Journal of Philosophy


Sneddon on Action and Responsibility


Katarzyna Paprzycka

University of Warsaw


Abstract. The paper is a critical discussion of Sneddon’s recent proposal to revive ascriptivism in philosophy of action. Despite his declarations, Sneddon fails in his central task of giving an account of the distinction between actions and mere happenings. His failure is due to three major problems. First, the account is based on a misconceived methodology of “type” necessary and “token” sufficient conditions. Second, the “type” necessary condition he proposes is so weak that the connection that obtains between action and responsibility also obtains between action and lack of responsibility. Third, neither the idea of responsibility nor the idea of defeating conditions is elucidated sufficiently to play any role in understanding what it is to be an action. Back














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