Agency in Action

The Practical Rational Agency Machine

  • S. C. Coval
  • P. G. Campbell

Part of the Studies in Cognitive Systems book series (COGS, volume 11)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. S. C. Coval, P. G. Campbell
    Pages 1-29
  3. S. C. Coval, P. G. Campbell
    Pages 31-54
  4. S. C. Coval, P. G. Campbell
    Pages 55-94
  5. S. C. Coval, P. G. Campbell
    Pages 95-122
  6. S. C. Coval, P. G. Campbell
    Pages 123-166
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 167-207

About this book


This series will include monographs and collections of studies devoted to the investigation and exploration of knowledge, information, and data-processing systems of all kinds, no matter whether human, (other) animal, or machine. Its scope is intended to span the full range of interests from classical problems in the philosophy of mind and philosophical psychology through issues in cognitive psychology and sociobiology (concerning the mental capabilities of other species) to ideas related to artificial intelligence and to computer science. While primary emphasis will be placed upon theoretical, conceptual, and epistemological aspects of these problems and domains, empirical, experimental, and methodological studies will also appear from time to time. Sam Coval and Peter Campbell provide a painstaking and distinctive analysis of the nature of action and agency. They introduce a conception of acts which encompasses the purposes that motivate them, the beliefs on the basis of which they are undertaken, and the effects that they bring about. They compare and contrast their account with ones advanced by Davidson, Brand, Searle, Danto, and other, while elaborating its consequences for understanding the nature of alibis, mistakes, accidents, inadvertence, and the like. The valuable diagrams and the discussion of the software program they have developed, which implements their theory, amply displays the potential of combining philosophy and AI with law and other disciplines focused upon agency. J.H.F.


action theory bibliography design discourse intention logic mind model notation object responsibility semantic semantics space structure

Authors and affiliations

  • S. C. Coval
    • 1
  • P. G. Campbell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and the Faculty of Law Artificial Intelligence Research ProjectThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-010-5068-5
  • Online ISBN 978-94-011-2422-5
  • Series Print ISSN 0924-0780
  • Buy this book on publisher's site