Human agency, reasons, and inter-subjective understanding

William Hasselberger*

*Autor correspondente para este trabalho

Resultado de pesquisarevisão de pares

11 Citações (Scopus)

Resumo

In this essay I ague that the mainstream 'Standard Story' of action-according to which actions are bodily motions with the right internal mental states as their causal triggers (e.g., 'belief-desire-pairs', 'intentions')-gives rise to a deeply problematic conception of inter-subjective action-understanding. For the Standard Story, since motivating reasons are internal mental states and bodily motions are not intrinsically intentional, an observer must ascribe internal states to others to make rational sense of their outwardly observable bodily motions. I argue this is both phenomenologically distorted and requires, on pain of infinite regress, a deeper, non-inferential, practical-perceptual form of understanding: 'knowledge-how', in a broadly Rylean sense. Recognizing the irreducible role of practical-perceptual knowledge-how in inter-subjective understanding, I argue, undermines core assumptions of the Standard Story concerning what an agent can directly perceive in interacting with others, and how our everyday practices of explaining actions with reasons function-and this opens the space for a radically opposed alternative view of inter-subjective action understanding.
Idioma originalEnglish
Páginas (de-até)135-160
Número de páginas26
RevistaPhilosophy
Volume89
Número de emissão1
DOIs
Estado da publicaçãoPublicado - jan. 2014
Publicado externamenteSim

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