•  72
    Naive Action Explanationism
    Analytic Philosophy 60 (1): 67-77. 2019.
  •  92
    The Representation of Action
    Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 80 217-233. 2017.
    For as long as there has been anything called “the philosophy of action,” its practitioners have accounted for action in terms of an associated kind of explanation. The alternative to this approach was noticed, but not adopted, by G. E. M. Anscombe. Anscombe observed that a series of answers to the reason-requesting question “Why?” may be read in reverse order as a series of answers to the question “How?” Unlike answers to the question “Why?”, answers to the question “How?” are not explanatory …Read more
  •  229
    The Arithmetic of Intention
    American Philosophical Quarterly 52 (2): 129-143. 2015.
    Anscombe holds that a proper account of intentional action must exhibit “a ‘form’ of description of events.” But what does that mean? To answer this question, I compare the method of Anscombe’s Intention with that of Frege’s Foundations of Arithmetic—another classic work of analytic philosophy that consciously opposes itself to psychological explanations. On the one hand, positively, I aim to identify and elucidate the kind of account of intentional action that Anscombe attempts to provide. On t…Read more
  •  125
    Is Agency a Power of Self-Movement?
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 56 (6): 597-610. 2013.
    Helen Steward holds that agency is a power to move oneself, and that it is specifically a power to move one’s body. This conception of agency is supported by a long tradition and is widely held today. It is, however, opposed to another conception of agency on which agency is a power to transact with others—with other things and with other agents. The latter conception, though scarcely represented in contemporary action theory, is no less traditional than the one that Steward prefers. In this pap…Read more
  •  236
    The Province of Human Agency
    Noûs 52 (3): 697-720. 2018.
    Agency is a power, but what is it a power to do? The tradition presents us with three main answers: (1) that agency is a power to affect one’s own will, consequent upon which act further events ensue, beginning with the movement of a part of one's body; (2) that agency is a power to affect one’s own body, consequent upon which act further events ensue, beginning with the movement of an object that one touches; and (3) that agency is a power to affect that material upon which one brings one's act…Read more
  •  8
    Action and generality
    In Anton Ford, Jennifer Hornsby & Frederick Stoutland (eds.), Essays on Anscombe's Intention, Harvard University Press. 2011.
  •  67
    On What Is in Front of Your Nose
    Philosophical Topics 44 (1): 141-161. 2016.
    The conclusion of practical reasoning is commonly said to rest upon a diverse pair of representations—a “major” and a “minor” premise—the first of which concerns the end and the second, the means. Modern and contemporary philosophers writing on action and practical reasoning tend to portray the minor premise as a “means-end belief”—a belief about, as Michael Smith puts it, “the ways in which one thing leads to another,” or, as John McDowell puts it, “what can be relied on to bring about what.” O…Read more
  •  116
    Action and Passion
    Philosophical Topics 42 (1): 13-42. 2014.
    When an agent intentionally changes something separate from herself—when, say, she opens a bottle—what is the relation between what the agent does and what the patient suffers? This paper defends the Aristotelian thesis that action is to passion as the road from Thebes to Athens is to the road from Athens to Thebes: they are two aspects of a single material reality. Philosophers of action tend to think otherwise. It is generally taken for granted that intentional transactions must be analyzed in…Read more
  •  34
    Praktische Wahrnehmung
    Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 61 (3): 403-418. 2013.
    Modern philosophers writing on action and practical reasoning rarely discuss perception. This is remarkable, not only because acting on the particular objects in one’s environment obviously requires a perceptual awareness of them, but also because perception is central to the account of action and practical reasoning offered by Aristotle, from whom many contemporary philosophers take their inspiration. The pivotal role that Aristotle assigned to perception is now uniformly given to belief, an ac…Read more
  •  197
    Essays on Anscombe's Intention (edited book)
    Harvard University Press. 2011.
    This collection of ten essays elucidates some of the more challenging aspects of Anscombe’s work and affirms her reputation as one of our most original ...