an Annotated Bibliography 1947 to 1997
CNRS, Séminaire d'Epistémologie Comparative, F-13621 Aix-en-Provence, France
Department of Philosophy, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA
Last Update: Monday, March 10, 1997
This bibliography is concerned with recent literature on the nature of events and the place they occupy in our conceptual scheme. The subject has received extensive consideration in the philosophical debate over the last few decades, with ramifications reaching far into the domains of allied disciplines such as linguistics and the cognitive sciences. At the same time, the literature is so wide and widely scattered that it has become very difficult to keep track of every line of development. Our hope is that this work will prove useful to overcome that difficulty.
Content and scope of the bibliography
We have chosen Hans Reichenbachs 1947 pioneering contribution on the logical form of action sentences as a starting point (the other acknowledged milestone being the publication of an influential paper by Donald Davidson exactly 20 years later), and we headed for a review of the extensive literature that followed in the fifty years thereafter. For convenient reference, we have also included a short Appendix with some early works referred to in much of the literature.
The focus is represented by philosophical literature devoted explicitly to such questions as the following:
- Are events a kind of entity?
- If so, what are they? (For instance, are events particulars or universals, concrete or abstract?)
- How do they differ from other kinds of entity? (For instance, how do they differ from material objects, if at all? How do they differ from states of affairs, if at all?)
- What are their identity and individuation criteria?
- Are there any substantial differences between various kinds of event? (For instance, are actions a kind of event? What is the difference between mental and physical events, if any? Are facts, states, processes species of one single event category?)
- What position do events occupy in the causal network? How do they fit in the spatio-temporal framework?
- How does reference to or quantification over events affect the semantics of ordinary language? How does it feature in the construction of formal semantic models?
- How do semantic issues interact with metaphysical ones?
In addition, we have also included relevant entries from various collateral fields: the philosophy of action; the philosophy of mind; the philosophy of space, time, and causation; the logic of tense and time, and the treatment of tense and aspect in linguistics; situation theory; knowledge representation; planning and temporal reasoning in artificial intelligence. All of these are areas of research in which the notion of an event arguably has played and still plays a prominent role (whether positively, i.e., as something to be relied on for a proper treatment of the core issues, or negatively, as a concept to be eliminated from unadulterated philosophical or otherwise technical vocabulary). However, it would have hardly been possible to include every piece of work dealing in some way or another with the notion of an event. In regard to those collateral areas, the present bibliography is therefore only meant to give some indication of the main trends and contributions, but aims at no completeness. (In some cases, for instance, we have included anthologies and collective works, without itemising each relevant essay.) This limitation is even more drastic with respect to other allied areas such as psychology, decision and probability theory, or the philosophy of history: here too events play an important role, but it would have been impossible to give a reasonable coverage of this role without stretching the relevant parameters beyond bearable limits. Even so, the list includes some 1850 entries by over 900 authors, and gives a measure of the importance that the topic has registered in the literature.
The philosophical co-ordinates
The entries are listed in alphabetical/chronological order by author. This means the bibliography is offered as raw material: there is no topical subcategorization. Such a categorization might have been effective in serving the purpose of a guided tour through the literature, but it would have also incorporated a conspicuous amount of arbitrariness, which could have only been mitigated (and then only partially) at the cost of overwhelming repetitions and cross-indexing. We have preferred keeping this to a minimum. Our annotations along with the comprehensive apparatus of subject and name indexes included in the last part of the volume should help provide quick access to the topics of interest.
Some major guidelines, however, have been followed in the compilation. They correspond to four main co-ordinates within which it seems possible to stake out--at least in part--the multiform spectrum of philosophical positions contemplated in the literature:
1. Realists vs. non-realists. A first obvious co-ordinate, corresponding to a major line of research, is the degree of reality that different theories ascribe to events. On one side is the realist position, viewing events as part of our basic ontological inventory--objects of reference and quantification. This is the view advocated by Reichenbach and Davidson and accepted by the majority of authors (though sometimes for very different reasons and within the framework of radically different metaphysical conceptions). On the other side we find the non-realists position: it denies existence to events in favor of ontological parsimony, arguing that every seemingly event-committing sentence can in principle be paraphrased in terms of event-free ones. This view has been defended, for instance, by T. Horgan, R. Trenholme, and B. Aune in the 70s, and underlies much of the work in the field of adverbial modification pioneered by R. Clark and R. Montague. In between these two opposite positions are those authors who avoid the language of reduction, but also deny that events and objects are co-ordinate and equally basic. We find here philosophers in the tradition of P. F. Strawson, but also authors such as J. Kim, L. B. Lombard, and J. Bennett, who maintain some form of dependency or supervenience of events over material substances or entities of other sorts. We find also philosophers who defend the primacy of events over objects: this is a view that is rooted in the early work of B. Russell and A. N. Whitehead, and which has been explored, e.g., in some works of R. M. Martin.
2. Particularists vs. recurrentists; concretists vs. abstractists. A second way of scanning the variety of metaphysical theories of events is with reference to the distinction between the conception of events as spatio-temporal particulars versus their conception as recurrable entities, entities which can occur more than once. The latter view is exemplified by R. Chisholms early writings, according to which events are fact-like entities--a species of states of affairs, differing from propositions only in their being time-bound. The opposite, particularist view is most explicitly exemplified by Davidsons own seminal writings as well as by such authors as M. Brand, P. van Inwagen, or D. H. Mellor. A better picture, however, is obtained by further distinguishing a continuum of particularist positions based on the degree of "concreteness" that they assign to events, i.e., the degree to which they view events as soaking up the content of the spatio-temporal region at which they occur. At one extreme, authors like W. V. O. Quine push the concretist conception as far as possible by denying any categorial distinction among spatio-temporal entities and eventually assimilating events to material objects. The other extreme is not explicitly represented by any author, but corresponds ideally to the view that there is no lower bound on the abstractness (lack of content) of events. In between these two extreme positions we have a variety of intermediate conceptions, corresponding to the majority of official positions: each of them sees events as spatio-temporal entities, but with various constraints on the lower limit on how concrete an event can be. For instance, Davidsonian events are all rather thick, though never as thick as to coincide with the material objects with which they may happen to be co-localized; Kimean events, by contrast, may be highly abstract, though presumably never as abstract as to leave their spatio-temporal regions entirely unqualified: events are exemplifications of properties by objects at times (i.e., they are tropes, on some recent variants of this account), and the constituent objects and properties impose some constraints on what can possibly go on at the relevant spatio-temporal location. Lastly, it is fair to add that a number of authors--mostly concerned with the application of the event concept to problems in the semantics of natural language, the logic of temporal discourse, or the representation of temporal knowledge--do not take any stand with respect to the concrete-abstract continuum, treating events as somewhat underspecified "bare" entities subject to first-order reference and quantification.
3. Unifiers vs. multipliers. The above classification pattern is closely related to a third, rather popular way of approaching the field of event theories, which is based on the underlying identity and individuation criteria. (Succeeding in making sense of assertions or denials of identity between entities of some sort is often considered a minimal prerequisite for the viability of a theory resting on the idea that there are entities of that sort, and in the case of events the issue has received particular attention.) Again we have here a wide spectrum of theories, though their exact assessment is often made difficult by the uncertain boundary between ontological and semantic issues of identity. At one end we have the "unifiers" (to use I. Thalbergs fortunate term), initially represented by Anscombe and Davidson. This is the view that a single event can be referred to by significantly distinct linguistic expressions. In its most radical version, this view turns into Quines, which makes events so concrete as to leave no room for two events to occupy exactly the same spatio-temporal region. At the other end of the spectrum we have the "multipliers", who emphasize dissimilarities in meaning from one event-referring expression to another, inferring corresponding ontological distinctions. This view is chiefly associated with the writings of J. Kim and A. I. Goldman, and is typically affiliated with a conception of events as supervening on their participants. In between we have various intermediate positions. Generally speaking, these agree in their heart with the unifiers intuitions, but acknowledge the legitimacy of various concerns underlying the multipliers approach. Among others, we find here accounts based on the part-whole structure of events (J. J. Thomson, I. Thalberg) or their modal properties (M. Brand, D. K. Lewis). Some theorists, such as J. Bennett, also subscribe in this regard to a sort of indeterminacy thesis, and regard the whole identity issue as resulting from impossible attempts to bridge the chasm between semantic and metaphysic issues.
4. Events and semantics. Finally, the fourth co-ordinate has to do with language, and more specifically with the role played by events within the framework of semantic theorizing. Although some authors would deny that there is any semantic way to argue for the existence of events, others view events as comprising a necessary category of entities to be posited next to other categories (such as material objects) as the referents of quantified variables visible only in deep grammatical structure. This is the Davidsonian line of thought, leading to what T. Parsons has labelled "sub-atomic semantics"; but it is also the line of thought that grew out of the independent work of Z. Vendler and A. Kenny in the analysis of sentence nominals, leading to an extensive literature in the semantic account of Aktionsarten (action types) and related natural language phenomena. Though sometimes the focus of a vehement debate, such lines of reasoning have come to define an independent dimension within which most theories can now be appraised and compared to one another. Also in the cognitive sciences, and particularly in the domain of representation tools for Artificial Intelligence, the interplay between logical semantics and event ontology has been the battlefield of several proposals and developments.
Format and indexing criteria
In addition to the admittedly vague limits set by these concerns, the scope and range of the bibliography is defined by the typology of the literature that we have surveyed.
There are four main types of entry: monographs; journal articles; articles in collective volumes (including conference and workshop proceedings); collective volumes (including conference and workshop proceedings). In all cases, as already mentioned, all entries have been ordered alphabetically by the surname of the author(s) or (in the case of a collective volume) of the editor(s). Works by the same author(s) or editor(s) are listed chronologically under the surname; these are followed, again in chronological order, by their co-authored or co-edited works. (Co-authors or co-editors are always listed alphabetically by the first author/editor. There are no individual cross-references under the names of the second or subsequent authors, since the Index of Authors allows the user to locate all works by the same author. To facilitate quick author reference, a special Index to Second and Subsequent Authors, listing the names of all people appearing as second or subsequent authors or editors of titles registered as main entries, has also been included.) For the purpose of alphabetic ordering, hyphens and diacritics (including diaeresis) have been disregarded and unhyphenated complex surnames have been treated as single units. (This applies also to surnames beginning with von,van, and the like.) If more than one work by the same author(s) or editor(s) has the same publication year, lower case letters are added in alphabetic order (as in 1967a) to avoid ambiguity in case of cross-reference. Cross-references are always given by indicating the author(s) or editor(s) surname(s) (with initials, if necessary) followed by the year of publication of the referred title (with alphabetic tag, if applicable).
In addition to the above four categories, we have included some doctoral dissertations which have played a prominent role in the literature, but no attempt has been made to give a full coverage to this category. Occasionally (and with the same selection criteria) we have also included papers that appeared as technical reports, but unpublished manuscripts have been systematically omitted.
Some attempt has also been made to include reviews or references to reprints or later editions of books listed in the bibliography. Reviews are treated as regular entries, under the reviewers name. (A cross-reference is provided in the annotation under the reviewed work.) Reprints or later editions are listed together with the original edition, separated by a colon and in chronological order. (In case of ambiguity, page numbers of citations and excerpts must be taken to refer to the most recent reprint or edition.) Non-original editions in languages other than English are not included (though we always give the English translation of a title originally published in another language; in that case the translation is treated as a reprint, following the criteria indicated above).
As for the annotations, they are mostly given in the form of a short summary, sometimes accompanied by quotations from particularly significant passages. Inevitably, this may reflect our personal interpretation. Moreover, many articles or books registered here are not devoted specifically to the topic of events, and our annotations are correspondingly partial: we remark on the authors views only as far as events are concerned. Other annotations are simply cross-references, or excerpts from the authors own abstracts (as appearing at the beginning of an article, or as reported in The Philosophers Index). In any case, it is understood that the length of the annotation is never and by no means intended to be indicative of the value of the work. (We have tried to keep every annotation to a maximum of a dozen lines.)
For ease of reference, we have avoided all abbreviations in the titles of journals, collective volumes (such as conference proceedings), or publishers. Thus virtually each entry is self-contained. However, in the case of an article included in a collective volume which is listed as an independent entry (typically because of the number of relevant articles or because its publication represents a contribution of its own), the entry is given in abbreviated form by providing a cross-reference.
Many people helped us with this work in many ways. We would especially like to thank Andrea Bonomi and Bernard Katz. We are also grateful to an anonymous referee of the Philosophy Documentation Center for providing detailed comments on an earlier draft, and to George Leaman for his support during the final stages of this work.
We offer this bibliography together with our apologies for any omission and for any error of fact or interpretation that might have slipped in. We anticipate our thanks to anyone who will send us integrations, comments, corrections, or suggestions that might help us improve this work in view of an updated edition.
An Annotated Bibliography 1947 to 1997
1985 Einzelding- und Ereignisontologie [The Ontology of Particulars and of Events, in German], Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung, 39, 157-85.
On treating individual events as part of our basic ontological inventory. "Any such attempt may neither rely simply on scientific results, nor consist of suggestions to improve the scheme already at our disposal. On the other hand, there is the danger of falling into a positivism of factual use, a positivism of ordinary language. These are the Scylla and Charybdis of a philosophy of events" [pp. 160-61]. Includes a discussion of the views of Davidson, Quine, Strawson, and Moravcsik.
1985 On Verbs and Time, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Argues that "just as change and causation can be viewed conceptually as either instantaneous or continuous, inchoatives and process verbs whose meanings involve such notions appear in natural language as either event or process type verbs" [Abstract]. Includes a discussion of various issues in the semantics of the English progressive.
1986 Verbs of Change, Causation, and Time, Stanford: Center for the Study of Language and Information, Report No. CSLI-86-50.
Building on Dowty (1979), observes that the categories of inchoatives and causatives are not of uniform aspectual type. In particular, accomplishments are not to be identified with causatives, since there are causatives that meet tests for process verbs (as in The man walked his dog for an hour).
1975a Causation, Transparency and Emphasis, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 5, 1-23.
Causation is not relational, because this would imply that causal statements are referentially transparent in cause- and effect-positions, and they are not. Compare Dretske (1977) and Kim (1977).
1975b The Object of Explanation, in S. Körner, ed., Explanation, New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 1-45.
A general analysis of such sentences as "Plato explained why Socrates died" or "Plato explained why Socrates died from drinking hemlock", favoring the view that the object of explanation is a complex consisting of an event, a description, and a question (or an indirect interrogative). It is observed that the controversy on event identity rests on a confusion. "Davidson is talking about one sort of thing and Kim and Goldman about another. There is the event of Socrates death, which, as Davidson urges, can be variously described as Socrates death or as Socrates death from drinking hemlock. But there is also what might be called the state of affairs which consists of Socrates having the property of having died, and this is different from the state of affairs of Socrates having the property of having died from drinking hemlock" [pp. 8-9].
1979 The Causal Relation, in P. A. French, T. Uehling, and H. K. Wettstein, eds. (1979), pp. 369-86; incorporated in Achinstein (1983), Chapter 6.
A defense of Achinstein (1975a) against various objections, including those of Levin (1976), Dretske (1977), and Kim (1977).
1983 The Nature of Explanation, New York: Oxford University Press.
A theory of the explaining act, of the resulting explanation (the acts "product"), and its ontological status. Includes a chapter on the nature of the causation, based on (1975a, 1979).
Ackrill, J. L.
1965 Aristotles Distinction Between Energeia and Kinêsis, in R. Bambrough, ed., New Essays on Plato and Aristotle, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, pp. 121-41.
Classic reference for a comparison between Aristotles kinêsis/energeia distinction and the event typologies of Ryle (1949), Kenny (1963), and Vendler (1957). Detailed criticisms in Penner (1970). Related material in Graham (1980) and Mourelatos (1993).
1986 Intention and Intentional Action: The Simple View, Mind & Language, 1, 281-301.
A defense of the view that the intention to do an action is necessary for doing it intentionally.
1989 Review of Bratman (1987), Ethics, 100, 198-99.
Adams, F., Mele, A. R.
1989 The Role of Intention in Intentional Action, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 19, 511-32.
Defends a "control model" of intentional action and compares it with the competing model of Searle (1979, 1983).
1992 The Intention/Volition Debate, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 22, 323-38.
"There is no need to incorporate volition--construed as something other than intending, trying, sensory feedback, or a combination thereof--into ones theory of action" [p. 337].
Aldrich, V. C.
1967 On Seeing Bodily Movements as Actions, American Philosophical Quarterly, 4, 222-30.
"Perception by a person of what another is doing amounts, in the usual case, to perceiving a pattern of fine shades of behavior, each itself an (atomic) action unmistakably present, not just an observed movement" [p. 230].
Allen, H. J.
1967 A Logical Condition for the Redescription of Actions in Terms of Their Consequences, The Journal of Value Inquiry, 1, 132-34.
A criticism of R. Macklin (1967).
Allen, J. F.
1981 An Interval-Based Representation of Temporal Knowledge, Proceedings of the 7th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-81), Vol. 1, Vancouver: IJCAI [Morgan Kaufmann], pp. 221-26.
One of the first attempts--and a very influential one--to incorporate temporal reasoning into Artificial Intelligence (see also McDermott 1982). Based on a many-sorted predicate calculus with variables ranging over an ontology including properties, time intervals, and events (these latter being assumed as primitive and said to occur over intervals of time).
1983 Maintaining Knowledge about Temporal Intervals, Communications of the ACM, 26, 823-43; reprinted in D. Weld and J. de Kleer, eds., Readings in Qualitative Reasoning About Physical Systems, San Mateo, CA: Morgan Kaufmann, 1990, pp. 361-72.
An interval-based temporal logic (as in 1981). There are no time instants, for no event is truly instantaneous: "there seems to be a strong intuition that, given an event, we can always turn up the magnification and look at its structure" [p. 363].
1984 Towards a General Theory of Action and Time, Artificial Intelligence, 23, 123-54; reprinted in J. F. Allen, J. Hendler, and A. Tate, eds. (1990), pp. 464-79.
An extension of the theory put forward in (1981, 1983). Treats processes as an intermediate category between events and properties (they may occur over subintervals, but not over every subinterval). See Sadri (1987) and Galton (1990) for critical examinations.
1991a Temporal Reasoning and Planning, in J. F. Allen, H. A. Kautz, R. N. Pelavin, and J. D. Tenenberg (1991), pp. 2-68.
An extensive survey of the main problems and lines of research in the field of temporal reasoning (including a review of Allens own research) with emphasis on applications to planning.
1991b Time and Time Again: The Many Ways to Represent Time, International Journal of Intelligent Systems, 6 [Special Issue on "Temporal Reasoning", Part A, K. M. Ford and F. D. Anger, eds.], 341-55.
Reviews some AI techniques for representing time. "Can one assume that a timestamp can be assigned to each event, or barring that, that the events are fully ordered? Or can we only assume that a partial ordering of events is known? Can events be simultaneous? Can they overlap in time and yet not be simultaneous? If they are not instantaneous, do we know the duration of events? Different answers to each of these questions allow very different representations of time" [p. 341, Abstract].
Allen, J. F., Ferguson, G.
1994 Actions and Events in Interval Temporal Logic, Journal of Logic and Computation, 4, 531-79.
Presents a formalism--based on an interval temporal logic--for representing events and actions, viewed as "primarily linguistic or cognitive in nature" [p. 533]. (They are the way by which rational agents classify patterns of change. "The world does not really contain events" [ibid.].) The presentation includes a formal axiomatization of the structure of time periods as well as of the relationships between actions and events and their effects.
Allen, J. F., Hayes, P.
1985 A Common-Sense Theory of Time, Proceedings of the 9th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-85), Vol. 1, Los Angeles: IJCAI [Morgan Kaufmann], pp. 528-31.
Proposes a theory of commonsense knowledge about time exploiting the interval-based theory of Allen (1981, 1983, 1984).
1989 Moments and Points in an Interval-Based Temporal Logic, Computational Intelligence, 5, 225-38.
Presents a new axiomatization of the theory of Allen and explores the relationships between interval-based and point-based theories. "The interval-based theory starts with intuitions about time as reflected in natural language. Time in natural language is intimately associated with events. When an event occurs, it defines a time. Temporal ordering is simply an abstraction derived from the ordering of event occurrences". Still, the theory "maintains a distinction between events and times. Fort instance, in an event logic [without explicit time, such as Kamps 1979], two events may be exactly simultaneous and yet not be equal" [p. 225].
Allen, J. F., Hendler, J., Tate, A., eds.
1990 Readings in Planning, San Mateo, CA: Morgan Kaufmann.
Includes J. F. Allen (1984), Hanks and McDermott (1987), Lifschitz (1987a), and McDermott (1978).
Allen, J. F., Kautz, H. A., Pelavin, R. N., Tenenberg, J. D.
1991 Reasoning about Plans, San Mateo, CA: Morgan Kaufmann.
A comprehensive reader on planning and related AI applications. Includes J. F. Allen (1991a), Kautz (1991), and Pelavin (1991).
Allen, R. L.
1966 The Verb System of Present-Day American English, The Hague: Mouton.
Makes use of a bounded/nonbounded aspectual distinction germane in many ways to the accomplishment/activity (Vendler 1957) or performance/ activity (Kenny 1963) distinctions.
Alston, W. P.
1972 Response to Weitzs "The Concept of a Human Action", Philosophical Exchange, 1, 239-47.
A criticism of Weitz (1972): one should not try to set the problems of action theory by seeking general application criteria for the ordinary term human action. The term action is often a mass noun.
Altman, A., Bradie, M., Miller, F. D., Jr.
1979 On Doing Without Events, Philosophical Studies, 36, 301-7.
A criticism of Horgans (1978) eliminative strategy. In addition to specific objections, it is argued that "the basic issue between Horgan and his opponents is really a conflict between competing principles of parsimony [...] Horgan will brandish Occams Razor and deplore the proliferation of entities [...] But Horgans opponent might deplore analyses which involve the proliferation of special, nontruthfunctional sentential connectives such as Horgans causal connective and generational connective. The opponent can brandish what might be called Russells Razor: Do not multiply logical connectives or logical apparatus in general beyond necessity" [pp. 306-7].
Amsili, P., Borillo, M., Vieu, L., eds.
1995 Time, Space and Movement: Meaning and Knowledge in the Sensible World. Proceedings of the 5th International Workshop, Toulouse: COREP.
Includes Amsili and Le Draoulec (1995), Casati (1995), Glasbey (1995), Krifka (1995), Reboul (1995), C. S. Smith (1995), and Verkuyl (1995b).
Amsili, P., Le Draoulec, A.
1995 Contribution to the Event Negation Problem, in P. Amsili, M. Borillo, and L. Vieu, eds. (1995), Part A, pp. 17-29.
On the treatment of negated event sentences within the framework of Discourse Representation Theory.
1972 Aktionalität im Deutschen: Eine Untersuchung unter Vergleich mit dem Russischen Aspektsystem [Actionality in German: An Investigation with Reference to the Aspectual System of Russian, in German], Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis.
Extensive discussion of aspect-related phenomena. In relation to the activity-accomplishment (performance) distinction of Vendler (1957) and Kenny (1963), a twofold distinction is examined between situations, processes, actions that are directed toward attaining a goal (John was writing a letter versus John was writing) and those which actually reach the goal (John wrote a letter versus John was writing a letter). See Dahl (1981) for discussion.
1983 The Explanation of Actions: A Critical Analysis of Donald Davidsons Theory, Doctoral Dissertation, State University of New York at Albany.
An attempt to provide a coherent systematic account of Davidsons theory of explaining human actions in the context of his theory of meaning and truth.
Andrews, C. T.
1968 Action and Bodily Movement, Doctoral Dissertation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Andrus, J. F.
1987 The Time Variable, The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 25, 1-12.
Discusses the mechanism linking events together to form processes.
1976 Davidson and Anscombe on "the same action", Mind, 85, 251-57.
A comparison of Anscombes and Davidsons thesis of the redescribability of actions, pointing out some differences. "We can say that we have one action under different descriptions if the descriptions are related as descriptions of means to descriptions of ends. It is only when this important qualification is left out that what [Anscombe] says can be made to look artificially like what Davidson says" [p. 253]. Davidsons view is open to objections that Anscombes escapes.
1977/8 How Basic Are Basic Actions?, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 78, 195-213.
Argues that the only philosophically interesting notion of basicness is that of "causal basicness", and that the notion of a basic action can play no useful role in an account of action and agency.
1980 Review of Thomson (1977), Mind, 89, 139-43.
Anscombe, G. E. M.
1957 Intention, Oxford: Blackwell (second edition 1963).
"An action is not called intentional in virtue of any extra feature which exists when it is performed" [p. 28]. What distinguishes intentional from non-intentional actions is that the former are "actions to which a certain sense of the question Why? is given application". It is argued that "a single action can have many different descriptions, e.g. sawing a plank, sawing oak, sawing one of Smiths planks, making a squeaky noise with the saw, making a great deal of sawdust and so on", and that an agent "may know that he is doing a thing under one description, and not under another" [p. 11]. An influential point of view.
1963 The Two Kinds of Error in Action, The Journal of Philosophy, 60, 393-401.
Consent is always consent to something "under a description". Thus, if somebody signed a property transfer, it is possible that "under the description signing the document presented by so and so there was consent to what took place; under the description signing a property transfer there was not" [p. 393].
1969a Causality and Extensionality, The Journal of Philosophy, 66, 152-59; reprinted in Anscombe (1981b), pp. 173-79.
A discussion of the "slingshot" argument. "I find it harmless to say that causal statements are intensional. But our considerations lead to raising the following question: What is at stake in maintaining or denying that an effect is properly described or presented in a proposition? [...] Whatever it is, in this issue one side is probably correctly represented by the insistence on the proposition but I suspect (my hunch is) that the other side is the right one, but is not correctly represented by objecting to the presentation in a proposition" [pp. 178-79].
1969b Before and After, The Philosophical Review, 73, 3-24; reprinted in Anscombe (1981b), pp. 180-95.
Includes a discussion of events as the terms of the two temporal relations before and after and an analysis of those relations in the case of instantaneous events. "Though we cannot think of an instantaneous event falling within our experience that is not a terminus of something that takes time, we can think of plenty of events that are such termini". Thus, "Russell [...] was wrong in saying that no instantaneous events occur within our experience, because he had a false picture of what that would be like, like people who suppose that a point that could be seen would be an extensionless dot" [p. 193].
1979a Under a Description, Noûs, 13, 219-33; reprinted in Anscombe (1981b), pp. 208-19, and in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 303-17.
Replies to several objections ("misunderstandings") put forward against the view of (1957), according to which one and the same event may be singled out by different descriptions. Authors discussed include A. I. Goldman, D. Bennett, and J. J. Thomson. Moreover, it is pointed out that "while I am in agreement with Davidson that there are many descriptions of an action, we part company when it comes to his theory of event-identity. Or again, his theory of adverbial modification. This really doesnt go at all well with the idea of many descriptions. For the adverbial modification that suits one verb may not consort well with another, and yet the two verbs may occur in different descriptions of the same action" [p. 232].
1979b Chisholm on Action, Grazer philosophische Studien, 7/8 [special issue "Essays in the Philosophy of R. M. Chisholm", also published as E. Sosa, ed. (1979)], 205-13.
On how Chisholms theory of action can deal with the fact that one can produce neuro-physiological changes by moving a limb.
1981a Events in the Mind, in Anscombe (1981b), pp. 208-19.
On reports of mental events. (Paper dated 1963.)
1981b The Collected Philosophical Papers of G. E. M. Anscombe. Volume 2: Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Mind, Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Contains Anscombe (1981a) and reprints of Anscombe (1969a, 1969b, 1979a).
1983 The Causation of Action, in C. Ginet and S. Shoemaker, eds., Knowledge and Mind. Philosophical Essays, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 174-90.
Antony, L. M.
1987 Attributions of Intentional Action, Philosophical Studies, 51, 311-23.
Argues that Davidsons (1967a) analysis of adverbs as predicates of events can be extended to intensional adverbs such as intentionally as long as one is a realist about mental representations.
1994 The Inadequacy of Anomalous Monism as a Realist Theory of Mind, in Preyer, G., Siebelt, F., and Ulfig, A., eds. (1994), pp. 223-53.
Argues that Davidsons principle of the anomalism of the mental rests on "a profoundly anti-naturalistic--indeed, anti-realistic--conception of the mental", and that anomalous monism is therefore "unable to satisfy minimal desiderata of an adequate naturalistic mentalism" [p. 224].
1976 Mereology, Time, Action and Meaning, in B. Kantscheider, ed., Sprache und Erkenntnis, Innsbruck: AMOE, pp. 189-233.
Defends a reist conception of actions and processes.
1982 Some Remarks on Ontology, in J. Agassi and R. S. Cohen, eds., Scientific Philosophy Today. Essays in Honor of Mario Bunge, Dordrecht: Reidel, pp. 1-44.
Critical study of Bunges view on ontology as presented in (1977b). Includes a discussion of Bunges theory of processes and events [pp. 34ff].
1979 Mental Particulars, Mental Events, and the Bundle Theory, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 9, 109-20.
Regards experiences as events so as to argue inter alia that the bundle theory does not imply the possibility of experiences apart from experiencers.
1974 A New Approach to the Logical Theory of Actions and Causality, in S. Stenlund, ed., Logical Theory and Semantic Analysis. Essays Dedicated to Stig Kanger on His Fiftieth Birthday, Dordrecht: Reidel, pp. 73-91.
A formal theory of the bringing-about relation. Germane to the work by Pörn (1971, 1974).
1976 Formal Semantics for Verb Tenses as Analyzed by Reichenbach, in T. van Dijk, ed., Pragmatics of Language and Literature, Amsterdam: North-Holland, pp. 229-36.
A reconstruction of Reichenbachs (1947) analysis of English tenses within the framework of a "double-indexed" semantics.
1977 On the Analysis of Some Accomplishment and Activity Verbs, in C. Rohrer, ed. (1977), pp. 31-65.
An analysis of compound accomplishment and activity verb phrases (in the sense of Vendler 1957), such as to draw a circle or to push a cart, using the system of tense logic first given in Åqvist and Guenthner (1978).
Åqvist, L., Guenthner, F.
1978 Fundamentals of a Theory of Verb Aspect and Events within the Setting of an Improved Tense Logic, in F. Guenthner and C. Rohrer, eds., Studies in Formal Semantics: Intentionality, Temporality, Negation, Amsterdam: North-Holland, pp. 167-99.
The first part develops a formal semantic account of tense logic; on that basis, in the second part the notion of an event is subjected to an analytic treatment, including a classification of so-called finite generic events and a formal account of the trichotomy of the beginning, the middle, and the end of any event. An extended language with operators corresponding to such locutions as it begins to be the case that ... by its being the case that---" is also presented.
Armstrong, D. M.
1966 Critical Notice of R. Taylor (1965), Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 44, 231-40.
1975 Beliefs and Desires as Causes of Action: A Reply to Donald Davidson, Philosophical Papers, 4, 1-8.
An attempt to solve various problems arising from the view that beliefs and desires are causes of actions. Discussion of Davidsons (1963) statement of that view.
1983 What is a Law of Nature? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Includes arguments in favor of a singularist theory of causation.
1993 A World of States of Affairs, in J. Tomberlin, ed., Philosophy of Language (Philosophical Perspectives, Vol. 7), Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, pp. 429-40.
The world (=space-time manifold) is a vaste assemblage of states of affairs, having individuals and properties as constituents.
Artale, A., Franconi, E.
1993 A Unified Framework for Representing Time, Actions and Plans, in F. Anger, H. Guesgen, and J. van Benthem, eds., Proceedings of the Workshop on Spatial and Temporal Reasoning. 13th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Chambéry: IJCAI, pp. 193-217.
An AI approach to reasoning about time, actions, and plans. Following J. F. Allens (1984) account, an action is represented by describing what is true while the action is occurring: "An action is defined by means of temporal constraints on the world states, which pertain to the action itself, and on other more elementary actions occurring over time" [p. 193, Abstract].
1994 A Computational Account for a Description Logic of Time and Action, in J. Doyle, E. Sandewall, and P. Torasso, eds., Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning: Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference (KR94), San Mateo, CA: Morgan Kaufmann, pp. 3‑14.
Elaborates on the account advanced in (1993).
1993 Reference to Abstract Objects in Discourse. A Philosophical Semantics for Natural Language Metaphysics, Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Rich semantic analysis of the patterns of reference to abstract entities (propositions, properties, states of affairs, facts) integrated by an account of the semantics of discourse structure to analyse anaphoric reference. The analysis is pursued "in tandem" with a study of reference to concrete entities such as states and events (E. Bachs "eventualities"). Indeed it is suggested that there is a spectrum of world immanence, with eventualities and propositions at the two ends, and entities such as facts and states of affairs taking an intermediate position: "like events, [they] have causal efficacy but, like propositions, [they] do not take spatio-temporal modification felicitously" [p. 2]. It is also suggested that these entities are closely correlated, as "natural language metaphysics slides easily from semi-concrete eventualities to abstract entities" [p. 214]. Other topics include identity and individuation, the typology of eventualities, event negation, and much more.
Asher, N., Bonevac, D.
1985a Situations and Events, Philosophical Studies, 47, 57-77.
On the differences between situation semantics (Barwise 1981, Barwise and Perry 1981b, 1983) and event-based semantics (Higginbotham 1983) for naked infinitives. It is argued that the latter "neither accounts for the relevant usages nor succeeds, on its own terms, in presenting coherent semantics for N[aked] I[nfinitive] perception verbs" [p. 57]. A version of the situation-based theory is presented and defended.
1985b How Extensional is Extensional Perception?, Linguistics and Philosophy, 8, 203-28.
Argues that naked infinitive perception sentences are actually more extensional than Barwise and Perrys (1981b, 1983) situation semantics allows.
Asher, N., Sablayrolles, P.
1995 A Typology and Discourse Semantics for Motion Verbs and Spatial PPs in French, Journal of Semantics, 12, 163-209.
A semantic analysis of motion describing expressions based on an ontology of "eventualities" and spatio-temporal extensions.
Atwell, J. E.
1969 The Accordion Effect Thesis, The Philosophical Quarterly, 19, 337-42.
Critical discussion of Feinberg (1965).
1986 Acting for Reasons, The Philosophical Review, 95, 511-46; reprinted as Chapter 6 of Audi (1993a), pp. 145-78.
Presents a theory of action for a reason (a discriminative response to, and not merely an effect of, a reason). Includes a comparison between fine-grained (unifying) and coarse-grained (multiplying) approaches to events; the account of acting for reasons is presented as neutral between the two approaches.
1989 Practical Reasoning, London and New York: Routledge.
Chapter 6 [pp. 126-41] on how practical reasoning figures in the dynamics of action: "As a process constituted by a pattern of events, it [practical reasoning] is a candidate to account for the dynamics of actions based on it, above all for what causes them, and for how, in relation to causative events, they come about" [p. 127].
1993a Action, Intention, and Reason, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
A collection of essays (including a reprint of Audi 1986) where action is viewed as "behavior that is intentional under some description". Includes a general introductory overview [pp. 1-32] where it is stated that "the principal contributions of the book can accommodate either the fine-grained or the coarse-grained ontology (or various intermediate views, such as the component approach)" [p. 3].
1993b Mental Causation: Sustaining and Dynamic, in J. Heil and A. R. Mele, eds. (1993), pp. 53-74.
After a critical assessment of various sources of doubt about the causal power of the mental, offers a positive account according to which (i) intentional dispositions such as reason states play the role of "sustaining" causation, whereas (ii) mental events play the role of "dynamic" causation, which is "a productive or at least eliciting relation between causative events and other events, those constituting their effects" [p. 74].
Auerbach, D., Carter, W. R.
1979 Agent Causality: A Model, Tulane Studies in Philosophy, 28 [Issue on "Studies in Action Theory", ed. by R. C. Whittemore], 71-79.
"Agent causality is not somehow in competition with event causality. A person causes an event when certain events, related to this person i[n] certain ways, cause these events" [p. 79].
1976 Relational Becoming, Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities, 2/2, 12-23.
1987 Point-Eventism, Reports on Philosophy, 11, 49-55; reprinted as Appendix: Point-Eventism in Z. Augustynek, Time. Past, Present, Future (translated from the Polish by S. Semczuk and W. Strawinski), Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers; Warszawa: Polish Scientific Publishers, 1991, pp. 120-27.
Outlines a formal ontological theory proclaiming that every empirical object is either an event or a set-theoretic construction thereof. Events are thought of as non-extended spatio-temporal particulars.
1993a Eventism and Pointism, Logic and Logical Philosophy, 1, 157-69.
Compares alternative monistic ontologies, based on events and points, respectively.
1993b Point Eventism. An Outline of a Certain Ontology, in Z. Augustynek and J. J. Jadacki, Possible Ontologies [Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities, 29], Amsterdam and Atlanta, GA: Editions Rodopi, pp. 15-100.
An extended treatment of the theory outlined in (1987).
1971 Comments, in R. Binkley, R. Bronaugh, and A. Marras, eds. (1971), pp. 69-75.
On Chisholm (1971b); Chisholms reply in (1971c).
1977 Reason and Action, Dordrecht and Boston: Reidel.
"Although we must acknowledge that [people and things] change or act in various ways, we do not also have to acknowledge the existence of things called changes or actions. We may, of course, speak of changes or actions both in our technical and in our everyday discourse; but our speech in this regard should be viewed as a mere manner of speaking. Singular terms purporting to refer to events and actions [...] can in principle be eliminated from our discourse: though perhaps highly convenient to use, they are not actually needed to describe what is or exists" [p. 26].
1985 Metaphysics: The Elements, Oxford: Blackwell.
An introduction to basic distinctions such as that between continuants and processes. Holds that "the ordinary view of the world can be understood as a thing or substance ontology in which events have only a derivative reality" [p. 133]. Favors a predicate modifier approach to adverbial modification.
1988 Action and Ontology, Philosophical Studies, 54, 195-213.
On the grounds for the ontological commitments of a theory of human action, defending an "agent" theory. Includes a discussion of event identity criteria.
Austin, J. L.
1950 Truth (Symposium with P. F. Strawson), Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl. Vol. 24, 111-28; reprinted in Austin (1961b), pp. 85-101 (enlarged edition 1970, pp. 117-33).
Argues that a statement is true when it corresponds to the facts, implying that facts are in the world. Criticisms in Strawson (1950), Shorter (1962), and Vendler (1967a); discussion in Tillman (1966) and Chisholm (1979c).
1956/7 A Plea for Excuses, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 57, 1-30; reprinted in Austin (1961b), pp. 123-52 (enlarged edition 1970, pp. 175-204). Also in D. A. Gustafson, ed., Essays in Philosophical Psychology, New York: St. Martins Press, 1964, pp. 1-29; in R. A. Ammerman, ed., Classics of Analytic Philosophy, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1965, pp. 379-98; in M. Weitz, ed., Twentieth-Century Philosophy: The Analytic Tradition, New York: The Free Press, 1966, pp. 329-51; in A. R. White, ed. (1968), pp. 19-42; and in C. Lyas, ed., Philosophy and Linguistics, London: Macmillan, 1971, pp. 79-101.
"It is in principle always open to us, along various lines, to describe or refer to "what I did" in so many ways [...] How far, that is, are the motives, intentions and conventions to be part of the description of actions? [...] what is an or one or the action? For we can generally split up what might be named as one action in several distinct ways, into different stretches or phases or stages" [1961, pp. 148-49].
1961a Unfair To Facts, in Austin (1961b), pp. 102-22 (enlarged edition 1970, pp. 154-74).
Analysis of the locution "The fact that...". Suggests that "The collapse of the Germans is an event and is a fact". Criticisms in Vendler (1967a).
1961b Philosophical Papers (J. O. Urmson and G. J. Warnock, eds.), Oxford: Clarendon Press (enlarged edition London: Oxford University Press, 1970).
Includes Austin (1961a) and reprints of (1950, 1956/7).
1962 How to Do Things with Words (J. O. Urmson, ed.), Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press (second revised edition, 1975, M. Sbisà and J. O. Urmson eds.).
On the description of actions: "The perlocutionary act always includes some consequences, as when we say By doing x I was doing y: we do bring in a greater or less stretch of consequences always, some of which may be unintentional. There is no restriction to the minimum physical act at all. That we can import an arbitrarily long stretch of what might also be called the consequences of our act into the nomenclature of the act itself is, or should be a fundamental commonplace of the theory of our language about all action in general. Thus if asked What did he do?, we may reply either He shot the donkey or He fired a gun or He pulled the trigger or He moved his trigger finger, and all may be correct" [pp. 107-8].
Avrahami, J., Kareev, Y.
1994 The Emergence of Events, Cognition, 53, 239-61.
On how events emerge and what determines their boundaries: "It is usually taken for granted that one knows what an event is or how events are demarcated. In this paper an explanation is offered for the emergence of events, the cut hypothesis, which states: A sub-sequence of stimuli is cut out of a sequence to become a cognitive entity if it has been experienced many times in different contexts, and three experiments to demonstrate the predictive power of the hypothesis are described" [p. 239, Abstract].
Back to Contents
Bacchus, F., Tenenberg, J. D., Koomen, J. A.
1991 A Non-reified Temporal Logic, Artificial Intelligence, 52, 87-108.
An extension of the temporal logic of Shohams (1987).
1980 Tenses and Aspects as Functions on Verb-Phrases, in C. Rohrer, ed. (1980), pp. 19-37.
Includes an discussion of the progressive originating with the question: What kinds of expressions are to be classified as having to do with states, processes, accomplishments, and achievements?
1981 On Time, Tense and Aspect: An Essay in English Metaphysics, in P. Cole, ed., Radical Pragmatics, New York: Academic Press, pp. 63-81.
An attempt to "dig out" the hidden metaphysical assumptions that are essential to an understanding of English tenses and aspects. Analyses time on the basis of Vendlers (1957) fourfold classification of verb types into states, processes, accomplishments (or "protracted" events) and achievements ("instantaneous" events), collectively referred to as "eventualities". Analyses the latter both ontologically (using mereological notions) and from the perspective of linguistic theory.
