One of the final Royal Institute of Philosophy lectures of this series will be next week:
Dr Rowland Stout
University College Dublin
WHAT ARE YOU CAUSING IN ACTING?
Actions are causings, but of what sort of thing? I criticise the idea that in every action the agent is causing some event, and in particular that in raising your arm you are causing the event of your arm’s rising. This view depends on all actions being intitiations or sustainings of further processes, which they are not. In the process of raising your arm you do not cause some intransitive bodily process of your arm’s rising, but just cause your arm to rise. The phrase, “your arm to rise” does not pick out an identifiable entity at all. Adopting an Aristotelian instead of a Humean approach to causal processes allows one to make sense of this.
The paper is particularly relevant for those interested in philosophy of action, philosophy of mind, metaethics, history of philosophy, and so all students are encouraged to attend. All welcome! Wine!