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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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Omissions and Causalism

Omissions and Causalism

(p.114) (p.115) 8 Omissions and Causalism
Causing Human Actions

Sartorio Carolina

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses the concept of omissions and how they cause serious trouble for “causalism.” Causalism is the standard view of agency, and omissions cause a sui generis kind of trouble for this view. This chapter focuses on a specific aspect of causalism-causalism as an attempt to explain what it is for an agent to behave intentionally. The question of whether omissions can be “negative actions” or “active nondoings”are not touched upon here. Instead it is argued here that it is not possible for causalism to accommodate intentional omissions because it cannot account for them in the same manner it accounts for actions. It is therefore concluded in this chapter that causalism, as a theory of what it is to behave intentionally, is incomplete.

Keywords:   omissions, causalism, standard view of agency, negative actions, active nondoings, intentional omissions

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