1986a The Algebra of Events, Linguistics and Philosophy, 9 [Special Issue on "Tense and Aspect in Discourse", D. R. Dowty, ed.], 5-16; reprinted in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 497-508.
An extension of Links (1983) account of the count-mass-plural domain to the domain of "eventualities", yielding a characterization of the structure of semantic models whose (sorted) domains include events and processes. Based on the proportion events: processes = things: stuff, the proposal is made that events are analogous to singular and plural individuals, while bounded processes (bits of process) are analogous to the portions of matter that make up the material extension of those individuals [p. 8].
1986b Natural Language Metaphysics, in R. Barcan-Marcus, G. J. W. Dorn, and P. Weingartner, eds., Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science VII, Amsterdam: North Holland, pp. 573-95.
Any "serious account of the semantics of natural language" leads to metaphysical questions such as "What do people talk as if there is?" and "What kinds of things and relations among them does one need in order to exhibit the structure of meanings that natural languages seem to have?" [p. 573]. Section 2 ("Eventology") argues that (i) "something like events" must be included in the domains of the model structures used for doing formal semantics, and (ii) one should provide a classification of these entities if one wants to do natural language semantics. "I dont claim that it is impossible to construct them out of things otherwise needed, just that all the attempts to do so that I know about dont seem to work" [p. 586].
1978 A Representational Theory of Action, Philosophical Studies, 34, 361-79.
Outlines a theory ("Representational Causalism") which seeks to do justice to the execution of action, intentional or not, by positing "executive representations for the duration of the action as the requisite psychological cause".
1980 Actions Are Not Events, Mind, 89, 114-20; reprinted in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 343-49.
Actions are not events. Rather, they are instances of a relation (bringing-about) between an agent and an event, as in von Wright (1963) and Chisholm (1964). Consequences: "We are not obliged to produce a theory of individuation of actions. Instances are not individuals and are not subject to quantification" [p. 119]. Moreover, "Since actions are not events, they do not enter straightforwardly into causal relations--they are neither causes nor effects. This is perfectly consistent with the Causal Theory of action, which does not say that actions are caused but only that an action is performed if a change is caused (in the right way) by a mental episode of the right sort" [p. 120].
Bache, C., Basbøll, H., Lindberg, C.-E., eds.
1994 Tense, Aspect and Action. Empirical and Theoretical Contributions to Language Typology, Berlin and New York: de Gruyter.
Includes Bertinetto (1994), Dik (1994), and Vikner (1994).
1995 Universals and Property Instances. The Alphabet of Being, Oxford: Blackwell.
A defense of tropes, with some remarks on events and causation.
Bahm, A. G.
1971 A Multiple-Aspect Theory of Time, Southwestern Journal of Philosophy, 2, 163-71.
Every change--every becoming different--is an event, and some events completely include several others.
Baier, A. C.
1965 Action and Agent, The Monist, 49, 183-95.
Argues that "in the narration and description of events and actions we do not employ exactly the same categories [...] Nevertheless, the theory here defended maintains that all kinds of action, including intentional ones, admit of causal or deterministic explanation" [p. 183].
1970 Act and Intent, The Journal of Philosophy, 67, 648-58.
Contra Chisholm, argues that the proper objects of intention are acts, not states of affairs.
1971 The Search for Basic Actions, American Philosophical Quarterly, 8, 161-70.
Argues that there is no independently identifiable class of actions which may be said to be basic (in some interesting sense) with regard to other actions. Hence the very concept of a basic action is "of dubious value".
1972 Ways and Means, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 1, 275-93.
Rejects the view that bodily movements are basic actions in favor of a conception of basic actions as "exercises of competences" analysed as "moves" (not "movements").
Baker, G. P., Hacker, P. M. S.
1984 Language, Sense and Nonsense. A Critical Investigation into Modern Theories of Language, Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
On Davidsons (1967a) analysis of action sentences: "Why should the legitimacy of an inference a five-year-old has mastered turn on the intricacies of a novel extension of the predicate calculus? And if there are languages which lack devices for nominalizing verbs, is the inference not valid? Or are the grounds of its validity beyond the comprehension of speakers of that language?" [p. 246].
Baker, L. R.
1993 Metaphysics and Mental Causation, in J. Heil and A. R. Mele, eds. (1993), pp. 75-95.
An attempt to dissolve the problem of mental causation by rooting out and motivating rejection of one of the metaphysical assumptions that lead to it, namely the thesis of the "causal closure of the physical" (= the thesis that "every instantiation of a micro-physical property that has a cause at t has a complete micro-physical cause at t" [p. 79]).
Bar-On, A. Z.
1982 Propositions, Facts, and Events, in W. Leinfellner, E. Kraemer, and J. Schank, eds., Language and Ontology. Proceedings of the 6th International Wittgenstein Symposium, Vienna: Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky, pp. 125-29.
Includes an account of propositions in which facts are truth-value-donors, the analysis focusing on the connection between facts and events "properly construed".
1972 Adverbial semantik. Die Konstitution logisch-semantischer Repräsentationen von Adverbialkonstruktionen [Adverbial Semantics. The Constitution of Logical-semantic Representations of Adverbial Constructions, in German], Frankfurt: Athenäum; Eng. trans. published as The Grammar of Adverbials. A Study in the Semantics and Syntax of Adverbial Constructions, Amsterdam: North Holland, 1976.
An investigation into the logical structure of adverbial constructions, aiming at making inference properties that do not rely on lexical-semantic analysis formally explicit in the logical syntax. The proposed account is a modification of Davidsons (1967a) event-based representation: a verb-nominalization is predicated about processes as well as about the individuals involved (agent, direct object, etc.). Compare T. Parsons (1980, 1985), Carlson (1984) and Dowty (1989) for related material.
1981 Semantics and Syntax of Nominalizations, in J. Groenendijk, T. Janssen, and M. Stokhof, eds., Formal Methods in the Study of Language, Amsterdam: CWI, Centrum dor Mathematics and Computer Science, pp. 1-28.
1983 Over de semantiek von nominalisaties [On the Semantics of Nominalizations, in Dutch], Glot, 6, 1-29; revised English edition published as On Aspectual Properties of Dutch and German Nominalizations, in V. Lo Cascio and C. Vet, eds., Temporal Structure in Sentence and Discourse, Dordrecht: Foris, pp. 7-39.
Objections to Kamp (1979) based on data from Dutch and German. Includes a topology-based classification of three main groups of verb phrases: process (interior of time interval), process with completion/result (interval with defined boundary), and completion/result (boundary of interval).
1988/9 Tenses and Aspects in Discourse, Theoretical Linguistics, 15, 135-94; incorporated in Chapter 2 of Bartsch (1995), pp. 127-210.
Gives a formal treatment of tense and aspect in German, using individuals and space-time regions as basic entities of the semantic models; situations (events, states, and properties) are construed as intensional entities represented as functions from possible worlds to regions.
1992 Scopes of Tenses and Aspects in a Flexible Categorial Grammar, Theoretical Linguistics, 18, 1-44; incorporated in Chapter 3 of Bartsch (1995), pp. 211-64.
Developments of the approach set out in (1988/9) within the framework of a "compositional" discourse representation theory.
1995 Situations, Tense, and Aspect. Dynamic Discourse Ontology and the Semantic Flexibility of the Temporal System in German and English, Berlin and New York: de Gruyter.
The first part of the book is devoted to an examination of some basic ontological issues in semantics. "We do not develop a situation semantics [...] Rather, we treat basic situations as entities within semantics. Over these entities, like over individuals, we can quantify and we can refer to them in predicating about them" [p. 6]. See especially § 1.1, where basic situations (events, states, and properties) are construed as intensional, functional entities in the spirit of (1988/9). Includes also a discussion of identity criteria, and of alternative ontologies (e.g., a Quinean ontology with only situations as basic entities: § 8.2). The second part of the book contains applications to the semantics of tense and aspect.
Barwise, K. J.
1981 Scenes and Other Situations, The Journal of Philosophy, 77, 369-97.
Argues that traditional model-theoretic semantics is incapable of accounting for the semantics of perceptual reports of the "naked infinitive" sort, and formulates an alternative situation-based account. (Further developed in Barwise and Perry 1981b, 1983). Compare Higginbotham (1983) and Vlach (1983) for replies in the spirit of Davidsons (1967a) theory of action sentences.
Barwise, K. J., Perry, J.
1981a Semantic Innocence and Uncompromising Situations, in P. A. French, T. Uehling, and H. K. Wettstein, eds., Foundations of Analytic Philosophy (Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Vol. VI), Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 387-403; reprinted in A. P. Martinich, ed., The Philosophy of Language, Third Edition, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996, pp. 369-81.
A preliminary sketch of situation semantics. Includes a defense against the "slingshot" argument (term introduced here for the first time, in view of the simplicity and minimum of accessories employed by the argument) and a brief outline of the semantics of perceptual reports presented in Barwise (1981).
1981b Situations and Attitudes, The Journal of Philosophy, 78, 668-91.
Outline of situation semantics; see (1983) for developments.
1983 Situations and Attitudes, Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT Press / Bradford Books.
Full-fledged formulation of situation semantics. Events are treated as dynamic situations (as opposed to states of affairs). The proposed account is germane to that of Kim (1966, 1969, 1973a) and Goldman (1970): events (called "courses of events") are essentially sets of partial functions from spatio-temporal locations to "situation-types" defined by a tuple of objects standing or failing to stand in a certain relation. On the identity issue: "We can say that there is one actual event e, and that its factual parts e1, e2 and e3 correspond to its being several different types of events at once [...] But we could equally well say that all the events are actual and fit together in various ways into larger events. Depending on how we view the matter, we will see the situation structure that represents the world as having fewer or more actual events, but the same factual events" [pp. 67-68].
1986 Ehrings Theory of Causal Asymmetry, Analysis, 46, 29-32.
Criticisms of Ehring (1982).
1986 Story, Performance, Event: Contextual Studies of Oral Narrative, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Events are "action structures, organized by relationships of causality, temporality, and other such linkages; narratives are verbal structures, organized by rules of discourse. Most commonly narratives are seen as "verbal icons of the events they represent, and the problem is one of determining the nature and extent of the isomorphism between them and the means by which this formal relationship is narratively achieved" [p. 5].
1986 The Role of Event Expressions in Grammar, Studies in Language, 10, 1-52.
There is a common core, shared by how-sentences and bare infinitives following perception verbs, that lies "in the fact that it must be event-expressions that are in the scope of the operator HOW or in the complement of a (non-epistemic) perception verb like see, hear, etc." [p. 5]. The event analysis is used to derive "a unified treatment of manner adverbs and predicative adjectives. The result of this [is] that the categorial distinction between some adverbs and adjectives becomes superfluous" [p. 5].
Baylis, C. A.
1948 Events, Propositions, Exemplification and Truth, Mind, 57, 459-79.
Includes a fact-based analysis of sentences such as Mary is making pies which resembles Davidsons (1967a) event-based analysis of action sentences. See Clark (1975).
Beardsley, M. C.
1975 Actions and Events: The Problem of Individuation, American Philosophical Quarterly, 12, 263-76.
"For the events e and f to be identical, they must have same subject and spatio-temporal location, and their (participial) property descriptions must belong to the same modification set (e.g. reddening, reddening slowly, reddening in July). The same criterion applies to actions, which are here treated strictly as a proper subclass of events (Johns closing the door = the doors becoming closed). Actions related by Goldmans causal generation are therefore distinct, but those related by this and other three types of act-generation are not. This conclusion requires abandonment of the view--questionable on other grounds--that causal context are thoroughly extensional" [The Philosophers Index Abstract].
Beauchamp, T. L., ed.,
1974 Philosophical Problems of Causation, Encino, CA: Dickenson.
Includes reprints of Davidson (1967c), Gasking (1955), Humber and Madden (1971), and Pap (1957).
Beauchamp, T. L., Rosenberg, A.
1974 Singular Causal Statements: A Reconsideration, Philosophical Forum, 5, 611-18.
Discussion of R. Martin (1972).
1981 Hume and the Problem of Causation, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Chapter 7 on "Events, Facts, and the Extensionality of Causal Concepts" covers a number of modern accounts of causation and of its ontology (particular attention is devoted to the "slingshot" argument) and relates them to Humes philosophy. "The Humean will insist that the Titanics sinking and its sinking rapidly are two distinct spatiotemporally restricted particulars. The former is an event. The latter may not be so classified by ordinary thought, but it is surely as much a concrete particular item with its own causes and effects as the former [...] What is crucial for the Humean is that the resulting multiplication of events makes possible a coherent and defensible ontology, a commitment to the extensionality of causal sentences, and an analysis of events that complements the regularity theory" [pp. 274-75].
1977 Handeln und Handlungserklärung [Acting and Action Explanation, in German], in A. Beckermann, ed. (1977), pp. 7-84.
A comprehensive introduction to the early literature on action explanation.
Beckermann, A., ed.
1977 Analytische Handlungstheorie. Band 2: Handlungserklärungen [Analytical Action Theory. Volume 2: Action Explanations, in German], Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag.
An anthology of classic papers on action theory (in German translation), focusing on the topic of action explanation. See Meggle, ed. (1977) for volume 1 (on action description).
1981 Temporal Indexicals and the B-Theory of Time, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh.
Contains a preliminary exposition of the view formulated in Beer (1988).
1988 Temporal Indexicals and the Passage of Time, Philosophical Quarterly, 38, 158-64; reprinted in L. N. Oaklander and Q. Smith, eds. (1994), pp. 87-93.
Puts forward a "co-reporting theory of tenseless and tensed sentences", whence it is argued that "an events having an A-determination--its being past, present, or future--is identical with that events bearing a temporal relation to some moment of time. Criticism in Smith (1990a).
Belegrinos, P., Georgeff, M. P.
1991 A Model of Events and Processes, in Proceedings of the 12th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-91), Vol. 1, Sydney: IJCAI [Morgan Kaufmann], pp. 506-11.
A model for reasoning about arbitrarily complex dynamic domains involving multiple agents.
1965 Action, Reason, and Purpose, The Journal of Philosophy, 62, 85-95; reprinted in N. Care and C. Landesman, eds. (1968), pp. 238-52.
On the question: How do intention and reason modify agency to yield the basic idea of action?
1966 Whatever the Consequences, Analysis, 26, 83-102; reprinted in B. Steinbock and A. Norcross, eds., Killing and Letting Die (second edition), New York: Fordham University Press, 1994, pp. 167-91.
1967 Acting and Refraining, Analysis, 28, 30-31.
A rejoinder to Fitzgerald (1967).
1973 Shooting, Killing, and Dying, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 2, 315-23; reprinted in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 319-27.
A unifiers solution to the time-of-a-killing problem (Goldman 1971, Thomson 1971a), drawing upon an analogy with material objects. If John is stabbed in the morning and dies at night, can the stab be redescribed as a kill? The problem is the same for material objects: can we describe Wagner at his birth as the composer of Tristan? Compare Vollrath (1975), Grimm (1977), Anscombe (1979a) for similar accounts. See also Davidson (1985b, 1987). Critical remarks in Thalberg (1975) and A. R. White (1979/80).
1981 Morality and Consequences, in M. McMurrin, ed., The Tanner Lectures on Human Values II, Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 45-116.
Lecture 1, on "Killing and Letting Die" [pp. 47-72], is on the contrast between "what happens because a person did do such and such" and "what happens because he did not" [p. 47].
1985 Adverb-Dropping Inferences and the Lemmon Criterion, in E. LePore and B. P. McLaughlin, eds. (1985), pp. 193-206.
Argues that if Davidson endorses Lemmons (1967) criterion for event identity in terms of sameness of spatio-temporal location, "he ought not to account for any adverbs in terms of predications on events; and so he will be committed to relinquishing one of his two main arguments for having an ontology of events" [p. 206].
1987 Event Causation: The Counterfactual Analysis, in J. Tomberlin, ed., Metaphysics (Philosophical Perspectives, Vol. 1), Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, pp. 367-86; reprinted in E. Sosa and M. Tooley, eds. (1993), pp. 217-33.
On some complications for D. K. Lewiss (1973) counterfactual analysis of causation stemming from the "asymmetry fact": in short, the fact that hasteners are causes but delayers are not.
1988 Events and Their Names, Oxford: Clarendon Press; Indianapolis: Hackett.
Thorough analysis of the different types of nominal phrases derived from verbs via nominalizations, such as "that John runs", "Johns running", "Johns run". Events are the referent of the latter type. Their metaphysics is accounted for in terms of Kims conception of events as property exemplifications (more precisely, events are instances of particular properties--tropes--at particular spatio-temporal zones). Kims semantics of event names (and the related identity criteria for events) is however rejected: "The metaphysical thesis that Leibnizs journey was an instance of property P has not the faintest tendency to imply the semantic thesis that any name of Leibnizs journey must contain a name of P or a predicate that connotes P" [p. 93]. Arguments in favour of fact causation, every event being associated with an underlying fact. Reviewed by Cresswell (1989), McHenry (1989), Teichmann (1990), Wilkerson (1990), Petit (1991b), McIntyre (1992), Cleland (1994). See also the (1991a) Précis and the related symposium.
1991a Précis of Events and Their Names, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 51, 625-28.
Compact exposition of the views and arguments advanced in (1988). See also (1991b).
1991b Reply to Reviewers, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 51, 647-62.
Replies to Campbell (1991), Kim (1991), Parsons (1991), and Sanford (1991a).
1994 The "Namely" Analysis of the "By"-Locution, Linguistics and Philosophy, 17, 29-51.
Argues that the "by"-locution (in sentences like "He broke a promise by coming home late") states "a relation between two complete propositions about how the person behaves--propositions which usually do not involve the concept of an act [...] The initial clause says that some fact about how the person behaved had relational property RP, and the gerundial phrase says what [...] Thus, He broke a promise - by - coming home late analyses into Some fact about his behavior conflicted with a promise he had made earlier--namely the fact that--he came home late" [p. 36]. Based on the last chapter of (1988).
1995 The Act Itself, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Includes some new thoughts on the "by"-relation and on event- and act-individuation.
1996 What Events Are, in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 137-51.
A compact and refined formulation of the views put forward in (1988, 1991a, 1991b, 1994), including a development of Bennetts criticism of Kims "confusion" between metaphysical and semantic issues.
1977 A Guide to the Logic of Tense and Aspect in English, Logique et Analyse, 20, 491-515.
Puts forward an interval-based analysis of tensed sentences. Developments in (1981).
1981 On Tense and Aspect: One Analysis, in P. Tedeschi and A. Zaenen, eds. (1981), pp. 13-30.
Develops an interval-based analysis of the progressive-perfect distinction in English according to which (1) a sentence in the progressive form such as "Jones is leaving" is true at some time interval I iff the extension of the subject is in the extension of the verb at some open interval I' including I; (2) a simple non-progressive sentence such as "Jones has left" is true at I iff the extension of the subject is in the extension of the verb at some closed interval I' preceding I. "The present perfect tense always describes a performance; the perfect aspect indicates a completion [...] The present progressive always describes an activity" [p. 14-15].
Bennett, M., Partee, B. H.
1978 Toward the Logic of Tense and Aspect in English, Indianapolis: Indiana University Linguistics Club.
A semantic analysis of tense and aspect using intervals of time (as opposed to instants of time, as in standard tense logic of the time).
1995 Direct Reference and Events, Dialogos, 30/66, 43-58.
1974 Response, in R. Severens, ed. (1974), pp. 134-36.
Comments on Cebik (1974).
1974 Elementary Causal Structures in Newtonian and Minkowskian Space-Time, Theoria, 40, 191-201.
Puts forward a unified treatment of certain aspects of the causal structures of Newtonian and Minkowskian space-time. The account is formulated within first-order classical logic with identity and uses as a single primitive notion a ternary relation of causal betweenness among space-time events.
1955 Professor Quine on Analyticity, Mind, 64, 254-58; reprinted in Bergmann (1959), pp. 139-43.
"The events signified by proper names of the interpreted [relativity] calculus are happenings among ordinary physical objects persisting in time and space. This is why one does not have to accept a sense data philosophy or any other sort of eventism in order to square ones self with modern science" [p. 142].
1957 Elementarism, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 18, 107-14; reprinted in Bergmann (1959), pp. 115-23.
"Event, to be sure, is vague. In some contexts we call the French Revolution a single event; in some others we dont. In the present context, though, an event is, without doubt, what is wholly contained in a specious present. A particular is wholly contained in a specious present; a character (universal) is not [...] Events are a kind of states of affairs. A state of affairs is what is referred to (not "named"!) by a sentence. In our context, which "ties" events to a specious present, an event is a state of affairs referred to by a substitution instance of ƒ(x), say, gr(a) [where gr is a first-order predicate such as green]" [pp. 117-18].
1959 Meaning and Existence, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press.
Includes reprints of Bergmann (1955, 1957).
1981 Føllesdal and Davidson on Reasons and Causes: A Preliminary Account, in W. Rabinowicz (ed.), Tankar och Tankefel: Tillägnade Zalma Puterman (Philosophical Studies of the Philosophical Society and the Department of Philosophy of the University of Uppsala, nr. 33), Uppsala: Uppsala Universitet, pp. 9-21.
Argues that Føllesdal (1980) has not succeeded in refuting Davidsons (1963) view that the causes of actions are the reasons for acting, though "the truth of the matter may very well contain elements from both sides of the dispute" [p. 9].
Berman, R. A., Slobin, D. I. (in collaboration with A. Aksun-Koç et al.)
1994 Relating Events in Narrative. A Crosslinguistic Developmental Study, Hillsdale, NJ, and Hove, UK: Erlbaum.
An extensive psychological study of the way narrators develop linguistic means to connect events and syntactically "package" them into coherent structures.
1971 Determinism, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
On characterizing determinism: All events involve the presence of some change; hence, if determinism is formulated as a thesis about events, it turns into a thesis about changes, which implies that a body at rest presents a difficulty for the determinist. This and related difficulties are avoided by not using the concept of event in the definition of determinism.
1973 The Counterfactual Analysis of Causation, The Journal of Philosophy, 70, 568-69.
Comments on D. K. Lewis (1973).
Bertinetto, P. M.
1994 Temporal Reference, Aspect and Actionality: Their Neutralization and Interactions, Mostly Exemplified in Italian, in C. Bache, H. Basbøll, and C.-E. Lindberg, eds. (1994), pp. 113-37.
An inventory of facts about the semantics of verbs, with a view to a typological systematization.
Bertinetto, P. M., Bianchi, V., Higginbotham, J., Squartini, M., eds.
1995 Temporal Reference, Aspect, and Actionality. Vol. 1: Semantic and Syntactic Perspectives, Torino: Rosenberg & Sellier.
Includes Bonomi (1995), Desclés and Guentchéva (1995), Pustejovsky and Busa (1995) and Verkuyl (1995a) along with many other papers on tense, aspect, and Aktionsarten.
Bertinetto, P. M., Bianchi, V., Dahl, Ö., Squartini, M., eds.
1995 Temporal Reference, Aspect, and Actionality. Vol. 2: Typological Perspectives, Torino: Rosenberg & Sellier.
Sequel to Bertinetto, Bianchi, Higginbotham, Squartini, eds. (1995). Mostly linguistics-oriented contributions.
1989 Event Nominalization: Proposals and Problems, Linguistische Studien 194, 1-73.
Bigger, C. P.
1973 Objects and Events, The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 11, 27-53.
A Whiteheadian ontological scheme of objects and events.
1995 Donald Davidson, in J. Kim and E. Sosa, eds., A Companion to Metaphysics, Oxford and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, pp. 108-10.
Includes a presentation of the main lines of interaction between semantics and ontology in Davidsons programme, with particular reference to the analysis of action sentences.
1992 Actions, evénements et forme logique [Actions, Events, and Logical Form, in French], Philosophie, 33, 52-71.
A defence of Goldmans account of the by-locution.
1976 The Logic of Action, in M. Brand and D. Walton, eds. (1976), pp. 87-104.
Suggests to get rid of actions and events by paraphrasing them away (in a language with suitably rich logical resources).
1989 Particular Actions, in D. Stewart, ed., Entities and Individuation. Studies in Ontology and Language in Honor of Neil Wilson, Lewiston, Lampeter, and Queenston: Edwin Mellen Press, pp. 19-38.
Against ontological commitment to events: "Events [...] are like wrinkles, and are creatures of the superstructure. At the base level we describe events by referring to and characterizing objects, places and times" [p. 21]. Includes several objections to Brands (1976a, 1977) criterion for event identity in terms of necessary spatio-temporal coincidence: neither objects nor events are essential occupiers of spatio-temporal regions, and even if they were, the difference introduced by Brand would not properly distinguish among them. Moreover, argues that Brands criterion suffers crucially from the difficulty of fixing the spatial boundaries of many events.
Binkley, R., Bronaugh, R., Marras, A., eds.,
1971 Agent, Action, and Reason, Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Includes Davidson (1971a) and a useful thirty-three page bibliography on the philosophy of action.
1952 Postulates for Physical Time, Philosophy of Science, 19, 50-69
"There is no time without events and no events without time" [p. 69].
1953 Time and Events, Philosophy of Science, 20, 238-40.
Reply to Nordberg (1953).
1983 Agent-Causation, Mind, 92, 61-79.
Argues that basic intentional action should be understood as consisting of an irreducible relation between an agent and an event (or between an agent and a set of events).
1986 Is Agent-Causality a Conceptual Primitive?, Synthese, 67, 225-47.
Argues that agent causality cannot be analysed as a species of event causation and is thus best viewed as a conceptual primitive.
1989 Natural Agency. An Essay on the Causal Theory of Action, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
The core of the problem of natural agency: "What makes action problematic from a naturalistic perspective is that actions [...] are understood as essentially involving determination of events by the agent. [...] But from the perspective of natural science, if events are understood as determined at all, it is just in the sense that their occurrence is event-caused" [p. 39]. The solution--it is argued--lies in a causal theory of action: actions are events caused by mental states of the right sort.
1958 Making Something Happen, in S. Hook, ed., Determinism and Freedom in the Age of Modern Science. A Philosophical Symposium, New York: New York University Press, pp. 15-30 (reprint New York: Collier Books, 1961, pp. 31-45).
An analysis of the locution Person P made motion M happen by doing action A.
Blackburn, P., Gardent, C., de Rijke, M.
1994 Back and Forth Through Time and Events, in P. Dekker and M. Stokhof, eds., Proceedings of the 9th Amsterdam Colloquium, Amsterdam: Institute for Language, Logic and Computation, pp. 161-73.
"Formal accounts of temporal constructions in natural language often disagree about the semantic ontology to be assumed--should it be point based, interval based, or event based? We think that more adequate analyses of natural language will be obtained by combining ontologies, not choosing between them. We illustrate this by combining interval structures with (various forms of) event structures into what we call back-and-forth structures" [p. 161]. It is then argued that such structures enable one to view temporal constructions (such as tense and aspect) as methods for moving systematically between information sources.
1994 The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.
The entry Event [p. 128] takes the central philosophical question about events to be whether they are individuals or proposition-like entities.
Blumenfeld, J. B.
1979 Action and Intention, Philosophia, 9, 299-315.
Includes a discussion of Dantos notion of basic action.
1990a Concerted Instant-Interval Temporal Semantics I: Temporal Ontologies, Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, 31, 403-14.
An examination of the relationships between instant-based and interval-based temporal semantics.
1990b Concerted Instant-Interval Temporal Semantics II: Temporal Valuations and Logics of Change, Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, 31, 580-601.
Considers some "logics of change" stemming from the mutual definability of instant and interval temporal structures, as examined in (1990a).
Boër, S. E.
1979 Meaning and Contrastive Stress, The Philosophical Review, 88, 263-98.
A criticism of Dretske (1977) on the effect of contrastive stress on the interpretation of, e.g., causal statements.
1968 Physical Determinism, in N. Care and C. Landesman, eds. (1968), pp. 127-56.
Includes a discussion of the by-relation and of such questions as: "dont A moved his finger and As finger moved refer to one and the same event? If so, how could the former possibly explain the occurrence of the latter?" [p. 145].
Bohl, F. R., Jr.
1973 On Sentences Referring, Logique et Analyse, 16, 345-57.
Argues that "if we take seriously English sentences as referring expressions", Kims own defence against the argument that all true sentences pick out the same event is "ill-founded". Kim is anyway defended on different grounds.
1983 Eventi mentali [Mental Events, in Italian], Milan: Il Saggiatore.
A systematic analysis of the semantics of sentences reporting mental events such as desires and perceivings.
1995 Aspect and Quantification, in P. M. Bertinetto, V. Bianchi, J. Higginbotham, and M. Squartini, eds. (1995), pp. 93-110.
An analysis of when-clauses in Italian, focusing on the interaction between aspect, event reference, and quantificational structure.
Bonomi, A., Casalegno, P.
1993 Only: Association with Focus in Event Semantics, Natural Language Semantics, 2, 1-45.
Proposes a semantic analysis of sentences involving only (in combination with focused expressions) within the frame of an event semantics à la E. Bach (1986a) and Krifka (1989a).
Bopp, C. J.
1982 Whiteheads Theory of Events, Doctoral Dissertation, Wayne State University.
A detailed reconstruction, including comparisons with the views of Quine, Chisholm, Lemmon, Davidson. Concludes that the merging of the categories of event and object in Whiteheads later works, and his insistence on internal relations, commit him to the "untenable position" of the essentiality of an entitys spatio-temporal location.
Borchardt, G. C.
1985 Event Calculus, Proceedings of the 9th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-85), Vol. 1, Los Angeles: IJCAI [Morgan Kaufmann], pp. 524-27.
"This paper presents Event Calculus, a model for representing the identifying characteristics of physical events in terms of changes in a scene of time-related combinations of other physical events. The model is used to construct a knowledge-based system for event recognition which forms a high-level description of changes on a scene, given a lower-level description of the input" [Authors abstract]. Not to be confused with either the "event calculus" of Kowalski and Sergot (1986) or that of Larson and Segal (1995).
1974 Adverbials in Action Sentences, Synthese, 28, 483-512.
Criticizes Davidsons (1967a) analysis of adverbial contexts as linguistically incorrect and lacking in generality. Outlines an account whereby adverbial modification is treated as an operation on sentences (adverbs being of various kinds--of time, place, manner, etc.). The principles underlying the inferential relations among adverbs are given in axiomatic form.
1996 Abduction to Plausible Causes: An Event-based Model of Belief Update, Artificial Intelligence, 83, 143-66.
Proposes an event-based semantic account of belief update.
1981 Adequacy Conditions and Event Identity, Synthese, 49, 337-74.
A critical examination of various adequacy conditions put forward in the literature, culminating with the formulation of a core set of conditions that any adequate criterion of event identity should satisfy.
1983 Criteria for Event Identity, Philosophy Research Archives, 9, 29-78.
Reviews arguments in favor or against various event identity criteria. (The adequacy conditions argued for in (1981) turn out to be insufficient for deciding among such a variety of criteria.)
Bradie, M., Brand, M., eds.
1980 Action and Responsibility, Bowling Green, OH: Applied Philosophy Program.
Includes Brand (1980b), L. H. Davis (1980), and Kim (1980).
Bradley, M. C.
1979 Two Logical Connection Arguments and Some Principles about Causal Connection, Erkenntnis, 14, 1-23.
Denies the principle that causally related events are logically distinct, and objects to its application to the case of mental events and movements.
1967 Some Systematic and Extra-Systematic Considerations Concerning the Description of Human Actions, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Rochester.
1968 Danto on Basic Actions, Noûs, 2, 187-90.
Argues that some actions that would intuitively be taken as non-basic (viz., complexes of basic actions) are rated basic by Dantos (1965) account. Also criticises Dantos definitions insofar as they imply that a persons actions cause the person to perform other actions.
1970a Causes of Actions, The Journal of Philosophy, 68, 932-47.
On the question: What are the candidates for causes of actions? Examines various options; does not make a case for any particular candidate, but rejects Davidsons (1963) account that the causes of actions are the reasons for acting.
1970b Introduction. The Logic of Action, in Brand, ed. (1970), pp. 219-35.
A good survey of the early literature.
1971 The Language of Not Doing, American Philosophical Quarterly, 8, 45-53.
An analysis of refraining according to which S refrains from performing a iff (i) it is not the case that S performs a, and (ii) there is some action that S performs, b, such that S performs b in order that S's performing b prevents S's performing a. Criticized by Gorr (1979).
1972 Review of Goldman (1970), The Journal of Philosophy, 69, 249-56.
Points out that Goldmans notion of "generation" yields incomplete diagrams, with infinitely many missing intermediate action descriptions between each term (when properly completed, the diagrams branch indefinitely leftward).
1976a Particulars, Events, and Actions, in M. Brand and D. Walton, eds. (1976), pp. 133-58.
Events are spatio-temporal particulars, differing from physical objects only in that they do not fully occupy the spatio-temporal region in which they occur. The relevant identity criterion is a modal strengthening of Quines and Lemmons: events are the same which occur necessarily within the same region. (See Quinton 1979, Hacker 1982b, and Lombard 1986 for the objection that this makes events still too similar to material objects, and Binkley 1989 for objections to the modal distinction between the two.) Semantically, the criterion says that an event-identity statement a=b is true iff Necessarily, a+ and b+ occur within the same spatio-temporal region is true, where a and b are canonical event descriptions and a+ and b+ the result of applying Kaplans Dthat operator to rigidify names and descriptions occurring transparently therein. See Tye (1979), Horgan (1980a), Wierenga and Feldman (1981), Simons (1981), and Tomberlin (1987) for further criticisms to this characterization.
1976b Reply to Martin, in M. Brand and D. Walton, eds. (1976), pp. 193-96.
Some clarifications of Brand (1976a) in reply to R. M. Martin (1976).
1976c Introduction: Defining "Causes", in M. Brand, ed. (1976), pp. 1-44.
An extensive and wide-ranging survey.
1977 Identity Conditions for Events, American Philosophical Quarterly, 14, 329-37; reprinted in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 363-71.
Davidsons account (1969a) is found inadequate insofar as it implies that all ineffectual events are identical; Kims criterion (1969, 1973a) is found inadequate insofar as it presupposes a way of specifying the range of properties that are constitutive of events, which can only be given by delineating some "conceptually significant property" of events. Brands own proposal is a restatement of the one put forward in (1976a): "necessary spatiotemporal coincidence provides adequate identity conditions for events" [p. 329]. (See 1976a for related references.)
1979a The Fundamental Question in Action Theory, Noûs, 13, 131-51.
What properties must a mental event have in order for it to be the proximate cause of action? Tentative answer: it must involve a conative component, a property of "immediate intending" whose main characteristic is a "pushing effect" (or "moving to act").
1979b On Tyes "Brand on Event Identity", Philosophical Studies, 36, 61-68.
A response to Tyes (1979) criticisms of the event identity criterion put forward in Brand (1976a, 1977).
1979c Causality, in P. Asquith and H. Kyburg, Jr., eds., Current Research in Philosophy of Science, East Lansing, MI: Philosophy of Science Association, pp. 252-81.
A review article, focusing mostly on the analysis of singular causal statements.
1980a Simultaneous Causation, in P. van Inwagen, ed. (1980), pp. 109-35.
1980b Philosophical Action Theory and the Foundations of Motivational Psychology, in M. Bradie and M. Brand, eds. (1980), pp. 1-19.
An attempt to take "a step toward the unifying forces" of the philosophy of action and the psychological theory of motivation and behavior insofar as they focus on the single issue of human action. Includes a restatement of the views put forward in (1979a). Comments in Kim (1980).
1981a A Particularist Theory of Events, Grazer philosophische Studien, 12/13 [special issue also published as R. Haller, ed., Science and Ethics, Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1981], 187-202.
A revised version of the theory of events advanced in (1976a, 1977): based on Horgans (1980) discussion, the semantic formulation of the identity criterion becomes "if a+ and b+ are rigid, then a=b is true iff Necessarily, a+ and b+ occur within the same spatio-temporal region is true. Includes some remarks on the consequences of the theory for issues concerning mental events.
1981b Review of Thomson (1977), Philosophy of Social Science, 2, 485-94.
1982 Physical Objects and Events, in W. Leinfellner, E. Kraemer, and J. Schank, eds., Language and Ontology. Proceedings of the 6th International Wittgenstein Symposium, Vienna: Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky, pp. 106-16.
Defense of the particularist conception put forward in (1976a, 1981a): "Physical objects occupy spatio-temporal regions, and so do events: they are both types of concrete particulars. But there is a crucial difference between them. Physical objects wholly occupy the spatio-temporal regions in which they exist; but events do not wholly occupy the spatio-temporal regions in which they occur". This is why events appear to be ephemeral, though in fact they are on a par with physical objects. Restatement of the identity criterion defended in (1976a, 1977, 1979b).
1984 Intending and Acting. Toward a Naturalized Action Theory, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press/Bradford Books.
A comprehensive essay on action theory, its ontological foundations, and the folk psychology of intending, desiring and believing. Chapter 3 defends and further articulates the particularist conception of events and the corresponding identity criterion put forward in (1976a, 1977, 1979b, 1981a, 1982).
1986 Intentional Actions and Plans, in P. A. French, T. Uehling, and H. K. Wettstein, eds., Studies in the Philosophy of Mind (Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Vol. X), Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 213-30.
Articulates and defends the thesis that intentional action is action performed in following a plan.
1989a Proximate Causation of Action, in J. Tomberlin, ed. (1989), pp. 423-42.
Argues that a successful causal theory of action requires that there is a single unique type of event that proximately causes action.
1989b Events as Spatio-temporal Particulars: A Defense, in W. L. Gombocz, H. Rutte, and W. Sauer, eds., Traditionen und Perspektiven der analytischen Philosophie. Festschrift für Rudolf Haller, Vienna, Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky, pp. 398-414.
Defends the view put forward in (1976a, 1977, 1979, 1981a, 1982, 1984) against Kims view and the counterarguments of Lombard (1986) and Tomberlin (1987). The final section compares that view with that of D. K. Lewis (1986b).
1989c Review of Lombard (1986), Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 49, 525-29.
1991 Action, in H. Burkhardt and B. Smith, eds., Handbook of Metaphysics and Ontology, Vol. 1, Munich: Philosophia, pp. 17-18.
Concise and useful introduction to the main issues and positions in action theory.
Brand, M., ed.
1970 The Nature of Human Action, Glenview, IL: Scott-Foresman.
Includes Prichard (1949), Davidson (1963), Danto (1965), Rescher (1970), and an extensive annotated bibliography.
1976 The Nature of Causation, Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Includes reprints of Burks (1951), Gasking (1955), R. Taylor (1963b), J. L. Mackie (1965), and Davidson (1967c) along with an extensive introduction (Brand 1976c) and an annotated bibliography on causation [pp. 369-87].
Brand, M., Walton, D. N., eds.
1976 Action Theory. Proceedings of the Winnipeg Conference on Human Action, Dordrecht: Reidel.
Includes Binkley (1976), Brand (1976a, 1976b), Chisholm (1976b), Goldman (1976), Kim (1976), R. M. Martin (1976), Sellars (1976), and Thalberg (1976).
1991 Some Remarks on the "Slingshot" Argument, in G. Schurz and G. J. W. Dorn, eds., Advances in Scientific Philosophy. Essays in Honour of Paul Weingartner on the Occasion of the 60th Anniversary of His Birthday [Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities, 24], Amsterdam and Atlanta, GA: Editions Rodopi, pp. 421-37.
Proposes to take fact-bundles, rather than individual facts, as truth-makers also for atomic sentences, arguing that this blocks the application of the "slingshot" argument against an ontology of facts. Includes a review of the literature on the argument.
Brandl, J., Gombocz, W. L., eds.
1989 The Mind of Donald Davidson [=Grazer philosophische Studien, 36], Amsterdam and Atlanta, GA: Editions Rodopi.
Includes Lanz (1987).
Brandt, R., Kim, J.
1963 Wants as Explanations of Actions, The Journal of Philosophy, 60, 425-35; reprinted in N. Care and C. Landesman, eds. (1968), pp. 199-213.
An analysis of wanting and of explanations of actions in terms of wants.
1967 The Logic of the Identity Theory, The Journal of Philosophy, 64, 515-37.
An attempt to provide "a formulation of the identity theory which we think everyone can at least understand, which affirms that phenomenal events like being-looked-red-to and itching are retained as ultimate items in the furniture of the world, and which construes identity in a way sufficiently strong to remove the traditional philosophical puzzles" [p. 515].
Bratman, M. E.
1978 Individuation and Action, Philosophical Studies, 33, 367-75.
Argues that the fine-grained approach to action identity of Kim and Goldman cannot account for certain relations intuitively holding between the various events involved in cases such as xs raising his nose by raising his hand (thereby becoming a person with an uptilted nose).
1982 Review of Thomson (1977), Noûs, 16, 467-73.
1985 Davidsons Theory of Intention, in B. Vermazen and M. B. Hintikka, eds. (1985), pp. 13-26; reprinted with an added Appendix in E. LePore and B. P. McLaughlin, eds. (1985), pp. 14-28.
Difficulties for Davidsons theory of intention "are rooted in an overly limited conception of intentions and plans in practical reasoning" [p. 13].
1987 Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason. Cambridge, MA, and London: Harvard University Press.
Argues that intentions are neither desires nor beliefs but plans (or pieces of partial plans) for actions.
Braude, S. E.
1971 Towards a Theory of Recurrence, Noûs, 5, 15-24.
A tense-logic reformulation of Chisholms (1970) formal reduction of talk about event occurrences to talk about recurrable events.
1965 A Sophisticates Primer of Relativity, New York: Harper & Row.
The event concept "always has a temporal connotation and implies a happening of some sort. We are not likely to speak of a book passively resting on a table as an event" [p. 115].
Brody, B. A.
1980 Identity and Essence, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Section 2 on Strawsons (1959) views on the asymmetric relation of dependency between events and objects. Section 3.3.b criticizes both Davidsons (1969a) and Kims (1969) identity criteria for actions and events as failing to provide a sufficient condition. (Most author criticize Kim with regard to the sufficiency condition, as being excessively fine-grained.) Concludes that "it is best [...] simply to adopt our general theory of identity and apply it to the identity of events" [p. 70].
