The Prototype of Action: Ethical or Creative?

Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 7)


When we use the term “action”, whether it is qualified as “social,” “cultural,” “political,” “legal” or any other type, it is meant always as performed by a specific individual and we understand it, in fact, basically as an action performed by a human being. “Action” essentially indicates motion as opposed to rest, dynamism as opposed to inertia, activity as opposed to passivity, process as opposed to an instantaneous event and behavior as distinguished from an anonymous chain of causally-connected occurrences of motion. This last distinction indicates that we could hardly call “action” either a succession of disconnected occurrences or a concentration of causally-organized and purposefully-oriented movements performed by an anonymous mover which does not program his own movements. Indeed, we do not talk about “action” of an automaton nor about the eruption of a volcano — we talk about “activity” — and we call “wild” or “irresponsible action” the behavioral manifestations of a man who cannot control his conduct. In short, action involves deliberation, choice between a conscious and a rational activity. Indeed, the conscious activity of deliberation and decision-making cannot suffice in order to result in action. “To act” it must find means of its outward manifestation, to enter by a rational subject the current processes of the present life-world and to exercise an impact upon some of its elements.


Creative Process Creative Activity Moral Action Natural Life Actual Existence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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    Cf. the article by the present writer, ‘Beyond Ingarden’s Idealism/Realism Controversy with Husserl — The New Contextual Phase of Phenomenology’, Analecta Husserliana, vol. IV, pp. 241–418.Google Scholar
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1978

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