By Michael Bradie
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Extra resources for Action and Responsibility
Cit. ' l. Professor Kim says that it is a philosophical platitude to think that there is no sharp distinction between empirical psychological issues and conceptual philosophical ones. He is surely right that there is no sharp distinction: I only wish that more of my co-workers in philosophy and psychology would agree that this claim is obviously true. In general, I think that there is no clear-cut and useful division of labor. Rather, there is a continuum, with philosophers being more concerned and better trained to deal with conceptual issues and psychologists being more concerned and better trained to construct empirical theories.
An obvious difference between Hull's nation of drive and rnaving to act is that the former is a property of the organism's physical state whereas the latter is a propert y of the organism's mental state. A necessary condition for drive is a physical need or deprivation; but it is not a necessary condition for an agent's intending to do something. Of course, need or deprivation may move a person to act; such a physical state may be the source of intending to do something. But not necessarily so.
What could be more obvious? But of course it isn't as obvious as it might seem, and that is why Brand's argument is a significant argument, and his claim (2) is a nontrivial thesis. And the apparent obviousness of the argument makes it imperative that the argument be refuted if it is in fact unsound. For the sake of brevity, I willstate my own reactions to Brand's argument in a bald way. The philosophical theory of action is an analysis of the ordinary concept of action; it may introduce refinements, remove minor points of incoherence, and bring to light hitherto unnoticed but important aspects of our notion of action; nonetheless the analysis is directed upon 26 STUDIES IN APPLIED PHILOSOPHY our ordinary, common-sense, workaday nation, or nations, of action.