By Andrew Sneddon (auth.)

ISBN-10: 1402039824

ISBN-13: 9781402039829

ISBN-10: 1402039964

ISBN-13: 9781402039966

What makes an occasion count number as an motion? general solutions entice the best way the development used to be produced: e.g., possibly an arm stream is an motion while brought on by psychological states (in specific ways), yet no longer while triggered in alternative ways. Andrew Sneddon argues that this kind of solution, which he calls "productionism", is methodologically and considerably fallacious. specifically, productionist solutions to this question are usually both individualistic or foundationalist, or either, with no specific defence. as a substitute, Sneddon deals an externalist, anti-foundationalist account of what makes an occasion count number as an motion, which he calls neo-ascriptivism, after the paintings of H.L.A. Hart. particularly, Sneddon argues that our practices of attributing ethical accountability to one another are at the least partially constitutive of occasions as actions.

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Narrow ascriptivism (apparently) denies that this is an action, but wide ascriptivism presents no obstacle to accepting such events as actions. If these cases pose a problem, it is for narrow ascriptivism only, not wide ascriptivism. And wide ascriptivism is the variety I have chosen as my preferred interpretation. Recall that the wide ascriptivist is inclined to reflect on the kind of event with which s/he is confronted in order to determine whether responsibility could be attributed for it. Consider ‘He played the piano’ in this way.

So: 2o‘3’ More colloquially: If one ascribes an action to an agent, then it is possible that one ascribes moral responsibility for that action to the agent. Even more colloquially: if one ascribes an action to a person, then it is possible to ascribe moral responsibility to that person for that event. This depends on the ascription of the action to the person as being apt. Speaking for myself, it is not unusual to feel oddly uncomfortable when someone ascribes to me an action that someone else performed.

For present purposes, however, Hart’s argument does have clear limitations. Hart’s analogy between action and property, and between judgments and action ascriptions, provides a model for thinking about action and status issues. One might 32 Hart, ‘The Ascription of Responsibility and Rights’, p. 189. 26 CHAPTER 2 worry that his account of judgments is, unfortunately, somewhat weak. For instance, there is little emphasis given to decisions made unproblematically in accordance with existing law. I will not pursue further problems of this sort, for they do not matter to the present case.

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Action and Responsibility by Andrew Sneddon (auth.)


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