflect on the kind of event with which s/he is confronted in order to determine whether responsibility could be attributed for it. Consider ‘He played the piano’ in this way.

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Action and Responsibility by Andrew Sneddon


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