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.
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.