Review of Philosophy and Psychology

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 249–262

Act Individuation: An Experimental Approach


DOI: 10.1007/s13164-012-0096-1

Cite this article as:
Ulatowski, J. Rev.Phil.Psych. (2012) 3: 249. doi:10.1007/s13164-012-0096-1


Accounts of act individuation have attempted to capture peoples’ pre-theoretic intuitions. Donald Davidson has argued that a multitude of action descriptions designate only one act, while Alvin Goldman has averred that each action description refers to a distinct act. Following on recent empirical studies, I subject these accounts of act individuation to experimentation. The data indicate that people distinguish between actions differently depending upon the moral valence of the outcomes. Thus, the assumption that a single account of act individuation applies invariantly seems mistaken.

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of WyomingLaramieUSA