Human Action and its Explanation: A Study on the Philosophical Foundations of Psychology (Synthese Library 116)
By: Raimo Tuomela (author)Hardback
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This book presents a unified and systematic philosophical account of human actions and their explanation, and it does it in the spirit of scientific realism. In addition, various other related topics, such as psychological concept formation and the nature of mental events and states, are dis- cussed. This is due to the fact that the key problems in the philosophy of psychology are interconnected to a high degree. This interwovenness has affected the discussion of these problems in that often the same topic is discussed in several contexts in the book. I hope the reader does not find this too frustrating. The theory of action developed in this book, especially in its latter half, is a causalist one. In a sense it can be regarded as an explication and refin~ment of a typical common sense view of actions and the mental episodes causally responsible for them. It has, of course, not been possible to discuss all the relevant philosophical problems in great detail, even if I have regarded it as necessary to give a brief treatment of relatively many problems. Rather, I have concentrated on some key issues and hope that future research will help to clarify the rest.
1 Scientific Realism and Psychology.- Notes.- 2 Human Action.- 1. Actions as Achievements.- 2. Actions and Events.- 3. Actions and Action Statements.- Notes.- 3 Mental Episodes.- 1. The Stream of Consciousness and the Myth of the Given.- 2. Sellars' Analogy Account of Mental Episodes.- 3. Analogy and the Language of Thought.- 4. Rules of Language.- 5. Conceptuality and Mental Episodes.- Notes.- 4 Concept Formation in Psychology.- 1. Psychological Concepts as Theoretico- Reportive Concepts.- 2. Conceptual Functionalism and Postulational Concept Formation.- 3. Theoretical Analyticity and Mental Episodes.- 4. The Indispensability of Mental Episodes.- Notes.- 5 Psychological Dispositions.- 1. A Realist Account of Dispositions.- 2. Propositional Attitudes as Dispositions.- Notes.- 6 Wanting, Intending, and Willing.- 1. Wanting and Intending.- 2. Trying.- 3. A Formalization of First-Order and Second-Order Propositional Attitudes.- Notes.- 7 Conduct Plan and Practical Syllogism.- 1. Conduct Plan.- 2. Practical Syllogism.- 3. Practical Syllogism as a Schema for Understanding Behavior.- 4. Extended Uses of Practical Syllogism.- Notes.- 8 Explanation of Human Action.- 1. Action-Explanations.- 2. Causality and Intentional-Teleological Explanation of Action.- Notes.- 9 Deductive Explanation and Purposive Causation.- 1. Deductive Explanation.- 2. Purposive Causation.- 3. Action-Explanations Reconsidered.- Notes.- 10 Basic Concepts of Action Theory.- 1. Basic Actions and Action Tokens.- 2. Complex Actions.- 3. Intentionality.- Notes.- 11 Propensities and Inductive Explanation.- 1. Propensities.- 2. Screening Off and Supersessance as Explanatory Notions.- 3. Explanatory Ambiguity and Maximal Specificity.- 4. An Analysis of Inductive Explanation.- Notes.- 12 Probabilistic Causation and Human Action.- 1. Probabilistic Causes.- 2. Actions, Propensities, and Inductive- Probabilistic Explanation.- Notes.- References.- Index of Names.- Index of Subjects.
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- ID: 9789027708243
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