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The Standard Account of Intentional Action Challenged by Emotion
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science.
2017 (English)In: Humaniora idag / [ed] Peder Thalén och Ulrika Sernander, 2017Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

An early critic of the so-called standard account of intentional action, the view that all intentional actions are done for a reason, was Rosalind Hursthouse. In a paper from 1991, she claims that some intentional actions – arational actions – are better explained by emotion than by a reason. A man rolling around in his dead wife’s clothes does so out of grief rather than in order to obtain anything. This paper examines Michel Smith’s, and Alfred Mele’s defence of the standard account. Smith’s attribution of a further reason constituted by a desire and a means-end belief to the agent does not provide any satisfying explanation, but prompts more questions. Mele’s attribution of an intrinsic desire to the agent, does not rationalize the action. An intrinsic desire cannot be the conclusion of practical deliberation. In fact, Donald Davidson’s original account fares better than their “improved” versions in respect to arational actions. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
intentional action, arational action, Hursthouse, Davidson
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URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-23001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-23001DiVA: diva2:1054958


Available from: 2016-12-09 Created: 2016-12-09 Last updated: 2017-01-05Bibliographically approved

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