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Causing Human ActionsNew Perspectives on the Causal Theory of Action$
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Jesús H. Aguilar and Andrei A. Buckareff

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262014564

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262014564.001.0001

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Intentions as Complex Dynamical Attractors Alicia Juarrero

Intentions as Complex Dynamical Attractors Alicia Juarrero

Chapter:
(p.253) 16Intentions as Complex Dynamical Attractors Alicia Juarrero
Source:
Causing Human Actions
Author(s):

Juarrero Alicia

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262014564.003.0132

This chapter presents a distinctively modern combination of views about causality that only efficient causality is true causality, and that recursive or circular causality is impossible. It is argued that this combination of views is responsible for the stalemate in which philosophical action theory currently finds itself. Philosophical points of view regarding the nature of intention and how it causes an agent’s behavior are part of the long history of philosophy. This philosophical problem of action is deeply tied to the problem of causation and the nature and roots of meaningful behavior. Philosophical equivalents of epicyclic contortions, which are designed to fit the analysis of action into the modern notion of efficient causality, are outlined here. In these equivalents, intentional causes are understood as instantaneous forces that push the body into motion in billiard-ball-like fashion, implying the failure of standard causalist theories of action.

Keywords:   causality, efficient causality, circular causality, true causality, philosophical action theory, nature of intention, problem of action, causation, meaningful behavior, causalist theories of action

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