Intentional action first

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper motivates a novel research programme in the philosophy of action parallel to the 'Knowledge First' programme in epistemology. It is argued that much of the grounds for abandoning the quest for a reductive analysis of knowledge in favour of the Knowledge First alternative is mirrored in the case of intentional action, inviting the hypothesis that intentional action is also, like knowledge, metaphysically basic. The paper goes on to demonstrate the sort of explanatory contribution that intentional action can make once it is no longer taken to be a target for reductive analysis, in explaining other, non-intentional kinds of action and voluntariness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-718
Number of pages14
JournalAustralasian Journal of Philosophy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2013


  • voluntary action
  • reduction
  • analysis
  • causal deviance
  • intentional action
  • Arts & Humanities
  • Philosophy
  • Epistemology
  • Knowledge
  • Metaphysics


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