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The Act Itself$
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Jonathan Bennett

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198237914

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019823791X.001.0001

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(p.85) 6 Positive/Negative
The Act Itself

Jonathan Bennett

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses making/allowing in terms of positive/negative: you allow something to happen if an explanation of its happening requires only a negative fact about your behaviour. A negative fact about your behaviour is a highly general or uninformative one; it corresponds to almost the whole of the logical space of your possible ways of moving. An objection to this analysis, based on giving a very special status to immobility, is described and countered. The possibility space might have a different metric, i.e. be structured in terms of something other than possible ways of moving. One such alternative metric is discussed.

Keywords:   allowing, immobility, making, negative, positive

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