1962 What Are Effects?, in R. J. Butler, ed., Analytical Philosophy, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 15-20.
A discussion of Vendler (1962a). Rejoinder in Vendler (1962b).
Brown, D. G.
1968 Action, Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
An account of the concept of action "from the point of view of the agent", based on "the primacy of inanimate action" and "the pervasiveness of explanatory insight in the description of action".
1960/1 Acts, The Review of Metaphysics, 14, 3-17.
Acts should be accorded existential status as "occurrences".
Brumbaugh, R. S.
1982 Review of Tiles (1981), The Review of Metaphysics, 36, 206-7.
Bull, W. E.
1960 Time, Tense, and the Verb. A Study in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, with Particular Attention to Spanish, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
Foresees twelve distinct tense forms "representing all possible order relations between all possible events and four axes of orientation". (See diagram on p. 31 for the nine tenses exemplified in English.) Gives "seven basic axioms which are descriptive of the objective nature of events: (1) All events take place in time. (2) All events take time to take place; they have length and are measurable. (3) All events--with, perhaps, some theoretical or irrelevant exceptions--have a beginning (initiative aspect), a middle (imperfective aspect), and an end (terminative aspect). (4) All events take place unidirectionally; the end is always later in time than the beginning. (5) No event can be identical with itself. (6) All repetitions of the same event are sequent and serial. (7) All events are either cyclic or noncyclic, that is, desinent or indesinent in grammatical terminology" [pp. 16-17].
1977a States and Events, in W. E. Hartnett, ed., Systems: Approaches, Theories, Applications, Dordrecht and Boston: Reidel, pp. 71-95.
Claims that "the concepts of state and event are employed not only in ontology but also in epistemology [...], but uncritically since they are not analyzed" [p. 72]. On the proposed analysis, "Every event occurs in or to some concrete thing, and it consists in a change of state of the thing" [p. 89]. Events that can be analyzed into further events "may be also called processes [...] Being changes of states of things, events and processes are representable as trajectories in the state spaces of changing things. And because states are relative to the reference frame and the representation [...], their changes too are relative in the same sense" [ibid.].
1977b Ontology I: The Furniture of the World, Volume 3 of Treatise on Basic Philosophy, Dordrecht and Boston: Reidel.
Chapter 5, "Change", expounds the view that every event consists in a (quantitative or qualitative) change of state of some thing: "science [...] provides no ground for hypothesising the existence of thingless events any more than it suggests that there might be changeless things" [p. 273]. A systematic formalization of this view is provided.
1979 Individualism and the Mental, in P. A. French, T. Uehling, and H. K. Wettstein, eds. (1979), pp. 73-121
Contains an argument against the token-identity of the mental and the physical [pp. 109-113].
1983 Review of Davidson (1980b), Ethics, 93, 608-11.
1993 Mind-Body Causation and Explanatory Practice, in J. Heil and A. R. Mele, eds. (1993), pp. 97-120.
Includes a discussion of Davidsons (1986) reactions to the argument against token-identity put forward in Burge (1979).
Burgess, J. A.
1984 Basic Tense Logic, in D. Gabbay and F. Guenthner, eds., Handbook of Philosophical Logic, Volume II (Extensions of Classical Logic), Dordrecht: Reidel, pp. 89-133.
A useful introduction to the logical analysis of tense.
Burks, A. W.
1951 The Logic of Causal Propositions, Mind, 60, 263-82; reprinted in M. Brand, ed. (1976), pp. 257-76.
Develops a language for expressing causal propositions: it makes use of a connective of causal implication and is eventually extended with modal operators of causal possibility and causal necessity. Compare Føllesdal (1965, 1966) for problems (in the spirit of Davidsons 1967c "slingshot") and developments.
1975 Cause, Chance, Reason: An Inquiry into the Nature of Scientific Evidence, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Chapters 6 and 7 include developments and applications of the logic of causal propositions introduced in (1951).
1986 States of Affairs, in R. J. Bogdan, ed., Roderick M. Chisholm, Dordrecht: Reidel, pp. 113-33.
Raises various questions about the nature of the category of states of affairs in Chisholms ontology, and argues that the concept of a state of affairs is itself obscure.
Butler, R. J.
1969 On Events and Event-Descriptions, in J. Margolis, ed. (1969), pp. 84-94.
Symposium with D. Davidson (1969b) and R. M. Martin (1969b). Argues, against Martin, that "the sharp contrasts he draws between facts and events fail to catch all-important nuances of talk about both [...] Sometimes one just cannot say whether [a given phrase] describes an event or names a fact" [pp. 86, 88].
1984 Relationism and Possible Worlds, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 35, 101-13.
On the possibility of rewriting physical theories by referring only to material objects and events (as opposed to space-time points). Focuses on modal arguments.
Butterfield, J., Stirling, C.
1987 Predicate Modifiers in Tense Logic, Logique et Analyse, 30, 31-50.
Two ways of revising a tense logic à la Kripke by adding predicate modifiers so as to give close-to-the-surface analyses of sentences involving temporal qualifications.
Back to Contents
1991 Event Structure versus Discourse Coherence, in M. Caenepeel, J. Delin, E. Oversteegen, and J. Sanders, eds., Proceedings of the dandi Workshop on Discourse Coherence, Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh.
On how the text type (e.g., narrative vs. non-narrative) affects the temporal ordering and the functioning of aspectual constructions in discourse. Focuses on simple past event sequences.
1995 Aspect and Text Structure, Linguistics, 33, 213-53.
Further explorations of the ideas put forward in (1991), but with reference to past perfect constructions.
Caenepeel, M., Moens, M.
1994 Temporal Structure and Discourse Structure, in C. Vet and C. Vetters, eds. (1994), pp. 5-20.
Argues that knowledge about relationships between events is not enough to explain when simple-past reverse-order discourses are acceptable; knowledge about discourse structure is also important.
Cameron, J. R.
1981 Review of Thomson (1977), The Philosophical Quarterly, 31, 75-77.
1981 The Metaphysic of Abstract Particulars, in P. A. French, T. Uehling, and H. K. Wettstein, eds., Foundations of Analytic Philosophy (Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Vol. VI), Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 477-88.
Events "are widely acknowledged to be particulars. They are plainly not ordinary concrete particulars. They are, in my opinion, best viewed as trope-sequences, in which one condition gives way to others. Events, on this view, are changes in which tropes replace one another" [p. 480].
1990 Abstract Particulars, Oxford: Blackwell.
Very rich analysis of tropes, including some applications to events: "On the trope scheme, events fit in without difficulty. Since the tropes are themselves particulars, a succession of tropes at a place will be itself a particular occasion. And since tropes have natures, trope succession will involve that transformation of quality or relation which every event consists in" [p. 22].
1991 Causation, Supervenience, and Method. Reflections on Jonathan Bennetts Events and Their Names, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 51, 637-40.
Part of a symposium on J. Bennett (1988) (with replies in J. Bennett 1991b). Assuming that Bennett believes facts to be tropes of a kind (which Bennett denies in his reply), objects that "the distinction between facts and their corresponding events is a language-dependent distinction. In a world without thought, without different ways of conceptualizing the same situation, there is no way to distinguish a given swim from the journey that it is. Bennetts claim that these must be distinct because they differ in causal power rests on intensional examples--that Peter swam surprised us, for instance, while that he journeyed did not" [p. 638].
1984 Inner and Outer Basic Action, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 84, 83-102.
An account of basic actions is proposed and argued to solve problems arising in other theories, especially with respect to the "internalizing" of actions.
Candlish, S., Wilson, R.
1988 Moving, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 66, 174-87.
On whether cases of unexpected paralysis imply that bodily actions beginning inside the body with brain events of trying also end inside the body.
1993 Formal Semantics. An Introduction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Chapter 8 ("Time, Tense and Aspect") includes a brief exposition of Vendlers classification of events and Aktionsarten.
Care, N., Landesman, C., eds.
1968 Readings in the Theory of Action, Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Includes Bogen (1968) and reprints of D. Bennett (1965), Brandt and Kim (1963), Danto (1963, 1965), Davidson (1963), Melden (1956), Silber (1963/4).
1970 Davidsons Notion of Logical Form, Inquiry, 13 [Special Issue on "Action"], 129-39.
Criticisms of the notion of logical form underlying Davidsons account of action sentences in (1967a). Among other things, it is argued that "($x)(Kicked (Shem, Shaun, x))" is not the logical form of "Shem kicked Shaun" but (at most) a logically equivalent sentence. Davidsons reply in (1970c).
1984 Thematic Roles and their Role in Semantic Interpretation, Linguistics, 22, 259-79.
Puts forward a theory of semantic roles as relations between individuals and events. The account is similar to those of T. Parsons (1980) and of Dowty (1989).
1987 Metaphysics: An Introduction, Houndmills and London: Macmillan Education.
Events and processes are particulars that involve changes in other particulars [pp. 51-52].
1980 What Place Has the Notion of a Basic Action in the Theory of Action?, Ratio, 22, 39-51.
Against Danto (1965), argues that it is a mistake to suppose that reasoning about actions begins with "basic actions". The relations between basic and non-basic actions are of an inferential rather than a causal kind.
Carrier, L. S.
1981a Event Identity and a Significant Physicalism, The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 19, 171-80.
Argues that Davidsons (1969a) identity criterion for events in terms of sameness of causes and effects applies to physical (law-governed) events, not just events simpliciter. As a consequence, the thesis of anomalous monism becomes: "every mental event has a physical description that occurs in a law statement concerning that event".
1981b Review of Davidson (1980b), Philosophical Investigations, 4, 76-78.
Carter, W. R.
1979 On Transworld Event Identity, The Philosophical Review, 88, 443-52.
On the condition for transworld event identity adopted by van Inwagen (1978a). Among other things, the following theses are negatively assessed: (a) For any event particular e, if one of the parts of e occurs at time t, then it is an essential feature of e that this part occurs at t [p. 445]; (b) For any event particular e, if e' causes e, then the property of having e' as a cause is essential to e [p. 448].
1989a Can Substantial Changes Be Qualitative Changes?, Analysis, 49, 33-35.
Sees no reason for rejecting the possibility that some events qualify as qualitative changes (events whose subjects change qualitatively) as well as substantial changes (events whose subjects either begin or cease to exist).
1989b Changing the Minimal Subject, Philosophical Studies, 57, 217-26.
An examination of the essentialist principle, defended e.g. by Lombard (1986), that the minimal subjects of an event are essential to the event. Subscription to this principle "may require non-cosmetic revisions of orthodox modal intuitions bearing upon commonplace things" [p. 217].
1990 The Elements of Metaphysics, Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Chapter 6 on change; Chapter 9 on causation.
1992 Gli Eventi [Events, in Italian], Doctoral Dissertation, University of Milan.
Against J. Bennett (1988) argues that properties are the referent of gerundive nominals. Draws a distinction between states and events on the one hand, and static and dynamic states on the other hand.
1995 Temporal Entities in Space, in P. Amsili, M. Borillo, and L. Vieu, eds. (1995), Part D, pp. 66-78.
On the spatial structure of events and processes. Hypothesises that some spatial and temporal concepts are not completely domain-specific (complementarity hypothesis; see Mayo 1961). Includes a discussion of event motion and object rotation.
Casati, R., Dokic, J.
1994 La philosophie du son [Philosophy of Sound, in French], Nîmes: Chambon.
Argues that events are the primary auditory objects--located at the resonating body--and that some of these are sounds. Includes a discussion of the logical form of auditory reports in a Davidsonian framework.
Casati, R., Varzi, A. C.
1994 Holes and Other Superficialities, Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT Press/ Bradford Books.
Discusses the thesis that events are not bearers of dispositions [p. 112].
1996a Introduction, in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. xi-xxxviii.
A survey of fifty years of event theories.
1996b The Structure of Spatial Localization, Philosophical Studies, 82, 205-39.
Discusses the thesis that events are among those entities that do not occupy the spatial region at which they are located.
Casati, R., Varzi, A. C., eds.
1996 Events, Aldershot: Dartmouth Publishing (International Research Library of Philosophy, 15).
Includes J. Bennett (1996) along with unabridged reprints of Anscombe (1979a), E. Bach (1986a), K. Bach (1980), J. Bennett (1973), Brand (1977), Chisholm (1970), Cleland (1991), Cresswell (1986), Cutting (1981), Davidson (1967a, 1967c, 1969a, 1970a), L. H. Davis (1970), Dretske (1967), Gill (1993), Goldman (1971), Hacker (1982a, 1982b), Higginbotham (1983), Horgan (1978), Kim (1973a, 1976), D. K. Lewis (1986b), Lombard (1979a), Mourelatos (1978), T. Parsons (1989), Peterson (1989), Quine (1985), Thomson (1971a).
1960 Outline of a Theory on the General Logical Structure of the Language of Action, Theoria, 26, 151-82.
On the normative aspects of the language of action.
1965 The Logic of Change, Action and Norms, The Journal of Philosophy, 62, 333-44.
A critical examination of von Wright (1963), with some clarifications and developments.
1967 Comments on D. Davidsons "The Logical Form of Action Sentences", in Rescher, ed. (1967), pp. 104-12.
Accepts Davidsons (1967a) analysis of action sentences but suggests to revise it (i) by further separating out the event participants, and (ii) by treating prepositions linking verbs to nominal expressions as forming one predicate together with the verb. Thus, a sentence such as "I flew my spaceship to the Morning Star" is analysed as having the logical form "($e)(Flew(I,e) & Flew(e,my spaceship) & Flying-to(e,the Morning Star))". Both suggestions are rejected by Davidson in his (1967b) reply. (ii) is admittedly a minor point, but the idea in (i) has later been taken seriously by various authors. See T. Parsons (1980, 1985, 1989, 1990), Carlson (1984), and Dowty (1989) inter alia.
1979 Intensionality and Identity in Human Action and Philosophical Method, Noûs, 13, 235-60.
Critical review of the 1977 reissue of Goldman (1970). Suggests that the unifier-multiplier controversy is a non-issue.
1980 Conventional Aspects of Human Action, Its Time, Its Place, Dialogue, 19, 436-60.
"(i) What are the conventions involved in timing and locating actions? (ii) What is the rationale for those conventions? (iii) Is that rationale sufficient to show the usefulness of those conventions? (iv) Can and should those conventions be improved upon?" [p. 436].
1985 Aspectual Actions and Davidsons Theory of Events, in E. LePore and B. P. McLaughlin, eds. (1985), pp. 294-328.
Advocates aspects of events to solve deontic paradoxes (such as Forresters (1984) paradox: killing gently can be permissible even if killing is not).
Cebik, L. B.
1974 Events and Past Events: Some Ontological Considerations, in R. Severens, ed. (1974), pp. 111-34.
On whether there is an existent past. Holds that "to assert the occurrence of an event and to use warrantably an event concept must be taken to be the same thing" [p. 119]. Events do not exist--they occur; they happen. But "to say events occur is not to say something general or metaphysical about events; it is to say something about the manner in which event assertions are justified and what sort of implications can be drawn from an event assertion" [p. 122]. Comments in Berersluis (1974).
Chappell, V. C.
1963 Causation and the Identification of Action. Comments on Donald Davidsons "Actions, Reasons, and Causes", The Journal of Philosophy, 60, 700-01.
Issues a plea for "the criteria of identity for actions, the grounds for distinguishing them both from one another and from their reasons and consequences, and the extent to which these reasons and consequences in turn determine the identity, specific if not numerical, of actions" [p. 701].
1984 Aristotles Philosophy of Action, London: Duckworth.
An extensive study, aiming "to bring Aristotles pioneering contribution into direct and detailed contact with contemporary work" [p. ix]. Chapter 1 argues that "Aristotles treatment of the identity and individuation conditions for processes offers an intermediate position between that occupied by Davidson and Goldman" [p. 31]. Chapter 2 focuses on Aristotles use of his ontology of processes to discuss the identity and location of actions. See also Chapter 5 on Aristotles account of action explanation.
1995 On Bringing It About, Journal of Philosophical Logic, 24, 563-71.
Argues that one of the basic axioms in Segerbergs system (1989a, 1989b) is too strong.
1984 Topics in the Syntax and Semantics of Infinitives and Gerunds, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Massachusetts at Amherst; published New York: Garland, 1989.
1989a Introduction, in G. Chierchia, B. H. Partee, and R. Turner, eds., Properties, Types and Meaning, Volume II: Semantic Issues, Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 1-20.
Includes a critical presentation of Dowty (1989).
1989b Structured Meanings, Thematic Roles and Control, in G. Chierchia, B. H. Partee, and R. Turner, eds., Properties, Types and Meaning, Volume II: Semantic Issues, Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 131-66.
Following the property exemplification approach of Kim (1966, 1969, 1973a), construes eventualities as atomic units of information.
1995a Individual-level Predicates as Inherent Generics, in G. N. Carlson and F. J. Pelletier, eds., The Generic Book, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, pp. 176-223.
In contrast to Kratzer (1995), argues that all predicates (stage-level as well as individual-level) have a Davidsonian extra argument ranging over eventualities; however, in individual-level predicates this argument is bound by a generic operator, and that accounts for the difference.
1995b Dynamics of Meaning. Anaphora, Presupposition, and the Theory of Grammar, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.
Includes a discussion of adverbs of quantification and if/when-clauses as involving quantification over eventlike entities [pp. 99ff].
Chierchia, G., McConnell-Ginet, S.
1991 Meaning and Grammar. An Introduction to Semantics, Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT Press.
Chapter 8 ("Word Meaning") includes a presentation of an event-based theory of semantic roles along the lines set forth in Carlson (1984) and Dowty (1989).
1994 Causality, Interpretation, and the Mind, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Includes detailed discussion of Davidsons views on (mental) causation.
Chisholm, R. M.
1959 Review of Anscombe (1957), The Philosophical Review, 68, 110-15.
1964 The Descriptive Element in the Concept of Action, The Journal of Philosophy, 61, 613-24.
Maintains that an action is the bringing about of an event. Compare von Wright (1963) and K. Bach (1980) for related views.
1965 Query on Substitutivity, in R. S. Cohen and M. W. Wartofsky, eds., Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. II, New York: Humanities Press, pp. 275-77.
Singular causal statements are not extensional with respect to the contained singular terms. Discussion in L. H. Davis (1974).
1966 Freedom and Action, in K. Lehrer, ed., Freedom and Determinism, New York: Random House, pp. 11-44.
On agents causing things to happen.
1967a Comments on D. Davidsons "The Logical Form of Action Sentences", in Rescher, ed. (1967), pp. 113-14.
Offers linguistic evidence to support the view that events fall into a category close to universals (e.g., they can recur) by analysing sentences such as "There is a stroll that he takes every afternoon". Davidsons reply in (1967b).
1967b "He Could Have Done Otherwise", The Journal of Philosophy, 44, 409-18; revised version reprinted in J. H. Gill, ed., Philosophy Today No. 1, New York: Macmillan, 1968, pp. 236-49.
Gives an analysis of the conditions under which "undertaking to make a certain event happen" is in the agents power.
1969a Some Puzzles About Agency, in K. Lambert, ed., The Logical Way of Doing Things. Philosophical Essays in Honor of Henry S. Leonard, New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 199-218.
In the case of actions, causation relates persons to events. Consequently actions are caused, but determinism, which concerns causation by events, is supposed not to touch the belief that actions are free (compare Chisholm 1976a and Hornsby 1980a).
1969b Language, Logic, and States of Affairs, in S. Hook, ed., Language and Philosophy, New York: New York University Press, pp. 241-48.
Outline of the theory of events as states of affairs further developed in (1970, 1971a, 1976a).
1970 Events and Propositions, Noûs, 4, 15-24; reprinted in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 89-98.
A debate with Davidson on the ontology of events. Moving from the assumption that "any theory of events should be adequate to the fact of recurrence, to the fact that there are some things that recur, or happen more than once" [p. 15], puts forward a theory of events as a species of states of affairs: "A proposition could be defined as any state of affairs which is necessarily such that either it or its negation always occurs [...] An event is any contingent state of affairs which is not a proposition and which implies change (i.e., which implies that there is some state of affairs p such that p occurs and not-p occurs)" [p. 20]. The account also includes an outline of how talk of particular occurrences of events can be reduced to talk of the occurring and failing to occur of such general recurring events. Reply in Davidson (1970a). Compare also Wierenga (1976) and Lombard (1977) for critical discussion.
1971a States of Affairs Again, Noûs, 5, 179-89.
A reply to Davidson (1970a), and a new challenge: "Consider that entity which, according to Davidsons analysis, Sebastian is said to stroll. Could some other person have strolled it? Could Sebastian have strolled it in Florence instead of in Bologna? Or, had he not strolled it, could he have done something else with it instead? It would be unphilosophical [...] to reject such questions--if one assumes that there really is a certain concrete thing that Sebastian strolls" [p. 182]. Davidsons reply in (1971b). Further developments in Chisholm (1985a).
1971b On the Logic of Intentional Action, in R. Binkley, R. Bronaugh, and A. Marras, eds. (1971), pp. 38-69.
An improvement over the system of concepts set forth in (1964, 1966, 1969), including a summary of the underlying ontology of states of affairs, which "is quite different from that which is presupposed by Donald Davidsons account of agency" [p. 41, n.5]. For instance, "We should resist the temptation to say such things as that the inauguration of Mr. Johnsons successor and the inauguration of Mr. Nixon are the same individual state of affairs. For they are different states of affairs" [p. 41]. Commented by Aune (1971).
1971c Reply, in R. Binkley, R. Bronaugh, and A. Marras, eds. (1971), pp. 76-80.
A reply to Aune (1971), clarifying issues about agent causation, the definition of "basic action", and the iterability of "He makes it happen that" discussed in (1971b).
1976a Person and Object. A Metaphysical Study, La Salle, IL: Open Court.
Chapter 4 defends the view that events, like propositions, constitute a subspecies of states of affairs. The following characterization is given: "p is an event =df p is a state of affairs which is such that: (i) it occurs; (ii) it is not a proposition; and (iii) it entails a property g which is such that (a) only individual things can exemplifiy g, (b) it is possible that no individual things exemplify g, and (c) g is not such that it may be rooted outside the times at which it is had" [p. 128]. On causality: "there are events that cause the events that agents cause, but [...] these events, unlike other events, are not sufficient conditions for their effects" [p. 69] (see Chisholm 1969a).
1976b The Agent as Cause, in M. Brand and D. Walton, eds. (1976), pp. 199-212.
Defines agent causation in terms of event causation and of the undefined concept of "undertaking": "S contributes causally at t to p =df Either (a) S does something at t that contributes causally to p, or (b) there is a q such that S undertakes q at t and S-undertaking-q is p, or (c) there is an r such that S does something at t that contributes causally to r, and p is that state of affairs which is S doing something that contributes causally to r" [p. 205]. See Thalbergs (1976) comments.
1978 Comments and Replies, Philosophia, 7 [Special Issue on "The Philosophy of Roderick M. Chisholm"], 597-636.
Includes replies to Corrado (1978), Goldman (1978), Lombard (1978c), Thalberg (1978d), and van Inwagen (1978b).
1979a Events, Propositions and States of Affairs, in P. Weingartner and E. Morscher, eds., Ontologie und Logik · Ontology and Logic. Vorträge und Diskussion eines Internationalen Kolloquiums · Proceedings of an International Colloquium , Berlin: Duncker & Humblodt, pp. 27-47.
Restatement of the view that events "constitute a certain subspecies of the genus states of affairs" [p. 41]. Definition D17 states that "e is an event =Df There is a nonempty set P of properties such that all the members of P can be had only by contingent things and none of the members of P may be rooted outside the times at which they are had; e is necessarily such that it obtains if and only if all members of P are exemplified" [p. 41]. Lists 22 definitions and 5 principles expressing Chisholms position on states of affairs, propositions, and events [pp. 46-47]. Compare the "Discussion" on pp. 48-51.
1979b Possibility and States of Affairs, in P. Weingartner and E. Morscher, eds., Ontologie und Logik · Ontology and Logic. Vorträge und Diskussion eines Internationalen Kolloquiums · Proceedings of an International Colloquium , Berlin: Duncker & Humblodt, pp. 53-57.
Reply to a conference discussion of (1979a). Includes a clarification of the relation between possibility and states of affairs.
1979c Austins Philosophical Papers, in K. T. Fann, ed., A Symposium on J. L. Austin, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, pp. 101-26.
Includes a criticism of Austin (1950), reconstructing the controversy with Strawson (1950) on the thesis that facts are things in the world. Chisholm sides with Strawson.
1979d Objects and Persons: Revisions and Replies, Grazer philosophische Studien, 7/8 [special issue "Essays in the Philosophy of R. M. Chisholm", also published as E. Sosa, ed. (1979)], 317-88.
Includes replies to Anscombe (1979b), Donagan (1979), Kim (1979a), Pollock (1979), Wolterstorff (1979). Cfr. especially Section B [pp. 342-61] on the state-of-affairs theory of events and Section C [pp. 362-72] on action and causation.
1980 Brentano als analytischer Metaphysiker [Brentano as an Analytic Metaphysician, in German], Conceptus, 28/30, 77-82; reprinted with revisions as Beginnings and Endings, in P. van Inwagen, ed. (1980), pp. 17-25; further revised version in Chisholms Brentano and Meinong Studies, Amsterdam and Atlanta, GA: Editions Rodopi, 1982, pp. 114-24.
On the temporal boundaries of movements.
1985a Adverbs and Subdeterminates, in E. LePore and B. P. McLaughlin, eds. (1985), pp. 324-28.
Contrasts the relation of property subdetermination (holding e.g. between the property color and the property red: only red can instantiate the formula color + X = red) to the more common case of properties falling under other properties (e.g. brothers falling under male) and applies the distinction to adverbs. Thus "strolling swiftly is a subordinate under strolling", whereas "strolling in Bologna is equivalent to the coordinate pair strolling and being in Bologna" [p. 328].
1985b The Structure of States of Affairs, in B. Vermazen and M. B. Hintikka, eds. (1985), pp. 107-14.
Going back to the debate with Davidson (1970a, 1971b) on the nature of events : "I hope that I can persuade Davidson that the concept [of a state of affairs] is a powerful one and that he might do well consider it when he completes his theory of recurrence and possibility" [p. 107]. Definition: "p is a state of affairs =df p is possibly such that there is someone who accepts it; and there is something which obtains and which is necessarily such that whoever conceives it conceives p" [p. 109]. Characterizes the internal structure of states of affairs in terms of conjunctions, negations, and disjunctions, and their "intentional criteria of identity" in terms of mutual involvement and entailment.
1985/6 On the Positive and Negative States of Things, Grazer philosophische Studien, 25/26, 97-106; reprinted with revisions as Ch. 16 of Chisholm 1989 (entitled States and Events), pp. 150-55.
Outlines new ontological foundations for a theory of events, centered on a twofold dichotomy between contingent/non-contingent and dependent/independent. "x is an event" is defined as "there is a y such that y is a contingent substance and x is a contingent state of y" [p. 103].
1986 Self-Profile, in R. J. Bogdan, ed., Roderick M. Chisholm, Dordrecht: Reidel, pp. 3-77.
Section F [pp. 56-64] reviews and updates Chisholms views on actions and events.
1989 On Metaphysics, Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press.
Chapter 16 (States and Events) is a revised version (1985/6). Chapter 18 (The Categories) is a summary "of the ontology here set forth" [p. vii].
1990a Events Without Times. An Essay on Ontology, Noûs, 24, 413-28.
Developing on the account of (1985/6), marks a departure from the early theory of events as states of affairs in favor of a theory of events as "contingent states of contingent things". This view is argued to be in the spirit of Kims (1969, 1973a, 1976) except that times are not assumed to be constitutive elements of events. In fact, "everything we know about the nature of events and everything we know about any particular event may be expressed without presupposing that there are such things as times. There seems to me to be no sufficient reason, therefore, to suppose that this temporal world includes such entities as times" [p. 425].
1990b Referring to Things That No Longer Exist, in J. Tomberlin, ed. (1990), pp. 545-56.
Includes a discussion of issues concerning tensed property exemplification.
1992 The Basic Ontological Categories, in K. Mulligan, ed., Language, Truth and Ontology, Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 1-13.
Further thoughts on the new (1985/6, 1990a) theory of events as contingent states of contingent things. A beginning is a state that neither did nor will exemplifiy anything; a process is a state that will include a beginning, and a change is either a process or a beginning.
1994 Ontologically Dependent Entities, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 54, 499-507.
Includes an outline of the theory of events as contingent states (see 1985/6, 1990a, 1992): events are either first-order states, i.e., states of substances, or second-order states (states of first-order states), where it is assumed that "for every x, there is the state, x-being-F, if, and only if, x is F" [p. 504].
1995 Agents, Causes, and Events: The Problem of Free Will, in T. W. OConnor, ed. (1995), pp. 95-100.
1996 A Realistic Theory of Categories. An Essay in Ontology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Thorough presentation of Chisholms recent views, including an elaboration of the conception of events as contingent states (see 1985/6, 1990a, 1992, 1994). See especially Chapter 10 ("States and Events", pp. 71-84).
Chittaro, L., Montanari, A., Provetti, A.
1994 Skeptical and Credulous Event Calculi for Supporting Modal Queries, in A. Cohn, ed., Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI 94), Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, pp. 361-65.
On dealing with partially ordered sequences of events in Kowalski and Sergots (1986) event calculus.
1970 Remarks on Nominalization, in R. A. Jacobs and P. S. Rosenbaum, eds., Readings in English Transformational Grammar, Waltham, MA: Ginn and Co., pp. 184-221; reprinted in N. Chomsky, Studies on Semantics in Generative Grammar, The Hague: Mouton, 1972, pp. 11‑61.
Analyses three types of nominals: gerundive (Johns refusing the offer), derivative (Johns refusal of the offer), and mixed (Johns refusing of the offer).
Chu, C. C.
1976 Some Semantic Aspects of Action Verbs, Lingua, 40, 43-54.
Some action verbs (such as learn, find) imply an attainment of the desired goal; others (study, look for) do not imply such an achievement but presuppose an active attempt. It is suggested that the controversy over such verbs as kill might profit from an analysis in terms of these features.
Churchland, P. M.
1970 The Logical Character of Action-Explanations, The Philosophical Review, 79, 214-36.
Elaborates on the view that explanations of human action conform to the deductive-nomological pattern.
1966 Facts, The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 4, 123-56.
A defense of the view that facts exist based on a rebuttal of the view that they are the objects of singular reference.
1970 Concerning the Logic of Predicate Modifiers, Noûs, 4, 311-35.
Seminal paper. Gives an account of adverbial modification that does not require the postulation of events in the domain of quantification (unlike Davidsons 1967a analysis): predicate modifiers are first-order operators interpreted semantically as mappings from properties to properties [p. 132]. Compare T. Parsonss similar account in (1970).
1974 Adverbial Modifiers, in R. Severens, ed. (1974), pp. 22-36.
Outline of an "adverbial logic" in the spirit of (1970) (though no reference to the earlier paper is made) as an answer to the question: "Is it possible to analyse sentences with predicate modifiers in such a way that the analysis satisfies the [requirements] of Kennys problem but does so without invoking references to events, states, and the like?" [p. 32]. Comments in Kleiner (1974).
1975 Facts, Fact-Correlates, and Fact-Surrogates, in P. Welsh, ed., Fact, Value, and Perception: Essays in Honor of Charles A. Baylis, Durham: Duke University Press, pp. 3-17.
Suggests that Bayliss (1948) fact-based analysis of a sentence such as Mary is making pies matches (and anticipates) Davidsons (1967a) event-based analysis of action sentences.
1986a Predication and Paronymous Modifiers, Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, 27, 376-92.
In the framework of Clark (1970) suggests a way of dealing with the invalidity of inferences such as "This is a fake Picasso. Ergo, this is a Picasso".
1986b Murderers Are Not Obliged to Murder: Another Solution to Forresters Paradox, Philosophical Papers, 15, 51-57.
Argues that the distinction introduced by Sinnot-Armstrong (1985) to solve Forresters (1984) paradox can be preserved within an "adverbial" theory without commitment to Davidsons (1967a) analysis of action sentences.
1989 Deeds, Doings, and What is Done: The Non-Extensionality of Modifiers, Noûs, 23, 199-210.
Not all modifiers of predicates are predicate modifiers.
Clatterbaugh, K. C.
1973 Leibnizs Doctrine of Individual Accidents (Studia Leibnitiana, Sonderheft 4), Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner.
Individuates in Leibniz the first traces of a doctrine of events as particular accidents (as discussed by J. Bennett 1988, § 36). Compare Leibnizs New Essays, IV-vi-42.
1987 Change, Process and Events, Stanford: Center for the Study of Language and Information, Report No. CSLI-87-95.
Argues against the idea that a change can be represented by a sequence of durationless entities. Proposes an account which distinguishes between events, processes, and states: "Like a phase, a state is a timeless entity (a universal) which may or may not be instantiated. In contrast, processes and events are concrete particulars: a process may be thought of as on-going activity of changing (an instance of a way of becoming different); an event may be thought of as a real change, where a real change involves the termination of a process in an actual state" [p. 23].
1990 The Difference Between Real Change and Mere Cambridge Change, Philosophical Studies, 60, 257-80.
A discussion of Geachs (1969) notion of "mere Cambridge change", leading to an account of "real" change which takes seriously the idea that changing objects actually become different.
1991 On the Individuation of Events, Synthese, 86, 229-54; reprinted in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 373-98.
An account of events in terms of time-ordered exemplifications of differing states by particularized determinable properties, or "concrete phases": events are "unrepeatable individuals whose identity conditions can be formulated in terms of sameness of concrete phase, time-ordered pair of differing states and times" [p. 245]. This position agrees with Lombard (1986) in taking events to be first and foremost changes, but resembles the approach adumbrated by Quinton (1979) and J. Bennett (1988) in analysing events in terms of particularized properties, or "tropes".
1994 Review of J. Bennett (1988), Noûs, 28, 103-9.
Clendinnen, F. J.
1992 Nomic Dependence and Causation, Philosophy of Science, 59, 341-60.
Offers an explication of causation based on a generalization of D. K. Lewiss (1973) notion of nomic dependence between events.
1977 An Essential Difference between Momentary and Durative Events, in W. A. Beach, S. E. Foz, and S. Philosoph, eds., Papers from the Thirteenth Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society, pp. 93-103.
Argues that there are verbs that denote truly instantaneous events (as opposed to extended events treated as instantaneous for pragmatic reasons).
Cody, A. B.
1967a Can a Single Action Have Many Different Descriptions?, Inquiry, 10, 164-80.
Answers the title question in the negative. For, "can there be justice in our praise or blame when everything depends upon which description we select to judge a mans action under?" [p. 165]. Comments in Dowling (1967) and reply in Cody (1967b). Compare also Rayfield (1970).
1967b A Reply to Mr Dowling, Inquiry, 10, 449-52.
Accepts the analogy between descriptions of actions and descriptions of material objects pointed out by Dowling (1967), but rejects the contention that there are many true descriptions of material objects. Concludes that the claim that there are not many true descriptions of an action is not affected by the analogy.
1971 Is "Human Action" a Category?, Inquiry, 14, 386-419.
"I am tempted to conclude that there is no category of human action. But before drawing such a conclusion an ancient but terrible question must be faced: What sort of things happen in the world? This ancient question is faced but not answered. It is brought up because the failure to find a satisfactory answer to the question, Is human action a category? is a failure even to find a satisfactory assumption about what kind of reference the term human action is supposed to have" [p. 386, Abstract].
1969 The Same Action, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 70, 75-90.
Rich discussion of various issues that have dominated the literature in the years to follow. Argues that Davidsons (1967a) analysis of action sentences, when combined with the idea that one action can be described in different ways, generates "absurdities". Example: If xs pulling the trigger and xs shooting the victim with a revolver are the same action, the analysis implies that x pulled the trigger with a revolver. (See T. Parsons 1980, B. Taylor 1985, Wiggins 1985/6, Widerker 1988 for similar criticisms; Davidson 1985b for replies.) Discusses identity criteria, especially sameness of spatio-temporal location (Lemmon 1967). Argues that it is impossible to speak of an event without referring to an event of some kind. Also, one must draw "a distinction between an expression which says what an action is, and an expression which describes an action already identified" [p. 84].
1982 Review of Hornsby (1980), Mind, 91, 147-49.
1966 Explanation and Causality, Mind, 75, 482-500.
Argues that knowledge of singular causal statements does not require knowledge of causal laws.
1984 Action, Causality, and Teleological Explanation, in P. A. French, T. Uehling, and H. K. Wettstein, eds. (1984), pp. 345-69.
Argues against Davidsons (1963) thesis that reasons are causes. Includes a discussion of teleological explanations of events that are not actions.
Collins, H. M., Kusch, M.
1995 Two Kinds of Action: A Phenomenological Study, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 4, 799-819.
Distinguishes between "mimeomorphic actions", which actors try (or are satisfied) to carry out in the same way (in like situations), and "polymorphic actions" (all other actions). "The importance of the distinction lies in the possibility of mimicking mimeomorphic action through the reproduction of behaviour alone, whereas polymorphic actions can only be reproduced by those who understand them sufficiently to comprehend the subtle interplay of situation and appropriate behaviour" [p. 800].
1976a The Syntax of Action Nominals: A Cross-Language Study, Lingua, 40, 177-201.
Analyses action nominal constructions in their relationship to corresponding full sentences, drawing examples from a number of languages.
1976b Aspect: An Introduction to the Study of Verbal Aspect and Related Problems, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Puts the distinction between events and processes in aspectual perspective: "The term process means a dynamic situation viewed imperfectively, and the term event means a dynamic situation viewed perfectively" [p. 51].
1985 Tense, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
An extensive study. Characterizes tense as the grammaticalized expression of the location in time of "situations", general term used to cover "events, states, processes, etc." [p.5].
Connell, R. J.
1995 Natures Causes, New York: Peter Lang.
Includes a discussion on "Events, Processes, and Things" (Chapter 2).
1986 Tense and Discourse Location in Situation Semantics, Linguistics and Philosophy, 9, 17-36.
Exploits some notions of Barwise and Perrys situation semantics (1981b, 1983) for a treatment of tense and discourse.
1971 Comments, in R. Binkley, R. Bronaugh, and A. Marras, eds. (1971), pp. 26-37.
On Davidson (1971a). Objects to the characterization of a person P being the agent of an event a in terms of Ps intentions and descriptions of a. Also discusses Davidsons argument to the effect that agent-causality conceived as something irreducibly different from event-causation is of no value for an account of agency.
1978 The Case for States of Affairs, Philosophia, 7 [Special Issue on "The Philosophy of Roderick M. Chisholm"], 523-35.
A discussion of Chisholms views on states of affairs. Includes an argument to the effect that the existence of de re beliefs suggests that the objects of belief are not states of affairs but rather Davidsonian concrete events. Reply in Chisholm (1978).
Costa, M. J.
1981 Seeing and Other Complex Events, Doctoral Dissertation, Ohio State University.
Argues "that a theory of events is needed to uncover the constituents of an event as seeing, and that unless an event of seeing is analysable into constituents, it is difficult to explain how a scientific account of seeing and a philosophical account can be about the same event" [Abstract]. Urges an account of the event-part relation. Actions are complex events (a variety of causings). Includes a defense of the property exemplification theory of Kim and Goldman against the views of Davidson, Anscombe, Brand, Thomson.
Coval, S. C., Campbell, P. G.
1992 Agency in Action. The Practical Rational Agency Machine, Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Chapter 4 on "The Semantics of Action".
Craig, W. L.
1996a Tense and the New B-Theory of Language, Philosophy, 71, 5-26.
Argues that the B‑theory of time (Mellor, Oaklander) "violates the implication relations in its truth conditions of tensed sentences [...] and conflates the truth conditions with the grounds of truth of tensed sentences" [p. 26].
1996b The New B-Theorys Tu Quoque Argument, Synthese, 107, 249-69.
Examines the "final line of defense" available to the endorsers of the B‑theory of time, presenting it as a tu quoque argument: "If the A-theorists argument for the reality of tense are correct, then there must be spatially tensed facts as well, which no one will admit" [p. 249].
Cox, J. G.
1982 Mental Events Must Have Spatial Location, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 63, 270-74.
Mental events must have spatial location (unless one adopts a solipsistic view) because the special theory of relativity implies that events occurring in public time must occur in public space.
1995 Causation, in A. C. Grayling, ed., Philosophy. A Guide through the Subject, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 184-93.
Includes a discussion on causes and effects as events.
Cresswell, M. J.
1973 Logics and Languages, London: Methuen.
Treats adverbs, adjectives, and prepositions as predicate modifiers along the lines of R. Clark (1970) and T. Parsons (1970).
1974 Adverbs and Events, Synthese, 28, 455-81; reprinted with minor revisions in Cresswell (1985b), pp. 13-39.
Proposes a way of incorporating Montagues and Davidsons treatments of adverbs into the framework of l-categorial languages set forth in Cresswell (1973). Gives some arguments in support of both approaches.
1977 Interval Semantics and Logical Words, in Rohrer, ed. (1977), pp. 7-29; reprinted with a new Appendix in Cresswell (1985b), pp. 67-95.
On analyzing logical connectives and quantifiers within the framework of "interval semantics", where the meanings of sentences are sets of world-time pairs, in which the time is an interval rather than a single point.
1979a Adverbs of Space and Time, in F. Guenthner and S. J. Schmidt, eds., Formal Semantics and Pragmatics for Natural Languages, Dordrecht: Reidel, pp. 171-99; reprinted in Cresswell (1985b), pp. 41-66.
A return to the view of adverbs as modifiers, after the "flirtation" with Davidsons (1967a) account in Cresswell (1974). Arguments are centered on an analysis of the adverb quickly.
1979b Interval Semantics for Some Event Expressions, in R. Bäuerle, U. Egli, and A. von Stechow, eds., Semantics from Different Points of View, Berlin and Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, pp. 90-116; reprinted in Cresswell (1985b), pp. 143-71.
Further developments of the predicate modifier account of adverbials. Against Davidsons (1967a) approach, argues that "the basic problem is the question of whether events stand in certain logical relations" [p. 144]; for instance, what is the relation between an event such as the arrival of the train and a non-event (whatever that is) such as the non-arrival of the train?
