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Do actions occur inside the body?

By H. Steward


The paper offers a critical examination of Jennifer Hornsby's view that actions are internal to the body. It focuses on three of Hornsby's central claims: (P) many actions are bodily movements (in a special sense of the word “movement”) (Q) all actions are tryings; and (R) all actions occur inside the body. It is argued, contra Hornsby, that we may accept (P) and (Q) without accepting also the implausible (R). Two arguments are first offered in favour of the thesis (Contrary-R): that no actions occur inside the body. Three of Hornsby's arguments in favour of R are then examined. It is argued that we need to make a distinction between the causes and the causings of bodily movements (in the ordinary sense of the word “movement”) and that actions ought to be identified with the latter rather than the former. This distinction is then used to show how Hornsby's arguments for (R) may be resisted

Publisher: Springer Verlag
Year: 2000
OAI identifier:

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