Many important thinkers in the philosophical tradition, like Aristotle or Hume, have used an explicit theory of action as the basis of their respective normative theories of practical rationality and morality. The idea behind this architecture of theories is that action theory can inform us about the origin, bonds, reach and limits of practical reason. The aim of this book is to revive this direct connection between action theory and practical philosophy, in particular to provide systematic action-theoretical underpinnings for the discussion about the normative structure of practical reason. This book brings together a collection of specially commissioned essays from internationally prestigious scholars in the field and represents the state of the art in contemporary philosophy of action. The book is divided into three parts: i. conceptual work about what actions, intentions and intentional actions are; ii. empirical theory of practical deliberation; and iii.theories about the action theoretic features of autonomy. The volume significantly advances these three lines of research and offers important new contributions to each of them.
'In recent years philosophy of action has surely been one of the fastest growing areas of analytic philosophy. Puzzlingly, however, the crucial relation that connects this field to normative practical philosophy has been neglected, if not ignored altogether. This anthology finally fills such a surprising gap in a highly authoritative way. The book is usefully divided in three parts, respectively dedicated to the conceptual analysis of the basic notions of action theory, to the discussion of empirical theories in the field of practical deliberation, and to the investigation of theories of autonomy. An enlightening introduction by Christoph Lumer offers a systematic introduction to the essays collected in the anthology. It does not require special diagnostic abilities to predict that this collection will become a fundamental contribution to the debate in action theory and normative practical philosophy for many years to go.' Mario De Caro, University Roma Tre ’The substantial introduction by C. Lumer gives a very good critical and synthetic outline of the matter of the volume. … The editing work that has been done is remarkable, it offers a very complete index of names and subjects and each article is introduced by a short abstract that quickly gives to the reader the gist of the paper she is about to read, not to mention the bibliography each author presents at the end of his own chapter. … This book undeniably constitutes an important contribution to action-theory and practical philosophy in that it opens new debates in the field and deals originally with traditional issues.’’ Metapsychology Online