The Springs of Action

  • Bruce Aune
Part of the Philosophical Studies Series in Philosophy book series (PSSP, volume 9)


An assumption common to the theories of action discussed in the last chapter is that voluntary action has a distinctive mental aspect. Although I raised a general metaphysical doubt about the basis for those theories, I shall now put that doubt aside, at least initially, and attempt to work out a plausible view of how the mental aspects of action are best understood. Toward the end of the chapter I shall show how a philosophical opponent of actions and states can come to terms with the view I develop.


Voluntary Action Intentional Action Intentional Behavior Complex Predicate Existential Generalization 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    H. A. Prichard, ‘Acting, Willing, and Desiring’, in A. R. White, The Philosophy of Action (Oxford, 1968 ), p. 61.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature (L. A. Selby-Bigge, ed.) (Oxford, 1941), Bk. II, Sect. III, p. 399.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gilbert Ryle, The concept of Mind (London, 1949), pp. 62–69.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Immanuel Kant, Critique of Practical Reason (tr. L. W. beck) (New york, 1956), p. 15.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    R. G. Collingwood, The New Leviathan (Oxford, 1942 ), p. 97.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Wilfrid Sellars, ‘Thought and Action’, in Keith Lehrer (ed.), Freedom and Determinism (New York, 1966 ), pp. 105–139.Google Scholar
  7. 12.
    J. L. Austin, ‘Three Ways of Spilling ink’, Philosophical Review 75 (1966), p. 437.Google Scholar
  8. 35.
    J. L. Austin, Philosophical Papers (Oxford, 1961 ), p. 228.Google Scholar
  9. 36.
    W. V. O. Quine, Word and Object ( Cambridge, Mass., 1960 ), p. 12.Google Scholar
  10. 37.
    Northrop Frye, The Well Tempered Critic (Bloomington, Ind., 1963), Ch. 1.Google Scholar
  11. 38.
    George A. miller, Eugene Galanter and Karl H. Pribram, Plans and the Structure of Behavior (New York, 1960 ), pp. 195–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 42.
    See Carl G. Hempel, ‘Aspects of scientific Explanation’ in Aspects Scientific Explanation and Other Essays in the Philosophy of Science (New York, 1965), pp. 488f.Google Scholar
  13. 46.
    Davidson, ‘Mental Events’, in L. Foster and J. W. Swanson (eds.), Experience and Theory ( Amherst, Mass., 1970 ), p. 100.Google Scholar
  14. 51.
    See D. S. Schwayder, The Structure of Behavior (London, 1965 ), p. 96.Google Scholar
  15. 54.
    See Joel Feinberg, ‘Action and Responsibility’, in White, p. 117, and H. L. Hart and A. M. Honore, Causation and the Law (Oxford, 1959), p. 330.Google Scholar
  16. 55.
    Rudolf Carnap, ‘Two Concepts of Probability’, in H. Feigl and W. Sellars (eds.), Reading in Philosophical Analysis(New York, 1949 ), p. 330.Google Scholar
  17. 56.
    Davidson, ‘Agency’, in Robert Binkley et al. (eds.), Agent, Action and Reason (Toronto, 1971), p. 7.Google Scholar
  18. 64.
    Davidson, ‘On Saying That’, in D. Davidson and J. Hintikka (eds.), Words and Objections ( Dordrecht, Holand: Reidel, 1969 ), pp. 158–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce Aune
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Massachusetts at AmherstAmherstUSA

Personalised recommendations