The agent's role in the causation of action:Is Michael Smith's causal theory of action in trouble? | Dalsotto | Kriterion: Revista de Filosofia

The agent's role in the causation of action:Is Michael Smith's causal theory of action in trouble?

Lucas Mateus Dalsotto

Resumo


The goal of this paper is to find out if Michael Smith’s version of the causal theory of action is able to solve David Velleman’s agency par excellence challenge. Smith (2012) has claimed that his theory can deal with the challenge insofar as the exercise of the capacity to be instrumentally rational plays the intermediating role that Velleman (1992a) thinks of the agent as casting in the causation of action. However, I argue that Smith misunderstands the challenge at issue, thereby failing to find the agent’s proper role in action explanation. Moreover, I defend that Velleman’s objection works on Smith’s account of the causal theory by showing that it cannot reconcile the causal explanation of intentional action with our ordinary conception of agency. If Smith intends to explain what a “full-blooded” intentional action is, I believe he needs to incorporate into his theory a more robust account of rational guidance.

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