1981 Adverbs of Causation, in H.-J. Eikmeyer and H. Rieser, eds., Words, Worlds, and Contexts, Berlin: de Gruyter, pp. 21-37; reprinted in Cresswell (1985b), pp. 173-92.
Analyses the semantics of adverbs whose meaning contains a causal element; the analysis exploits D. K. Lewiss (1973) possible-worlds account of causality.
1985a Appendix to Chapter III, in Cresswell (1985b), pp. 85-95.
Reply to Tichy (1980b, 1985).
1985b Adverbial Modification: Interval Semantics and Its Rivals, Dordrecht: Reidel.
A collection of essays on adverbial modification within truth-conditional semantics. Includes reprints of Cresswell (1974, 1977, 1978a, 1979b, 1981) as well as an introductory survey and a previously unpublished chapter on "Adverbial Modification in Situation Semantics" [pp. 193-220].
1985c Structured Meanings: The Semantics of Propositional Attitudes, Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT Press/Bradford Books.
"Events, if needed at all, are needed because certain phrases do not behave like sentences or other inflected clauses. To be sure, the question then arises whether events should be taken as unanalysed particulars or should, as I would prefer to do, be themselves analysed in terms of, say, possible worlds, times, individuals, and the like" [p. 174].
1985d Review of Barwise and Perry (1983), The Philosophical Review, 94, 293-96.
1986 Why Objects Exist but Events Occur, Studia Logica, 45, 371-75; reprinted in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 449-53.
Within the framework of Interval Semantics, argues that the difference between events (on the one hand) and states and objects (on the other) is that the former lack, while the latter have, the "sub-interval property" (stative sentences are true at an interval t only if they are true at every sub-interval of t; eventive sentences need not). This feature is reflected in the existence/occurrence distinction: "Things which have the sub-interval property do or do not exist; while things that lack that property do or do not occur" [p. 373]. Compare Hacker (1982b).
1987 Review of B. Taylor (1985), Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 65, 214-16.
1988 The World Situation (Its a Small World after all), in Semantical Essays. Possible Worlds and Their Rivals, Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 65-77.
A criticism of situation semantics based on the view that "the so-called situations are made to play roles that in possible-worlds semantics are played by entities of several quite different kinds", viz. possible worlds, propositions, individuals (among which events). Includes an argument against the existence of disjunctive events.
1989 Review of J. Bennett (1988), Canadian Philosophical Reviews, 9, 215-17.
1991 Adverbial Modification in l-Categorial Languages, in A. von Stechow and D. Wunderlich, eds., Semantics. An International Handbook of Contemporary Research, Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, pp. 748-57.
A comprehensive survey.
1994 Language in the World. A Philosophical Inquiry, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Chapter 8 on "Causation and Semantics": a counterfactual-based approach.
1984 The Representation of Adverbs, Adjectives and Events in Logical Form, Menlo Park, CA: SRI International, AI Center, Technical Note No. 344.
Addresses the criteria for relating surface forms to logical form representations, focusing on issues that have bearing on the relation of properties to events.
1991 Syntactic Categories and Grammatical Relations. The Cognitive Organization of Information, Chicago and London: Chicago University Press.
Chapter 6 on "Verb Forms and the Conceptualization of Events".
Cross, C. B.
1992 Counterfactuals and Event Causation, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 70, 307-23.
An attempt to "rehabilitate and clarify" the connection between counterfactual dependence and event causation, assuming that "almost every event has an unimaginably complicated lattice of causes extending indefinitely into the past" [p. 307]. Includes criticisms of D. K. Lewiss (1973) original account.
Culicover, P. W.
1988 Autonomy, Predication, and Thematic Relations, in W. Wilkins, ed., Syntax and Semantics, Volume 21, Thematic Relations, New York: Academic Press, pp. 37-60.
"Thematic relations are grounded in the elements that constitute our mental representation of events" [p. 37].
Cummins, R., Gottlieb, D. V.
1972 On an Argument for Truth-Functionality, American Philosophical Quarterly, 9, 265-69.
A criticism of the "slingshot" argument. It is argued that singular causal statements provide a counterexample to the thesis that a referentially transparent context allowing substitution of logically equivalent sentences salva veritate is truth-functional.
Cutting, J. E.
1981 Six Tenets for Event Perception, Cognition, 10, 71-78; reprinted in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 509-16.
Some important structural invariants ground event perception. To perceive an event is to pick out these invariant structures in the environment. Some of these invariants are spatial, and concern event localization, spatial distribution, and relation to an observer; other invariants are dynamic, and concern the flow of event phases. More importantly, some invariants are present in the coordination of event phases to one another, and are hierarchically organized.
1986 Perception with an Eye for Motion, Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT Press.
Development of the theory of event perception outlined in (1981).
Back to Contents
1981 On the Definition of the Telic-Atelic (Bounded-Nonbounded) Distinction, in P. Tedeschi and A. Zaenen, eds. (1981), pp. 79-90.
An analysis of the telic-atelic distinction and its ramifications. Compare the instructive table on p. 80, where 15 alternative versions of the distinction (including e.g. the activity-accomplishment and activity-performance distinction of Vendler 1957 and Kenny 1963, respectively) are tabulated. Includes a discussion of questions such as: What is the distinction about (e.g., processes and actions or the verb phrases used to express them)? What is the relevant notion of boundedness, or goal-reaching, in terms of which the distinction is often formulated?
1985 Tense and Aspect Systems, Oxford: Blackwell.
A general study of tense-aspect systems in natural languages. Chapter 3 on "Aspectual Categories". The introductory chapter includes some ontological remarks to the effect that the taxonomy of "situations" (general cover term for the "events, processes, states, etc. that verbs signify") "is not one of situations but rather one of descriptions or characterizations of situations [...] since one and the same (individual) situation may be described in different ways" [pp. 27-28].
1988 Naive Semantics for Natural Language Understanding, Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Chapter 4 ("Verb interpretation", pp. 79ff) contains interesting material on Vendlers classification of events and Aktionsarten.
1995 A Linguistic Ontology International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 43 [special issue on "The Role of Formal Ontology in the Information Technology", N. Guarino and R. Poli, eds.], 809-18.
Describes a "Vendlerian ontology" [p. 815] for treating tense and aspect.
Dale, A. J.
1978 Reference, Truth-Functionality, and Causal Connectives, Analysis, 38, 99-106.
On the "slingshot" argument for causal contexts.
1995 Extended Action, Philosophia, 24, 253-70.
An extended act is "an act done by doing other acts, where doing it takes longer than doing any of those other acts [...] and where each of those acts is done in order to do it" [p. 258]. Argues that the parts of an extended act are variable and alterable. Discusses some applications of the concept.
1963 What We Can Do, The Journal of Philosophy, 60, 435-45; reprinted in N. Care and C. Landesman, eds. (1968), pp. 113-26.
A gloss on the tenet that not every action is a basic action (in the sense made clear in Danto 1965).
1965 Basic Actions, American Philosophical Quarterly, 2, 141-48; reprinted in A. R. White, ed. (1968), pp. 43-58; in N. Care and C. Landesman, eds. (1968), pp. 93-112; and in M. Brand, ed. (1970), pp. 255-66.
"If there are any actions at all, there must be two distinct kinds of actions: those performed by an individual M, which he may be said to have caused to happen; and those actions, also performed by M, which he cannot be said to have caused to happen. The latter I shall designate as basic actions" [p. 256].
1966 Freedom and Forbearance, in K. Lehrer, ed., Freedom and Determinism, New York: Random House, pp. 45-65.
Includes some remarks on the distinction between basic and non-basic actions.
1969 Complex Events, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 30, 66-77.
Persons are complex entities in that complex events typically constitute portions of their characteristic histories. Definition: "a complex event [...] will contain at least one distinct event as a proper part, without being non-residually resoluble into events of the lowest-order externally conjoined by event-connectives. Rather, in addition to its atomic parts, the complex event will contain a non-eventival remnant" [p. 71]. For instance, "the event described as "m does a" [mDa]--an action performed by m--is a complex event. It is, to begin with, an event. It contains another event as a proper part, namely a. Finally, if a is subtracted from mDa there is left a non-eventival remnant in the respect that there can be no event which can stand on its own and be truly described with mD: there is no doing which is not the doing of something [...] no atto puro, mental or otherwise" [p. 71].
1970 Causation and Basic Actions. A Reply En Passant to Professor Margolis, Inquiry, 13 [Special Issue on "Action"], 108-25.
A detailed reply to Margolis (1970), including arguments to the effect that "basic actions can be caused, even by actions of their own agent: they are basic only in not having distinct actions of his as components" [p. 108].
1973 Analytical Philosophy of Action, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
"One strain which runs throughout my book is that these two typical ways of relating to the world--acting upon and coming to know it--have frequently parallel structures--that what I term here the logical architecture of knowledge and action are of a piece, or nearly of a piece" [p. xi]. In the case of actions, "that which corresponds to the object in knowledge is an event" [p. 31].
1979 Basic Actions and Basic Concepts, The Review of Metaphysics, 32, 471-85.
Given a characterization of what it means for an action to be a basic one, focuses on the question of what makes a basic action an action.
1963 Human Acts. An Essay in Their Moral Evaluation, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Includes a discussion of the act/consequence distinction.
1963 Actions, Reasons, and Causes, The Journal of Philosophy, 60, 685-700; reprinted in Davidson (1980b), pp. 3-20. Also in B. Berofsky, ed., Free Will and Determinism, New York: Harper and Row, 1966, pp. 221-40; in M. Brodbeck, ed., Readings in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences, New York: Macmillan, 1968, pp. 44-58; in J. Margolis, ed., An Introduction to Philosophical Inquiry. Contemporary and Classical Sources, New York: Knopf, 1968, pp. 199-211 (2nd edition 1977); in N. Care and C. Landesman, eds. (1968), pp. 179-98; in A. R. White, ed. (1968), pp. 79-94; in M. Brand, ed. (1970), pp. 67-79; in S. Gendin and R. Hoffman, eds., Introduction to Philosophy: a Contemporary Perspective, New York: Scribners, 1970; in H. S. Broudy, ed., Philosophical Dimensions of Educational Research, New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1971; in S. Davis, ed., Causal Theories of Mind. Action, Knowledge, Memory, Perception, and Reference, Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, 1983, pp. 58-72.
Seminal article. Argues that some reasons are causes, and that the cause of an action A is the "primary reason" why an agent performed A, i.e., the pair consisting of a pro attitude of the agent towards actions with a certain property and the agents belief that A has that property. The view is defended that teleological explanation of action does not essentially involve laws but can, and sometimes must, invoke causal connections.
1967a The Logical Form of Action Sentences, in N. Rescher ed. (1967), pp. 81-95; reprinted in D. Davidson and G. Harman, eds., The Logic of Grammar, Encino, CA: Dickenson, 1975, pp. 235-45; in Davidson (1980b), pp. 105-22; and in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 3-17.
Seminal semantic analysis of sentences containing verbs or noun phrases that seem to refer to events or actions. The proposal is that "verbs of action [...] should be construed as containing a place, for singular terms or variables, that they do not appear to" [p. 92]. For instance, a sentence like Shem kicked Shaun is given the form ($x)(Kicked (Shem, Shaun, x)), i.e. "There is an event x such that x was a kicking of Shaun by Shem". Adverbial modification is then accounted for in terms of predication of events, so that, for instance, "Jones buttered the toast at midnight" is analysed as "($x)(Buttered (Jones, the toast, x) & at midnight (x))". This provides a way of solving Kennys (1963) problem of the "variable polyadicity" of action verbs. The analysis marks a very influential step in the discussion on events and event-based semantics and is referred to widely in the subsequent literature.
1967b Replies to Comments, in N. Rescher, ed. (1967), 115-20; reprinted (somewhat edited) in Davidson (1980b), pp. 123-29.
Replies to Lemmon (1967), Chisholm (1967a) and Castañeda (1967) on Davidson (1967a).
1967c Causal Relations, The Journal of Philosophy, 64, 691-703; reprinted in Beauchamp, ed. (1974), pp. 190-99; in E. Sosa, ed. (1975), pp. 82-94; in M. Brand, ed. (1976), pp. 355-67; in Davidson (1980b), pp. 149-62; in E. Sosa and M. Tooley, eds. (1993), pp. 75-87; and in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 401-13.
Application of the (1967a) theory to the analysis of the logical form of singular causal statements. A sentence like Brutuss stab caused Caesars death is analysed as an existential quantification ($e)($e')(Stab(Brutus,e) & Death(Caesar,e') & Caused(e,e')), where the bound variables range over events. It follows that "We must distinguish firmly between causes and the features we hit on for describing them, and hence between the question whether a statement says truly that one event caused another and the further question whether the events are characterized in such a way that we can deduce, or otherwise infer, from laws or other causal lore, that the relation was causal" [p. 697]. See Vendler (1967c), Travis (1973), and Vision (1979) for early discussion.
1969a The Individuation of Events, in N. Rescher, ed., Essays in Honor of Carl G. Hempel, Dordrecht: Reidel, pp. 216-34; reprinted in Davidson (1980b), pp. 163-80, and in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 265-83.
Formulation of the thesis according to which "events are identical if and only if the have exactly the same causes and effects" [p. 231; see Nagel (1965)]: the causal nexus "provides for events a comprehensive and continuously usable framework [quoting from Strawson (1959), p. 53] for the identification and description of events analogous in many ways to the space-time coordinate system for material objects" [p. 232]. Since Davidson maintains that all causes and effects are events (1967b), many authors have hastened to object that this criterion is open to a charge of circularity: see Beardsley (1975), Brand (1977, 1984), Quine (1985), Tiles (1976), Tye (1979), and N. L. Wilson (1974) inter alia.
1969b On Events and Event-Descriptions, in J. Margolis, ed. (1969), pp. 74-84; reprinted as Reply to Martin in D. Davidson (1980a), pp. 129-37.
Symposium with R. M. Martin (1969b).
1970a Events as Particulars, Noûs, 4, 25-32; reprinted in Davidson (1980b), pp. 181-87, and in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 99-106.
Defends and elaborates the event ontology proposed in Davidson (1967a) in reply to Chisholm (1970). Argues that even if one accepts that there are event types, there still have to be singular, spatio-temporal located occurrences of particular events.
1970b Mental Events, in L. Foster and J. W. Swanson, eds., Experience and Theory, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, pp. 79-101; reprinted in Davidson (1980b), pp. 207-27. Also in M. Burnyeat and T. Honderich, eds., Philosophy As It Is, Harmondsworth and New York: Penguin Books, 1979, pp. 213-38; in N. Block, ed., Readings in Philosophy of Psychology. Volume One, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1980, pp. 107-19; in D. M. Rosenthal, ed., The Nature of Mind, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991, pp. 247-56; in B. Beakley and P. Ludlow, eds., The Philosophy of Mind: Classical Problems/Contemporary Issues, Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT Press/Bradford Books, 1992, pp. 137-49; and in P. K. Moser and J. D. Trout, eds., Contemporary Materialism. A Reader, London and New York: Routledge, 1995, pp. 107-21.
Articulation of the identity theory of the mental and the physical known as "anomalous monism": each particular (token) mental event is a physical event in spite of the fact that mental types or properties are not nomologically correlated with physical ones. The assertion of supervenience of the mental on the physical reads: "There cannot be two events alike in all physical respects but differing in some mental respects" [1980b, p. 214].
1970c Action and Reaction, Inquiry, 13 [Special Issue on "Action"], 140-48; reprinted as Reply to Cargile and Reply to Hedman in Davidson (1980a), pp. 137-48.
Reply to Cargile (1970) concerning the notion of logical form underlying Davidsons (1967a) account; reply to Hedman (1970b) elaborating on the view that "one and the same action may be correctly said to be intentional (when described in one way) and not intentional (when described in another)" [p. 147, following Anscombe (1957)].
1971a Agency, in R. Binkley, R. Bronaugh, and A. Marras, eds. (1971), pp. 3-25; reprinted in Davidson (1980b), pp. 43-61.
An examination of some central questions concerning agency: "What events in the life of a person reveal agency; what are his deeds and his doings in contrast to mere happenings in his history; what is the mark that distinguishes his actions?" [p. 3]. No definite answers are given, but one learns that there is no analysis of the relation between a person and an event, when it is her/his action, that does not appeal to the notion of intention. Originally commented by Cornman (1971).
1971b Eternal vs. Ephemeral Events, Noûs, 5, 335-49; reprinted in Davidson (1980b), pp. 189-203.
Continues the debate with Chisholm on the ontology of events: events are not recurrable entities. See Chisholm (1970), Davidson (1970a), Chisholm (1971a).
1973 The Material Mind, in P. Suppes, L. Henkin, G. C. Moisil, and A. Joja, eds., Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science IV, Amsterdam: North-Holland, pp. 709-22; reprinted in Davidson (1980b), pp. 245-59, and in J. Haugeland, ed., Mind Design, Montgomery, VT: Bradford Books, 1981, pp. 339-54.
"Suppose that we understand what goes on in the brain perfectly [...] The question is, what would all of this knowledge of physics (and a fortiori of neurophysiology) tell us about psychology? Much less than might be expected, I shall argue" [pp. 245-46]. Elaborates on the views put forward in (1970b).
1974 Psychology as Philosophy, in S. C. Brown, ed., Philosophy of Psychology, New York: Macmillan, pp. 41-52, 60-67; reprinted in J. Glover, ed., The Philosophy of Mind, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976, pp. 101-110, and in Davidson (1980b), pp. 229-44.
Development of the arguments put forward in (1970b) against the possibility of strict psychophysical laws between mental and physical events.
1976 Hempel on Explaining Action, Erkenntnis, 10, 239-53; reprinted in Davidson (1980a), pp. 261-75.
A criticism of Hempels suggestion that intentional actions must be explained by referring inter alia to an empirical law according to which rational agents maximize expected value.
1980a Criticism, Comment, and Defence, in Davidson (1980b), pp. 122-48.
Brings together a number of comments and replies to comments concerning the analysis of action sentences introduced in Davidson (1967a). It includes Davidson (1967b) (with replies to Lemmon 1967, Chisholm 1967a, and Castañeda 1967), Davidson (1969b) (with comments on R. M. Martin 1969a), and Davidson (1970c) (with replies to Cargile 1970 and Hedman 1970b).
1980b Essays on Actions and Events, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
A reprint (with additions and corrections) of Davidsons papers on actions and events, including (1963, 1967a, 1967b, 1967c, 1969a, 1969b, 1970a, 1970b, 1970c, 1971a, 1971b). Reviewed by Burge (1983), Carrier (1981b), Gryz (1983), Heal (1982), Hornsby (1982b), Lombard (1982b), White (1981).
1980c Toward a Unified Theory of Meaning and Action, Grazer philosophische Studien, 11, 1-12.
"Intention and intentional action wont directly explain meaning. Rather, meaning, belief, and desire will be treated as fully coordinate elements in an understanding of action" [p. 2].
1985a Reply to Quine on Events, in E. LePore and B. P. McLaughlin, eds. (1985), pp. 172-76.
Withdrawal of the causal criterion of event identity (1969a) in favor of the criterion put forward by Quine (1950) and Lemmon (1967) criterion: "events, like physical objects, are identical if they occupy the same places at the same times" [p.175]. But this does not imply an assimilation of events with material objects: "For events and objects may be related to locations in space-time in different ways; it may be, for example, that events occur at a time in a place while objects occupy places at times". Thus, "the undulations of the ocean cannot be identified with the wave or the sum of waves that cross the sweep of ocean [...] One is an object which remains the same object through changes, the other a change in an object or objects. Spatio-temporal areas do not distinguish them, but our predicates, our basic grammar, our ways of sorting do" [p. 176].
1985b Adverbs of Action, in B. Vermazen and M. B. Hintikka, eds. (1985), 230-41.
A refined restatement of the (1967a) theory along with a lucid account of how it can meet various objections put forward in the literature. Thus, adverbs such as deliberately are best treated as adsentences, and contextual adverbs such as slowly are argued to be on a par with familiar attributive adjectives such as large and tall. On the time-of-a-killing issue (Goldman 1971, Thomson 1971a): her pulling of the trigger was her killing of the victim--even if he died later--because that action of hers resulted in his death (compare J. Bennett 1973). Likewise, the identity between Jones alerting the burglar and Jones turning on the light does not imply that Jones turned on the burglar and alerted the light (pace T. Parsons 1980; an objection also raised by M. Cohen 1969): Jones alerting the burglar was his doing something (= his turning on of the light) that caused the burglar to be alerted.
1985c Replies to Essays I-IX, in B. Vermazen and M. B. Hintikka, eds. (1985), pp. 195-229.
Includes replies to Chisholm (1985b), Strawson (1985), Thalberg (1985), Vermazen (1985).
1985d Replies to Essays X-XII, in B. Vermazen and M. B. Hintikka, eds. (1985), pp. 242-52.
Includes replies to H. A. Lewis (1985) and Smart (1985).
1986 Knowing Ones Own Mind, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Association, 60, 441-58.
Includes a defense of anomalous monism (see 1970b, 1973).
1987 Problems in the Explanation of Action, in P. Pettit, R. Sylvan, and J. Norman, eds., Metaphysics and Morality. Essays in Honor of J. J. C. Smart, Oxford and New York: Basil Blackwell, pp. 35-49.
Includes further thoughts on action description and explanation, emphasizing the fact that actions are often identified by referring to their consequences. On the identity thesis: "Suppose I thank someone [...] by telephoning and leaving a message on her answering machine [...] Although my telephoning and my thanking here were the same action, what I did cant be described in both ways until long after the performance. In the same way, my great-great-grandfather in the paternal line could not have been described in just these terms during his lifetime, but that does not show he was not the same person as Clarence Herbert Davidson of Inverness" [p. 38]. Compare J. Bennett (1973). Much of the paper is a discussion of the idea that the intention is not part of the action, but a cause of it. Includes replies to Honderich (1982) and Føllesdal (1985).
1993a Reply to Wolfgang Künne, in R. Stoecker, ed. (1993), pp. 21-23.
The form which makes fully explicit the semantics of Oedipus intentionally killed the reckless driver is more complex than suggested by Künne (1993). It is something like: The contents of an intention of Oedipuss is given by my next utterance. Oedipus killed the reckless driver [p. 23].
1993b Reply to Ralf Stoecker, in R. Stoecker, ed. (1993), pp. 287-90.
Ad Stoecker (1993): "My main reasons are semantical: I accept an ontology of events because that ontology provides the only account I find persuasive of the semantics of a large category of sentences and the entailment relations of those sentences. I do not think the lack of a perfectly general and useful criterion of event identity is any more serious for events than for objects; one only gets fairly solid criteria when one considers sorts: sorts of objects or sorts of events. States are another matter. Not only do we have no good idea how to individuate them, but, more important, there seems no clear semantic need to treat them as entities" [p. 288]. Further clarifications (in the spirit of 1985b, 1987) of the non-multiplying treatment of such puzzles as the-time-of-a-killing.
1993c Thinking Causes, in J. Heil and A. R. Mele, eds. (1993), pp. 3-17.
A clarification and a defense of the (1970b) identity theory of the mental and the physical ("anomalous monism"). See replies by Kim (1993c), McLaughlin (1993), and Sosa (1993).
1994 Davidson, Donald, in S. Guttenplan, ed., A Companion to the Philosophy of Mind, Oxford and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, pp. 231-36.
A self-profile, including an overview of the thesis that "mental events are physical (which is not, of course, to say that they are not mental)" [p. 231].
1995 Laws and Cause, Dialectica, 49, 263-79.
Traces out some conceptual relations among the concepts of event, law, and object in an attempt to clarify and defend the claim that every true singular causal statement relating two events is backed by a law that covers those events when they are appropriately described.
Davidson, D., Harman, G., eds.
1972 Semantics of Natural Language, Dordrecht: Reidel (second edition 1977).
Includes Ross (1972) and Kripke (1972) along with reprints of Fodor (1970a), Harman (1970), Parsons (1970).
1991 Acts and Scenes, in N. Cooper and P. Engel, eds., New Inquiries into Meaning and Truth, Hertfordshire: Harvester Wheatsheaf; New York: St. Martins Press, pp. 41-82.
A comparison of Davidsons (1967a) theory of action sentences with the accounts of Barwise and Perry (1983) and B. Taylor (1985), with an application to the semantical analysis of perceptual reports. Includes new arguments in favor of Davidson against the predicate modifier view.
1996 Philosophy of Language, in N. Brunnin and E. P. Tsui-James, eds., The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 90-139.
Includes a section on semantic theories and metaphysics, with a discussion of event-based semantics and theories of adverbs [pp. 112-14].
1990 Representations of Common Sense Knowledge, San Mateo, CA: Morgan Kaufmann.
Chapter 5 (Time) presents an account of temporal reasoning based on a representational system reifiying time-varying facts as "states" and "events", which in turn are subcategorized according to a type-token distinction.
Davis, L. H.
1970 Individuation of Actions, The Journal of Philosophy, 67, 520-30; reprinted in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 351-61.
A mereological account, treating an act as a sequence or sum of events. "My pulling the trigger and my shooting the prisoner [are] two different acts, since they occupied different (though overlapping) stretches of time. There is a tendency to object that I was doing only one thing [...] but we can invoke the relation of amounting to [...] I pulled the trigger, and this act amounted to--quickly became a case of, grew to be a case of--my shooting the prisoner" [p. 525].
1974 Extensionality and Singular Causal Sentences, Philosophical Studies, 25, 69-72.
Criticises an argument in Chisholm (1965).
1975 Action, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Suppl. Vol. 1, Part 2 ("New Essays in the Philosophy of Mind"), 129-44.
Every action begins with a volition. Critical discussion in M. Martin (1978).
1979 Theory of Action, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
A systematic introductory text, presenting the main rival views on various topics selected for chapter-length treatment: the nature of action, the relation between actions and events, intention, explanation, and more. The book also presents Daviss own theory of action--a version of the volitional theory: a doing of type K is an action iff a corresponding event of type K occurred as a result of a "volition" (roughly, a mental event "which is normally a cause of the agents belief that he is acting in a certain way, and which normally causes such doing-related events as to make it true that he is acting in that way" [p. 16]). Chapter 2, on "Actions and Events", includes a discussion of identity and individuation criteria, focusing mostly on "the prolific theory" (discussed in connection with Goldman), "the austere theory" (Davidson) and "the moderate theory" (a version of which is Daviss 1970 mereological account).
1980 Wayward Causal Chains, in M. Bradie and M. Brand, eds. (1980), pp. 55-65.
Argues that some causal analyses of action can accommodate counterexamples involving wayward causal chains. "But I am not thereby trying to defend the causal theory of action [...] there are at least a half a dozen different concepts of interest to action theory for which causal or partly causal analyses seem appropriate, and the concept of action itself is not one of them. So the phrase the causal theory of action is highly misleading" [p. 55]. Applications to the view that actions are volitions.
1994 Action (1), in S. Guttenplan, ed., A Companion to the Philosophy of Mind, Oxford and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, pp. 111-17.
A survey of the main issues in the metaphysics of action, including their nature and individuation criteria.
Davis, P. E.
1962 "Action" and "Cause of Action", Mind, 71, 93-95.
"How can one admit, for the sake of a legal argument, the existence of such actions [in which responsibility is neither ascribed nor excused] and yet be understood to mean, not merely that the claim has yet to be proved, but that what occurred was not even an action?" [p. 94].
1979 Perlocutions, Linguistics and Philosophy, 3, 225-43; reprinted in J. R. Searle, F. Kiefer, and M. Bierwisch, eds., Speech Act Theory and Pragmatics, Dordrecht: Reidel, 1980, pp. 37-55.
Includes a discussion of identity and individuation criteria for speech acts [pp. 230-31]. See 1984 for a more extensive discussion. Includes also a brief discussion of the analysis of kill as deriving from cause to die (McCawley 1968 and Lakoff 1970).
1983 Introduction, in S. Davis, ed., Causal Theories of Mind. Action, Knowledge, Memory, Perception, and Reference, Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, pp. 1-41.
Section II (pp. 3-18) gives an extensive analysis of Goldmans theory of action, focusing on his views on level-generation and the individuation of actions.
1984 Speech Acts and Action Theory, Journal of Pragmatics, 8, 469-88.
An application of a "multiplier" theory of events (in the spirit of Kim and Goldman) to illocutionary and perlocutionary acts. (See also the brief remarks in 1980.)
Davis, W. A.
1980 Swains Counterfactual Analysis of Causation, Philosophical Studies, 38, 169-76.
A discussion of Swain (1978).
Dean, T., Boddy, M.
1988 Reasoning About Partially-Ordered Events, Artificial Intelligence, 36, 375-99; reprinted in D. Weld and J. de Kleer, eds., Readings in Qualitative Reasoning About Physical Systems, San Mateo, CA: Morgan Kaufmann, 1990, pp. 382-93.
Examines a class of temporal reasoning problems involving events whose order is not completely known. The complexity of the problems with regard to various restricted classes of cause-and-effect relationships is also analysed.
1979 On the Progressive and the "Imperfective Paradox", Linguistics and Philosophy, 3, 267-72.
Argues that there is no such linguistic problem as Dowtys (1977) "imperfective paradox", and that the distinction between accomplishments and non-accomplishments is not necessarily that the former, but not the latter, involve the coming about of a result state.
1989 Boundedness and the Structure of Situations, Leuvense Bijdragen, 78, 275-308.
A criticism of van Voorsts (1986) account of aspect as dependent on the spatial (rather than temporal) structure of actions, events, states, and processes (globally referred to as situations).
de Fornel, M.
1991 Voir un événement [To See an Event, in French], in J.-L. Petit, ed. (1991), pp. 97-122.
Strarting from features of events that mark them out of facts, scrutinizes the role of perception in the individuation of events.
de Hoop, H., de Swart, H.
1992 Indefinite Objects, in R. Bok-Bennema and P. Coopmans, eds., Linguistics in the Netherlands, Dordrecht: Foris, pp. 91-100.
Individual-level predicates may have an eventuality argument (though the boundary between event and state reading is flexible).
1993 Existential Disclosure, Linguistics and Philosophy, 16, 561-87.
Argues that a dynamic formulation of Discourse Representation Theory can account for the phenomenon of "existential disclosure" (= "the possibility of addressing (dynamic) existentially closed (implicit) arguments as if they were free variables" [p. 562]) characteristic of adverbial modification (understood as in Davidson 1967a).
1984 Notes on Agentivity and Causation, Studies in Language, 8, 181-213.
Argues that the semantic category of Agent must be described in terms of prototype feature representations which include volition as an important and generally sufficient, but not necessary, component.
1985 Agentivity and Syntax, in W. H. Eilfort, P. D. Kroeber, and K. L. Peterson, eds., CLS 21: Papers from the Twenty-First Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, Part 2, Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society, pp. 1-12.
Developments and applications of the (1984) view about the semantic category of Agent.
1990 Ergativity and the Cognitive Model of Event Structure in Lhasa Tibetan, Cognitive Linguistics, 1, 289-321.
Includes a discussion on how volition can be represented in complex event schemata used in the semantic characterization of case roles.
1991 Event Construal and Case Role Assignment, in L. A. Sutton, C. Johnson, and R. Shields, eds., (1991), pp. 338-53.
Aims at a minimalist, event-based account of the semantics of "a set of core case roles".
Denecker, M., Missiaen, L., Bruynooghe, M.
1992 Temporal Reasoning with Abductive Event Calculus, in B. Neumann, ed., Proceedings of the 10th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI 92), Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, pp. 384-88.
Presents an abductive extension of the event calculus of Kowalski and Sergot (1986), with applications to various temporal reasoning problems.
1996 Object and Property, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Develops a unified ontology of objecthood, essences, and causation. Sections 2.1.2-2.1.3 discusses and rejects the view that events are the fundamental elements out of which all objects are construed. Chapter 8 on causation.
Dennett, D. C.
1968 Features of Intentional Actions, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 29, 232-44.
Criticism of Anscombes argument (in 1957) to the effect that "an action is not called intentional in virtue of any extra feature which exists when it is performed".
1995 On the Necessity of Distinguishing between (Un)boundedness and (A)telicity, Linguistics and Philosophy, 18, 1-19.
"It is argued that two different types of concept are often intermingled in discussions of Aktionsart. The most common type of classification is one of situation types, relating to the potential actualisation of a situation, although some of the definitions have to do with the actual realization of the situation. This distinction, adequately captured by the notions of (a)telicity and (un)boundedness (Declerck 1989), is explored and it is shown how NPs, PPs and tense influence a sentences classification as (un)bounded." [Authors abstract]
1989 State, Event, Process, and Topology, General Linguistics, 29, 159-200.
A topological account of the state-event-process trichotomy: states (characterized by absence of change or discontinuity) are represented by open intervals; events (which mark discontinuities against the static background) by closed intervals; and processes (which are changes from an initial state toward a final state) are represented by intervals closed on the left (beginning) but possibly open on the right (end). Discusses various properties of events thus defined (e.g., non-punctual events are bounded, commensurate with a duration); distinguishes different kinds of processes (e.g., completed vs. non-completed, progressive vs. non-progressive), and different kinds of states (permanent, contingent). Different meanings connected with the categories of tense and aspect are defined accordingly.
1990 The Concepts of State, Process and Event in Linguistics, Forum Linguisticum, 8.
Argues that the trichotomy state/process/event is basic and ontological, and cannot be reduced to a conceptual dichotomy like state/action.
Desclés, J.-P., Guentchéva, Z.
1990 Discourse Analysis of Aorist and Imperfect in Bulgarian and French, in N. B. Thelin, ed., Verbal Aspect in Discourse, Contributions to the Semantics of Time and Temporal Perspective in Slavic and Non-Slavic Languages, Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, pp. 237-61.
It is claimed that Bulgarian provides a counterexample to the view (defended e.g. by Mourelatos 1981) that the perfective denotes events while the imperfective denotes states and processes.
1995 Is the Notion of Process Necessary?, in P. M. Bertinetto, V. Bianchi, J. Higginbotham, and M. Squartini, eds. (1995), pp. 55-70.
Argues that it is essential to take the trichotomy state/event/process as basic when analysing aspectual constructions in natural language. In particular, the notion of process cannot be derived from those of state and event, even if it is closely related to them.
de Swart, H.
1990 Non-Quantificational Readings of Adverbs, in M. Stokhof and L. Torenvliet, eds., Proceedings of the 7th Amsterdam Colloquium, Amsterdam: ITLI, pp. 509-28.
Argues that in additional to event-based quantificational readings (see 1993), adverbs such as often and sometimes also admit of non-quantificational readings.
1993 Adverbs of Quantification: A Generalized Quantifier Approach, New York: Garland.
An investigation into the semantics of adverbs of quantification such as always and sometimes. The proposed account treats them as generalized quantifiers, rather than modifiers--specifically, as expressions that establish relations between sets of eventualities (= states, processes, or events). Contains extensive review of the relevant literature, including connections with Reichenbachs and Davidsons work.
1996 (In)definites and Generality, in M. Kanazawa, C. Piñón, and H. de Swart, eds., Quantifiers, Deduction, and Context, Stanford: CSLI Lecture Notes No. 57, pp. 171-94.
"An analysis of adverbs of quantification as generalized quantifiers over events combined with an interpretation of indefinite NPs as dynamic existential quantifiers and of definite NPs as context-dependent quantifiers yields the right interpretation of generic sentences" [p. 171].
1976 Conceptual Connection and Causal Relation, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 54, 3-13.
The relation of cause to effect is not logically or conceptually necessary.
Dik, S. C.
1994 Verbal Semantics in Functional Grammar, in C. Bache, H. Basbøll, and C.-E. Lindberg, eds. (1994), pp. 23-42.
Includes a brief typological analysis of the notion of "state of affairs", understood as a general term covering both situations (positions and states, which are static) and events (actions and processes, which are dynamic).
1970 On Killing and Letting Die, Analysis, 31, 83-86.
Discussion of J. Bennett (1966).
Doherty, J. M.
1990 Perspectives on van Voorsts Theory of Event Structure, Papers and Studies in Contrastive Linguistics, 26, 167-86.
Critical study of van Voorst (1986).
Dokic, J., Guasti, M. T.
1992 La forme logique des phrases adverbiales et la nature des événements [The Logical Form of Adverbial Phrases and the Nature of Events, in French], Lingua e Stile, 27, 183-98.
"The choice of a particular logical form can have non-trivial consequences upon our ontological choices concerning event identity; on the other hand, metaphysical theses on the nature of events may constrain the logical form appropriate to the sentences describing them" [p. 198]. The correct theory lies in a "reflective equilibrium" between metaphysical principles and semantical constraints. Reviews the work of Davidson (1967a), Higginbotham (1983, 1985), T. Parsons (1985), Dowty (1979).
1977 Chisholms Theory of Agency, The Journal of Philosophy, 74, 692-703.
A discussion of various issues including Chisholms notion of events as states of affairs and the resulting account of agent causation.
1979 Chisholms Theory of Agency, Grazer philosophische Studien, 7/8 [special issue "Essays in the Philosophy of R. M. Chisholm", also published as E. Sosa, ed. (1979)], 215-29.
Revised version of Donagan (1977).
1987 Choice. The Essential Element in Human Action, London and New York: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Chapter 2 [pp. 23-29] on "Actions as Individual Events".
1967 Reasons and Causes, in P. Edwards, ed. in chief, The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, New York: Macmillan and Free Press, Vol. 7, pp. 85-88.
A compact survey of the main positions concerning the view that reasons are causes.
Dowling, R. E.
1967 Can an Action Have Many Descriptions?, Inquiry, 10, 447-48.
Commenting on Cody (1967a), points out that the claim that the claim that an action cannot have many descriptions is parallel to the claim that there are not many true descriptions of material objects. Since the latter is false, the former must also be false.
Dowty, D. R.
1972a Studies in the Logic of Verb Aspect and Time Reference in English, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Texas at Austin.
1972b On the Syntax and Semantics of the Atomic Predicate cause, in P. M. Peranteau, J. N. Levi, and G. C. Phares, eds., Papers from the Eighth Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society, pp. 62-74.
Argues that the atomic predicate cause always takes a sentential subject rather than an individual (contra McCawleys 1973a). The semantic analysis is given in terms of counterfactuals (independently of D. K. Lewis 1973).
1975 The Stative in the Progressive and Other Essence/Accident Contrasts, Linguistic Inquiry, 6, 579-88.
Some remarks on the semantic characterization of agency and of the distinction between stative/nonstative verbs, and on the more subtle subcategorizations that only superficially appears to be captured by that distinction.
1977 Toward a Semantic Analysis of Verb Aspect and the English "Imperfective" Progressive, Linguistics and Philosophy, 1, 45-77.
A discussion of the "imperfective paradox" (concerning e.g. the oddity of sentences such as The rains are destroying the crops, but perhaps they will stop before the crops are destroyed) which revises Dowty (1972a).
1979 Word Meaning and Montague Grammar. The Semantics of Verbs and Times in Generative Semantics and Montagues PTQ, Reidel: Dordrecht.
Gives an account of progressive that makes a progressive sentence true at a given time t iff the corresponding non-progressive sentence is true at all "inertia worlds", i.e., possible worlds which are exactly like the actual world up to t and "in which the future course of events after this time develops in a way most compatible with the past course of events" [p. 148].
1982 Tenses, Time Adverbs, and Compositional Semantic Theory, Linguistics and Philosophy, 5 [Special Issue on "The Semantics of Temporal Elements", R. Wall and R. E. Grandy, eds.], 23-55.
Revises the account of tense and time adverbs put forward in (1979).
1986 The Effects of Aspectual Class on the Temporal Structure of Discourse: Semantics or Pragmatics?, Linguistics and Philosophy, 9 [Special Issue on "Tense and Aspect in Discourse", D. R. Dowty, ed.], 37-61.
"We do not understand the perceived temporal ordering of discourse simply by virtue of the times that the discourse asserts events to occur or states to obtain, but rather also in terms of the additional larger intervals where we sometimes assume them to occur and obtain" [p. 59].
1989 On the Semantic Content of the Notion of "Thematic Role", in G. Chierchia, B. H. Partee, and R. Turner, eds., Properties, Types and Meaning, Volume II: Semantic Issues, Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 69-129.
A discussion of the formal foundations of a theory of thematic roles (agent, patient, goal, etc.). Section 3 develops a "neo-Davidsonian system" based on Davidsons (1967a) theory of adverbs in action sentences. The proposal is that "to construct a thematic role system, we should stipulate that not only the modifiers but also the arguments of verbs are actually predicates of events; more precisely, thematic roles are relations between individuals and events" [p. 83]. For instance, a sentence like Jones buttered the toast at midnight is analysed as ($e)[Buttered(e) & Agent(Jones, e) & Patient(the-toast, e) & at-midnight (e)]. Compare Parsons (1980) and Carlson (1984).
1991 Thematic Proto-Roles and Argument Selection, Language, 67, 547-619.
Argues that traditional role types are not discrete categories, but cluster concepts, only two of which are needed: "Proto-Agent" and "Proto-Patient". Includes a defense of the view that "the familiar way in which the aspect of telic predicates (or accomplishments and achievements) depends on their NP arguments (Verkuyl 1972, Dowty 1979) can be captured formally by the principle that the meaning of a telic predicate is a homomorphism from its (structured) Theme argument denotations into a (structured) domain of events, modulo its other arguments" [p. 367]. Compare also Krifka (1989a).
1993 Excalibur: A Program for Planning and Reasoning with Processes, Artificial Intelligence, 62, 1-40.
On a planner designed to interact with a constantly changing world. The knowledge base involves a distinction between processes, actions, and facts: "Events represent change, and events can be actions or processes. An action event [e.g., "open the door"] is an event caused by an agent and has a known duration. A process event [e.g., "water flows"] is self-sustaining and may be infinite in duration [...] A fact [e.g., "the door is open"] describes the results or preconditions of an event" [p. 17].
Dray, W. H.
1962 Must Effects Have Causes?, in R. J. Butler, ed., Analytical Philosophy, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 20-21.
