"What is an action, and what is an omission? Are actions natural phenomena, or rather a product of our vision of the world? What is the difference between an action and a mere bodily movement? Can actions be counted? What is the role of intention for the identification of actions? Can we make mistakes in identifying our own actions? Under what conditions is it possible to impute a non-intentional action to someone?
This book suggests answers, or at least presents conceptual tools for finding answers, to these and other, related questions. The author displays a sovereign command and profound understanding of the complex theoretical issues involved and offers an original approach to the analysis of action. The book is written in a very accessible style and is of interest to lawyers, legal scientists and philosophers. It will be of specific interest to specialists of action theory and non-specialists who wish to learn more about some of the principal philosophical and legal conceptions of action and the analysis of their structures. "
Foreword; Manuel Atienza. Preface. I: Preliminaries. 1. The Concept of Action and the Traps of Language. 2. The Relevance of the Concepts of Human Action for Ethics and the Law. 3. Human Freedom as a Prerequisite. II: Our Intuitions and the Paradoxes of Action. 1. Introduction. 2. First Paradox: Are Actions Natural Phenomena or Products of Our Worldview? 3. Second Paradox: Are Actions Bodily Movements or Descriptions of Bodily Movements? 4. Third Paradox: Can We be Mistaken about Our Own Actions? 5. Fourth Paradox: Do We Perform Several Actions with One Single Bodily Movement? 6. Fifth Paradox: What Are the Limits of Our Actions? III: The Debate in the Philosophy of Action. 1. The Controversy about the Individuation of Actions. 2. Individuation from the Agent's Point of View; G.H. von Wright. 3. Individuation as Imputation; H.L.A. Hart. 4. Some Conclusions. IV: The Debate in Criminal Law. 1. Introduction. 2. The Definition of 'Action' in Criminal Law Doctrine. 3. The Treatment of Action in Anglo-Saxon Law. 4. Conclusions. V: The Debate in the Philosophy of Language. 1. Introduction. Good Times for Pragmatics. 2. Language Games; Wittgenstein. 4. How to Do Things with Words; J.L. Austin. 5. An Integrative Theory of Speech Acts; J. Searle. 6. Conclusions. VI: The Paradoxes Dissolved. 1. Recapitulation: The Aspects of Action. 2. The Paradoxes of Action Reconsidered. VII: The Structure of Action. 1. Introduction. 2. The Sequence ofBodily Movements. 3. Changes in the World. 4. The Link between a Bodily Movement and a Change in the World. 5. Intention. 6. The Interpretation of Meaning of an Action. VIII: Other Kinds of Action. 1. Introduction. 2. Institutional Actions. 3. Remarks on Omission. Epilogue. Bibliography. Index of Names.
From the reviews:
"Lagier, a Professor of Legal Theory, has a quite different perspective on action to that found in occupational science ... . the view of actions presented in this text is that they are sustained performances. ... the issues raised in the discussion are eminently relevant to occupational science. ... I recommend Lagier's text to occupational science scholars and researchers ... ." (Dr. Clare Hocking, Journal of Occupational Science, Vol. 12 (3), October, 2005)
This book suggests answers, or at least presents conceptual tools for finding answers, to questions such as: What is an action, and what is an omission? Can actions be counted? What is the role of intention for the identification of actions? The author offers an original approach to the analysis of action. Written in a very accessible style, the book is of interest to lawyers, legal scientists and philosophers.