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By Paul M. Pietroski

Paul Pietroski offers an unique philosophical conception of activities and their psychological reasons. we frequently act for purposes, contemplating and selecting between recommendations, in response to our ideals and needs. yet simply because physically motions regularly have biochemical motives, it will probably look that considering and performing are biochemical approaches. Pietroski argues that concepts and deeds are actually designated from, notwithstanding depending on, underlying biochemical tactics inside folks.

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Extra resources for Causing Actions

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For the meltingI occurred after Nora did her bit—say, putting the chocolate in a hot pot. So the meltingI is not Nora's action; and neither is the meltingI a complex event grounded by her action. Rather, there are three events: the meltingI, theA MeltingT, and theE meltingT. The first two are parts of the third; the second grounds the third; and theA meltingTcaused the meltingI. In (24), the chocolate is represented as the thing saliently affected, and not the salient initiator of the meltingI. So I assume that the logical form of (24) is (24a) ∃f[meltingI(f) & Patient(f, the chocolate)].

In general, Rc must be such that if x meltedT y, then x is the Agent of an event that bears Rc to a meltingI of y; and similarly for other verbs in this class. But it does not follow that Rc is the relation of causation. It could be the relation causes-or-is (where Nora is the Agent of her actions), or the relation terminates in (where Nora is the Agent of those events, many of which are complex, grounded by her actions). 23 With this in mind, suppose Nora meltedT the chocolate by movingT a lens between the chocolate and the sun.

A striking example of this point is (33) Norai movedT herj finger where the italicized subscripts indicate that ‘her’ is not referentially dependent on ‘Nora’. It is natural to hear ‘Nora moved her finger’ as meaning that Nora moved her own finger. But this interpretation is not mandatory. If Nora movedT Sally's finger, Nora's action caused the movingI of Sally's finger. 25 25 Perhaps ‘Nora movedT her finger’ is ambiguous, and not just because ‘her’ may or may not be linked to ‘Nora’, with a reading that covers only cases of moving one's body in the usual way.

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