A criticism of Vendler (1962a), contending that "causes, too, can be events and processes" [p. 24]. Rejoinder in Vendler (1962b).
1961 Particulars and the Relational Theory of Time, The Philosophical Review, 70, 447-69.
On the possibility of reformulating temporal statements in a tense-free language in which temporal determination is expressed by relations among particulars. Concludes that this would make space and time a mere difference between the relations which particulars exemplify, while there is in fact a difference in the sorts of entities that exemplify those relations.
1962 Moving Backward in Time, The Philosophical Review, 71, 94-98.
A criticism of Mayo (1961). Conclusion: "We use time (along with the objects to which the events happen) in our individuation and reidentification of events. We cannot "revisit" the same event because the notion of a "revisit" and the notion of "the same event" are, within our conceptual system, mutually incompatible. The notion of a revisit carries with it the implication of temporal succession, and temporal succession is one of our criteria for marking off, when necessary, the emergence of new events" [p. 98].
1967 Can Events Move?, Mind, 76, 479-92; reprinted in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 415-28.
In order for an entity x to move, it has to be wholly at one place and then wholly at another place. But an event is never wholly at two different places (at most, some phases of the event occur at some place, other phases at other places). Therefore, events cannot move.
1969 Seeing and Knowing, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Section 4.3 on "Events and States": "That the book is tattered is [...] a fact; the tattered condition of the book is a state". "When there is an alteration in a state, we have an occurrence or a happening. We sometimes speak of the occurrence or happening as an event, although it seems that this latter term is reserved for those occurrences which are particularly significant to those who are describing it [...] Roughly speaking, we can say that an event is a change of some sort; it is constituted by a succession of different states" [pp. 163-64].
1972 Contrastive Statements, Philosophical Review, 8, 411-37
Includes an early statement of the views on causation put forward in (1977).
1977 Referring to Events, in P. A. French, T. Uehling, and H. K. Wettstein, eds., Studies in the Philosophy of Language (Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Vol. II), Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 90-99; reprinted in P. A. French, T. Uehling, and H. K. Wettstein, eds., Contemporary Perspectives in the Philosophy of Language, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1979 [revised and enlarged edition of the 1977 volume], pp. 369-78.
Argues that the causal relata are not events but "facets or features of events themselves" [p. 375]. Compare Achinstein (1975a, 1979). More discussion in Kim (1977), Boër (1979), Sanford (1985), Ehring (1987) inter alia.
1988 Explaining Behavior. Reasons in a World of Causes, Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT Press/Bradford Books.
"I do not think a cause of X is the same thing as a causing of X. The former is typically over before X occurs; the latter cannot exist until X occurs" [p. 18, fn. 11].
1989 Reasons and Causes, in J. Tomberlin, ed. (1989), pp. 1-15.
Argues that if reasons are explanatorily relevant to behavior, they cannot simply be causes of behavior: their content must be a causally relevant property.
1990 Does Meaning Matter?, in E. Villanueva, ed., Information, Semantics, and Epistemology, Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell, pp. 5-17; reprinted in C. A. Macdonald and G. Macdonald, eds. (1995), pp. 107-20.
Argues that although meaning does not supervene on the intrinsic physical properties of an event (and is therefore screened off from explanations of the events effects), nevertheless meaning can figure in the explanation of behavior, i.e., in the explanation of the events causing its effect.
1993 Mental Events as Structuring Causes of Behavior, in J. Heil and A. R. Mele, eds. (1993), pp. 121-36.
Refines the distinction between triggering and structuring causes introduced in (1988) and argues that mental events can be viewed as playing a structuring causal role in the behavior, explanation of behavior.
1995 Reply: Causal Relevance and Explanatory Exclusion, in C. A. Macdonald and G. Macdonald, eds. (1995), pp. 142-51.
Reply to Kim (1990) criticisms of Dretske (1990). The problem of how mental content can explain something that is already explained by physical facts (the "explanatory exclusion" problem) is to be solved by identifying "content" with the relational (physical) facts that constitute it (or on which content supervenes).
Ducasse, C. J.
1951 Nature, Mind, and Death, La Salle, IL: Open Court.
Causal judgments can be empirically verified and do not involve postulation of unobservable ties between events. Causality is "a relation between two concrete, individual events and a set of concrete circumstances: the definition of the relation does not employ the notion of collections or kinds of events" [p. 118]. Views already put forward in (1924, 1926) (see infra, Appendix). An event is either a change or an unchange in a state of affairs.
1960 In Defense of Dualism, in S. Hook, ed., Dimensions of Mind, New York: New York University Press, pp. 85-90.
"The causality relation [...] does not presuppose at all that its cause-term and its effect-term both belong to the same ontological category, but only that both of them be events" [p. 88].
Duff, B. E.
1990 "Event" in Deweys Philosophy, Education Theory, 40, 463-70.
Argues that the concept of an event is central and forms the basis for Deweys concept of an object.
1960 A Defense of s Proof of the Unreality of Time, The Philosophical Review, 69, 497-504; reprinted in M. Dummett, Truth and Other Enigmas, London: Duckworth, 1978, pp. 351-57; also in J. Westphal and C. Levenson, eds., Time, Indianapolis and Cambridge: Hackett, 1993, pp. 112-18.
"To say that time is unreal is to say that we apprehend relations between events or properties of objects as temporal when they are not temporal at all. We have therefore to conceive of these events or objects as standing to one another in some non-temporal relation which we mistake for the temporal one" [p. 117].
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1990 Eventualities in a Natural Language System, in K. Bläsius, U. Hedstück, and C. Rollinger, eds., Sorts and Types for Artificial Intelligence (Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, 418), Berlin and Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, pp. 209-39.
On representing "eventualities" (in the sense of E. Bach 1986a) in a formal language with sorted domains. It is argued that the representation of structured sets of eventualities ("individualities can be partitioned into subevents, and be grouped together to form episodes", p. 209) is needed to deal with certain plural phenomena without resorting to second order variables.
1991 Ereignisse: Ihre Logik und Ontologie aus textsemantischer Sicht [Events: Their Logic and Ontology from the Viewpoint of Text Semantics, in German], Doctoral Dissertation, University of Stuttgart.
1995 The Intergressive as a New Category of Verbal Aktionsart, Journal of Semantics, 12, 311-56.
On classifying such eventive predicates as "coughed", "played a sonata", or "sang for five hours", which pose problems for certain accounts of Aktionsarten insofar as they do not introduce any change of state.
Ehman, R. R.
1967 Causality and Agency, Ratio, 9, 140-54.
Argues in defense of the view that agency can be explained in terms of causality.
1982 Causal Asymmetry, The Journal of Philosophy, 79, 761-74.
Gives an account of causation to the effect that event e causes event e' if and only if there are some events (conditions) which are causally connected to e' but not to e [p. 770]. Criticism in Bassham (1986).
1987 Compound Emphasis and Causal Relata, Analysis, 47, 209-13.
Argues that Dretskes (1977) account of the causal relata as features of events runs into trouble in causal contexts involving "higher order" emphasis.
Ekstrom, L. W.
1995 Causes and Nested Counterfactuals, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 73, 574-78.
A criticism of Vihvelin (1995a).
Elliot, R., Smith, M.
1976 Individuating Actions: A Reply to McCullaghs "The Individuation of Actions and Acts" and Thalbergs "When Do Causes Take Effect?", Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 55, 209-12.
On McCullagh (1976) and Thalberg (1975).
1985 The Effectiveness of Causes, Albany: State University of New York Press.
Chapter 3, on Events and Non-events, sides with Davidsons account versus Kims: events must be characterized as "something happening to something, and not just exemplifiying its constitutive property" [p. 21]. Chapter 4 is on Event Causation.
1995 Nonreducible Supervenient Causation, in E. E. Savellos and Ü. D. Yalin, eds. (1995), pp. 168-86.
Includes a discussion of the question: which properties of event-cause e are causally relevant to the occurrence of event-effect e' ?
Engel, M., Jr.
1994 Coarsening Brand on Events, while Proliferating Davidsonian Events, Grazer philosophische Studien, 47, 155-83.
"A coarse-grained theory of event individuation is defended by arguing that events are spatio-temporal particulars with an ontological affinity to coarse-grained physical objects and by demonstrating that the metalinguistic correlate to one set of adequate identity conditions for events is most plausibly interpreted as coarsely individuating events. Such coarse-grained events [...] admit of divisibility proliferation, much like the proliferation of physical objects entailed by Goodmans calculus of individuals. This [...] is then used to resolve Davidsons paradox concerning the poisoned space traveller who is killed long before he dies" [Authors abstract].
1986 Structure sémantique et forme logique daprès lanalyse aristotélicienne des phrases daction [Semantic Structure and Logical Form According to the Aristotelian Analysis of Action Sentences, in French], in H. Joly, ed. Philosophie du langage et grammaire dans lantiquité, Bruxelles: OUSIA; Grenoble: Université des Sciences Sociales, pp. 181-202.
An analysis of Aristotles distinction between energeia and kinêsis and of its bearing on modern accounts of the distinction between activity and accomplishment verbs.
1991 Adverbes, événements et structure sémantique [Adverbs, Events, and Semantic Structure, in French], in J.-L. Petit, ed. (1991), pp. 229-49.
"For adverbs, treated as predicates of events by classical semantics (Davidson), other authors have preferred a treatment with predicate modifiers in an intensional semantic context with desired fidelity to grammatical intuition. The equivalence of all those theories from the point of view of their descriptive adequacy tends to show that semantic structure in language has no marked preference for an ontology of events and therefore this option implies a metaphysical involvement." [Abstract, on p. 286].
Engel, P., Nef, F.
1982 Quelques remarques sur la logique des phrases daction[Some Remarks on the Logic of Action Sentences, in French], Logique et Analyse, 99, 291-319.
An analysis of the logical form of action sentences as a paradigm case study for a comparison between extensionalist (à la Davidson) and intensionalist (à la Montague) programs in semantics. Argues that "the choice of an ontology belongs to the definition of the language which describes, not to that of the described language" [p. 316]. Includes critical discussion of T. Parsons (1970), Borowski (1974), Cresswell (1974).
1986 Lanomalie du mental [The Anomaly of the Mental, in French], Critique, 474, 1125-40.
Discussion of Davidsons (1970b) argument for anomalous monism.
Evans, C. O.
1967 States, Activities and Performances, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 45, 292-308.
A criticism of Kenny (1963).
1991 Donald Davidson, Cambridge: Polity Press.
A useful introduction to Davidsons views, from the conception of events as particulars to the treatment of agency, causality, and mental events [pp. 25-67]. The Appendix [pp. 180-82] gives a terse presentation of the "slingshot" argument in causal contexts (Davidson 1967c).
1986/7 Review of Vermazen and Hintikka, eds. (1985), Theoria (Spain), 2, 214-17.
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1963 Some Problems of Causal Explanation, Mind, 72, 519-32.
Argues that situations in which "a certain event occurs at a given time and place, and later another event occurs, perhaps at a different place, and there is no common individual involved in the description of the events" run afoul of the "covering-law" model of explanation.
1990a Causation and Universals, London and New York: Routledge.
Takes events, construed as property exemplifications, as relata of the causal relation. (Property exemplifications are understood as a "special combination" of a particular and a universal.) Includes a discussion of the "slingshot" argument and detailed criticism of Davidsons (1969a) identity criteria for events. Most relevant material is in Chapter 2, "An Ontological Analysis of Causation".
1990b Critical Notice of Tooley (1988), Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 50, 605-10.
1984 A Study of Davidsonian Events, Doctoral Dissertation, University of California at Irvine; revised version published with the same title, Nankang (Taipei): Institute of American Culture, Academia Sinica, 1985.
Includes a defense of Davidsons identity claims against the time-of-a-killing problem (criticisms of Thomson 1971a and Thalberg 1971a inter alia). Final chapter on the notion of causally necessary condition, focusing on the assumption that the causal ancestry of an individual event is not essential to that event. (The assumption is argued to underlie, but also to be in conflict with, J. L. Mackies account).
Faye, J., Scheffler, U., Urchs, M.
1994 Introduction, in J. Faye, U. Scheffler, and M. Urchs, eds., Logic and Causal Reasoning, Berlin: Akademie Verlag, pp. 1-25.
A critical survey of the literature on the logic of causal reasoning, focusing on theories that analyse singular causal statements in terms of sentential causal connectives.
1965 Action and Responsibility, in M. Black, ed., Philosophy in America, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, pp. 134-60; reprinted in A. R. White, ed. (1968), pp. 95-119.
Argues that "we can, if we wish, puff out an action to include an effect" and call the expansion itself an action [p. 146]. An action can be "squeezed down to a minimum or else stretched out" by the accordion effect. See Atwell (1969) and Strasser (1987) for criticisms.
1980 Identity, Necessity, and Events, in N. Block, ed., Readings in Philosophy of Psychology. Volume One, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 148-55.
Argues that Kripkes (1972) argument against the mind-body identity theory does not apply if the theory is construed as a theory about "concrete" events in Davidsons sense.
1983 Review of Tiles (1981), Canadian Philosophical Reviews, 3, 41-43.
Feldman, R., Wierenga, E.
1979 Thalberg on the Irreducibility of Events, Analysis, 39, 11-16.
Argues that Thalberg (1978a) "has given no good reason to think that Chisholms theory is not an effective event-language reduction [i.e., a reduction of event language to states of affairs language] or that a variation on the Kim-Goldman property exemplification theory is not an adequate event-reduction theory [i.e., a reduction of events to a species of some other, more familiar, kind of entity]" [p. 16]. Reply in Thalberg (1980a).
Fetzer, J. H.
1975 On The Historical Explanation of Unique Events, Theory and Decision, 6, 87-97.
On the dispute between the philosophers conception of an event as of something unique and yet explainable insofar as it happens to be one "of a certain kind" versus the historians emphasis on the particularity of every individual event and on the possibility that it be the only one of its "kind".
1977 A World of Dispositions, Synthese, 34, 397-421.
"Since an occasion sentence is a sentence that is true on some occasion and false on others, while events [...] occur on some occasions (but not on others) [...] an eternal sentence is an event description if and only if that sentence itself is the eternal form of an occasion sentence, i.e., occasion sentences are the basic elements of language for the description of events" (an eternal sentence being one whose truth value does not change upon time or speaker) [p. 403].
1963 Mental Events and the Brain, The Journal of Philosophy, 60, 295-96; reprinted in D. M. Rosenthal, ed., The Nature of Mind, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991, pp. 266-67.
A criticism of the identity hypothesis concerning mental events and brain processes (if formulated as "X is a mental process of kind A = X is a central process of kind a").
1982 Acts, Events and Things, in W. Leinfellner, E. Kraemer, and J. Schank, eds., Language and Ontology. Proceedings of the 6th International Wittgenstein Symposium, Vienna: Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky, pp. 97-105.
"What is the relation between an act and the underlying bodily movement, an event and the underlying occurrences, a material thing and its matter? [...] Given an object and any description satisfied by the object, I say there is a new entity, the object under the description, that results from combining the object with the description. The relation between the different pairs of entities is then roughly that of an object to an object under a description. Such an answer solves puzzles and reveals uniformities that cannot otherwise be readily accounted for" [Authors abstract].
1965 Causation and Action, The Review of Metaphysics, 19, 235-47.
Elaborates on the theory of causal action: some instances of causation involve objects and agents.
1967 A Defence of the Principle of Event Causality, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 18, 89-108.
Argues that the principle that every event has a cause is not subject to attack from quantum theory.
1973 Nature and Necessity, Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Includes a characterization of causation in terms of actions.
Fitzgerald, P. J.
1967 Acting and Refraining, Analysis, 27, 133-39.
Discussion of J. Bennett (1966).
1990 Tense and Narrativity. From Medieval Performance to Modern Fiction, Austin: University of Texas Press.
Events as the most basic "among the cognitive structures we use to map experience onto language", and the ones "the most closely involved with the categories of tense and aspect" [p. 97]. They are not part of reality, but "a hermeneutic construct for converting an undifferentiated continuum of the raw data of experience, or of the imagination, into the verbal structures we use to talk about experience: narratives, stories" [p. 99].
Flew, A., ed.
1979 A Dictionary of Philosophy, London: Pan Books; Revised Second Edition, New York: St. Martins Press, 1984.
Event: "An occurrence (as opposed to a material object), usually thought of as happening at a determinable time and place. It need not involve the participation of human agents. It is often conceived as subsisting with other events in causal relationships; one event may be said to cause another to occur, as its effect" [p. 115]. See also Action, p. 4; Causation, p. 58.
Fodor, J. A.
1970a Troubles about Actions, Synthese, 21, 298-319; reprinted in D. Davidson and G. Harman, eds. (1972), pp. 48-69.
Argues that "Davidsons theory of action sentences provides no natural account of distinctions like the one between ["John spoke clearly"] and ["John spoke, clearly" or "Clearly, John spoke"]; in particular, that Davidsons theory provides for no natural treatment of those adverbs which are constituent modifiers rather than sentence modifiers" [p. 57]. Compare Wierengas (1980) discussion.
1970b Three Reasons for Not Deriving "Kill" from "Cause to Die", Linguistic Inquiry, 1, 429-38.
A criticism of the view that causative verbs such as kill are transformationally derived from cause to die (compare Lakoff 1970). Reason one: John caused Mary to die and it surprised me that she did so becomes ill-formed upon substitution of caused Mary to die with killed Mary. Reason two: John caused Bill to die on Sunday by stabbing him on Saturday becomes unacceptable upon substitution. Reason three: John caused Bill to die by swallowing his tongue is ambiguous, but it becomes unambiguous upon substitution.
1974 The Special Sciences (Or: The Disunity of Science as a Working Hypothesis), Synthese, 28, 97-115.
Statement of the doctrine of "token physicalism", according to which any event falling under any scientific law also falls under a physical law, and is therefore a physical event (whence it putatively follows that physics subsumes the special sciences). See Horgan (1981a) for criticisms.
1965 Quantification into Causal Contexts, in R. S. Cohen and M. W. Wartofsky, eds., Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 2: In Honor of Philipp Frank, Dordrecht: Reidel, pp. 263-74.
Contains a classic formulation of the "slingshot" argument for causal contexts (parallel to Quines 1953 slingshot for modal contexts. Compare Davidsons formulation in 1967c). Includes remarks on Burks (1951).
1966 A Model-Theoretic Approach to Causal Logic, Det Kongeliger Norske Videnskabers Selskabs Forhandlinger, 2, 3-13.
Gives a possible worlds semantics for a quantified modal logic with causality connectives in the spirit of Burks (1951).
1979 Handlungen, ihre Gründe und Ursachen [Actions, Their Reasons and Causes, in German], in Lenk, ed. (1979), Vol. 2/2, pp. 431-44.
A critical analysis of Davidsons (1963) argument to the effect that the causes of actions are the reasons for acting.
1980 Explanation of Action, in R. Hilpinen, ed., Rationality in Science, Dordrecht: Reidel, pp. 231-47.
Includes a criticism of Davidsons (1963) account of the notions of causation and explanation; further developments in (1985).
1983 Situation Semantics and the "Slingshot" Argument, Erkenntnis, 19, 91-98.
Focusing on the relevant treatment of singular terms, argues that "slingshot" arguments such as Quines (1953) "do not vitiate situation semantics or quantification into non-extensional contexts" [p. 97].
1985 Causation and Explanation: A Problem in Davidsons view on Action and Mind, in E. LePore and B. P. McLaughlin, eds. (1985), pp. 311-23.
A criticism of Davidsons account of the notions of causation and explanation, and of their interrelation. Focuses on Davidsons use of physical laws in the explanation of actions on the connection between action explanation and his arguments for the token-identity of the mental and the physical.
1985 The Metaphysics of Modality, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Ch. 8 ("Substances, Properties and Events") treats events as dated, unrepeatable occurrences occupying definite intervals of time. More precisely, "an event consists in a triple of (i) a set of objects; (ii) types of changes of properties for each object in the set; and (iii) an interval of time [...] We say that a triple constitutes an event, rather than is identical to it, to leave it open that one and the same event may be constituted by different triples in different worlds" [p. 205-6]. Includes a criticism of Lombards (1981, 1982a) essentialism: "Lombard has done no more than isolate three features of events [...] and attribute to the event the transwordly identity conditions of the set of those features" [p. 212]. Lombards reply in (1986, ch. VII).
1993 Time, Events, and Modality, in R. Le Poidevin and M. Mac Beath, eds. (1993), pp. 80-95.
Discussion of the Leibnizian thesis that "facts about when events occur supervene on facts about the successive order of things". It is argued that to accommodate the possibility of changeless time (see Shoemaker 1969) while retaining the idea of a relationist construction of time from events, "the basis of the construction of the time-series of a world has to be expanded to allow facts about goings-on in other worlds to play a role" [p. 85]. Thus a way of construing a time-series for a world w out of temporal relations among events in worlds branching from w is proposed.
1994 Modern Logic. A Text in Elementary Symbolic Logic, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.
An example of how Davidsons (1967a) analysis of action sentences can make its way into standard logic textbooks [pp. 288-89].
Forguson, L. W.
1967 La philosophie de laction de J. L. Austin [The Philosophy of Action of J. L. Austin, in French], Archives de Philosophie, 30, 36-60.
Forrester, J. W.
1984 Gentle Murder, or the Adverbial Samaritan, The Journal of Philosophy, 81, 193-96.
On the unacceptable deontic implication from "x murders" to "x is legally obliged to do so". See Sinnot-Armstrong (1985) and Clark (1986b).
1991 The Immaterial Self. A Defence of the Cartesian Dualist Conception of the Mind, London and New York: Routledge.
Includes an examination--from a dualist perspective--of the topic of psychophysical causation [Chapter 6, pp. 158-201]. Against Davidsons (1970b) argument for anomalous monism, objects that "whatever case he may be able to construct for each of the premises individually, he is not entitled to assert their conjunction" [p. 185].
1994 The Token-identity Thesis in Warner and Szubka, eds. (1994), pp. 299-310.
Argues against the token-identity of the mental and the physical.
Francken, P. E.
1986 Noncausal Connections and the Nature of Events, Doctoral Dissertation, Wayne State University.
Argues (against Kim and Goldman) that there is no reason to posit noncausal determinative relations among events.
Francken, P. E., Lombard, L. B.
1992 "How Not to Flip the Switch With the Floodlight": Causative-Inchoatives, the Instrumental "With", and the Identity of Actions, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 73, 31-43.
Discussion of the by-relation and of T. Parsons (1985, 1990).
1983 On the Perspectival Ordering of Patient and Causing Event in the Distribution of French and German Verbs of Change: A Contrastive Study, in R. Bäuerle, C. Schwartze, and A. von Stechow, eds., Meaning, Use, and Interpretation of Language, Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, pp. 121-33.
On the speakers perspectival choices in ordering syntactically and syntagmatically the patient of a verb of change and the event causing the change referred to by the verb.
1985 Aktionsart, Aspekt und Zeitkonstitution [Aktionsart, Aspect, and Temporal Constitution, in German], in C. Schwartze and D. Wunderlich, eds., Handbuch der Lexikologie, Kronberg: Athenaeum, pp. 229-49.
Includes an examination of the telic-atelic (activity-accomplishment) distinction.
Franconi, E., Giorgi, A., Pianesi, F.
1993 Tense and Aspect: A Mereological Approach, in Proceedings of the 13th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-93), Vol. 2, Chambéry: IJCAI [Morgan Kaufmann], pp. 1222-28.
A framework for dealing with tense and aspect phenomena, based on the view that verbal morphology plays a crucial role in specifying the temporal meaning of a sentence. For the purposes of semantic representation, the domain of events is modelled within a basic, non-extensional mereological framework, allowing for a representation of habituals and of perfective and imperfective events by means of plural quantifiers ranging on collections of events.
1994 A Mereological Characterization of Temporal and Aspectual Phenomena, in C. Martín-Vide, ed., Current Issues in Mathematical Linguistics, Amsterdam: North-Holland, pp. 269-78.
Further developments of the approach outlined in (1993).
1986 Mutual Causation, Simultaneity, and Event Description, Philosophical Studies, 49, 361-72.
Argues against the idea of mutual causation (as in the case of two cards leaning against each other to form a card house) and suggests that dubious cases occur as a result of incomplete event descriptions.
Frankfurt, H. G.
1978 The Problem of Action, American Philosophical Quarterly, 15, 157-62.
A criticism of the causal theory of action.
1970 Some Remarks on the Action Nominalization in English, in R. A. Jacobs and P. S. Rosenbaum, eds., Readings in English Transformational Grammar, Waltham, MA: Ginn and Co., pp. 83-98.
Puts forward a transformationalist account of action nominalizations. Contrast Chomsky (1970) and Newmeyer (1970).
Freeman, E., Sellars, W., eds.
1971 Basic Issues in the Philosophy of Time, LaSalle, IL: Open Court.
Includes Grünbaum (1971) and reprints of Gale (1969), Garson (1969), and Hamblin (1969).
French, P. A., Uehling, T., Wettstein, H. K., eds.
1979 Studies in Metaphysics (Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Vol. IV), Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Includes Achinstein (1979), Burge (1979), Kim (1979b), Lombard (1979b), Rosenberg and Martin (1979), and Shoemaker (1979).
1984 Causation and Causal Theories (Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Vol. IX), Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Includes Collins (1984), Kim (1984a), Lycan (1984a), Shwayder (1984), Sosa (1984), and Vendler (1984a).
Fulton, J. A.
1979 An Intensional Logic of Predicates, Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, 20, 811-22.
Expands Clarks (1970) account of predicate modifiers (a) by allowing predicates to be defined for every sentence; (b) by incorporating adverbial prepositional phrases. Gives also a consistent and complete set of rules of inferences, showing that the system is "adequate to all tasks of the predicate calculus". "The semantics of the logical constants corresponding to those of the predicate calculus will be seen as a special case of the semantics of modifiers. Thus the disadvantage of a requirement of new rules of inference will be to some extent offset by the twin advantages of ontological simplicity and a deeper theory of the nature of sentential operations" [p. 812].
Back to Contents
Gabbay, D., Moravcsik, J. M. E.
1980 Verbs, Events and the Flow of Time, in C. Rohrer, ed. (1980), pp. 59-84.
A formal account of the complex system of tense, aspect, and temporal modifiers that makes "the variety of temporal reference" possible in a language like English. The underlying ontology includes states, events, and processes: "A state is an instantiation of a temporal property P of a thing x [...] holding over a certain duration of time [...] without any gaps or interruptions"; events can be instantaneous, and "among events with duration we distinguish mere events from processes on the ground that processes are made up of a series of changes that culminate in a state" [p. 63].
Gagnon, M., Lapalme, G.
1996 From Conceptual Time to Linguistic Time, Computational Linguistics, 22, 91-127.
On the mapping between conceptual time, as it is perceived in the world, and linguistic time, which refers to how time is expressed in language. Includes a discussion of the advantages of taking events as entities "rather than making them subordinate to temporal intervals or points" [p. 95].
Gale, R. M.
1968 The Language of Time, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Argues that temporal distinctions are objective: events could be past, present or future and change with respect to these distinctions even in a world without perceivers or language-users. See (1969) for refinements and Garson (1969) for a criticism.
1969 "Here" and "Now", The Monist, 53, 396-409; reprinted in E. Freeman and W. Sellars, eds. (1971), pp. 72-85.
There are deep dissimilarities between here and now, showing that space and time are "radically different". In the course of the argument, it is argued that sortal events are not the temporal analogues of sortal objects, for a sortal event is both temporal and spatial.
Gale, R. M.
1967 The Philosophy of Time: A Collection of Essays, Garden City, NY: Anchor Books.
A collection of classic and recent works, including reprints of Smart (1955) and D. C. Williams (1951).
Galton, A. P.
1984 The Logic of Aspect. An Axiomatic Approach, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
From Tense Logic to Event Logic: moving from the need to formalize the aspectual character of verbs, exploits "the distinction between states (which are inherently imperfective) and events (which are inherently perfective)" [p. 4]. Informally: "to explain why only states, and not events, can be attributed to the present, we may remark that since an event in general takes time, it cannot ever be wholly present at one time; while a state, although it may endure over a stretch of time, does not change during such a stretch and so is present at each moment of the stretch" [p. 15]. In any case, "the distinction between states and events is not a distinction inherent in what goes on, but rather a distinction between two different ways we have of describing it" [p. 24].
1987a The Logic of Occurrence, in A. P. Galton, ed. (1987), pp. 169-96.
Syntax and semantics (including completeness results) of the logic of the aspect operators Perf, Prog, and Pros expressing the occurrence of events in time. Roughly: PerfE is true now if some occurrence of the event denoted by E is wholly in the past; ProsE is true now if some occurrence of E is wholly in the future; and ProgE is true now if some occurrence of E is partly in the past, partly present, and partly in the future.
1987b Temporal Logic and Computer Science: An Overview, in A. P. Galton, ed. (1987), pp. 1-52.
An extensive and wide-ranging overview, with an eye for connections with the linguistic and philosophical literature on time, actions, and events.
1990 A Critical Examination of Allens Theory of Action and Time, Artificial Intelligence, 42, 159-88.
Modifies the temporal ontology underlying J. F. Allens (1984) temporal logic by introducing instants in addition to intervals. The range of predicates for asserting temporal locations is diversified accordingly: both holds and occurs are split into three predicates holds-on, holds-in, holds-at and occurs-on, occurs-in, occurs-at. In both cases, the third predicate makes it possible to talk about instantaneous events. However, it is argued that a separate category of processes--in addition to properties and events--is not necessary.
1991 Reified Temporal Theories and How to Unreify Them, in Proceedings of the 12th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-91), Vol. 2, Sydney: IJCAI [Morgan Kaufmann], pp. 1177-82.
Argues that reification of propositions expressing states and events as a means of handling temporal reasoning is both philosophically suspect and technically unnecessary. As an illustration, indicates how the reified theories of J. F. Allen (1984) and Shoham (1986, 1988) can be unreified. The resulting "loss of expressive power" can be rectified by adopting Davidsons (1967a) theory in which event tokens, rather than types, are reified: the procedure is illustrated by means of Kowalski and Sergots (1986) event calculus. A general procedure for converting type-reification to token-reification is also proposed.
1993 Towards an Integrated Logic of Space, Time, and Motion, in Proceedings of the 13th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-93), Vol. 2, Chambéry: IJCAI [Morgan Kaufmann], pp. 1550-55.
Argues that J. F. Allens (1984) temporal logic, with the modifications suggested by Galton (1990), can be combined with a spatial logic to yield "a useful framework for reasoning about the motion of a rigid body in space" [p. 1550]. The notion of perturbation and the distinction between states of position and states of motion are introduced to provide a qualitative account of continuity, and the resulting system is shown to enable various types of events to be defined in terms of their conditions of occurrence, i.e., of the elementary positional relations on bodies and regions.
1994 Instantaneous Events, in H. J. Ohlbach, ed., Temporal Logic: Proceedings of the ICTL Workshop, Saarbrücken: Max-Planck-Institut für Informatik, Technical Report MPI-I-94-230, pp. 4-11.
Distinguishes strictly "instantaneous" events (with zero duration) from "momentary" events (with a positive--but in some sense minimal--duration). Events are further classified into "transitions" (characterized in terms of the states holding immediately before and after the event) and "tenures" (characterized in terms of a state holding when the event actually happens, but neither immediately before nor immediately after it). These categories are then considered in relation to both continuous and discrete models of time.
Galton, A. P., ed.
1987 Temporal Logics and Their Applications, London: Academy Press.
Includes Galton (1987a, 1987b) and Sadri (1987).
Garcia, C. L.
1980 La filosofia de la causalidad en Davidson [The Philosophy of Causality in Davidson, in Spanish], Diánoia, 26, 178-94.
1957 Verbal Aspect in French, Language, 33, 91-110.
Makes use of an atelic-telic aspectual distinction germane in many ways to the activity-accomplishment (Vendler 1957) or activity-performance (Kenny 1963) distinctions.
1986 Causal Empiricism and Mental Events, Philosophical Studies, 49, 393-403.
Points out a conflict between common materialist views about mental events and the empiricist ("Humean") approach to causation.
1972 Changing Events in Deweys "Experience and Nature", Journal of the History of Philosophy, 10, 439-55.
Historical analysis of Deweys thesis that events--not only substances--change.
Garson, J. W.
1969 Here and Now, The Monist, 53, 469-77; reprinted in E. Freeman and W. Sellars, eds. (1971), pp. 145-53.
A criticism of Gales (1968) thesis of the disanalogy between spatial, object-based principles and temporal, event-based concepts (see also Gale 1969). Argues that the differences pointed out by Gale are biased by a failure to eliminate tense in the formation of spatial analogues of temporal principles.
1955 Causation and Recipes, Mind, 54, 479-87; reprinted in Beauchamp, ed. (1974), pp. 126-32, and in Brand, ed. (1976), pp. 215-23.
A defense of the "production theory" of causation: we understand causal explanations only insofar as we imagine ourselves doing the thing explained. Argues that some causes are simultaneous with their effects.
1965 Some Problems about Time, Proceedings of the British Academy, 51, 321-36; reprinted in P. F. Strawson, ed., Studies in the Philosophy of Thought and Action, London, Oxford, and New York: Oxford University Press, 1968, pp. 175-91, and in P. Geach, Logic Matters, Oxford: Blackwell, 1972, pp. 302-17.
Against the Quinean view that time is a fourth dimension in which things extend ("a view that really abolishes change, by reducing change to a mere variation of attributes between different parts of a whole" [p. 304]). Amply discussed by Noonan 1976, 1980. Urges that discourse about events needs to be "demythologized": "Any sentence in which an event is represented by a noun-phrase like Queen Annes death appears to be easily replaceable by an equivalent one in which the onomatoid [= seeming name] is paraphrased away; we could use instead a clause attaching some part of the verb to die to the subject Queen Anne" [p. 313].
1968 What Actually Exists (Symposium with R. H. Stoothoff), Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl. Vol. 42, 7-16.
A discussion of the principle "x is actual if and only if x either acts, or undergoes change, or both" [p. 7] in relation to some entia non grata, among which events. See R. H. Stoothoffs (1968) reply.
1969 God and the Soul, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Introduces the notion of a mere "Cambridge Change"--a change occurring in an object if there is a predicate true of it at a time but false of it at a later time [p. 71], which could be the case even if the object does not undergo a "real" change.
Gean, W. D.
1965 Reasons and Causes, The Review of Metaphysics, 19, 667-88.
A defense of the view that reason explanations are causal explanations.
1975 The Logical Connection Argument and De Re Necessity, American Philosophical Quarterly, 12, 349-54.
Argues that normal formulations of the "logical connection argument" (to the effect that factors that appear causally connected can be shown not to be so, at least when described in certain ways, if these factors are logically connected when so described) confuse propositions and events.
1979 Überlegungen zu einer perspektivischen Handlungstheorie [Reflections on a Perspectival Action Theory, in German], in H. Lenk, ed. (1979), Vol. 1, pp. 351-71.
Elaboration of an interpretive account of action in the spirit of Lenk (1979).
1977 Action, Behavior, and Bodily Movement: A Sketch of a Theory of Action, Auslegung, 5, 43-57.
1983 A Study in the Ontology and Explanation of Action, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Kansas.
Defends Davidsons view concerning action identity, but argues that it does not provide us with an ontology of events: Davidson has not shown that all actions are basic, and that all basic actions coincide with bodily movements; rather, he has shown "that all action expressions are coreferential with some expression of the form his causing of such and such a bodily state, and that these are basic action-descriptions" [Abstract]. Also suggests that the denotation of such basic descriptions is a species of mental event (a volitional thought-episode).
1984 Davidson and Prichard: Actions as Bodily Movements and Volitions, Southwestern Philosophical Review, 1, 107-18.
Georgeff, M. P.
1985 A Procedural Logic, Proceedings of the 9th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-85), Vol. 1, Los Angeles: IJCAI [Morgan Kaufmann], pp. 516-23.
Presents a formalism based on the notion of process to represent common-sense knowledge of procedures or sequences of actions for achieving particular goals.
1986 The Representation of Events in Multiagent Domains, Proceedings of AAAI-86, Fifth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Vol. 1, Philadelphia: AAAI [Morgan Kaufmann], pp. 70-75.
Sets forth a model of actions and events for reasoning about dynamic domains involving multiple agents.
1987 Actions, Processes, and Causality, in M. P. Georgeff and A. L. Lansky, eds. (1987), pp. 99-122.
Further elaborating on the model set forth in (1986), argues that "the concept of causality can be employed to simplify the description of actions" and that "sets of causally interrelated actions can be grouped together in processes" [p. 99, Abstract].
Georgeff, M. P., Lansky, A. L., eds.
1987 Reasoning About Actions and Plans: Proceedings of the 1986 Workshop, Los Altos, CA: Morgan Kaufmann.
Includes Georgeff (1987), Lansky (1987), Lifschitz (1987a).
Georgeff, M. P., Morley, D., Rao, A.
1993 Events and Processes in Situation Semantics, in P. Aczel, D. Israel, Y. Katagiri, and S. Peters, eds., Situation Theory and Its Applications, Stanford: CSLI Lecture Notes No. 24, pp. 119-40.
A theory of events in which the "domain of influence of each event" is explicitly represented. Based on the framework of Barwise and Perrys situation semantics (1981, 1983). Includes applications to the analysis of dynamic domains involving multiple agents.
Gibbins, P. F.
1985 Are Mental Events in Space-Time?, Analysis, 45, 145-47.
Criticism of Weingard (1977) and Lockwood (1984a). Reply in Lockwood (1985).
Gibson, J. J.
1975 Events are Perceivable but Time Is Not, in J. T. Fraser and N. Lawrence, eds., The Study of Time II. Proceedings of the Second Conference of the International Society for the Study of Time, Berlin, Heidelberg, and New York: Springer-Verlag, pp. 295-301.
Argues that "there is no such thing as the perception of time, but only the perception of events and locomotions" [p. 295]. "Time is not a receptacle for events, just as space is not a receptacle for objects. A better metaphor would be to suggest [...] that time is the ghost of events and that space is the ghost of surfaces" [p. 299]. In any case, "events can be well or ill perceived, and there is no assumption that there must exist a sequence of phenomenal events corresponding to the physical events and running parallel to them" [p. 298].
1979 The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception, Boston: Houghton Mifflin; reprinted Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1986.
Chapter VI [pp. 93-110] on "Events and the Information for Perceiving Events", deals with "ecological events" that "as distinguished from microphysical and astronomical events, occur at the level of substances and the surfaces that separate them from the medium" [p. 93]. Classifies "terrestrial" events into changes of layout (such as rigid translations and rotations of an object, collisions, nonrigid deformations, surface disruptions), changes of color and texture, changes of surface existence. Asserts that "we should begin thinking of events as the primary realities and of time as an abstraction from them" [p. 100]; that "time and space are not empty receptacles to be filled; instead, they are the ghosts of events and surfaces" [p. 101]. Further distinguishes between recurrence and nonrecurrence and between reversible and nonreversible events, and analyses the nesting of events.
1986 A Theory of Events, Doctoral Dissertation, Indiana University at Bloomington.
An event is a series of momentary states of affairs. Ample discussion of event identity.
1988 The Ontological Status of Refraining, The Journal of Value Inquiry, 22, 307-12.
Commenting on P. G. Smith (1986), argues that the ontological status of refraining is not as mysterious as it might seem. "[Refraining] seems to form some sort of middle ground between occurrence and nonoccurrence" [p. 307], but in the end "it is a thoroughly occurrent action" [p. 311].
1993 On the Metaphysical Distinction Between Processes and Events, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 23, 365-84; reprinted in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 477-96.
Examines Mourelatoss (1978) claim that events (= performances) and processes (= activities) form distinct categories, arguing that the differences between the two "cannot provide the basis for an ontological subcategorization of occurrences" [p. 366]. Argues that the issue is epistemological, not ontological. Reply in Mourelatos (1993).
1990 On Action, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Defends a volitional theory of action: actions are events with the property of having at their core "a mental event possessing an actish phenomenal quality" [p. x]. Actions are therefore a special kind of personal events, with canonical description Ss V-ing at t (S a an agent designator, V a verb phrase, t a time). Chapter 3 discusses action individuation, with critical analysis of extant accounts. The proposed criterion is moderately "multiplying": x and y are the same action iff they have the same agent S, occur at the same time t, and either (i) x is semantically equivalent to y, or (ii) x consists in y (e.g., via a by-relation), or (iii) for every action z, Gen(z,x) iff Gen(z,y), where Gen is a "general generating relation" suitably extending the by-relation (for instance, Gen(a1,a2) holds when a1 can be described as Ss V-ing at t1 and a2 as Ss W-ing at t2 by V-ing at t1 for some W).
1995 Action Theory, in J. Kim and E. Sosa, eds., A Companion to Metaphysics, Oxford and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, pp. 3-7.
A compact survey of the main topics in action theory, including identity and individuation.
Ginsberg, M. L.
1986 Counterfactuals, Artificial Intelligence, 30, 35-79.
A detailed study from an AI perspective. Says that "it is difficult to imagine how counterfactual implication can capture a causal relation that remains asymmetric" in cases such as (i) "If John had measles, hed have koplic spots", and (ii) "If John had koplic spots, hed have measles", both of which are valid [p. 69].
Ginsberg, M. L., Smith, D. E.
1987a Reasoning About Action I: A Possible World Approach, in F. M. Brown, ed., The Frame Problem in Artificial Intelligence. Proceedings of the 1987 Workshop, Los Altos, CA: Morgan Kaufmann, pp. 233-58; revised version reprinted in Artificial Intelligence, 35 (1988), 165-95.
An AI approach to "reasoning about action" based on the idea of keeping a single model of the world that is updated when the action is performed. Germane to the strips approach (Lifschitz 1987a).
1987b Reasoning About Action II: The Qualification Problem, in F. M. Brown, ed., The Frame Problem in Artificial Intelligence. Proceedings of the 1987 Workshop, Los Altos, CA: Morgan Kaufmann, pp. 259-87; revised version reprinted in Artificial Intelligence, 35 (1988), 311-42.
An application of the (1987a) theory to the problem of describing all the preconditions of an action.
