[hist-analytic] Omission and Action

Ron Barnette rbarnett at valdosta.edu
Tue Jul 28 17:04:19 EDT 2009


I'm glad to learn that you address omissions in the book, as they constitute
a very special class---one might argue class of actions---in which something
intentional is definitely undertaken..say, my deliberately remaining
steadfast, perfectly still and silent during an intense cross-examination.
My refusal to answer a question would correctly be construed as something I
did intentionally, yet without overt bodily movement. So are there actions
that do not involve bodily movements? Interesting implications with either
'yes' or 'no,' no?

Good work, Steve.Btw, this brought to mind many discussions on this very
topic I had in the late 60's with dear Abe Melden who (you know) served
faithfully on my dissertation committee.

Ron Barnette



From: hist-analytic-manager at simplelists.com
[mailto:hist-analytic-manager at simplelists.com] On Behalf Of steve bayne
Sent: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 4:47 PM
To: hist-analytic at simplelists.com
Subject: Omission and Action


I have a number of things to say about omissions in the book. Here are two
sentences from that discusson. 

"We feel the compulsion, at some point, to ask: what must be added to an
event that never happened in order to make it an omission?  An omission,
unlike a bodily movement which had it happened would have been just that,
viz. a bodily movement, is such a nonoccurrence of an event that had it
occurred would have been intentional. Omissions constitute a special class,
or category, although Anscombe may be right to criticize Davidson on this
matter, no one, including Anscombe, has presented a satisfactory theory
concerning its nature."



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