SOPhiA 2013

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programm - Vortrag

On Donald Davidson's Theory of Action Individuation
(Metaphysik & Ontologie, Englisch)

The aim of my presentation is to critically analyse and examine Donald Davidson's account of internalist minimalism, which emerged during the discussion about the individuation of actions. My considerations will concern with a detailed analysis of Davidson's theory of action, with a special attention to the key elements of this proposal like the account of (i) the nature of human actions (viewed as events under a certain description, i.e. events which can be described as movements of the agent's body), (ii) the minimalistic criteria of action individuation, (iii) the criteria of differentiation between actions and mere happenings (the concept of intentional action), (iv) the account of necessary and sufficient conditions for agency.

The second part of my presentation will offer a reconstruction of several objections against this view formulated by adherents of the externalist positions (J.J. Thomson, I. Thalberg, L. Davis) regarding actions as events extending in time and space beyond the agent's body. Therefore, I will present the temporal problem argument formulated in favour of externalism. This argument is designed to show that Donald Davidson's method of action individuation leads us to some counter-intuitive statements (e.g. implying that the killings occur before the death of the victim).

The main goal of my talk is to show that externalist objections can be refuted, if we take Davidson's ontology of events and his concept of action seriously. A set of arguments will be presented to justify the claim that Davidson's account of action can serve as a valuable theory with a great explanatory power.

Chair: Thorben Petersen
Zeit: 15:30-16:00, 14. September 2013 (Samstag)
Ort: HS 101
Anmerkung: ÄNDERUNG. Der Vortrag entfällt!

Marta Zareba
(Institute of Philosophy, University of Warsaw, Polen)

Marta Zareba (MA phil.), postgraduate researcher at the Department of Epistemology, University of Warsaw; 2011 master in philosophy; thesis about the debate on action individuation; interested in the analytic philosophy of action, ontology and philosophy of mind.

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