1988 A Note on Objects and Events, Analysis, 217, 15-17.
On a consequence of Kims criterion for event identity. A statue rotates. The bronze it is made of rotates too. If the statue and the piece of bronze are distinct, then so are the rotating of the statue and the rotating of the piece of bronze. "This seems counter-intuitive and perhaps unacceptable [...] Our unwillingness to think that there are two rotations can be nicely explained by the Davidsonian view which individuates events by causal considerations. Since these supposedly distinct rotations have exactly the same causes and the same effects, there are no good reasons for thinking that there are two rotations" [p. 16].
1990 On the Location of Actions and Tryings: Criticism of an Internalist View, Erkenntnis, 33, 39-56.
Argues (contra Hornsby) that actions are not internal events and that this is nevertheless compatible with the causal theory of action. One can reject the internalist thesis that the relationship between actions and bodily movements is that of cause and effect without rejecting the essentials of the causal view.
Glasbey, S. R.
1993 Distinguishing Between Events and Times: Some Evidence from the Semantics of Then, Natural Language Semantics, 1, 285-312.
Distinguishes (within the frame of Discourse Representation Theory) between two uses of sentence-final then: (1) as a temporal anaphor referring back to a previously established explicit temporal referent, and (2) as a way of expressing relations between states/events (where no such referent is required).
1994a Event Structure in Natural Language Discourse, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Edinburgh.
1994b Progressives, Events, and States, in P. Dekker and M. Stokhof, eds., Proceedings of the 9th Amsterdam Colloquium, Amsterdam: Institute for Language, Logic and Computation, pp. 313-32.
Rejects the treatment of the progressive as a "stativiser" (Vlach 1981a) and develops an alternative account inspired by the analysis of C. S. Smith (1991) revisited in the framework of situation-theoretic discourse representation theory.
1995 "When", Discourse Relations and the Thematic Structure of Events, in P. Amsili, M. Borillo, and L. Vieu, eds. (1995), Part A, pp. 91-104.
A study of constructions of the form "When event1 event2" (as in "When John arrived at the airport, he went to the check-in desk"). The proposed account exploits the notion of a "subjective state transition".
Godow, R. A.
1979 Davidson and the Anomalismof the Mental, The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 17, 163-74.
A critical examination.
1977 A Problem with Anomalous Monism, Philosophical Studies, 32, 175-80.
Argues that Davidsons (1970b) argument for anomalous monism equivocates two senses of the term physical. "In one sense, that in which every physical event falls under a law, it is not clear that mental events do cause physical events. In the other, that in which there are clear cases of mental events causing physical ones, it is not clear that the physical events fall under any law" [p. 178].
Goldman, A. I.
1964 Action, Doctoral Dissertation, Princeton University.
1970 A Theory of Human Action, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall; reissued Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1976; partly reprinted in S. Davis, ed., Causal Theories of Mind. Action, Knowledge, Memory, Perception, and Reference, Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, 1983, pp. 73-127.
A very influential text, representative of the property exemplification account of the nature of events (compare Kims works). A particular act (or "act token") is "the exemplifiying of a property [or act type] by an agent at a time" [p. 10]. It follows that "two act-tokens are identical if and only if they involve the same agent, the same property, and the same time" [p. 10]. Chapter 2, "The Structure of Action", introduces the notion of "level-generation" (by-relation) to explicate the nature of the intimate connection between pairs of distinct acts such as Johns moving his hand and Johns moving his queen to QN7 (which a unifier would rather treat as identical). Reviewed by Brand (1972), Holborow (1973), Margolis (1974).
1971 The Individuation of Action, The Journal of Philosophy, 68, 761-74; reprinted in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 329-42.
Criticisms of Anscombe and Davidson on the identity of actions. "In the light of such difficulties, the units of actions must be sliced more thinly". Actions--or "act tokens"--are characterized as exemplifications of act types by persons at times (following the account put forward in Goldman 1970); hence their identity conditions are straightforward: actions are the same iff their internal constituents--agents, times of occurrence, and properties exemplified--are the same. The notion of an "act tree" is introduced to account for the intuitive unity among acts that are distinguished by this criterion (such as Boriss squeezing his finger and his pulling of the trigger) as well as to capture the natural ordering among such acts. Discussion in Thomson (1971b), Hornsby (1979a, 1980a, Ch. I), J. A. Smith (1978), Lombard (1974, 1986, pp. 53-62), Pfeifer (1981a, 1982, 1989), and J. Bennett (1988, Chapters 5 and 13, 1995) inter alia.
1976 The Volitional Theory Revisited, in M. Brand and D. Walton, eds. (1976), pp. 67-86.
A critical review aimed at remodeling the doctrine of volition into "plausible form".
1978 Chisholms Theory of Action, Philosophia, 7 [Special Issue on "The Philosophy of Roderick M. Chisholm"], 583-96.
Criticizes Chisholms account of agent causation. Reply in Chisholm (1978).
1979 Action, Causality, and Unity, Noûs, 13, 261-70.
Reply to Castañeda (1979).
Goldsmith, J., Woisetschlaeger, E.
1982 The Logic of the English Progressive, Linguistic Inquiry, 13, 79-89.
Based on the assumption that "aspect in language never deals with a mental representation having the structure of a line, and consequently the attempts made by many linguists and philosophers to map the simple present and the progressive aspect in terms of events and states marked on the real time line, extending into the past and future, are necessarily inadequate to account for natural language semantics" [p. 83].
1951 The Structure of Appearance, Cambridge: Harvard University Press; revised edition, Dordrecht: Reidel, 1962; third edition 1977.
A statement of the thesis that there is no qualitative distinction between things and events. "What we think of as a phenomenal thing is distinguished from what we think of as a phenomenal event or process only in the pattern of differences among its temporal parts. A thing is a monotonous event; an event is an unstable thing" [1951, p. 286].
1984 Special Relativity and the Location of Mental Events, Analysis, 44, 126-27.
Criticism of Lockwood (1984a).
1979 Omissions, Tulane Studies in Philosophy, 28 [Issue on "Studies in Action Theory", ed. by R. C. Whittemore], 93-102.
Reformulates Brands (1971) criterion for omissions. "S omits to perform a at t if and only if (i) it is not the case that S performs a at t; and (ii) S had the ability and the opportunity to perform a at t." [p. 97]. Further defines the special cases of intentional, unintentional, and legal omissions. See discussion in Morillo (1979).
Gorr, M., Horgan, T.
1982 Intentional and Unintentional Actions, Philosophical Studies, 41, 251-62.
A "theoretically well grounded" account of the difference between intentional and unintentional actions is proposed and argued to be compatible with Davidsons account of act individuation.
Gottlieb, D. V.
1976 A Method for Ontology, with Application to Numbers and Events, The Journal of Philosophy, 73, 637-51.
Suggests a substitutional interpretation of the quantifiers in Davidsons (1967a) logical form of action sentences so as to avoid ontological commitment to events.
1978 No Entity Without Identity", Southwestern Journal of Philosophy, 9, 79-96.
Includes an argument to the effect that Davidsons (1969a) criterion for event identity is inadequate to ground reference to events.
1980 Ontological Economy: Substitutional Quantification and Mathematics, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Chapter 3, on the criterion of ontological commitment, includes a discussion of the ontological import of logical analyses involving commitment to events via quantification.
Gottlieb, D. V., Davis, L. H.
1974 Extensionality and Singular Causal Sentences, Philosophical Studies, 25, 69-72.
Defends the extensionality of the context "... caused ---" by arguing that failure of substitutivity in sentences of the form "x caused ys becoming e" is due to the opacity of the context "ys becoming".
Graham, D. W.
1980 States and Performances: Aristotles Test, The Philosophical Quarterly, 30, 117-30.
A defense of Aristotles original test for classifying actions into energeiai and kinêseis, with comparisons to the analyses/classifications of Ryle (1949), Kenny (1963), Vendler (1957), and Ackrill (1965). Compare also Mourelatos (1993).
1976 Anadic Logic and English, Synthese, 32, 395-402.
Includes an application of predicate functor logics (which are regarded as a better vehicle for formalizing natural languages than standard predicate logic) to the analysis of action sentences.
Graves, P. R.
1994 Argument Deletion Without Events, Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, 34, 607-20.
Describes a sound and complete formal language (obtained from a standard first-order language by adding a denumerable stock of "thematic role" markers for singular terms) within which polyadic properties and argument deletion can be dealt with without recourse to events. An exploitation of the ideas of Dowty (1989) following in the footsteps of Grandy (1976). The system allows for unrestricted argument deletion.
Gray, D. M.
1996 Asymmetrical and Symmetrical Dependency: A Particular Problem, Aporia, 6, 17-34.
A critical analysis of Moravcsiks (1965) criticism of Strawsons (1959) views on the asymmetric relation of dependency between events and objects.
Green, O. H.
1979 Refraining and Responsibility, Tulane Studies in Philosophy, 28 [Issue on "Studies in Action Theory", ed. by R. C. Whittemore], 103-13.
Green, C., Gillett, G.
1995 Are Mental Events Preceded by Their Physical Causes?, Philosophical Psychology, 8, 333-40.
Argues that mental events need not be preceded by their physical causes--at least, not for the reasons put forward by Libet (1985).
1986 Actions and Events, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 67, 1-35.
A detailed examination of Davidson (1967a). The final part puts forward a "constructivist" account of events exploiting the conception of a basic event as "one which consists of transitions of a subject item between contradictorily opposed states, like being fat and not being fat" [p. 21]. Discusses the possibility of a "coherently formulated distinction" between actions and events.
1977 Eventual Change and Action Identity, American Philosophical Quarterly, 14, 221-29.
Argues that the identity of actions such as the shooting and the killing of the victim can be accounted for in terms of eventual change: the shooting becomes a killing (by becoming the cause of a death). Compare J. Bennett (1973), Vollrath (1975), Anscombe (1979a), and Davidson (1985b, 1987) for similar accounts; compare also Thalberg (1975) and A. R. White (1979/80) for misgivings.
1980 Purposive Actions, Philosophical Studies, 38, 235-60.
Argues that not all actions are purposive, and that purposiveness does not distinguish actions from mere behavior.
1990 Argument Structure, Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT Press .
Works with the hypothesis that a verb has always associated with it an event structure which, when combined with other elements in the relevant clause, provides an event structure for an entire sentence.
Grimshaw, J., Vikner, S.
1992 Obligatory Adjuncts and the Structure of Events, in E. Reuland and W. Abraham, eds., Knowledge and Language. Volume II: Lexical and Conceptual Structure, Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 143-55.
Using the notion of event structure ("the aspectual structure of the eventuality denoted by the verbs"), offers an account of the occurrences of obligatory adjuncts (such as by-phrases) with passives and accomplishment verbs.
1997 Logic and Language: A Glossary, in J. van Benthem and A. G. B. ter Meulen, eds., Handbook of Logic and Language, Amsterdam: Elsevier; Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp. 1179-1213.
Includes an entry on events. Basic characterizaton: "An event is a unit of change in the external world, whose duration is measured in an interval of time" [p. 1189].
1971 The Meaning of Time, in E. Freeman and W. Sellars, eds. (1971), pp. 195-228.
Denies that "belonging to the present is a physical attribute of a physical event E which is independent of any judgmental awareness of the occurrence of E itself or of another event simultaneous with it" [p. 209]. On the other hand, "the temporal relations of earlier than, later than, and simultaneity do, of course, obtain among physical events in their own right in the sense familiar from the theory of relativity" [p. 228].
1989 Why Thematic Kinships between Events Do Not Attest Their Causal Linkage, in J. B. Brown and J. Mittelstrass, eds., An Intimate Relation, Dordrecht: Reidel, pp. 477-94; reprinted in Epistemologia, 13 (1990), 187-208.
Argues that the existence of a thematic connection between two events does not by itself justify the assertion of the existence of a causal linkage. Based on evidence from psychoanalysis.
1981 Killing by Letting Die, Mind, 90, 91-98.
A causal account which views acts of letting die as acts of killing.
1983 Review of Davidson (1980b), Etyca, 23, 177-82.
Guasti, M. T.
1992 The Role of Tense in Perceptual Reports, in E. Fava, ed., Proceedings of the XVII Meeting of Generative Grammar. Volume Presented to Giuseppe Francescato on the Occasion of His 70th Birthday, Torino: Rosenberg & Sellier, pp. 233-47.
Argues that the complement of see in a sentence like "John saw Mary laugh" refers to an event, whereas in a sentence like "John saw that Mary laughed" it refers to a proposition. Following Higginbotham (1983), argues that "the event interpretation is ensured by the lack of a referential tense in the complements of perception verbs" [p. 233].
1977 Remarks on the Present Perfect in English, in C. Rohrer, ed. (1977), pp. 83-98.
Extends Åqvists (1976) account.
1979 Time Schemes, Tense Logic and the Analysis of English Trees, in F. Guenthner and S. J. Schmidt, eds., Formal Semantics and Pragmatics for Natural Languages, Dordrecht: Reidel, pp. 201-22.
An investigation into the adequacy of various tense logics in describing and explaining tensed constructions in natural language.
1987 Agent-Causation and Event-Causation, Indian Philosophical Quarterly, 14, 409-30.
Gustafson, D. F.
1973 A Critical Survey of the Reasons vs. Causes Argument in Recent Philosophy of Action, Metaphilosophy, 4, 269-97.
A useful review article.
1986 Intention and Agency, Dordrecht: Reidel.
Embeds the philosophy of action in a naturalized account of agents. Brief discussion of the unifier/multiplier debate on action identity [pp. 179-81]; endorses Castañedas view that "multipliers and unifiers differ in how they use the word action" [p. 179].
1991 Prichard, Davidson and Action, Philosophical Investigations, 14, 205-30.
An examination of the structural similarities between Davidsons and Prichards theories of action.
1994 Anomalous Monism, in S. Guttenplan, ed., A Companion to the Philosophy of Mind, Oxford and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, p. 122.
Brief outline of Davidsons views on the anomaly of the mental.
Back to Contents
Haas, A. R.
1985 Possible Events, Actual Events, and Robots, Computational Intelligence, 1/2, 59-70.
Hacker, P. M. S.
1981 Events and the Exemplifications of Properties, The Philosophical Quarterly, 31, 242-7.
Criticizes Kims analysis for understating any distinctions between events and states. Maintains that the central and "self-evidently essential" feature of events is "that they are changes", whereas "our concept of a state of an object is not the same as our concept of a change to an object" [p. 243]. Other differences: "Events take place, happen, occur or befall [...] States, on the other hand, obtain rather than take place, persist rather than occur [...] Events happen to objects, whereas objects are in certain states" [ibid.].
1982a Events, Ontology and Grammar, Philosophy, 57, 477-86; reprinted in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 79-88.
Argues that the question of the existence of events is surrounded by a cloud of conceptual confusion. For one thing, events cannot be "introduced" or "eliminated" by philosophical discussions. Moreover, the very question do events exist? is suspect, for "the esse of events is to take place, happen or occur, but not to exist" [p. 479]. (More worthy are questions of ontological priority: are objects ontologically prior to events, or is it the other way around? Or are both categories equally "basic"?) Objects to Davidsons overall program to account for the logical articulations of our language by exhibiting the "logical form" of ordinary sentences in a first-order calculus.
1982b Events and Objects in Space and Time, Mind, 91, 1-19; reprinted in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 429-47.
Develops on Quinton (1979) on the dissimilarities between events and material objects. Much of the difference is apparent from their respective relation to space. Both have spatial location, but objects, not events, occupy space. Thus events have no dimensionality, no shape, no size.
1991 Representing Plans under Uncertainty: A Logic of Time, Chance, and Action, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana; revised version published with the same title, Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1994; partly reprinted in Haddawy (1996).
1996 A Logic of Time, Chance, and Action for Representing Plans, Artificial Intelligence, 80, 243-308.
Section 2 on the underlying ontology. Distinguishes events from facts (a fact, but not an event, holds over every subinterval of any interval over which it holds) as well as between event types and event tokens, and treats actions as events brought about by agents. The representation system is based on Goldmans (1970) theory and exploits the notion of "level-generation".
Hager, P. J.
1994 Continuity and Change in the Development of Russells Philosophy, Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers; Warszawa: Polish Scientific Publishers.
Includes an analysis of Russells views on events.
1987 Abstract Objects, Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Chapter 4, on causality, includes a brief discussion of the "slingshot" argument [pp. 91-92].
Hall, J. C.
1989 Acts and Omissions, The Philosophical Quarterly, 39, 399-408.
An attempt to characterize the distinction between acts (such as killing) and omissions (such as letting die).
1982 Urteile und Ereignisse. Studien zur philosophischen Logik und Erkenntnistheorie [Judgments and Events. Studies in Philosophical Logic and the Theory of Knowledge, in German], Freiburg and München: Alber.
Section 1.5 on event identity and identification [pp. 28-45].
1969 Starting and Stopping, The Monist, 53, 410-25; reprinted in E. Freeman and W. Sellars, eds. (1971), pp. 86-101.
In what state is an object when it starts to move or to change? From the untenability of some standard accounts in terms of instants, Hamblin develops a logic on change based on intervals; over an interval a thing can be--without contradiction--in two different states.
Hamlyn, D. W.
1984 Metaphysics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Includes a discussion of topics such as ontological commitment to events and the relation between time and events. An event is defined as "an item corresponding [...] to a non-continuous-tensed verb, as opposed to a process or state where there is the reflection of a continuous-tensed verb of one kind or another. A fact is what is statable by means of a true proposition or statement" [p. 56].
Hanks, S., McDermott, D.
1986 Default Reasoning, Nonmonotonic Logics, and the Frame Problem, Proceedings of AAAI-86, Fifth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Vol. 1, Philadelphia: AAAI [Morgan Kaufmann], pp. 328-33.
A discussion of the so-called "frame problem": "given an initial description of the world (some facts that are true), the occurrence of some events, and some notion of causality (that an event occurring can cause a fact to become true), what facts are true once all the events have occurred?" [p. 330]. As a case-study, what has come to be known as the "Yale shooting problem" is introduced.
1987 Nonmonotonic Logic and Temporal Projection, Artificial Intelligence, 33, 379-412; reprinted in J. F. Allen, J. Hendler, and A. Tate, eds. (1990), pp. 624-40.
Expanded version of (1986), including reports on various criticisms and responses.
Hanna, J. F.
1981 Single Case Propensities and the Explanation of Particular Events, Synthese, 48, 409-36.
On a dilemma for theories of statistical explanation. Relevance of the dilemma to the traditional conception of an explanandum event as a "static" attribute, outcome, or state of affairs.
1987 Sobre la filosofia de Donald Davidson [On the Philosophy of Donald Davidson, in Spanish], Critica, 19, 97-115.
Includes critical review of Davidson (1980b).
Hanson, C., Hirst, W.
1989 On the Representation of Events: A Study of Orientation, Recall, and Recognition, Journal of Experimental Psychology, General, 118, 136-47.
An experimental psychological study of how orientation toward an event affects both its perception of the memory of it.
Hare, P. H., Madden, E. H.
1975 Causing, Perceiving and Believing. An Examination of the Philosophy of C. J. Ducasse, Dordrecht and Boston: Reidel.
Chapter 2, "Causality and Necessity", includes a critical analysis of Ducasses "inclusive" view of events as changes or unchanges in states of affairs [pp. 15ff].
1970 Deep Structure as Logical Form, Synthese, 21, 275-97; reprinted in D. Davidson and G. Harman, eds. (1972), pp. 25-47.
Sec. 4 examines "what sort of theory results if deep structure is identified with logical form in the analysis of action sentences and causal sentences" [p. 38]. The account is based on Davidson (1967a) and concludes that "one cannot say that the deep structure of [Jack opened the door with the key at ten oclock] is embedded in that of [Fear caused Jack to open the door with the key at ten oclock] and the usual syntactic analysis of these sentences must be rejected" [p. 41].
1975 Logical Form, in D. Davidson and G. Harman, eds., The Logic of Grammar, Encino, CA: Dickenson, pp. 289-307.
1981 The Essential Grammar of Action (and Other) Sentences, Philosophia, 10, 209-16.
Argues that a Strawsonian (1959) framework in which reference to objects is more basic than reference to events makes it difficult to provide a satisfactory account of adverbial modification.
Harré, R., Madden, E. H.
1973 In Defense of Natural Agents, The Philosophical Quarterly, 23, 117-32.
Causation as the operation of natural agents.
Harris, N. G. E.
1981 Causes and Events, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 42, 236-53.
Argues that causation is best accounted for within a descriptive framework based on the notion of a temporally extended event (as opposed to, e.g., a more traditional framework based on spatial manifolds made up of objects and voids).
1970 Creative Synthesis and Philosophical Method, London: LCM Press.
Chapter XI, "Events, Individuals and Predication: A Defense of Event Pluralism", contends that thing- or substance-way of speaking is only a shorthand for the metaphysically more fundamental event talk. Critical review in R. M. Martin (1971b).
1985 Change, Persistence and Explanation, Doctoral Dissertation, Stanford University.
1982 Weak Supervenience, American Philosophical Quarterly, 19, 93-104
Against the token-identity theory of the mental and the physical, promotes weak supervenience as a variety of physicalist monism which implies no identity theory and yet preserves a primacy for physical events. Includes critical discussion of Davidsons (1970b) argument.
1984a Ontological Supervenience, The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 22, Suppl. Vol., 1-12 [Spindel Conference 1983, "Supervenience", ed. T. Horgan].
Macro-causal relations as well as causal relations involving psychological events are explained in terms of supervenient causation, which in turn is characterized as a case of "strong supervenience".
1984b Response: Phenomenal Causes, The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 22, Suppl. Vol., 63-70 [Spindel Conference 1983, "Supervenience", ed. T. Horgan].
Causality is a macroscopic, folk notion.
1992 Thresholds, Transitivity, Overdetermination, and Events, Analysis, 52, 159-63.
Argues that "in circumstances involving causal thresholds or causal overdetermination one cannot consistently hold both that causation is a transitive relation and that its relata are coarse-grained events individuated by their spatial and temporal boundaries" [The Philosophers Index Abstract].
1971 The Logic of Actions, in B. Meltzer and D. Michie, eds., Machine Intelligence 6, Edimburgh: Edimburgh University Press, pp. 495-520.
Early AI approach to the modelling of actions (= means for moving from one situation to another). Discussion of the "frame problem" (which facts remain unchanged when actions are performed).
1979 The Naive Physics Manifesto, in D. Michie, ed., Expert Systems in the Micro-Electronic Age, Edimburgh: Edimburgh University Press, pp. 242-70; reprinted in M. A. Boden, ed., The Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990, pp. 171-205.
Inaugurates a vast research program aimed at describing the salient features of our naive way of conceptualizing the physical world and implementing them on computers, so that these can better interact with human agents. A special place is dedicated to actions, changes, and processes.
1985a The Second Naive Physics Manifesto, in J. R. Hobbs and R. C. Moore, eds., Formal Theories of the Commonsense World, Norwood: Ablex, pp. 1-36; reprinted in G. F. Langer, ed., Computation and Intelligence. Collected Readings, Menlo Park, CA: AAAI Press, and Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995, pp. 567-86.
"Events happen in time, but also in space--they have a where as well as a when. They are four-dimensional spatio-temporal entities" [p. 24].
1985b Naive Physics I: Ontology for Liquids, in J. R. Hobbs and R. C. Moore, eds., Formal Theories of the Commonsense World, Norwood: Ablex, pp. 71-107.
Makes use of the notion of a "history": "a connected piece of space-time in which something happens, more or less separate from other such pieces" [p. 90] (for instance, "the inside of a room during an afternoon"). Histories contain events, isolating them temporally and spatially from other events.
Hazen, A. P.
1979 Counterpart-Theoretic Semantics for Modal Logic, The Journal of Philosophy, 76, 319-38.
Remarks that if the death of Caesar were essentially of Caesar (i.e., if "it could not have occurred without being the death of Caesar"), then Lewiss counterpart-theoretic semantics for modal logic "would have the consequence that Caesar and his death could have at most one counterpart apiece in any world" [pp. 328-29].
1982 Review of Davidson (1980b), Philosophy, 57, 133-36.
Hedman, C. G.
1970a The Explanation of Action, Doctoral Dissertation, Columbia University.
1970b On the Individuation of Actions, Inquiry, 13 [Special Issue on "Action"], 125-28.
A discussion of Davidson (1967a) focusing on some problems about identity criteria for actions. Oedipus struck the rude old man intentionally, but he did not strike his father intentionally--yet on Davidsons theory there was just one striking (the old man being the same as Oedipuss father). Davidsons reply in (1970c), following Anscombe (1957).
1972 On When There Must Be a Time-Difference between Cause and Effect, Philosophy of Science, 39, 507-11.
"An adequate view of what is to be an event must illuminate the enterprise of seeking to establish a singular causal statement". Objects that Kims property exemplification account of events does not permit redescriptions of events, since any change (addition or deletion) in a given event description would alter the constitutive property of the described event. Kims reply in (1976).
1973 On "Redescribing" Cause and Effect in Action Contexts, Noûs, 7, 299-307.
A criticism of Davidsons account of the causal relations between wants and actions in terms of redescriptions in neurological terms.
Heil, J., Mele, A. R., eds.
1993 Mental Causation, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Contains Audi (1993b), L. R. Baker (1993), Burge (1993), Davidson (1993c), Dretske (1993), Hornsby (1993), Kim (1993a, 1993b), McLaughlin (1993), and Sosa (1993).
1983 House-Cleaning and the Time of a Killing, Philosophical Studies, 44, 381-89.
Discussion of Thomson (1971b): the action of killing does not extend beyond the time of the shooting even if the victim dies at a later time.
1984 Temporal Parts and Four-Dimensional Objects, Philosophical Studies, 46, 323-34; reprinted in M. Rea, ed., Material Constitution. A Reader, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1997, pp. 320-30.
Defends a four-dimensional ontology. See Heller (1990) for a full account.
1990 The Ontology of Physical Objects: Four-Dimensional Hunks of Matter, New York: Cambridge University Press.
Study of "an ontology of four-dimensional hunks of matter". Argues "that every filled region of space-time is exactly filled by one such object and that any one of these objects has its actual spatiotemporal configuration and location at every world at which it exists. This ontology should be contrasted with [...] our standard ontology, according to which one and the same three-dimensional object exists in its entirety at several times and at several worlds, having a different spatiotemporal shape and location at many of these other worlds" [p. ix].
1992 Things Change, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 52, 695-704.
A defense of the doctrine of temporal parts (given any period of time during which a material object exists, there are parts of the object that exist at that and at no other time). Criticisms in Lombard (1994).
1975 Are "Cambridge" Changes Non-Events?, Analysis, 35, 140-44.
Contra Kim (1974) argues that "Cambridge" events (e.g. Xanthippes becoming a widow) "are not events, and a fortiori cannot stand in a relation of dependence to other events, whether of causal or non-causal dependence" [p. 140].
Hempel, C. G.
1965 Aspects of Scientific Explanation, New York: The Free Press; London: Collier-Macmillan.
Distinguishes between "sentential" events and "concrete" events [pp. 421ff]. The former are those fact-like entities that can be explained by answering questions of the form Why is it the case that p?. The latter are not described by sentences but by noun phrases: individual names or definite descriptions.
Hendrix, G. G.
1973 Modeling Simultaneous Actions and Continuous Processes, Artificial Intelligence, 4, 145-80.
Outlines an AI methodology "which makes possible the modeling of (1) simultaneous, interactive processes, (2) processes characterized by a continuum gradual change, (3) involuntarily activated processes (such as the growing of grass), and (4) time as a continuous phenomenon" [Authors Abstract].
1973 Sentence and Predicate Modifiers in English, in J. P. Kimbal, ed., Syntax and Semantics, Volume 2, New York: Seminar Press, pp. 217-45.
Argues that "if we are content to deal with modifiers at the level where they appear simply as primitive operators on predicates [as suggested e.g. by Clark (1970), Montague (1970a), T. Parsons (1970), Thomason and Stalnaker (1973)], we lose access to all their linguistically interesting and perhaps too many of their logically interesting properties. The alternative, I suppose, is to leap into the uncharted swamp that lies out there somewhere beyond tense logic" [pp. 243-44].
1982 Tense, Aspect and Time Adverbials, II, Linguistics and Philosophy, 5 [Special Issue on "The Semantics of Temporal Elements", R. Wall and R. E. Grandy, eds.], 109-154.
A plea for "the embedding of the semantics of Part I [B. Richards (1982)] in a framework in which pragmatic considerations can interact freely with the semantics, to restrict the domains within which quantification is permitted" [p. 154].
1991a Perfective and Imperfective Aspect and the Theory of Events and States, Linguistics, 29, 969-1010.
Develops a formal theory of states, events, and event types which "gives the conceptual foundations for the semantics of aspect, accords events the logical status of individuals characterized by heterogeneous type predicates but treats states as homogeneous properties of times" [p. 969, Abstract]. The analysis of states exploits the fact that "states are not individuals from the logical point of view".
1991b Temporale Konjunktionen und Aspekt. Der sprachliche Ausdruck von Zeitrelationen zwischen Situationen [Temporal Conjunctions and Aspect. The Linguistic Expression of Temporal Relations among Situations, in German], Kognitionswissenschaft, 2, 51-90.
Uses the theory of times, events, event types, and states of (1991a) to provide an account of temporal and durational conjunctions in German.
Hestevold, H. S.
1990 Passage and the Presence of Experience, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 50, 537-52.
Defends the view that events undergo "passage".
1988 Things in Space and Time, in J. S. Petöfi, ed., Text and Discourse Constitution. Empirical Aspects, Theoretical Approaches, Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, pp. 377-418.
A nominalistic approach "construing everything needed within the interpretation of natural language texts [...] exclusively by means of reference to individuals" [p. 380]. The slogan: "no space-time without things, no things without space-time" [p. 388]. With the help of a rich mereological apparatus, events are construed as virtual classes of virtual classes with two individuals as members: a mereological atom and a so-called conglomerate (see § 3.3 for details). The construction is such that "although it is not the case generally that every object is an event or that every event is an object, each object or event comprises objects as well as events as parts. In some models there is even no difference between objects and events at all" [p. 413].
1983 The Logic of Perceptual Reports: An Extensional Alternative to Situation Semantics, The Journal of Philosophy, 80, 100-27; reprinted in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 19-46.
In response to Barwise (1981), proposes a first-order extensional semantic analysis of naked infinitive perceptual reports as involving quantification over individual events in the spirit of Davidsons (1967a) analysis of action sentences. For instance, John saw Mary leave is analysed as having the logical form ($e)(Leave(Mary,e) & See(John,e))). See Vlach (1983) for a similar account. Critical discussion in Asher and Bonevac (1985a) and Neale (1988).
1985 On Semantics, Linguistic Inquiry, 16, 547-93.
Includes a discussion of event-based analyses of perception verbs [pp. 554ff], adverbial modification [pp. 562ff], naked infinitives [pp. 588ff].
1986 Linguistic Theory and Davidsons Program in Semantics, in E. LePore, ed., Truth and Interpretation. Perspectives on the Philosophy of Donald Davidson, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, pp. 29-48.
Argues that a Davidsonian analysis of action sentences allow to account for the inference from John does anything that Bill does and Bill jogs to John jogs within classical first order logic (based on a problem from Chierchia 1984).
1989 Elucidations of Meaning, Linguistics and Philosophy, 12 [Special Issue on "Studies on Logical Form and Semantic Interpretation", R. May, ed.], 465-517.
Argues that what have come to be called "semantic postulates" of a language reduce to "elucidations" of lexical meanings that are tacitly known by native speakers. Includes an elaboration of the thesis advanced in Higginbotham (1985) that "reference to events is the appropriate way to view properties of subordinate clauses and modification" [p. 465].
1994 Tensed Thoughts, Mind & Language, 10, 226-49.
Some mental states that arise when one locates a sentences content as belonging to ones present or past are reflexive, i.e., they include themselves as constituents of their contents. "That content is then a tensed thought, ordering ones present state with respect to the content. Anaphoric cross-reference between an event or state (understood as in Davidson [1967a]) and a constituent of its content is responsible [...] for the phenomenon of sequence of tense in English. Conversely, the fact that some states are necessarily reflexive supports the view that the elaborations of logical form that account for sequence of tense are no mere artefact of semantics, but even intrinsic to some of our utterances and thoughts" [p. 226, Abstract].
1995 Some Philosophy of Language, in L. R. Gleitman and M. Liberman, eds., An Introduction to Cognitive Science. Vol. I: Language, Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT Press/Bradford Books, pp. 399-427.
Includes some remarks on events as objects of perception [pp. 403-4].
Higginbotham, J., Schein, B.
1986 Plurals, in J. Carter and R.-M. Déchaine, eds., Proceedings of the Sixteenth Annual Meeting, North-Eastern Linguistic Society, University of Massachusetts at Amherst: GLSA, pp. 161-75.
An account of plurals as referring "not to objects, but to predicates, or to concepts in the sense of Frege". This view is "intimately connected with the thesis that the predicates of natural language are first of all classifiers of events, in the sense of Davidson [...] The concepts to which plurals refer put conditions on the nature of the participants in events. Thus a sentence like John and Mary lifted the piano (together) does not report the exploits of a plural object, but an event that had more than one agent" [p. 162]. Full developments in Schein (1986, 1993).
1997 Discussion: The Facts of Causation, Philosophical Books, 38, 1-7.
Critical review of Mellor (1995), with Mellors replies in (1997). Suggests that "if Dons rope broke and he failed to fall, then his failing to fall, his floating there in space, would be a surprising and significant event in his life" [p. 4].
1983 The Semantics of the English Progressive: A Study in Situation Semantics, in A. Chukerman, M. Marks, and J. F. Richardson, eds., CLS19: Papers from the Nineteenth Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society, pp. 171-82.
Argues that an adequate account of the progressive must combine Dowtys (1977) "modal analysis" with M. Bennetts (1981) and T. Parsonss (1980) "non modal analysis". This is done within the framework of Barwise and Perrys situation semantics (1981, 1983), which "allows for partially defined courses of events and structural constraints obtaining between courses of events" (both features being crucial for the proposed account). Includes an discussion of the "imperfective paradox".
1985 A Compositional Semantics for Aktionsarten and NP Reference in English, Doctoral Dissertation, Ohio State University.
A semantic account of English Aktionsarten exploiting the analogy between the mass-count distinction and the distinction between atelic and telic events.
1986 Temporal Anaphora in Discourses of English, Linguistics and Philosophy, 9 [Special Issue on "Tense and Aspect in Discourse", D. R. Dowty, ed.], 63-82.
Applies the system of event structures of Kamp (1979) to the analysis of anaphoric relationships between temporal expressions.
1982 Temporal Discourse and Semantical Games, Linguistics and Philosophy, 5 [Special Issue on "The Semantics of Temporal Elements", R. Wall and R. E. Grandy, eds.], 3-22.
Proposes a game-theoretical semantical account for English tenses and time adverbs, including an account of the distinction between distributive and collective uses of verbs, which is meant to show "that we do not need the collective-distributive contrast in any shape, size or form, and hence do not need Davidsons ontology either. [...] Thus our theory tells against the reification of events" [pp. 6-7].
Hinton, J. M.
1967 Illusions and Identity, Analysis, 27, 65-76.
There can be no identity of mental and physical events because there are no events.
1984 Review of Tiles (1981), The Philosophical Review, 93, 126-28.
1971/2 Inanimate Agency, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 72, 195-213.
Offers "an account of non-human agency which [...] does not require us to abandon the claim that in some way statements about non-human objects causing things to happen imply statements about a causal relation between events" [p. 196]. In short, "agency statements imply causal statements (for non-human actions)" [p. 212]. More generally, in regard to action theory broadly understood: "we may be misled into thinking that the action is an event [...] Although an event occurs when the agent acts, the action is not that event [...] Because the event is caused in a certain way the agent is said to produce the effect and its action is the producing or causing of this effect" [pp. 212-13].
Hitchcock, C. R.
1996 The Role of Contrast in Causal and Explanatory Claims, Synthese, 107, 395-419.
Outlines a unified account of the role of contrastive stress in various contexts, including of causal statements (in the spirit of Dretske 1977).
1991 Aspect and Adverbials, in S. Moore and A. Z. Wyner, eds., Proceedings of the First Semantics and Linguistics Theory Conference (SALT I), Ithaca, NY: Cornell Working Papers in Linguistics, n. 10, pp. 107-26.
Proposes a treatment of the prepositions heading temporal adverbials as binary operators that select aspectual properties of their arguments (extending the characterization of Dowty 1986 to include such basic properties of events as culmination) and that order the arguments temporally.
Hobbs, J. R.
1995 Sketch of an Ontology Underlying the Way We Talk about the World, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 43 [special issue on "The Role of Formal Ontology in the Information Technology", N. Guarino and R. Poli, eds.], 819-30.
Section 6 treats causality as a relation among events as well as states (as in The slipperiness of the ice caused John to fall) or agents (as John lifted his arm: "we probably dont want to coerce this argument into some imagined event taking place inside John" [p. 827]). States are characterized generally as predications; events are changes of states; actions are causing of events by intentional agents; and processes are sequences of events or actions.
Hobbs, J. R., Croft, W., Davies, T., Edwards, D., Laws, K.
1987 Commonsense Metaphysics and Lexical Semantics, Computational Linguistics, 13, 241-50.
An influential AI project for developing common-sense theories of various domains of discourse, including time and causality. "There are two possible ontologies for time. In the first [...] there is a time line [...] In the second ontology, the one that seems more deeply rooted in language, the world consists of a large number of more or less independent processes, or histories, or sequences of events" [p. 244]. The latter ontology is axiomatized using a primitive relation of change between events.
1991 The Mind Matters. Consciousness and Choice in a Quantum World, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Chapter 2 [pp. 38-62] on mental events and their relationships with physical events.
Hoepelman, J. P.
1978 A Treatment of Activity Verbs in a Montague-Type Grammar: A First Approximation, in F. Guenthner and C. Rohrer, eds., Studies in Formal Semantics: Intentionality, Temporality, Negation, Amsterdam: North-Holland, pp. 121-65.
An attempt to account for Vendlers (1957) fourfold classification of verb types (states, activities, accomplishments, and achievements) within the framework of Montague grammar (1973). Focuses on activity verbs. Compare also Vlach (1981b).
Hoepelman, J. P., Rohrer, C.
1980 On the Mass-Count Distinction and the French Imparfait and Passé Simple, in C. Rohrer, ed. (1980), pp. 85-112.
Presents a semantics of the French imparfait and passé simple which "provides a formal basis for the intuition that the imparfait has affinity to mass expressions and the passé simple to count expression" [p. 85].
1981 Remarks on Noch and Schon in German in P. Tedeschi and A. Zaenen, eds. (1981), pp. 103-26.
Proposes a way of establishing a link between a verb classification in the spirit of Vendler (1957) and different meanings of still and already (in German).
Hoffman, J., Rosenkrantz, G. S.
1994 Substance Among Other Categories, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Chapter 4 contains an argument for the claim that the category of events (among others) is necessarily such that it is instantiated either multiply or not at all.
1973 Review of Goldman (1970), The Philosophical Quarterly, 23, 180-82.
1970 Identities, States, and the Mind-Body Problem, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Michigan.
Develops a notion of event in the spirit of Kims and Goldmans theories.
1981 Psychophysical Lawlike Connections and Their Problem, Inquiry, 24, 277-304.
Includes a criticism of Davidsons anomalous monism.
1982 The Argument for Anomalous Monism, Analysis, 16, 59-64; reprinted with revisions as Chapter 1 of (1988).
"Donald Davidsons principle of the nomological character of causality needs to be supplemented by the truth that the nomological connection goes with causally relevant properties. Are mental events causally relevant as mental or as physical events? Either answer is bad news for anomalous monism" [The Philosophers Index Abstract].
1983 Anomalous Monism: Reply to Smiths "Bad News for Anomalous Monism", Analysis, 43, 147-49.
P. Smiths (1982) defense makes anomalous monism epiphenomenalist.
1988 A Theory of Determinism. The Mind, Neuroscience, and Life-Hopes, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Offers a materialist model for action explanation based on the Hypothesis of Psychoneural Nomic Correlation: "For each mental event of a given type there exists some simultaneous neural event of one of a certain set of types. The existence of the neural event necessitates the existence of the mental event, the mental event thus being necessary to the neural event" [p. 107].
1992 Causation: One Thing Just Happens After Another, in L. E. Hahn, ed., The Philosophy of A. J. Ayer [The Library of Living Philosophers], Peru, IL: Open Court, pp. 243-70.
Begins with a discussion of Kims and Davidsons views on events.
1994 Functionalism, Identity Theories, the Union Theory, in Warner and Szubka, eds. (1994), pp. 215-35.
Defends the view "that a mental event and the simultaneous neural event are nomically related, as specified by the correlation hypothesis [in the sense of (1988)], and that they constitute a single effect, and that each event may be causal with respect to an action or later mental event" [p. 230].
Hooker, C. A.
1971 The Relational Doctrines of Space and Time, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 22, 97-130.
Examines the implications of relational theory of time, i.e., the view that time is a logical construction out of events and relations among them.
1988 Quine. Language, Experience and Reality, Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Section 6.3 on Objects and Events.
1978 The Case Against Events, The Philosophical Review, 87, 28-47; reprinted in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 243-62.
A representative formulation of the non-realist position with regard to events. "I will show that despite the initial appearances, there is no real theoretical need to postulate events. So, since their elimination yields an important simplification of ontology, we should banish them from existence" [1978, p. 28]. The "no real theoretical need" is tested against (i) Davidsons remarks on causality ("slingshot" argument), (ii) the notion of "same action under different descriptions", (iii) the mind-body problem, and (iv) adverbial modification (pro semantics à la Clark 1970). Compare Altman, Bradie & Miller (1979) for a critical assessment. Developments in (1981b).
1979 Review of Thomson (1977), Philosophy of Science, 46, 169-70.
1980a Non-rigid Event-Designators and the Modal Individuation of Events, Philosophical Studies, 36, 341-51.
