Action by Rowland Stout

By Rowland Stout

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There may be a bizarre logic to the choice of verbal or bodily tics, but it is not a logic that connects with the way the Tourette’s sufferer lives their life; it is not their logic. 30 ACTION Sub-intentional action Even if all intentional action is somehow subject to justification, it might be argued that not every expression of real agency is an intentional action. Brian O’Shaughnessy talks about the moving about of one’s tongue in one’s mouth. Apparently this is going on all the time without one’s being aware of it.

So, in doing what you should do you are responding to the requirements of your environment rather than the requirements of your own psychology (although how you respond to the requirements of your environment is related to your psychology). This assumption, however, can be questioned. The very opposite is simply taken for granted by many philosophers working on the nature of rationality and justification. They say that what you should do rationally – what you are justified in doing – is determined by what you believe and by what you want; and your beliefs and desires 34 ACTION are metal states.

For it would then follow that in the case where she got it right and truly believed that three hours had elapsed, she would have two reasons for action. She would be doubly justified in stopping the exam; she was justified by the fact that three hours had elapsed and she was also justified by the fact that she believed that three hours had elapsed. But this is absurd. Jonathan Dancy (2000: 124) argues for the same conclusion in the following way. There are cases when the reason for acting in a certain way is that you believe something.

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