This book offers an accessible and inclusive overview of the major debates in the philosophy of action. It covers the distinct approaches taken by Donald Davidson, G.E.M. Anscombe, and numerous others to answering questions like "what are intentional actions?" and "how do reasons explain actions?" Further topics include intention, practical knowledge, weakness and strength of will, self-governance, and collective agency. With introductions, conclusions, and annotated suggested reading lists for each of the ten chapters, it is an ideal introduction for advanced undergraduates as well as any philosopher seeking a primer on these issues.

chapter 1|7 pages


What Is the Philosophy of Action?

chapter 2|9 pages

What Is the Problem of Action?

chapter 3|21 pages

Action Explanation

chapter 4|29 pages

The Ontology of Action

chapter 5|19 pages


chapter 6|15 pages

Practical Knowledge

chapter 7|13 pages

Does Action Have a Constitutive Aim?

chapter 8|11 pages

Identification and Self-Governance

chapter 9|16 pages

Temptation, Weakness, and Strength of Will

chapter 10|13 pages

Collective Agency

chapter 11|3 pages

Concluding Thoughts