A critical analysis of Brands (1976a, 1977) account of event identity, concluding that "it needlessly complicates the metaphysics of events--by generating gratuitous obstacles to a Humean treatment of causation, by multiplying distinct events beyond necessity, and by introducing unnecessary noncausal dependence-relations among events" [p. 350].
1980b Humean Causation and Kims Theory of Events, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 10, 663-79.
Suggests that Kims account of causation in terms of lawful constant conjunction between the constitutive properties of the causing and caused events requires limiting the class of such properties (in the property exemplification conception of events) to those countenanced by exceptionless laws. Thus, not every event-denoting nominalized sentence (Johns thinking of Vienna) expresses the constitutive property of the event denoted.
1981a Token Physicalism, Supervenience, and the Generality of Physics, Synthese, 49, 395-413.
A criticism of Fodors (1974) doctrine of "token physicalism", moving from Fodors own theory of events.
1981b Action Theory Without Actions, Mind, 90, 406-14.
Exploiting the idea that the basic definitions of Goldmans (1970) action theory can be transformed so as to preserve their conceptual content without any ontological commitment to actions. For instance, Goldmans notion of "level-generation" is expressed by a non-truthfunctional causal connective (and thereby) and the notion of "basic action" can be expressed by an adverbial modifier, as in "John coughs in a basic-acting manner".
1982 Substitutivity and the Causal Connective, Philosophical Studies, 42, 47-52.
A defense of the claim put forward in (1978) that singular causal statements have the logical form "A because B", where because is a sentential connective. There is also a defense of the appeal to Occams razor against "Russells razor" (contra Altman, Bradie and Miller 1979).
1984 Functionalism and Token Physicalism, Synthese, 59, 321-38.
Functionalism in light of a theory of types and tokens for events.
1989 Mental Quausation, in J. Tomberlin, ed. (1989), pp. 47-76.
Argues that a positive account of "quausation" (4-place relation expressed by locutions of the form "c qua F causes e qua G") makes it plausible to answer the question of the causal efficacy of the mental qua mental. Argument and underlying analysis are formulated within a Davidsonian event-based account, though these are "expository fictions".
1991 Actions, Reasons, and the Explanatory Role of Content, in B. P. McLaughlin, ed., Dretske and His Critics, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 73-101.
1993 From Supervenience to Superdupervenience: Meeting the Demands of a Material World, Mind, 102, 555-86.
A state-of-the-art overview of the concept of supervenience, including its uses in relation to the problem of mental causation.
1994 Nonreductive Materialism, in Warner and Szubka, eds. (1994), pp. 236-41.
A defense of a nonreductive form of naturalism that is "robustly realist" about mental causation.
Horgan, T., Tye, M.
1985 Against the Token Identity Theory, in E. LePore and B. P. McLaughlin, eds. (1985), pp. 427-43.
Criticizes Davidsons anomalous monism using inter alia the principle that "quite often there is no such thing as the cause (at a given time) of a particular event [...] Which event one calls the cause is normally a contextually determined affair" [p. 430]. Argues further that mental events do not exist, distinguishing this view from eliminative materialism.
1979a Actions and Identities, Analysis, 39, 195-201.
A criticism of Thalberg (1977) on the individuation of actions: one should not confuse questions about particulars (peoples doings of things) with questions about universals (the things that people do).
1979b Review of Thomson (1977), Philosophy, 54, 253-55.
1980a Actions, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
"If there is to be any hope of truth in an identification of actions with bodily movements, then they must be movementsT, not movementsI, that are actions--his movingsT of his body, not his bodys movingsI" [p. 3; T for transitive, I for intransitive]. "This provides an explanation of why we do not answer the question What did he do? with His body moved. We can always answer with He movedT his body. But that rules out giving His body movedI as answer" [p. 13]. On action and causation: "Event causality is prior to agency in respect to explanation, and [...] an account of human action does not require some other notion of causality" [p. 89].
1980b Verbs and Events, in J. Dancey, ed., Papers in Logic and Language, Keele: Keele University Library, pp. 88-111.
1980c Action and Ability, in R. Haller and W. Grassl, eds., Language, Logic, and Philosophy: Proceedings of the 4th International Wittgenstein Symposium, Vienna: Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky, pp. 387-91.
Distinguishes two notions of basicness corresponding to two distinct roles that the concept of basic action has been supposed to fill: (i) to elucidate the structure of action, and (ii) to give an account of what it is to do something directly or just like that. Claims that no single concept will fill both roles.
1980d Arm Raising and Arm Rising, Philosophy, 55, 73-84.
"A mans trying to raise his arm is a necessary condition of his raising his arm intentionally, and [...] this--that he tried to raise it--in conjunction with the facts that his arm goes up and that it goes up because he tried to raise it, may take us toward a sufficient condition for his having intentionally raised his arm" [p. 73].
1980/1 Which Physical Events are Mental Events?, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 81, 73-92.
The answer involves a challenge of the mereological and "Humean" conception of event in favor of the view of events as genuine particulars.
1981a Reply to Weils and Thalbergs "Basic and Non-Basic Actions", Analysis, 41, 18-21.
A rejoinder to Weil and Thalberg (1981).
1981b Review of Thomson (1977), The Journal of Philosophy, 78, 234-43.
1982a Reply to Lowe on Actions, Analysis, 42, 152-53.
On Lowe (1981); compare the rest of the exchange in Lowe (1983, 1984) and Hornsby (1983).
1982b Review of Davidson (1980b), Ratio, 24, 87-93.
1983 Events That Are Causings: A Response to Lowe, Analysis, 43, 141-42.
Reply to Lowe (1983); Lowes response in (1984).
1985 Physicalism, Events, and Part-Whole Relations, in E. LePore and B. P. McLaughlin, eds. (1985), pp. 444-58.
Criticizes the construal of continuants and events by means of mereological fusions. The fusion of two continuants need not be a continuant; likewise in the case of events, one should not tolerate "the extraordinary events" which the fusion axioms commit us to, for "these putative events lack any conceivable value to us in giving explanations [...] Inasmuch as it is in the nature of events to cause and to be caused, we expect individuals events to be members of kinds that pull their weight in illuminating accounts of how one thing followed another" [pp. 453-54]. Events differ from continuants, though, insofar as parthood has a clear spatial significance for continuants but not for events, ultimately because there is no matter, "no event stuff out of which occurrences are constructed" [p. 456].
1986a Review of Brand (1986), The Philosophical Review, 95, 261-64.
1986b Bodily Movements, Actions, and Mental Epistemology, in P. A. French, T. Uehling, and H. K. Wettstein, eds., Studies in the Philosophy of Mind (Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Vol. X), Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 275-86.
Defends the view that the relation between an action and the corresponding bodily movement is causal--and that the agents bodys moving is not part of the agents moving her body--against the objection that this view implies that we do not see actions. Includes a more general discussion of the visibility of events.
1986c Review of Vermazen and Hintikka, eds. (1985), The Philosophical Quarterly, 36, 296-300.
1987 Reply to Wreen, Analysis, 47, 238-39.
A rebuttal of Wreens (1987) discussion of the by locution. Reply in Wreen (1988).
1988 Sartre and Action Theory, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 48, 745-51.
Includes a defense of the view that actions are events and that a distinction between actions and movings does not distort the phenomenology of the agents perspective.
1990 Review of Dretske (1988), Mind & Language, 5, 230-4.
1993 Agency and Causal Explanation, in J. Heil and A. R. Mele, eds. (1993), pp. 161-88.
Argues for the view that actions are not accessible from the impersonal world of causes, even assuming that actions are events (Section 2) and that reason explanation is causal explanation (Section 3).
1995a Action, in T. Honderich, ed., The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 4-5.
Compact introductory overview.
1995b Event, in T. Honderich, ed., The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 253-54.
Compact introductory overview. Useful cross-references.
1990 As Time Goes By. Tense and Universal Grammar, Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT Press/Bradford Books.
A theory of natural language tense based on a revision of Reichenbachs (1947) approach.
1986 Review of Barwise and Perry (1983), The Journal of Philosophy, 83, 168-84.
1993 Review of T. Parsons (1990), Mind & Language, 8, 442-49.
1987 Asymmetries in Time. Problems in the Philosophy of Science, Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT Press/Bradford Books.
Includes material on time, change, events, and causation.
1966 Acts Owing to Ignorance, Analysis, 27, 17-22.
Suggests that "the act one does owing to ignorance [...] is the result of some other causally related act which one believed himself to be doing" [p. 20]. Discussion in Jager (1967).
Huff, D., Turner, S.1981 Rationalizations and the Application of Causal Explanations of Human Action, American Philosophical Quarterly, 18, 213-20.
Includes a criticism of Davidsons views on agency and reasons for action.
1994 Essentiality of Origin and Individuation of Events, The Philosophical Quarterly, 44, 26-44.
Argues against the view that events have their causes essentially (compare van Inwagen 1978a, 1983).
Humber, J., Madden, E. H.
1971 Nonlogical Necessity and C. J. Ducasse, Ratio, 13, 119-38; reprinted in Beauchamp, ed. (1974), pp. 163-78.
Against Ducasses event ontology and its role in the analysis of causation.
Humphreys, P. W.
1989 Scientific Explanation: The Causes, Some of the Causes, Nothing but the Causes, in P. Kitcher and W. S. Salmon, eds., Scientific Explanation [Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. XIII], Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 283-306.
Construes causal explanations employing an ontology à la Kim where events are taken "as concrete, specific entities, actual instantiations of or changes in worldly properties of a system, these properties being possessed by specific structures, themselves a part of the world, with these structures persisting through the change in properties which constitute an event" [p. 289]. In short: "An event is the possession of, or change in, a property of a system on a given occasion (trial)" [ibid.].
1962 Time in the Earlier and Later Whitehead, in D. R. Griffin, ed., Physics and the Ultimate Significance of Time, Albany: State University of New York Press, pp. 87-109.
A critical examination of Whiteheads views. Comments in P. Miller (1962).
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1947/8 Spór o istnienie s wiata [The Controversy over the Existence of the World, in Polish], 2 vols., Kraków: Polskiej Akademii Umiejetnosci (Second Edition, Warszawa 1960); German edition published as Der Streit um die Existenz der Welt, 2 vols., Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1964/5; English Translation of parts of Vol. 1 in Time and Modes of Being (ed. H. R. Michejda), Springfield, IL: Thomas, 1960.
An event is a coming into existence of a state of affairs.
Israel, D., Perry, J., Tutiya, S.
1991 Actions and Movements, in Proceedings of the 12th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-91), Vol. 2, Sydney: IJCAI [Morgan Kaufmann], pp. 1061-65.
An account of actions as "content properties that agents have in virtue of (i) the bodily movements they effect and (ii) the wider circumstances in which those movements are effected" [p. 1061, Abstract]. Movements are viewed as concrete particulars.
1993 Executions, Motivations, and Accomplishments, The Philosophical Review, 102, 515-40.
Assuming that acts are motivated--and therefore "rationalized"--by some complexes of cognitions, tries to provide a sufficient condition for rationalization based on the idea that one of the cognitions must be a desire that a certain result be accomplished.
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1972 Semantic Interpretation in Generative Grammar, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Sets out an analysis of the role of the notions of Agent, Patient, Location, etc. for semantic analysis.
1976 Toward an Explanatory Semantic Representation, Linguistic Inquiry, 7, 89-150.
Develops the (1972) analysis of thematic roles and attempts to "show that it forms the basis for a genuinely explanatory theory of semantic representation" [p. 89].
1983 Semantics and Cognition, Cambridge and London, MA: MIT Press.
Argues that "the distinctions among ontological categories must be represented at the level of conceptual structure" [p. 51], and at this level one must consider the feature [thing] as well as the features [event] and [action] (among others). "What the conditions of individuation are, and how clear-cut a result they provide, are empirical issues" [p. 54].
1987 The Status of Thematic Relations in Linguistic Theory, Linguistic Inquiry, 18, 369-411; incorporated in Jackendoff (1990), Chapters 2-4, Section 7.1.
Thematic roles are not part of syntax, but structural configurations in conceptual structure.
1990 Semantic Structures, Cambridge and London, MA: MIT Press.
Following the analysis of Jackendoff (1983), treats events, actions and states as major categories of conceptual semantics.
1991 Parts and Boundaries, Cognition, 41, 9-45.
A Conceptual Semantics approach to various problems in event structure, including an analysis of Vendlers (1957) classification of verb types, the meaning of the progressive, and Aktionsarten such as the syntactically unexpressed sense of repetition in such sentences as The light flashed until dawn. The basic features and functions used in the account may be syntactically expressed "either by being part of lexical conceptual structure, or by use of a morphological affix, or by being associated with the meaning of a construction such as N of NP or nominal compounding" [p. 9].
1996 Mental Causation, Mind, 105, 377-413.
A critical discussion of recent philosophical work on mental causation.
Jackson, F., Pettit, P.
1990 Causation in the Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy and Phenomenology Research, 50, Suppl. Vol., 195-214; reprinted with revisions in A. Clark and P. J. R. Millican, eds., Connectionism, Concepts, and Folk Psychology. The Legacy of Alan Turing. Volume 2, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996, 75-99.
On the general question of how to understand the causal role of mental properties. Moves from the remark that "in addition to asking which events are causally relevant to which other events, we can and must ask which properties of events are causally relevant to which other properties" [p. 197].
1967 Describing Acts Owing to Ignorance, Analysis, 27, 163-67.
A criticism of Houlgate (1966).
1993 A Unified Semantic Analysis of Serialization: Intensionality of Event Individuation, Doctoral Dissertation, Ball State University.
Argues that the sense of inseparable connection between serialized event descriptions corresponds to a relation of a counterfactual dependence.
1989 Ontological Investigations. An Inquiry into the Categories of Nature, Man and Society, London: Routledge.
Actions are temporally extended universals (Chapter 5).
Johnson, C. D.
1972 Davidson on Primitive Actions that Cause Deaths, Analysis, 33, 36-41.
A formalization of Davidsons argument in (1971a) to the effect that "x does A by doing B" involves reference to a single action under two descriptions. The formalization relies on Davidsons analysis of action sentences in (1967a) and it is found defective in view of Davidsons account of the relation between causes and descriptions in (1967c).
Johnson, M. L., Jr.
1971 A Contribution Toward a Non-substantial Theory of Times, Ph.D. Dissertation, Brown University.
1975 Events as Recurrables, in K. Lehrer, ed., Analysis and Metaphysics, Dordrecht: Reidel, pp. 209-26.
Develops a system (first presented in 1971) for dealing with events as recurrables (here conceived broadly as events or states of affairs [p. 225 fn. 1]), which logically includes the system proposed in Chisholm (1970). The system uses a mereotopological machinery and purports to show the uselessness of Chisholms thesis that there are truth-functional events, for the question of event-recurrence is instead "essentially concerned with temporal relations among events" [p. 221].
Johnson, M. R.
1981 A Unified Temporal Theory of Tense and Aspect in P. Tedeschi and A. Zaenen, eds. (1981), pp. 145-75.
Develops a theory of the temporal categories of tense and aspect (and of the auxiliary temporal category of "existential status") based on the intuition that "these categories are concerned with the ebb and flow of events through time" [p. 146].
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Kac, M. B.
1972a Action and Result: Two Aspects of Predication in English, in J. P. Kimball, ed., Syntax and Semantics, Volume 1, New York: Seminar Press, pp. 117-24.
Argues that the ambiguity of a sentence like John almost killed Fred is not an ambiguity on the scope of almost, but an ambiguity in the word kill between an action sense and a result sense. Also objects to the analysis of kill as deriving from cause to die (as suggested by McCawley 1968 and Lakoff 1970; see Fodor 1970b, Katz 1970 and Wierzbicka 1975 for related material on this point).
1972b Reply to McCawley, in J. P. Kimball, ed., Syntax and Semantics, Volume 1, New York: Seminar Press, pp. 151-56.
A defense against McCawley (1972) of the analysis put forward in (1972a).
1993 Holism, Language and Persons. An Essay on the Ontology of the Social World, Aldershot: Avebury.
Part III [pp. 153-203] on "Events and Holism".
Kamp, H. [= J. A. W.]
1979 Events, Instants, and Temporal Reference, in R. Bäuerle, U. Egli, and A. von Stechow, eds., Semantics from Different Points of View, Heidelberg and New York: Springer-Verlag, pp. 376-417.
Argues that understanding a discourse involves building up a sequence of event structures reflecting the temporal relations between the events mentioned in the discourse. An event structure is defined formally as an ordered tuple based on a set of events (a primitive category) along with a precedence relation and an overlap relation.
1980 Some Remarks on the Logic of Change. Part I, in C. Rohrer, ed. (1980), pp. 135-179.
An analysis of change in terms of event structures whose members are observer-independent events.
1981 Événements, représentations discursives et référence temporelle [Events, Discourse Representations, and Temporal Reference, in French], Langages, 6, 39-64.
A detailed overview of the treatment of tense and adverbs in Discourse Representation Theory, dealing among other things with adverb-dropping inferences, the "imperfective paradox", and the construction of time from events.
Kamp, H., Reyle, U.
1993 From Discourse to Logic. Introduction to Modeltheoretic Semantics of Natural Language, Formal Logic and Discourse Representation Theory, Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Chapter 5 [pp. 483-689] is a detailed exposition of an event-based treatment of tense and aspect phenomena within the framework of Discourse Representation Theory. It includes a discussion of the distinction between events and states (both from an ontological and from a linguistic perspective, i.e. "How are we to tell sentences which describe events from sentences which describe states?", p. 510), as also an analysis of the relation between events (or event structures) and times (instant structures) in terms of the overlap and precedence relations [pp. 664ff].
Kamp, H., Rohrer, C.
1983 Tense in Texts, in R. Bäuerle, C. Schwarze, and A. von Stechow, eds., Meaning, Use, and Interpretation of Language, Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, pp. 250-69.
Builds on the idea that "the significance of the tenses lies primarily in the temporal relations which they establish between the sentences in which they occur and the sentences which precede those in the texts or discourses in which those sentences occur" [p. 250] (see Kamp 1979). Uses event-based representations.
Kattsoff, L. O.
1967 On Confirmation and Verification of Events, Names, and Statements, Methodos, 1, 317-43.
Katz, B. D.
1976 Events, Doctoral Dissertation, Cornell University.
1977 Davidson on the Identity Theory, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 7, 81-90.
Argues that Davidsons (1970b) argument for the psycho-physical identity theory relies on an implausible account of mental and physical events: the assumptions underlying Davidsons linguistic test for determining whether a given event is mental or physical are either false or presuppose the truth of the identity theory.
1978a Kim on Events, The Philosophical Review, 87, 427-41.
A criticism of Kims principles of event existence and event identity, both of which are found "incompatible with several plausible assumptions about reference and identity" [p. 427]. In particular, the latter is found inadequate insofar as (i) each event is supposed to have a certain polyadicity (how can "Oedipus killing of his father" be the same event as "Oedipus committing patricide" if killing is dyadic whereas committing patricide monadic?), and (ii) adverbial modification induces implausible distinctions (if the table in the room = the brown table in the room, why not the death of Caesar at t = the violent death of Caesar at t?).
1978b Is the Causal Criterion of Event Identity Circular?, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 56, 225-29.
A defense of Davidsons (1969a) criterion of event identity in terms of sameness of causes and effects against the charge of circularity: "the idea that it is [circular] rests on misunderstandings about what identity criteria are supposed to accomplish" [p. 226].
1983 Perils of an Uneventful World, Philosophia, 13, 1-12.
Against the idea that if a piece of discourse can be rephrased so as to avoid any reference to or quantification over events, then there is no reason to suppose that it says that there are events. As a case-study, the sentences (1) "The eruption of the Vesuvius occurred during A.D. 79", (2) "The eruption of the Vesuvius was violent", and (3) "An eruption of the Vesuvius which was violent occurred during A.D. 79" are considered; it is argued that when it comes to explaining the logical behavior of their paraphrases, we must look for the logical form of sentences much like the originals, hence we must refer to a domain of events.
Katz, J. J.
1970 Interpretive Semantics vs. Generative Semantics, Foundations of Language, 6, 220-59.
Includes a criticism of the analysis of causative verbs such as kill as meaning cause to die (analysis put forward e.g. by McCawley 1968 and Lakoff 1970). The six-shooter of the sheriff is faultily repaired by the local gunsmith; as a result the weapon jams at the critical moment and the sheriff is gunned down. "Clearly, the gunsmith caused the death of the sheriff, but equally clearly, the gunsmith did not kill him" [p. 253]. Compare Fodor (1970b), Kac (1972), Shibatani (1972), Wierzbicka (1975) for related material.
Katz, J. J., Leacock, C., Ravin, Y.
1985 A Decompositional Approach to Modification, in E. LePore and B. P. McLaughlin, eds. (1985), pp. 207-34.
The approach exploits the structure revealed in analyses of the senses of syntactic simples, which is argued to provide the elements required to state the laws governing the contribution of the meaning of modifiers to that of their heads.
Kaufman, J. N.
1995 Review of Neuberg (1993), Dialogue, 34, 420-23.
Kautz, H. A.
1991 A Formal Theory of Plan Recognition and Its Implementation, in J. F. Allen, H. A. Kautz, R. N. Pelavin, and J. D. Tenenberg (1991), pp. 69-125.
From the authors own overview: "The Recognizers knowledge is represented by a set of first-order statements called an event hierarchy, which defines the abstraction, specialization, and functional relationships between various types of events. The functional [...] relationships include the relation of an event to its component events. There is a distinguished type End which holds of events that are not components of any other events. Recognition is the problem of describing the End events that generate a set of observed events" [p. 72].
Keenan, E. L., Faltz, L. M.
1985 Boolean Semantics for Natural Language, Dordrecht, Boston, and Lancaster: Reidel.
Part I.B, Chapters 1-2 on predicate and adverbial modifiers.
1976 Robinsons Individuation of Speech Acts, Philosophical Quarterly, 26, 261-66.
A criticism of Robinson (1974).
1963 Action, Emotion and Will, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Chapter 7 contains what may be regarded the first explicit arguments against the traditional identification of action verbs and relational predicates (but see also Mayo 1950). Among other things, "actions [...] exhibit a variable polyadicity which is foreign to relations [...] A sentence reporting an action not only can be shorn of one of its terms without making nonsense [as when we deduce Caesar was killed from Brutus killed Caesar]; it can also have further terms added to it in various ways [Brutus killed Caesar in Pompey, with a knife, ...]" [pp. 157-59]. The argument is taken up by Davidson (1967a). Chapter 8 [pp. 171-86] articulates Aristotles classification of action verbs into states, performances, and activities. Compare Vendlers (1957) fourfold classification, where the category of performances is split into achievements and accomplishments. Fundamental for much subsequent literature on tense and aspect.
1989 The Metaphysics of Mind, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Works with a general notion of an event which includes "the movements of human bodies and the passing of thoughts through human minds" [p. 141].
1966 On the Psycho-Physical Identity Theory, American Philosophical Quarterly, 3, 277-85.
Outlines one of the most widely discussed event theories, based on the view that events are particulars with a uniform internal structure consisting in the exemplification of a property P by a physical object x at a time t (their canonical descriptions being singular terms of the form [x, t, P]). Basically the same account to be found in R. M. Martin (1969b) and A. I. Goldman (1970, 1971). Identity conditions are formulated in terms of sameness of constituent properties, times and objects (more precisely, in terms of co-reference of the corresponding designating expressions), yielding a very fine grained (highly multiplying) account: "Brutuss killing Caesar is not the same as Brutuss stabbing Caesar. Further, to explain Brutuss killing Caesar [...] is not the same as to explain Brutuss stabbing Caesar" [p. 232n]. See Davidson (1969a), Rosenberg (1974), Brand (1877), Katz (1978), R. M. Martin (1980), Hacker (1981), Gjelswik (1988) inter alia for discussion. See also Peterson (1989) for extensions.
1969 Events and Their Descriptions: Some Considerations, in N. Rescher, ed., Essays in Honor of Carl. G. Hempel, Dordrecht: Reidel, pp. 198-215.
Refinement of the event theory adumbrated in (1966). This covers "not only what we ordinarily call events but also such entities as states, states of affairs, phenomena, conditions, and the like. Perhaps fact is more appropriate" [p. 213].
1971 Causes and Events: Mackie on Causation, The Journal of Philosophy, 68, 426-41; reprinted in E. Sosa, ed. (1975), pp. 48-62, and in E. Sosa and M. Tooley, eds. (1993), pp. 60-74.
A critical examination of J. L. Mackies (1965) analysis of causation, moving from the premise that "coherent causal talk is possible only within a coherent ontological and logical framework of events and perhaps also other entities of appropriate categories; and the adequacy of an analysis of causal relations may very much depend on the sort of ontological and logical scheme underlying it" [p. 427]. Includes a redefinition of INUS conditions in terms of events referred to by nominals in canonical form [x, P, t].
1973a Causation, Nomic Subsumption, and the Concept of an Event, The Journal of Philosophy, 70, 217-36; reprinted in Kim (1993d), pp. 3-21.
Includes a generalization of the theory introduced in (1966, 1969), allowing events to involve more than one object and, correspondingly, a polyadic property.
1973b Causes and Counterfactuals, The Journal of Philosophy, 70, 570-72; reprinted in E. Sosa, ed. (1975), pp. 192-94.
Comments on D. K. Lewis (1973), giving examples of events that are counterfactually related without being cause and effect. See Yagisawa (1979) for a suggestion on how to handle these cases.
1974 Non-Causal Connections, Noûs, 8, 41-52; reprinted in Kim (1993d), pp. 22-32.
"Cambridge" changes (e.g., Xanthippes becoming a widow) are events that stand in a relation of non-causal dependence to other events (e.g., Socrates death). See Helm (1976) and Lombard (1978b, 1986) for some dispute.
1976 Events as Property Exemplifications, in M. Brand and D. Walton, eds. (1976), pp. 159-77; reprinted in Kim (1993d), pp. 33-52, and in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 117-35.
A defence and clarification of the property exemplification theory. "[It] is not an eliminative or reductive theory of events; that is, it does not attempt to show that events are in some eliminative sense reducible to substances, properties, and times" [p. 162]. "In a sense knowing what the constitutive object, property, and time of an event are is to know what that event is [...] my canonical description of an event [...] gives an intrinsic description of an event" [p. 166]. "My events are particulars and dated" [p. 165]. "Overall [...] there are no irreconciliable doctrinal differences between Davidsons theory of event discourse as a semantical theory and the property-exemplification account of events as a metaphysical theory" [p. 167]. Considers also the possibility of extending the theory by allowing for complex events, as in Petersons (1989) developments.
1977 Causation, Emphasis, and Events, in P. A. French, T. Uehling, and H. K. Wettstein, eds., Studies in the Philosophy of Language (Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Vol. II), Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 100-3; reprinted in P. A. French, T. Uehling, and H. K. Wettstein, eds., Contemporary Perspectives in the Philosophy of Language, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1979 [revised edition of the 1977 volume], pp. 379-82.
Critical discussion of Dretske (1977) and Achinstein (1975a), pointing at a "mid-course" between the two.
1979a States of Affairs, Events, and Propositions, Grazer philosophische Studien, 7/8 [special issue "Essays in the Philosophy of R. M. Chisholm", also published as E. Sosa, ed. (1979)], 147-62.
A critical examination of Chisholms theory of events as states of affairs, pointing out various difficulties and suggesting suitable modifications.
1979b Causality, Identity, and Supervenience in the Mind-Body Problem, in P. A. French, T. Uehling, and H. K. Wettstein, eds. (1979), pp. 31-49.
Includes a discussion of the relation of supervenience between families or properties of events, causal connections between supervenient events being explained in terms of causal connections between the events on which they supervene. Event [x, P, t] supervenes on event [x', P', t'] iff x=x', t=t', and P supervenes on P'. Formulation and defense of the thesis that mental events are supervenient upon physical events.
1980 The Role of Intention in Motivational Psychology: Comments on Brand, in M. Bradie and M. Brand, eds. (1980), pp. 20-26.
On Brand (1980b).
1981 Causes as Explanations: A Critique, Theory and Decision, 13, 239-309.
Criticizes the view that causation can be analysed in terms of explanation, also because it reflects a form of "causal idealism" according to which causal connections are not among the "objective features" of the world.
1982 Psychophysical Supervenience, Philosophical Studies, 41, 51-70.
Formulation and defense of the thesis that an organisms internal psychological states are supervenient upon its physical states and processes.
1984a Epiphenomenal and Supervenient Causation, in P. A. French, T. Uehling, and H. K. Wettstein, eds. (1984), pp. 257-70; reprinted in D. M. Rosenthal, ed., The Nature of Mind, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991, pp. 257-65, and in Kim (1993d), pp. 92-108.
"The general schema for reducing a macrocausal relation between two events, xs having F and ys having G, where F and G are macroproperties, is this: xs having F supervenes on xs having m(F), ys having G supervenes on ys having m(G), where m(F) and m(G) are macroproperties relative to F and G, and there is an appropriate causal connection between xs having m(F) and ys having m(G)" [1993d, p. 99]. "Epiphenomenal causal relations involving psychological events [...] are no less real or substantial than those involving macrophysical events. They are both supervenient causal relations. It seems to me that this is sufficient to redeem the causal powers we ordinarily attribute to mental events" [p. 107].
1984b Supervenience and Supervenient Causation, The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 22, Suppl. Vol., 45-56 [Spindel Conference 1983, "Supervenience", ed. T. Horgan].
Macro-causal relations and causal relations involving psychological events are explained in terms of supervenient causation, which is characterized as a case of "strong supervenience". Reply in McLaughlin (1984).
1984c Concepts of Supervenience, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 45, 153-76; reprinted in Kim (1993d), pp. 53-78.
A general study of the supervenience relation, including a discussion of the supervenience of the mental on the physical.
1985 Psychophysical Laws, in E. LePore and B. P. McLaughlin, eds. (1985), pp. 369-86; reprinted in Kim (1993d), pp.194-215.
An examination of Davidsons (1970) arguments against the possibility of psychophysical laws.
1988 Explanatory Realism, Causal Realism, and Explanatory Exclusion, in P. A. French, T. Uehling, and H. K. Wettstein, eds., Realism and Anti-Realism (Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Vol. XII), Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 225-39.
Develops the notion of "explanatory realism" and considers how such an attitude toward explanations might be based on a realist conception of causal relations.
1989a Mechanism, Purpose, and Explanatory Exclusion, in J. Tomberlin, ed. (1989), pp. 75-108.
Argues for the principle of "explanatory exclusion", to the effect that no single event can have more than one "complete" and "independent" explanation (in particular, causal explanation). Discusses implications and applications. See also (1990).
1989b Honderich on Mental Events and Psychoneural Laws, Inquiry, 32, 29-48.
Discusses Honderichs "hypothesis of psychoneural correlation" and his response to Davidsons arguments for psychophysical anomalism.
1989c The Myth of Nonreductive Materialism, Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, 63, 31-47; reprinted in Kim (1993d), pp.265-84; in Warner and Szubka, eds. (1994), pp. 242-60; and in P. K. Moser and J. D. Trout, eds., Contemporary Materialism. A Reader, London and New York: Routledge, 1995, pp. 133-49.
Argues that a physicalist concerning the mental/physical relation can only be either an eliminativist or a reductionist--no middle-of-the-road position is available. Ample discussion of Davidson (1970b).
1990 Explanatory Exclusion and the Problem of Mental Causation, in E. Villanueva, ed., Information, Semantics, and Epistemology, Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell, pp. 36-56; reprinted in C. A. Macdonald and G. Macdonald, eds. (1995), pp. 121-41.
Defends the principle of "explanatory exclusion" introduced in (1990) and discusses it in connection with the problem of mental causation: if every mental event is in principle explainable in physicalistic (neurophysiological) terms, what explanatory job can there be for its supposed mental causes? See discussion in Worley (1993) and Dretske (1995).
1991 Events: Their Metaphysics and Semantics, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 51, 641-46.
Part of a symposium on J. Bennett (1988) (with replies in J. Bennett 1991b). Focuses on the charge of having inferred a false semantics of event names from a true metaphysics: "Bennetts denial notwithstanding, a bridge from the metaphysics of events to the semantics of event names is available: [...] An event name of the form the exemplification by S of P at T names (if it names anything) the event which is the exemplification of the property P names by the substance S names at the time T names" [p. 643].
1993a Can Supervenience and Non-Strict Laws Save Anomalous Monism?, in J. Heil and A. R. Mele, eds. (1993), pp. 19-26.
Commenting on Davidson (1993c), argues that in embracing "non-strict laws" one may end up losing anomalism from anomalous monism.
1993b The Nonreductivists Troubles with Mental Causation, in J. Heil and A. R. Mele, eds. (1993), pp. 189-210; reprinted in Kim (1993d), pp. 336-57.
Argues that the positions of non-reductive physicalism (physicalist ontology with dualist ideology) and of emergentism (mental properties appear as emergent qualities) involve violation of the causal closure of the physical.
1993c Postscripts on Mental Causation, in Kim (1993d), pp. 358-67.
Dealing with some difficulties in the view of mental causation as supervenient causation, suggests that the "standard" property-exemplification account of events defended in earlier works might require a revision "especially if mental properties, in spite of their multiple physical realizability, are accepted as legitimate event-generating properties. For on the standard account two property instances count as distinct events if the properties instantiated are distinct. I believe, though, that this is a problem about properties, not one directly about events" [p. 364, n. 5].
1993d Supervenience and Mind. Selected Philosophical Essays, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Includes Kim (1993c) and reprints of Kim (1973a, 1974, 1976, 1983c, 1984a, 1985, 1993b).
1996 Philosophy of Mind, Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Includes a discussion of the token-identity theory of the mental and the physical (Ch. 5) and of mental causation (Ch. 6).
1985 A Defense of the No Event Theory of Events: An Inquiry into Event-Reduction Methodology and Its Applications, Doctoral Dissertation, Brown University.
A defense of the view that there is no need to posit events as an independent basic ontological category insofar as they can be reduced to other basic entities such as properties and individual things. Includes a treatment of adverbial modification, causation, and level-generation.
Kiparsky, P., Kiparsky, C.
1971 Fact, in D. Steinberg and L. Jakobovits, eds., Semantics. An Interdisciplinary Reader in Philosophy, Linguistics, and Psychology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 345-69.
Distinguishes between factive and non-factive clauses and correspondingly between facts and propositions.
1995 Causalité, loi, représentation [Causality, Law, Representation, in French] Doctoral Dissertation, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris.
Proposes a realist theory which reduces causation to a transfer of some conserved quantity between events. Events are construed as particulars identified by the space-time zone they occupy. The role of laws, realistically understood as universal regularities involving property instantiations, in event causation and in a more complex relation of causal responsibility is analysed. Causal explanations rely directly on the latter, and only indirectly on the former.
1990 Davidsons Troubles with Supervenience, Synthese, 85, 339-52.
On reconciling supervenience with the anomalism of the mental in Davidsons theory. Argues that although "Davidson tends to speak of mental events as though they are things in the world [...] the mental becomes more a way of seeing people than it is something in people that can be seen" [p. 342].
1992 The Present Perfect Puzzle, Language, 68, 525-52.
On why it is not possible to make the event time of "Chris has left York" more explicit by adding an adverbial, as in "*Yesterday at ten, Chris has left York". A compositional analysis is proposed, and it is argued that the incompatibility of the present perfect and most past tense adverbials has neither syntactic nor semantic causes but follows from a pragmatic constraint.
Kleiner, S. A.
1974 Response, in R. Severens, ed. (1974), pp. 36-43.
Comments on Clark (1974).
1959 Broad on Mental Events and Epiphenomenalism, in P. A. Schilpp, ed., The Philosophy of C. D. Broad, New York: Tudor, pp. 437-55.
A critical study, with a review of and objections to Broads epiphenomenalism.
1970 Does Becoming Entail a Contradiction?, American Philosophical Quarterly, 7, 357-63.
Becoming is not merely paradoxical but positively contradictory (on the assumption that events become).
1968 Action, London: Allen & Unwin.
"My action is my response to objectivity [...] the action is not a bodily movement plus a mental state [...]; it is on the contrary the action of mind, a synthetic unity" [p. 103].
1993 Nominalizations, London and New York: Routledge.
Thorough linguistic investigation on the mechanisms of nominalization (including comparative linguistic aspects).
1955 The Fundamental Ideas of Pansomatism, Mind, 64, 488-500.
Elimination of events in favor of material objects.
1960 The Concept of Action, The Journal of Philosophy, 57, 215-22.
Defines action as purposeful bringing about of an effect by a cause. Every action is either elementary or consists of elementary actions.
Kowalski, R. A., Sadri, F.
1994 The Situation Calculus and Event Calculus Compared, in M. Bruynooghe, ed., Logic Programming. Proceedings of the 1994 International Symposium (ILPS 94), Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp. 539-53.
Shows that with minor modifications the event calculus of Kowalski and Sergot (1986) entails the situation calculus of McCarthy and Hayes (1969), while the latter entails the former if augmented with induction.
Kowalski, R. A., Sergot, M. J.
1986 A Logic-Based Calculus of Events, New Generation Computing, 4, 67-95.
Outlines an approach for reasoning about events and time within a logic programming framework (the main intended applications being narrative understanding and database updating). "The notion of event is taken to be more primitive than that of time and both are represented explicitly [...] Because events are differentiated from times, we can represent events with unknown times, as well as events which are partially ordered and concurrent" [p. 67, Abstract]. See Sadri and Kowalski (1995) for variants.
1995 Stage-level and Individual-level Predicates, in G. N. Carlson and F. J. Pelletier, eds., The Generic Book, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, pp. 125-75.
Argues that stage-level predicates (such as is dancing) have an extra argument position for events (in the sense of Davidson 1967a), whereas individual-level predicates (such as has brown hair) lack this position. Compare Chierchia (1995a).
1989a Nominal Reference, Temporal Constitution and Quantification in Event Semantics, in R. Bartsch, J. van Benthem, and P. van Emde Boas, eds., Semantics and Contextual Expression, Dordrecht: Foris, pp. 75-115.
On the similarities between the meanings of nominal and verbal expressions insofar as the mass-count distinction in the nominal domain (nominal reference) is reflected in the atelic-telic distinction in the verbal domain (temporal constitution). Gives a rigorous model-theoretic account in the spirit of E. Bachs (1986) approach, defining a mereological lattice structure on the domain of events to match a corresponding structure on the domain of objects. Verb arguments and adverbial attributes are represented by means of primitive thematic relations, following the neo-Davidsonian approach of T. Parsons (1980), Carlson (1984), and Dowty (1989).
1989b Nominalreferenz und Zeitkonstitution: zur Semantik von Massentermen, Pluraltermen und Aspektklassen [Nominal Reference and Time Constitution: On the Semantics of Mass Terms, Plurals, and Aspectual Classes, in German], München: Fink.
Ch. 2 (on "Time constitution") is a thorough survey of the literature on time, tense, aspect, Aktionsarten and event semantics. Application of the semantics proposed to a fragment of German.
1990 Four Thousand Ships Passed Through the Lock: Object-Induced Measure Functions on Events, Linguistics and Philosophy, 13, 487-520.
A formal analysis of the event-related reading of such sentences as "Four thousand ships passed through the lock last year" (meaning that there were four thousand events of passing through the lock by a ship last year--possibly the same ship in each case--as opposed to an object-related reading presupposing the existence of four thousand distinct ships).
1991 Thematic Relations as Links between Nominal Reference and Temporal Constitution, in I. Sag and A. Sabolcsi, eds., Lexical Matters, Stanford: CSLI Lecture Notes No. 24, pp. 29-54.
On the correspondence between the reference type of noun phrases (mass nouns, count nouns, plurals) and the temporal constitution of verbal predicates, i.e., activities and accomplishments. Based on an event semantics with lattice structures and thematic roles as primitive relations between events and objects.
1995 Telicity in Movement, in P. Amsili, M. Borillo, and L. Vieu, eds. (1995), Part A, pp. 63-75.
An algebraic theory of telic constructions for movement verbs.
1972 Naming and Necessity, in D. Davidson and G. Harman, eds. (1972), pp. 253-355, addenda pp. 763-69; reprinted with revisions as Naming and Necessity, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1980.
Contains an argument against the identity of the mental and the physical which, although spelled out with regard to type-type accounts, is also meant to cover token-token versions (such as Davidsons 1970a) based "on the supposed impossibility of correlating psychological properties with physical ones. The argument against token-token identification in the text does apply to these views" [p. 144, n. 73; the last sentence is missing in the 1972 edition]. Compare McGinn (1977) and F. Feldman (1980) for rejoinders.
1989 Tense and Time, in D. Gabbay and F. Guenthner, eds., Handbook of Philosophical Logic, Volume IV (Topics in the Philosophy of Language), Dordrecht: Reidel, pp. 513-52.
An overview of the semantics of tense in linguistics, philosophy, and logic, including critical analyses of Bennett and Partee (1978), Dowty (1979), T. Parsons (1980, 1985), Tichy (1980a), and Vlach (1981a).
1975 Peter F. Strawson: Deskriptive Metaphysik [Peter F. Strawson: Descriptive Metaphysics, in German], in J. Speck, ed., Grundprobleme der großen Philosophen, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht (second revised edition, 1984), pp. 168-207.
Overview of Strawsons descriptive endeavour in metaphysics. Pp. 185ff especially devoted to the Strawson-Moravcsik debate on the asymmetric relation of dependency between events and objects. Holds that it is natural to think that processes undergo change (as reported in the movement of the pendulum was slower and slower); however, even if "things are not the only subjects of change [...] they are the primary subjects of change" [1984, p. 185].
1983 Abstrakte Gegenstände. Ontologie und Semantik [Abstract Objects. Ontology and Semantics, in German], Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.
Formulates a criterion for individual moments that is satisfied, among other things, by entities such as the Equator and Socrates death. "One can distinguish events [...] as dynamic individual moments from static individual moments such as the equator" [pp. 73-74].
1991 Handlungs- und andere Ereignissätze. Davidsons Frage nach ihrer "logischen Form" [Action Sentences and Other Event Sentences. Davidsons Query on Their "Logical Form", in German], Grazer philosophische Studien, 39, 27-49.
