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DisjunctivismPerception, Action, Knowledge$
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Adrian Haddock and Fiona Macpherson

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199231546

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199231546.001.0001

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Disjunctive Theories of Perception and Action

Disjunctive Theories of Perception and Action

(p.227) 9 Disjunctive Theories of Perception and Action

David‐Hillel Ruben

Oxford University Press

In order to state a disjunctive theory of action, one needs two terms of art: ‘intrinsic event’ and ‘mere event’. One also needs two senses of ‘event’: a wide sense and a narrow sense. In the wide sense, all actions are events by classificatory fiat. In the narrow sense, mere events and intrinsic events are events, but basic actions are events only if they are identical to their intrinsic events. If basic actions were events in the narrow sense, it would not be true by classificatory fiat but by the expenditure of honest philosophical labour. This chapter argues that if a basic physical action occurs, no event in the narrow sense occurs, either one with which the action is identical, or one which the action causes, or one which is a part of the action. A disjunctive theory of action claims that if an item i is an event in the broad sense, either i is a mere event in the narrow sense, or i is an intrinsic event in the narrow sense, or i is an action.

Keywords:   disjunctivism, action, event, basic physical action, intrinsic event

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