Automatic Actions: Challenging Causalism
AbstractI argue that so-called automatic actions - routine performances that we successfully and effortlessly complete without thinking such as turning a door handle, downshifting to 4th gear, or lighting up a cigarette-pose a challenge to causalism, because they do not appear to be preceded by the psychological states which, according to the causal theory of action, are necessary for intentional action. I argue that causalism cannot prove that agents are simply unaware of the relevant psychological states when they act automatically, because these content-specific psychological states aren't always necessary to make coherent rational sense of the agent's behaviour. I then dispute other possible grounds for the attribution of these psychological states, such as agents' own self-attributions. In the final section I introduce an alternative to causalism, building on Frankfurt's concept of guidance.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Frankfurt School Verlag, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management in its journal Rationality, Markets and Morals.
Volume (Year): 2 (2011)
Issue (Month): 48 (November)
automatic actions; causalism; agency; Davidson; reasons;
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Friederike Pförtner).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.