Philosophical Studies

, Volume 175, Issue 11, pp 2677–2694 | Cite as

One-particularism in the theory of action

  • David-Hillel RubenEmail author


In this paper, I intend to introduce what I think is a novel proposal in the metaphysics of action: one-particularism. In order to do so, I must first explain two ideas: a concept in the semantics of English that many philosophers of action take to be of great importance in action theory, causative alternation; and the idea of an intrinsic event. By attempting to understand the role that intrinsic events are meant to play in action theory, I then introduce my proposal. Getting clear on what is an intrinsic event is a key, I think, to producing a viable theory of action, or, to be more precise, part of such a general theory, since it is limited to actions whose descriptions employ gerunds or perfect nominals formed from ergative verbs. I conclude by replying to two arguments that would be advanced against my proposal, both found in Alvin Goldman’s A Theory of Action.


Causative alternation Ergative verbs Intrinsic event Alvin Goldman 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LondonLondonUK

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