Teleological Realism: Mind, Agency, and Explanation (Bradford Books) Scott Sehon

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Published: July 29th 2005

Kindle Edition

264 pages


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Teleological Realism: Mind, Agency, and Explanation (Bradford Books)  by  Scott Sehon

Teleological Realism: Mind, Agency, and Explanation (Bradford Books) by Scott Sehon
July 29th 2005 | Kindle Edition | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, RTF | 264 pages | ISBN: | 9.38 Mb

Using the language of common-sense psychology (CSP), we explain human behavior byciting its reason or purpose, and this is central to our understanding of human beings as agents. Onthe other hand, since human beings are physical objects, humanMoreUsing the language of common-sense psychology (CSP), we explain human behavior byciting its reason or purpose, and this is central to our understanding of human beings as agents.

Onthe other hand, since human beings are physical objects, human behavior should also be explicable inthe language of physical science, in which causal accounts cast human beings as collections ofphysical particles.

CSP talk of mind and agency, however, does not seem to mesh well with thelanguage of physical science.In Teleological Realism, Scott Sehon argues that CSP explanations arenot causal but teleological -- that they cite the purpose or goal of the behavior in question ratherthan an antecedent state that caused the behavior. CSP explanations of behavior, Sehon claims, areanswering a question different from that answered by physical science explanations, and,accordingly, CSP explanations and physical science explanations are independent of one another.Common-sense facts about mind and agency can thus be independent of the physical facts about humanbeings, and, contrary to the views of most philosophers of mind in recent decades, common-sensepsychology will not be subsumed by physical science.Sehon defends his non-reductionist account ofmind and agency in clear and nontechnical language.

He carefully distinguishes his view from formsof strong naturalism that would seem to preclude it. And he evaluates key objections toteleological realism, including those posed by Donald Davidsons influential article Actions,Reasons and Causes and some put forth by more recent proponents of causal theories of action.

CSP,Sehon argues, has a different realm than does physical science- the normative notions that arecentral to CSP are not reducible to physical facts and laws.



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