Download Action and Responsibility by Andrew Sneddon (auth.) PDF

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By Andrew Sneddon (auth.)

What makes an occasion count number as an motion? commonplace solutions attract the best way the development was once produced: e.g., might be an arm move is an motion while because of psychological states (in specific ways), yet now not whilst prompted in alternative routes. Andrew Sneddon argues that this kind of resolution, which he calls "productionism", is methodologically and considerably fallacious. particularly, productionist solutions to this query are usually both individualistic or foundationalist, or either, with out particular defence. as an alternative, Sneddon bargains 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 actions.

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Example text

Imagine it said by a proud parent of a young child; here it is an attribution of credit, an utterance of praise. Conversely, imagine it said by a sleepy person about a roommate’s nighttime habits; here it is condemnatory. As an uttered sentence, it would very likely have an ascriptive use as a primary function. Such sentences need not have this use, of course, but that is neither here nor there with regard to the wide ascriptivist’s standard for assessing the possibility of attributing responsibility for the event.

One question follows these considerations fairly directly: can two people share one action? Brand’s expression of this objection suggests that responsibility can be shared—it can be ascribed equally (or unevenly) to parents for some action, and it can be distributed amongst the members of a community. , those involved in the navigation of a ship) are realized amongst us rather than inside of individual people. What about actions? Consider another example of Brand’s, supposedly one which tells against ascriptivism: .

537. 60 ASCRIPTIVISM DEFENDED 43 go on. Ladd’s objection only has force if one thinks one can identify actions and attribute responsibility outside of the rule-governed contexts of social ways of life. 4 Objection 4: Action not always tied to Responsibility The most obvious and most important objection is also the simplest: issues of responsibility just do not arise in all cases of action. 62 Both Geach and Pitcher hold that Hart was misled by his choice of examples. One might be tempted to think that responsibility is essentially linked to action if you consider such sentences as ‘He hit her’, as Hart does, but that when other sorts of example are considered, the link is not so attractive.

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