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Action Minus Movement: Wittgenstein's Question

Larry Hauser
Behavior and Philosophy
Vol. 22, No. 1 (Spring/Summer, 1994), pp. 23-28
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27759303
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Action Minus Movement: Wittgenstein's Question
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Abstract

In connection with John Searle's denial that computers genuinely act, Hauser considers Searle's attempt to distinguish full-blooded acts of agents (e.g., my raising my arm) from mere physical movements (my arm going up) on the basis of intent. The difference between me raising my arm and my arm's just going up (e.g., if you forcibly raise it), on Searle's account, is the causal involvement of my intention to raise my arm in the former, but not the latter, case. Yet, we distinguish a similar difference between a robot's raising its arm and its robot arm just going up (e.g., if you manually raise it). Either robots are rightly credited with intentions, or it is not intention that distinguishes action from mere movement. In either case full-blooded acts under "aspects" are attributable to robots and computers. Since the truth of such attributions depends on "intrinsic" features of the things not on the speaker's "intentional stance," they are not merely figurative "as if" attributions.

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