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By Paul M. Pietroski

Paul Pietroski provides an unique philosophical concept of activities and their psychological factors. we regularly act for purposes, thinking of and selecting between techniques, in response to our ideals and needs. yet simply because physically motions consistently have biochemical factors, it might probably look that considering and performing are biochemical procedures. Pietroski argues that recommendations and deeds are in truth distinctive from, even though depending on, underlying biochemical techniques inside people.

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On my view, acts don't kill, Agents do; acts don't perform actions that ground complex events that culminate in deaths. I return (in Sect. g. ‘The explosion broke the window’. ACTIONS AS INNER CAUSES 39 Nora's action is With-her-lens, then by parity of reasoning, it should also be With-her-hand. Yet if Nora's action is With-her-hand, then: (29pca) ∃e{Agent(e, Nora) & ∃f[Cause(e,f) & MeltingI(f) & Patient(f, the chocolate)] & With-her-hand(e)}. And if (27pca) were the logical form of (27), then (29pca) would be the logical form of (29).

Nora did something before answering; she performed a division. This action occurred in her head. We can do many things without movingT our bodies: figure out the answer to a riddle; prove a theorem; determine whodunnit; read the paper; etc. This does not show that actions are never bodily motions. But it reminds us that actions can and do occur beneath the skin. ) Further evidence that actions cause bodily motions stems from a puzzle case discussed by Hornsby (1980). Suppose Nora wants to contractT the muscles in her forearm—either to show them off, or to make a point about the effects of actions.

But the instrumental ‘with . . ’ does not modify a causing event (pace Parsons); it modifies a complex event—or if you prefer, a process that begins with the relevant action and terminates with the event specified by the intransitive verb. Since Nora is the Agent of her actions, it is true that (23pca) ∃e{Agent(e, Nora) & ∃f[Cause(e,f) & MeltingI(f) & Patient(f, the chocolate)]}. And if this were the logical form of ‘Nora meltedT the chocolate’, the logical form of (27) would be (27pca) ∃e{Agent(e, Nora) & ∃f[Cause(e,f) & MeltingI(f) & Patient(f, the chocolate)] & With-her-lens(e)}.

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