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Actions and accidents

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2020

David Horst*
Martin Buber Society of Fellows, Mandel School for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Room 321/322, Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem91905, Israel


In acting intentionally, it is no accident that one is doing what one intends to do. In this paper, I ask how to account for this non-accidentality requirement on intentional action. I argue that, for systematic reasons, the currently prevailing view of intentional action – the Causal Theory of Action – is ill-equipped to account for it. I end by proposing an alternative account, according to which an intention is a special kind of cause, one to which it is essential that it represents its effect.

Research Article
Copyright © The Authors 2015

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