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Real Materialismand Other Essays$
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Galen Strawson

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199267422

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199267422.001.0001

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Mental Ballistics: the Involuntariness of Spontaneity

Mental Ballistics: the Involuntariness of Spontaneity

(p.233) 9 Mental Ballistics: the Involuntariness of Spontaneity
Real Materialism

Galen Strawson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

It is sometimes said that reasoning, thought, and judgment essentially involve action. It is sometimes said that they involve spontaneity, where spontaneity is taken to be connected in some constitutive way with action — intentional, voluntary, and indeed free action. There is, however, a fundamental respect in which reason, thought, and judgment neither are nor can be a matter of action. Any spontaneity that reason, thought and judgment involve can be connected with freedom only when the word ‘freedom’ is used in the Spinozan–Kantian sense according to which freedom is a matter of ‘rational necessitation’, determination by reason.

Keywords:   action, mental action, spontaneity, Kant, Spinoza, choice, imagination, Libet, emotion of authorship

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