[hist-analytic] Omission and Action

Ron Barnette rbarnett at valdosta.edu
Wed Jul 29 19:52:33 EDT 2009

In fact, Danny's distinctions are quite helpful, and conceptually
instructive when they might be applicable in, say, the law. Especially with
regard to his last point re: conflicts with intentions. Very interesting
observation, which, I suspect, is reflected in Anglo-Saxon law..where are
we, Hart and Honore???





From: hist-analytic-manager at simplelists.com
[mailto:hist-analytic-manager at simplelists.com] On Behalf Of Danny Frederick
Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 3:08 AM
To: hist-analytic at simplelists.com
Subject: RE: Omission and Action


Hi Steve,


Do we need to distinguish intentional, unintentional and non-intentional
omissions? I omit to do many things because I just forget to do them (like
popping into the shop on the way home): I omit them unintentionally. I omit
to do many more things because it just never occurs to me to do them (like
performing a song-and-dance routine while I am waiting for a bus): I omit
them non-intentionally. But some things I omit to do intentionally (like
omitting to talk in the cross examination). Perhaps: intentional omissions
are those that I try to omit; unintentional and non-intentional ones are
those that I do not try to omit. Unintentional omissions seem to  be ones
that conflict with our intentions or plans, whereas non-intentional ones
don't. Just a first stab.




From: hist-analytic-manager at simplelists.com
[mailto:hist-analytic-manager at simplelists.com] On Behalf Of steve bayne
Sent: 28 July 2009 23:58
To: hist-analytic at simplelists.com; Ron Barnette
Subject: RE: Omission and Action


The cross examination case is good because it shows that the condition I
mention may be necessary but is not sufficient for omission: The witness
refuses to testify, had he testified it would have been an intentional act;
but it is not an omission on his part but a refusal, suggesting that refusal
and omission might belong to a larger class. 

I didn't omit calling the mayor's office because I never had that intention.
This is another interesting case. As if to imply that had I called since it
would have had to be intentional to be an omission and inasmuch as I had no
such intention I, therefore did not "omit" calling the mayor.

I have a short section devoted to Melden. Melden was far more thought
provoking form me than Hampshiire, although other of Hampshire's works I
find very good.


--- On Tue, 7/28/09, Ron Barnette <rbarnett at valdosta.edu> wrote:

From: Ron Barnette <rbarnett at valdosta.edu>
Subject: RE: Omission and Action
To: "'steve bayne'" <baynesrb at yahoo.com>, hist-analytic at simplelists.com
Date: Tuesday, July 28, 2009, 5:04 PM


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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