, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 841-855

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Ginet on the Problem of Action Externalization

  • Katarzyna PaprzyckaAffiliated withInstitute of Philosophy, University of Warsaw Email author 


Two questions have been discussed within the context of the action individuation debate. First, the question of action individuation proper - how many actions have been performed when one kills someone by shooting, for example. Second, the question of action externalization - what are the spatial and temporal boundaries of the killing and of the shooting. The internalists (Davidson, Hornsby) argue that the boundaries of actions do not reach beyond the skin of the individual. The externalists (e.g. Ginet) argue that the boundaries of actions do extend beyond the individual. The main problem for the externalists is to explain why so conceived actions are actions. In the paper I evaluate Ginet’s response to this question but find it ultimately unsatisfactory.


Action theory Action individuation Temporal problem Action internalism Action externalism Ginet