Action and Responsibility by Andrew Sneddon (auth.)

By Andrew Sneddon (auth.)

What makes an occasion count number as an motion? commonplace solutions attract the way the development used to be produced: e.g., maybe an arm stream is an motion whilst because of psychological states (in specific ways), yet no longer whilst prompted in alternative ways. Andrew Sneddon argues that this sort of solution, which he calls "productionism", is methodologically and considerably unsuitable. specifically, productionist solutions to this question are typically both individualistic or foundationalist, or either, with no particular defence. as a substitute, Sneddon bargains an externalist, anti-foundationalist account of what makes an occasion count number as an motion, which he calls neo-ascriptivism, after the paintings of H.L.A. Hart. particularly, Sneddon argues that our practices of attributing ethical accountability to one another are at the least partially constitutive of occasions as actions.

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Extra info for Action and Responsibility

Sample text

Action sentences are analogous: recognizing that we can call some event an ‘action’ is to do so because of the decisive nature of action utterances. This declarative use of action terms is what we might call constitutive calling, but there is also descriptive calling. In constitutive calling, one decides that the matter at hand constitutes a happening of some kind. Nothing new is added or indicated by the introduction of the calling utterance to the matter. In descriptive calling, one acts like one has discovered something new about the situation at hand and is pointing out this feature with the declarative utterance.

28 Hart thinks that ‘property’ is not a descriptive concept, and that sentences about property are not primarily descriptive utterances. Rather, property sentences presuppose the ways we claim and ascribe rights to property. Hart’s point is that the difference between earth and property cannot be explained without reference to the laws and/or social practices by which we recognize property rights. The difference between earth and property is the social relationship one item (the property) stands in to some person(s).

At this point, some of the overlooked parts of Hart’s position take grip. Remember that Hart has represented action sentences as decisions—quasi-judicial utterances made on the basis of grounds that some happening meets the rough and ready criteria of actionhood, and hence is an action. Consider a judge making either making the utterance in public, or coming to a conclusion on a matter in chambers, to the effect that ‘we can call this a contract’. This would serve actually to call something a contract.

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