Descriptive and Ascriptive Approaches to the Elucidation of Action

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1 Scopus citations


This essay is concerned with different approaches to the elucidation of action. It explicates the influence of Aristotle's theory of action on the development of the modern philosophy of action, provided, first of all, by Reductionist and Causalist's points of view. The author argues that the denial of the physical and psychological components of the action allows to conclude, firstly, that action is a social concept, logically dependent on the accepted rules of conduct; secondly, that it is fundamentally not descriptive, but ascriptive in its character; and thirdly, that it is a defeasible concept to be defined through exceptions and not by a set of necessary and sufficient conditions whether physical or psychological.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-482
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Scopus subject areas

  • Classics
  • Philosophy


  • Action
  • Aristotle
  • Behavior
  • Conduct
  • Descriptive and ascriptive approaches
  • Intention
  • Movement
  • Responsibility


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