HFIA03739U Module 4: Philosophy of Action: explanation, intentions and control

Volume 2014/2015
Master in Philosophy

Wittgenstein once rhetorically asked, “What is left over if I subtract the fact that my arm goes up from the fact that I raise my arm?” Whatever Wittgenstein’s own views on the matter, understanding the difference between mere bodily movement and intentional action became central to the philosophical investigation of action and agency in the 20th century. In this course, we will examine this distinction between mere movement and action and why it should matter to us. Our topics include the causal theory of action, human freedom, the nature of reasons for action, the role of desire and belief in reasons explanations, and the possibility of locating reason in action. We will in particular examine various theories of intention and the will. We will also look at recent naturalistic and scientific theories of action and action control. We will read works by Bratman, Davidson, Frankfurt, Thompson, Velleman, Pacherie and others.

Learning Outcome

Master´s level in Philosophy - The 2014 Curriculum:

Module 4: Contemporary Philosophical Discussion: HFIK03731E


Master´s programme in Philosophy - The 2008 Curriculum:

Module 2: Freely chosen topic A: HFIK03521E

Module 4: Freely chosen topic B: HFIK03541E

Module 5: Freely chosen topic C: HFIK03551E

Module 6: Freely chosen topic D: HFIK03561E

Module 7: Freely chosen topic E: HFIK03571E

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 367,5
  • Total
  • 409,5
Type of assessment
The exam will be conducted in English
Criteria for exam assesment