Extensive analysis and criticism of Davidsons views on the logical form of action sentences with some examples from German.
1993 Truth, Meaning and Logical Form. Reflections on Davidsons Philosophy of Language, in R. Stoecker, ed. (1993), pp. 1-20.
Section 6 suggests a "demonstrative" account of attributive adverbs, whereby a sentences such as David crosses the lake slowly is analysed as ($x)(x is a crossing of the lake by David & in this respect x is slow) [with this harking back to crossing]. Moreover, the same treatment is applied to such adverbs as intentionally, deliberately, and the like: Oedipus intentionally killed the reckless driver becomes ($x)(x is a killing of the reckless driver by Oedipus & in this respect x is intended by Oedipus). See Davidsons opinion in (1993a).
1990 Review of Lombard (1986), Noûs, 24, 323-32.
Back to Contents
Lacey, A. R.
1976 A Dictionary of Philosophy, London, Henley, and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Brief entry on event, consisting almost entirely of problematic questions.
Ladusaw, W. A., Dowty, D. R.
1988 Toward a Nongrammatical Account of Thematic Roles, in W. Wilkins, ed., Syntax and Semantics, Volume 21, Thematic Relations, New York: Academic Press, pp. 61-73.
Maintains that "the phenomena which purport to show that thematic roles are relevant to the grammar have their ultimate etiology in facts about the world" [p. 62]. For instance, "What makes Fido an agent in the event described by [Fido chased Felix] and [Felix was chased by Fido] is information about Fido and his role in the event, not about the grammatical category or function of anything in the sentence" [p. 63].
Lakoff, G. P.
1970 Irregularity in Syntax, New York: Holt Rinehart and Winston.
Includes an analysis of causative verbs such as kill as meaning cause to die, or cause to become not alive. Compare McCawley (1968, 1973a) for a similar account. Objections in J. J. Katz (1970), Fodor (1970b), Kac (1972), Shibatani (1972), Wierzbicka (1975).
1973 Notes on What It Would Take to Understand How One Adverb Works, The Monist, 57, 328-43.
Argues that neither event-based analyses in the spirit of Davidsons (1967a) account, nor predicate-modifier analyses in the tradition of Clark (1970), have come close to "a full understanding" of adverbs like slowly. Critical discussion in Reeves (1977).
1978 Times, Clocks, and the Ordering of Events in a Distributed System, Communications of the ACM, 21, 558-65.
The intuition is that the concept of time derives from that of the order in which events occur; but in a distributed artificial system it may be impossible to say that one of two events occurred first--hence the relation "happened before" is only a partial ordering. The paper argues that the relation can, however, be extended to a consistent total ordering and a distributed algorithm for doing so is presented. Applications to synchronization problems are considered.
1964 Mental Events, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 24, 307-17.
Mental events can sometimes be distinguished from other sorts of events by the property of "privacy".
1965 Reply to Professor Whallon, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 25, 404-5.
Replies to Whallon (1965), maintaining a skeptical attitude towards the existence of unconscious mental events.
1969 Actions as Universals: An Inquiry into the Metaphysics of Action, American Philosophical Quarterly, 6, 247-52.
Rejects the distinction between actiontypes and action tokens. Actions are to be categorized as repeatable universals, like colors or shapes. They are "attributes of persons".
1985 The Realist Theory of Meaning, Linguistics and Philosophy, 8 [Special Issue on "Situations and Attitudes", R. Cooper and R. E. Grandy, eds.], 1‑32.
Against the sort of realism embodied in Barwise and Perrys situation semantics (1981, 1983): "The realist theory of meaning seeks meaning in the world through constraints on factual courses of events. The distinction between essential and accidental constraints that is presented in Situations and Attitudes is unconvincing and [...] leads to other problems as well" [p. 36].
1991 Structures for Semantics, Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Includes an extensive study of temporal and event structures based on mereotopological relations in the spirit of Kamp (1979, 1980) and van Benthem (1983).
1992 The Progressive, Natural Language Semantics, 1, 1-32.
Develops an analysis of the progressive based on the "classical wisdom" that in a sentence like "Mary is building a house", the function of the -ing form is to present the event of Marys building a house from an internal perspective: as an incomplete event, an event in progress. Events are construed as entities ordered by a relation part-of and a relation stage-of.
1996 Plurality, in S. Lappin, ed., The Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 425-57.
Section 6, "A Neo-Davidsonian Theory of Events and Plurality" [pp. 437-39], outlines an event-based account of plurals close to that of Schein (1986, 1993) and Higginbotham and Schein (1986). Compare also Lasersohn (1995).
Langacker, R. W.
1982 Remarks on English Aspect, in P. J. Hopper, ed., Tense-Aspect: Between Semantics and Pragmatics, Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Examines various aspectual phenomena in natural language from the perspective of so-called "space grammar". The three main aspectual classes are said to describe "imperfective processes", "perfective processes", and "states".
Lansky, A. L.
1987 A Representation of Parallel Activity Based on Events, Structure, and Causality, in M. P. Georgeff and A. L. Lansky, eds. (1987), pp. 123-59.
Presents an AI domain representation based on an event-oriented (as opposed to state-oriented) model: events are "reified" in the spirit of Davidsons theory and their causal and temporal relationships are explicitly represented; states are then defined in terms of past event activity. It is then argued that "temporal logic constraints on event histories (records of past activity) can facilitate the description of many of the complex synchronization properties of parallel, multiagent domains" [p. 123, Abstract].
1988 Localized Event-Based Reasoning for Multiagent Domains, Computational Intelligence, 4, 319-40.
Describes a concurrency model (and a corresponding multiagent planner) in which world domains are modeled as sets of regions composed of interrelated events, each region being associated with event-based temporal logic constraints.
1987 Davidson on Explaining Intentional Actions, Grazer philosophische Studien, 36 [special issue also published as J. Brandl and W. L. Gombocz, eds. (1989)], 33-45.
Argues that there are reasons for thinking that Davidsons position concerning the explanation of intentional actions (beliefs and desires are causes of actions, but mentalistically described antecedents of intentional actions cannot be subsumed under strict laws) is sound.
Larson, R. K.
1988 Implicit Arguments in Situation Semantics, Linguistics and Philosophy, 11, 169-201.
Presents an analysis of so-called implicit arguments (expressions that seem to share properties of adjuncts and arguments alike, as in "John cut the salami (with a knife)") within the framework of Barwise and Perrys situation semantics (1981, 1983): "these elements are neither arguments nor adjuncts in the usual sense. Rather, they are phrases licensed by a form of extragrammatical "inference" involving knowledge about events and the relationships holding between them" [p. 169].
Larson, R. K., Segal, G.
1995 Knowledge of Meaning. An Introduction to Semantic Theory, Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT Press/Bradford Books.
Includes a detailed presentation of recent work on events in semantics and the philosophy of language. See especially Chapter 12 [pp. 465-524] on the motivations for expanding the ontology of a semantic theory to include entities "of a less familiar kind" such as events, states, and time instants. "Our goal is to illustrate how these new entities make their way into semantic theory and propagate through it, and to raise the kinds of conceptual questions that they bring in their wake" [p. 465]. Topics include inter alia: a modified version (called "event calculus") of Davidsons (1967a) account of action sentences and adverbial modification; thematic roles; nominalization; Aktionsarten; tense and aspect; naked infinitive perceptual reports.
1988 A Formal Semantic Analysis of the Progressive, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Edinburgh.
An analysis of Dowtys (1977) "imperfective paradox". The proposed solution (which exploits a distinction between process sentences and event sentences in terms of homogeneity) is based on an interval-based temporal logic and employs some ideas of Moens and Steedmans (1988) model of temporal reference.
1991 The Progressive and the Imperfective Paradox, Synthese, 87, 401-47.
Refined presentation of the account advanced in (1988).
1992 Knowledge, Causality, and Temporal Representation, Linguistics, 30, 941-73.
Proposes a semantic account of the simple past tense in text in which "the contributions [...] made by the texts syntactic structure, semantic content, aspectual classification, world knowledge of the causal relation between events, and Gricean pragmatic maxims are all represented within a single logical framework. This feature of the theory gives rise to solutions to several puzzles concerning the relation between the descriptive order of events in text and their temporal relations in interpretation" [p. 941, Abstract].
1988 A Semantics for Groups and Events, Doctoral Dissertation, Ohio State University.
On the semantics of sentences reporting events involving group action, as with John and Marys lifting of the piano together. Includes a formal account of the mereological structure of events.
1990 Group Action and Spatio-Temporal Proximity, Linguistics and Philosophy, 13, 179-206.
Elaborates on the account put forward in (1988), arguing that "events of group action and events of spatially or temporally proximate action show systematic similarities, therefore allowing to construct a model-theoretic semantics in which restrictions to group action and to spatially and temporally proximate action are parallel in logical structure" [pp. 203-4].
1992 Generalized Conjunction and Temporal Modification, Linguistics and Philosophy, 15, 381-410.
Argues that constructions in which conjoined predicates are modified by temporal adverbials such as alternately require a semantics in which sentences denote sets of events, in the spirit of E. Bach (1986), G. Link (1987), M. Krifka (1989). Intuitively, events are meant to include "states and atelic processes as well as events in the ordinary sense", and are assumed to be partially ordered by a part-whole relation.
1995 Plurality, Conjunction and Events, Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
A theory of plural and conjoined noun phrases within the framework of event-based semantics: such expressions are all unambiguously group-denoting, and the distinction between plural, collective and distributive reading is represented in the part-whole structure of the events appearing as hidden arguments as in Davidson (1967a). Compare Schein (1986, 1993), Higginbotham and Schein (1986), and Landman (1996).
1987 Singular Causal Statements and Strict Deterministic Laws, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 68, 29-43.
Working with the notion of an event individuated solely in terms of spatio-temporal regions, examines the kind of strict deterministic laws there are and the ways of formulating what it is for a pair of events to fall under a strict deterministic law. Conclusion: there is no necessary or sufficient condition for the truth of singular causal statements in terms of strict deterministic laws that does not hold also of singular statements of "absolute precedence".
1950a Whiteheads Method of Extensive Abstraction, Philosophy of Science, 17, 142-63.
Exposition and critical assessment. Includes detailed summaries of Whiteheads views on events as the natural primary entities of reality.
1950b Locke and Whitehead on Individual Entities, The Review of Metaphysics, 4, 215-38.
Argues that "Whiteheads philosophy is an attempt from the very beginning to dispose of any theory of nature which bifurcates it [as with Lockes two-fold treatment of substance...] by removing the category of substance from its position of fundamental importance, substituting for it the notion of an event" [p. 223]. However, "when he comes to examine the spatio-temporal limits of an event, without which it could hardly be said to be an individual, he tells us both that events are given in sense-awareness as having definitely limited extent and that our experience does not yield events having definite boundaries--rather, this is the outcome of an arbitrary act of thought", and this "entails its own form of bifurcation" [p. 237].
1961 Whitehead and the Problem of Extension, The Journal of Philosophy, 58, 559-64.
On extensiveness as a relation between events understood as essentially spatio-temporal entities.
1988 The Nontransitivity of Causation, American Philosophical Quarterly, 25, 87-94.
An argument against the transitivity of the causal relation. The argument is held to be compatible with both the Kimian and the Davidsonian theory of events, as well as with Dretskes (1977) supposition that the causal relata are not events but features of events.
Leech, G. N.
1969 Towards a Semantic Description of English, London: Longman.
Includes a discussion of the analogy between the mass-count distinction and the distinction between events verbs (win, explode) and state or process verbs (run, grow).
Lees, R. B.
1963 The Grammar of English Nominalizations, Bloomington: Indiana University Press; The Hague: Mouton.
A transformational grammar study of the mechanisms of nominalization in English, including a comparative analysis of factive and action nominals (Ch. 3, Part B).
1979 On the Dramatic Stage in the Development of Kotarbinskis Pansomatism, in P. Weingartner and E. Morscher, eds., Ontologie und Logik · Ontology and Logic. Vorträge und Diskussion eines Internationalen Kolloquiums · Proceedings of an International Colloquium , Berlin: Duncker & Humblodt, pp. 197-214.
An assessment of Kotarbinskis theory, summarized by the three theses that "(1) All objects are things, (2) No object is a property or a relation or event or any other of the alleged objects belonging allegedly to an ontological category other than the category of things, (3) The terms property, relation, event and any other would-be names of alleged objects belonging to an ontological category other than the category of things are pseudo-names or onomatoids" . See also the "Discussion" on pp. 215-18.
Lemmon, E. J.
1967 Comments on D. Davidsons "The Logical Form of Action Sentences", in N. Rescher, ed. (1967), pp. 96-103.
Argues that some of the adverb-dropping inferences discussed by Davidson (1967a) are not valid due to the referential opacity of tense (which should be made explicit in the account). Secondly, points out the need for identity criteria for events, suggesting to take space-time as a suitable coordinate system: two distinct events cannot occupy the same spatio-temporal region (the so-called "Lemmon-Quine" criterion; compare Quine 1950). The resulting account is strongly unifying: for instance, it does not distinguish between the rotating and the becoming warm of a metal ball which is simultaneously rotating and becoming warm (Davidsons 1969a example). See Brand (1976a-1989b) for a refining of this account. Davidsons original replies in (1967b).
Lemos, R. M.
1988 Metaphysical Investigations, Rutheford, Madison and Teaneck: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press; London and Toronto: Associated University Press.
Acts and events have "formal reality", but they are not "existent entities" [pp. 137-38].
1979 Handlung als Interpretationskonstrukt [Action as an Interpretive Construct, in German], in H. Lenk, ed. (1979), Vol. 2/2, pp. 279-350.
Puts forward an account of action as an interpretive construct, a "semantically interpreted entity" (as opposed to an "ontological entity"). It is the interpretation or description which is to be added to get an action out of a physical event (movement). Compare Gebauer (1979).
1982 Interpretive Action Constructs, in J. Agassi and R. S. Cohen, eds., Scientific Philosophy Today. Essays in Honor of Mario Bunge, Dordrecht: Reidel, pp. 151-58.
Overview of the "interpretive" account of action put forward in (1979).
Lenk, H., ed.
1979 Handlungstheorien interdisziplinär, Band II. Handlungserklärung und philosophische Handlungsinterpretation [Action Theories. An Interdisciplinary Outlook, Volume II: Action Explanation and Philosophical Interpretation of Action, in German], München: Fink.
Includes Føllesdal (1979), Gebauer (1979), and Lenk (1979).
1994 Reasons and Causes, in S. Guttenplan, ed., A Companion to the Philosophy of Mind, Oxford and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, pp. 531-35.
1980 Are Mental Events Outlaws?, Philosophical Papers, 9, 1-13.
On the causal efficacy of mental events.
Le Poidevin, R.
1990 Relationism and Temporal Topology: Physics or Metaphysics?, The Philosophical Quarterly, 40, 419-32; reprinted with a new postscript in R. Le Poidevin and M. Mac Beath, eds. (1993), pp. 149-67.
Includes a discussion of the relationist account of time in terms of possible events: "there exists a time t which is n units before/after some actual event e if, and only if, it is possible that there should exist an event n units before/after e" [p. 152]. The 1993 postscript deals with complications arising from the possibility that time be two-dimensional, or that, in some world, time is closed.
1991 Change, Cause and Contradiction. A Defence of the Tenseless Theory of Time, Basingstoke: Macmillan.
Develops a causal account of change. Maintains that events/processes are changes, hence there is no such thing as change in an event/process. "A consequence of meeting this requirement would be a refutation of the common suggestion that Tenseless theory [...] must regard things as extended processes. If things change and processes dont, they must have different identification conditions" [p. 77]. Includes a brief discussion of adverbial modification, favoring R. Clarks (1970) approach [pp. 73-75]. Chapter 6 also contains an argument to the effect that ordinary assumptions about causality imply the possibility of changeless time (compare Shoemaker 1969).
1996 Time, Tense and Topology, The Philosophical Quarterly, 46, 467-81.
On the question, "Should we think of the tenseless relations between events, such as todays breakfast being before tomorrows tea, as dependent upon, or determined by, tensed facts about those events, such as todays breakfast being past and tomorrows breakfast being future?" [p. 467]. The issue is explored by considering two thought experiments concerning the topological structure of time.
Le Poidevin, R., Mac Beath, M., eds.
1993 The Philosophy of Time, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Includes G. Forbes (1993) and reprints of Le Poidevin (1990), Mellor (1981a, Ch. 6), Prior (1968), and Shoemaker (1969).
1985 The Semantics of Action, Event, and Singular Causal Sentences, in E. LePore and B. P. McLaughlin, eds. (1985), pp. 151-61.
A survey of the role played by the concept of an event in Davidsons philosophy (with reference to the mind-body problem, causation, explanation, action theory, and the semantics of natural language). Discusses the differences between providing an analysis of a statement and giving its logical form (158 ff.).
1991 Davidson, Donald, in H. Burkhardt and B. Smith, eds., Handbook of Metaphysics and Ontology, Vol. 1, Munich: Philosophia, pp. 196-98.
Includes brief review of Davidsons views on the logical form of action sentences and on anomalous monism.
LePore, E., Loewer, B.
1987 Mind Matters, The Journal of Philosophy, 84, 630-42; reprinted in Warner and Szubka, eds. (1994), pp. 261-73.
Argues that "many of our intuitions about what is required for a mental property of an event to be causally relevant for that events effects are consistent with the metaphysics of anomalous monism, specifically, with the idea that singularly causal statements must be backed by strict laws (of physics)" [The Philosophers Index Abstract].
LePore, E., McLaughlin, B. P.
1985 Actions, Reasons, Causes and Intentions, in E. LePore and B. McLaughlin, eds. (1985), pp. 3-15.
A survey (and reconstruction) of Davidsons theory of action and intention, with emphasis on rationalizing explanations.
LePore, E., McLaughlin, B. P., eds.
1985 Actions and Events: Perspectives on the Philosophy of Donald Davidson, Oxford: Blackwell.
Includes J. Bennett (1985), Bratman (1985), Castañeda (1985), Chisholm (1985a), Davidson (1985a), Føllesdal (1985), Horgan and Tye (1985), Hornsby (1985), Katz, Leacock, and Ravin (1985), Kim (1985), LePore (1985), LePore and McLaughlin (1985), Lombard (1985), McCawley (1985), McLaughlin (1985), T. Parsons (1985), Quine (1985), Sanford (1985). Reviewed by Petit (1986), Spencer-Smith (1987), Stahl (1986), Teichmann (1987), Trainor (1989).
Levin, M. E.
1976 The Extensionality of Causation in Causal Explanatory Contexts, Philosophy of Science, 43, 266-77.
Argues that both statements reporting causal relations and causal explanatory statements are extensional. Discussion in Stern (1978).
Levison, A. B.
1983 Might Events Be Propositions?, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 44, 169-88.
Develops a propositional theory of events. Defines contingent eventual states of affairs as propositional objects that can contingently occur at a given time and can be changes in concrete individuals. An event is thus defined as a contingent eventual state of affairs that does occur at a given time and is a change in a concrete individual [pp. 174-75]. Other definitions include that of a propositional event (a propositional object including a specific temporal parameter) and of a repeatable event.
1987 Events and Times Flow, Mind, 76, 341-53.
Argues that "the view that temporal passage is a genuine feature of the world is consistent with an ontology of concrete events" [pp. 341-42].
Levison, A. B., Rosenkrantz, G. S.
1983 Mental Events: An Epistemic Analysis, Philosophia, 12, 307-21.
Includes a criterion for paradigm mental events.
Levison, A. B., Thalberg, I.
1969 Essential and Causal Explanation of Action, Mind, 78, 91-101; reprinted with revisions under the title Are There Non-causal Explanations of Actions? in Thalberg (1972), pp. 73-86.
Distinguishes between general causal explanation and essential explanation: "to propose an essential account of some incident is to delineate those qualities or aspects of the incident which figure in our criteria for saying what kind of occurrence it is" [p. 92].
Lewis, D. K.
1973 Causation, The Journal of Philosophy, 70, 556-67; reprinted in E. Sosa, ed. (1975), pp. 180-91; in Lewis (1986d), pp. 159-72; and in E. Sosa and M. Tooley, eds. (1993), pp. 193-204.
Defends an analysis of some sorts of causation in terms of counterfactual dependence between events ("in the everyday sense of the word: flashes, battles, conversations, impacts, strolls, deaths, touchdowns, falls, kisses, and the like", p. 161). Thus, event e causes event e' iff there exists a "causal chain" from e to e', a causal chain being a finite sequence of particular events áe1,...,enñ with the property that, for each i ≥ 1, whether ei+1 occurs or not depends on whether ei occurs or not. Compare the lengthy Postscripts (1986c).
1975 Adverbs of Quantification, in E. L. Keenan, ed., Formal Semantics of Natural Language, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 3-15.
On the range of quantification of such adverbs as always, sometimes, often, seldom, and the like.
1986a Causal Explanation, in Lewis (1986d), pp. 214-40; reprinted in D.-H. Ruben, ed., Explanation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993, pp. 182-206.
Maintains that "to explain an event is to provide some information about its causal history" [p. 217]. More generally, "to explain a kind of event is to provide some general explanatory information about events of that kind", i.e., information about what is common to all the parallel causal histories of those events [p. 225].
1986b Events, in Lewis (1986d), pp. 241-69; reprinted in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 213-41.
Combining Quines and Lemmons account with Montagues and Cresswells theory of events as properties of times, treats events as properties of spatio-temporal regions, i.e., in the end, classes of individuals from various worlds. It follows that events are the same whose members are the same spatio-temporal regions: events "have their essences built in, in the form of necessary conditions for their occurrence" [p. 247]. The mereology of events is accounted for in two ways: (i) insofar as events are classes, "they have a mereology is the way classes do: the parts of a class are its subclasses" [p. 258]; (ii) insofar as the mereology of the members carries over to the classes, "small events that occur in subregions are parts of the big event that occurs in the big region" [ibid.].
1986c Postscripts to "Causation", in Lewis (1986d), pp. 172-213.
Expands on the counterfactual analysis of causation put forward in (1973), discussing such issues as piecemeal causation, chancy causation, causation insensitive to circumstances (such as killing, as opposed to letting die), causation by omission (= occurrence of any event of a certain sort), redundant causation, essentialism, and self-causation.
1986d Philosophical Papers, Volume 2, New York: Oxford University Press.
Includes Lewis (1986a, 1986b, 1986c) and a reprint of (1973).
1986e On the Plurality of Worlds, Oxford and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.
"I see no reason for distinguishing between an event and the property of being a spatio-temporal region, of this or another world, where that event occurs" [p. 95]. Includes a discussion of the counterfactual analysis of causation; there is no causation from one world to another.
Lewis, H. A.
1985 Is the Mental Supervenient on the Physical?, in B. Vermazen and M. B. Hintikka, eds. (1985), pp. 159-72.
A discussion of supervenience as holding either between events, or facts, or properties.
Lewis, H. D.
1960/1 Events and Dispositions, The Philosophical Forum, 18, 3-21.
1985 Unconscious Cerebral Initiative and the Role of Conscious Will in Voluntary Action, The Behavioural and Brain Sciences, 8, 529-66.
Reports interesting experimental findings supporting the claim that physical events cause and are explanatory prior to mental events (of a certain sort). Criticisms in Green and Gillett (1995).
1987a On the Semantics of strips, in M. P. Georgeff and A. L. Lansky, eds. (1987), pp. 1-10; reprinted in J. F. Allen, J. Hendler, and A. Tate, eds. (1990), pp. 523-30.
A semantic discussion of how the effect of an action can be described by a problem solver (strips) by a rule defining how the current world model should be changed when the action is performed.
1987b Formal Theories of Action, in F. M. Brown, ed., The Frame Problem in Artificial Intelligence. Proceedings of the 1987 Workshop, Los Altos, CA: Morgan Kaufmann, pp. 35-57.
Gives an axiomatic description of causal connections between actions and changes. Applications to the "Yale shooting problem" of Hanks and McDermott (1986).
Lin, S-H., Dean, T.
1996 Localized Temporal Reasoning Using Subgoals and Abstract Events, Computational Intelligence, 12 [Special Issue on "Temporal Representation and Reasoning", S. D. Goodwin and H. J. Hamilton, eds.], 423-49.
On temporal reasoning problems where there is uncertainty on the order of occurrence of some events.
Lindley, R. C., Shorter, J. M.
1978 The Philosophy of Mind. A Bibliography. Part II: Philosophy of Action, Oxford: Oxford University, Sub-Faculty of Philosophy [distributed by J. Hannon].
Over 800 entries (including a few classics) organized by topic: the nature of action, explanation, mental acts, etc.
1983 The Logical Analysis of Plurals and Mass Terms: A Lattice-Theoretical Approach, in R. Bäuerle, C. Schwarze, and A. von Stechow, eds., Meaning, Use, and Interpretation of Language, Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, pp. 302-23.
Describes a first-order predicate calculus called the "Logic of Plurals and Mass Terms" which has been used by some authors (most notably, E. Bach 1986a) to analyse the distinction between processes and other "eventualities".
1987 Algebraic Semantics for Event Structures, in J. Groenendijk, M. Stokhof, and F. Veltman, eds., Proceedings of the 6th Amsterdam Colloquium, University of Amsterdam: Institute for Language, Logic and Computation, pp. 243-62.
An application of algebraic methods to an event-based representation of language (events being understood in a broad sense--as in E. Bachs 1981 "eventualities"--comprising happenings as well as states).
1995 Algebraic Semantics for Natural Language: Some Philosophy, Some Applications, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 43 [special issue on "The Role of Formal Ontology in the Information Technology", N. Guarino and R. Poli, eds.], 765-84.
Argues that structuring the domains of linguistic ontology involves recognizing also events along with plural and mass entities. These are studied from a common perspective using mereological and lattice-theoretical notions.
1974 Action, Movement, and Neurophysiology, Inquiry, 17, 23-42.
Distinguishes between action and bodily movement not by reference to the agents intentions or consciousness, but by reference to the agent as a cause of the movement (this being understood in a way that undermines the usual distinction between agent causation and event causation).
1984a Einstein and the Identity Theory, Analysis, 44, 22-25.
"It seems impossible to deny that if mental events are to be part of a causal order that include physical events, they must belong to the same temporal order [...] If Einstein was right about space and time, they must belong to the same spatial order as well" [p. 25].
1984b Reply to David Gordon, Analysis, 44, 127-28.
Rejoinder to Gordon (1984).
1985 Einstein, Gibbins and the Unity of Time, Analysis, 45, 148-50.
Rejoinder to Gibbins (1985).
Loeb, L. E.
1974 Causal Theories and Causal Overdetermination, The Journal of Philosophy, 71, 525-44.
Introduces the technical notion of an event e being a C-condition of an event e iff e is either a cause or a causal overdeterminant of e--these notions being in turn analysed in the context of various approaches to the analysis of singular causal statements (analyses in terms of counterfactuals, of natural laws, and of necessary and sufficient conditions). See J. OConnors (1976) remarks.
1977 Causal Overdetermination and Counterfactuals Revisited, Philosophical Studies, 31, 211-14.
A reply to J. OConnor (1976).
1986 The Reality of Time, Aldershot and Brookfield, VE: Gower.
Defends the theory according to which time consists of the changing tense-determinations--past, present and future--of events. Points out that "we have to distinguish the way in which an event type stands to its tokens from the way in which an event universal stands to its instances. Thus while particular revolutions might be protracted, swift, violent or non-violent, Revolution (the universal) cannot itself be spoken of as swift, protracted, violent or non-violent; on the other hand, if I say of a Sonata [...] that the Adagio Cantabile is followed by the Allegro Moderato, then what I have said is true both of the type itself and of all tokens of the type" [pp. 10-11]. "Events to which the type-token distinction is applicable, in some sense necessarily have the internal ordering that they have" [p. 100].
Lombard, L. B.
1974 A Note on Level-Generation and the Time of a Killing, Philosophical Studies, 26, 151-2.
Argues that the time-of-a-killing objection raised against the coarse-grained approach to event identity (Goldman 1971, Thomson 1971a) cannot be used in favor of Goldmans level-generational fine-grained account: since actions that are related by the by relation are supposed to occur at the same time, the same problem arises on this view: how can Jones have killed the victim by shooting at him if the victim dies at a later time than the time of the shooting? Compare also Pfeifer (1982).
1975 Events, Changes, and the Non-Extensionality of "Become", Philosophical Studies, 28, 131-36.
In sentences of the form x became y at t, the position held by y may be regarded as extensional if the sentences are viewed as being about changes (albeit possibly only "Cambridge" changes).
1978a Actions, Results, and the Time of a Killing, Philosophia, 8, 341-54.
Defends the identification of shootings and killings; uses a causal analysis of sentences containing verbs of action (x fed y is rewritten as x caused y to be fed).
1978b Relational Change and Relational Changes, Philosophical Studies, 34, 63-79.
A defense of the view that all it takes for an object to change is for it to have a property at one time which it lacks at some other time. This includes purely relational, "Cambridge" changes (such as Xantippes becoming a widow) as bona fide changes.
1978c Chisholm and Davidson on Events and Counterfactuals, Philosophia, 7 [Special Issue on "The Philosophy of Roderick M. Chisholm"], 515-22.
Argues against Chisholms argument (in 1970, 1971a) that such events as Nixons becoming president and Johnsons successors becoming president are distinct (in spite of the identity Nixon=Johnsons successor) insofar as the former, but not the latter, would not have occurred had Humphrey won the elections. The argument is valid only if Johnsons successor becoming president is construed as a rigid designator, which begs the question. Reply in Chisholm (1978).
1979a Events, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 9, 425-60; reprinted in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 177-212.
Events as changes that physical objects undergo when they change--more precisely, as "movements" by physical objects (from the having of one to the having of another quality) through some portion of a quality space (class of contrary properties the mere having of any member of which does not imply any change) during a stretch of time. The canonical descriptions of such events (at least the atomic ones) is essentially a Kimean triple [x, P, t ], where P "is to be replaced by the atomic event verb which expresses the dynamic property the having or exemplifying of which [...] is that atomic event" [p. 446].
1979b The Extensionality of Causal Contexts: Comments on Rosenberg and Martin, in P. A. French, T. Uehling, and H. K. Wettstein, eds. (1979), pp. 409-15.
A reply to Rosenberg and Martin (1979). What makes explanatory contexts non-extensional and causal ones extensional has to do with the fact that the former are about facts (or other propositional entities) whereas the latter are about events.
1981 Events and Their Subjects, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 62, 138-47.
Given the theory of (1979a), argues that it is essential for an event to have the minimal subject that it actually has (where the minimal subject of an event e is the smallest object a change in which is identical to e). Criticisms in Forbes (1985), pp. 208ff.
1982a Events and the Essentiality of Time, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 12, 1-17.
Given the theory of (1979a), argues that it is essential for an event to occur when it does. Criticisms in Forbes (1985), pp. 210ff.
1982b Review of Davidson (1980b), Canadian Philosophical Reviews, 2, 122-23.
1985 How Not to Flip the Prowler: Transitive Verbs of Action and Identity of Actions, in E. LePore and B. P. McLaughlin, eds. (1985), pp. 268-81.
An analysis of sentences involving transitive verbs that is in line both with Davidsons semantics and with its metaphysics of actions. Provides an account of transitive action sentences "that explains what it is for an action to be a flipping insofar as it affects the switch, but not insofar as it affects the prowler" [p. 276] (thus eschewing the problem arising when, if flipping the switch is the same event as alerting the prowler, one can derive a statement to the effect that one flipped the prowler).
1986 Events: a Metaphysical Study, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Full formulation of the theory outlined in (1979a, 1981, 1982a), with systematic exposition of the thesis of the supervenience of events. Reviewed by Brand (1989c), Kuo (1990), McCann (1987), Teichmann (1987), Wilkerson (1987).
1989 "Unless", "Until", and the Time of a Killing, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 70, 135-54.
"An attempt is made to show how a number of different views on the time-of-a-killing problem is derivable from the same obvious claim--that one cannot kill another "unless" the other dies--by inferring from it the claim that one cannot kill another "until" the other dies. It is then shown that this inference is fallacious" [The Philosophers Index Abstract].
1990 Causes, Enablers, and the Counterfactual Analysis, Philosophical Studies, 59, 195-211.
Discusses the asymmetry between hasteners (that are generally causes of what they hasten) and delayers (that are generally not causes of what they delay) towards a reformulation of the counterfactual analysis of event causation (D. K. Lewis 1973).
1991a Change, in H. Burkhardt and B. Smith, eds., Handbook of Metaphysics and Ontology, Vol. 1, München: Philosophia, pp. 137-39.
A compact overview, including some remarks on Cambridge change.
1991b Events, in H. Burkhardt and B. Smith, eds., Handbook of Metaphysics and Ontology, Vol. 1, München: Philosophia, pp. 256-59.
Brief analytic introduction to the main issues and philosophical positions.
1992a Events, Counterfactuals, and Speed, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 70, 187-97.
Against Bennetts (1988) argument to the effect that counterfactual claims about events bear relations to essentialist claims about events: if sound, the argument would show that events can occur more quickly than they actually do.
1992b Causes and Enablers. A Reply to Mackie, Philosophical Studies, 65, 319-22.
Defends the concept of an enabler introduced in (1990) against the criticisms of P. Mackie (1991).
1994 The Doctrine of Temporal Parts and the "No-Change" Objection, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 54, 365-72.
A criticism of Heller (1992).
1995a Sooner or Later, Noûs, 29, 342-59.
On the topic of whether the temporal features of events are essential to them (assuming that every event has some interval for its time of occurrence, and therefore that no event can occur instantaneously).
1995b Delaying, Preventing, and Disenabling, Philosophia, 24, 433-47.
Reply to P. Mackie (1992).
1995c Event Theory, in J. Kim and E. Sosa, eds., A Companion to Metaphysics, Oxford and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, pp. 140-44.
A compact survey of the main positions, from Davidson to J. Bennett.
1996 Event Theory, in D. M. Borchert, ed. in chief, The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Supplement, New York: Simon & Schuster Macmillan, pp. 158-60.
A compact survey of the main positions.
Lowe, I.-E. J.
1981 All Actions Occur Inside a Body, Analysis, 41, 126-29.
Contends that Hornsbys (1980a) view that all actions occur inside a body stems from a misconception of the relationship between the notions of action and causation.
1983 Reply to Hornsby on Actions, Analysis, 43, 140-41.
In reply to Hornsby (1982a), claims that it makes no sense to assert something of the form As causing x caused y, where x is an event, for As causing x is doubtfully an event (at least in the case where A is an inanimate object).
1984 A Note on a Response of Hornsbys, Analysis, 44, 196-97.
A clarification of the point made in (1983) in response to Hornsbys rejoinder in (1983).
1988 Substance, Identity and Time, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl. Vol. 62, 61-78.
Argues that time essentially involves change, "by which I mean that time essentially involves happenings or events [...] and events or happenings are to be understood as changes--although not necessarily changes to something or in something [...] When a change occurs, something begins to be the case which was previously not the case" [p. 74].
1989a Impredicative Identity Criteria and Davidsons Criterion of Event Identity, Analysis, 49, 178-81.
Comments on Quine (1985) on Davidsons (1969a) criterion of event identity in terms of sameness of causes and effects. Concludes that "(strong) impredicativity does not of itself condemn an identity criterion like Davidsons to failure, but only does so in the absence of an appropriate supporting framework of theory concerning the entities whose individuation is at issue" [p. 181]. (Compare Tiles 1976).
1989b Kinds of Being. A Study of Individuation, Identity, and the Logic of Sortal Terms, Oxford: Blackwell.
Criticizes [p. 113] Davidsons (1969a) identity criterion for events as viciously circular, following Tiles (1976). Moreover, maintains that "there seems [...] to be no more sense in the idea that one might set about counting the events that have occurred in this room during the last hour than there is in the idea that one might set about counting the things now in it. What one may intelligibly count are sorts of event, e.g., one might well count how many door-shuttings have occurred during the last hour. (The search for a general criterion of identity for actions is similarly misconceived, even if one does not construe actions to be events, as I do not.)" [p. 114n.].
1989c What is a Criterion of Identity?, The Philosophical Quarterly, 39, 1-21.
Includes a restatement of the (1989a) criticism of Davidsons (1969a) criterion of event identity. "What is lacking is an axiomatic theory of events providing for Davidsons criterion the sort of framework that axiomatic set theory provides for [the] criterion of set-identity" [p. 8].
1994 Primitive Substances, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 54, 531-52.
Events are non-substantial concrete particulars, whose existence and identity depends on the existence and identity of other particulars. Against Strawson (1959) argues that it might turn out that "A flash occurred" entails "Something Flashed". Holds further that "Had the Saxons fought the Danes instead of the Normans at Hastings in 1066, the ensuing battle would not have been the very battle that we identify with the Battle of Hastings" [p. 540].
Lucas, J. R.
1973 A Treatise on Time and Space, London: Methuen.
Section 2 on the possibility of changeless time (compare Shoemaker 1969).
1994 Conditionals, Events and Unbound Pronouns, Lingua e Stile, 29, 165-83.
Argues that a theory of conditionals with implicit quantification on events can be used to support a descriptive theory of discourse anaphoras.
Lycan, W. G.
1970 Identifiability-Dependence and Ontological Priority, The Personalist, 51, 502-13.
Argues against Strawson (1959): ontological priority is not a consequence of identifiability dependence, and Strawson does not make any good case for the latter.
1974 The Extensionality of Cause, Space and Time, Mind, 83 498-511.
A generalization of the "slingshot" argument.
1984a A Syntactically Motivated Theory of Conditionals, in P. A. French, T. Uehling, and H. K. Wettstein, eds. (1984), pp. 437-55.
Outlines an event-based theory of indicative conditionals, events being understood as roughly equivalent to cases or circumstances. ("Intuitively, they are not unlike Perry and Barwises situations" [p. 440].) The account exploits formalizations of such paraphrases as: "P if Q = P in any event in which Q; P only if Q = P in no event other than one in which Q; P even if Q = P in any event including any in which Q; P unless Q = P in any event other than one in which Q".
1984b Logical Form in Natural Language, Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT Press/Bradford Books.
Remarks that Davidsons (1967a) account of action sentences violates condition T (p is true iff p), or at least yields "impure" T-sentences (John walked in the street is true iff there exists an event e such that e is a walking and ... etc.) [pp. 30-33].
1987 Consciousness, Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT Press.
"Events as such simply do not have individual essences unless their essences are very rarefied and elusive haecceities" [p. 17]. Thus, "Kripkes essentialism is hopeless regarding events" [p. 79].
1967 Causality, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 18, 1-20.
Gives an analysis of singular causation in terms of counterfactual dependence between events. Germane to the account of D. K. Lewis (1973).
1977 Semantics. Volume 2, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
"The conceptual framework within which we organize and describe our perceptions of the physical world, whatever language we speak, is one in which we can identify, not only states-of-affairs of shorter or longer duration, but also events, processes and actions" [p. 483]. Uses "situation" to include these categories. Section 15.6 on aspect and events and processes [esp. pp. 706ff].
1995 Linguistic Semantics. An Introduction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Section 10.4 ("The Grammatical Category of Aspect") includes a brief discussion of event ontology in semantics [esp. pp. 324ff].
Lys, F., Mommer, K.
1986 The Problem of Aspectual Classification: A Two-Level Approach, in A. M. Farley, P. T. Farley, and K.-E. McCullough, eds., CLS 22. Papers from the 22th Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society, pp. 216-30.
Proposes a two-level taxonomy of aspectual constructions, classifying both the "basic situation types" represented by verbs and the "synthetic situation types" represented by sentences. Verbs are classified in terms of the oppositions: durativity/punctuality, presence/absence of a culmination point, presence/absence of a result state.
Back to Contents
Macdonald, C. A.
1978 On the Unifier-Multiplier Controversy, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 8, 707-14.
Objects to J. Bennett (1973) and Thalberg (1975) that the considerations they adduced to reject the unifiers account of event identity (and consequently motivate the search for an intermediate, compromise position) are "based on a fundamental confusion between actions and their effects in cases where one and the same description can be used to refer to either" [p. 709]. Discussion in Thalberg (1981).
1979 Can Events Change?, Philosophia, 9, 317-29.
Argues against certain attempts to find a third position intermediate between the unifying and the multiplying view, particularly with respect to the question of the identity/distinctness of non-basic actions and corresponding bodily movements.
1984 Review of Tiles (1981), Mind, 93, 308-11.
1985a Mind-Body Identity and the Subjects of Events, Philosophical Studies, 48, 73-82.
Outlines a way of dealing with certain objections to token-identity theories of the mental and the physical within the confines of a property exemplification account of events.
1985b Review of B. Taylor (1985) and Vermazen and Hintikka, eds. (1985), Mind, 94, 632-37.
1986 Constitutive Properties, Essences, and Events, Philosophia, 16, 29-43.
Argues that failure to specify what properties are constitutive of events (e.g., properties indicative of change) "obscures the distinction between the ontological categories of events and substances by allowing properties which an essentialist account of substance would hold are kind-determining essences of substances to be considered as kind-determining essences of events" [p. 38].
1989 Mind-Body Identity Theories, London and New York: Routledge.
Chapter 4 [pp. 107-55] deals with the metaphysics of events and their identity conditions, examining and defending a version of the property exemplification account (à la Lombard) and arguing that it is compatible with a non-reductive view of the token-identity of mental and physical events.
1995 Psychophysical Supervenience, Dependency, and Reduction, in E. E. Savellos and Ü. D. Yalin, eds. (1995), pp. 140-57.
Remarks that, on the property exemplification account, the asymmetry of the dependency relation between the mental and the physical does not concern the causal efficacy of mental and physical events [pp. 143ff].
Macdonald, C. A., Macdonald, G.
1986 Mental Causes and the Explanation of Action, The Philosophical Quarterly, 36 [Special Issue on "Mind, Causation and Action", J. Haldane, R. Squires, and L. Stevenson, eds.], 145-58.
A defense of non-reductive monism against charge of epiphenomenalism: an event can be a single instance of both a mental and a physical property.
1991 Mental Causation and Non-reductive Monism, Analysis, 51, 23-32.
More arguments in defense of the non-reductive view of the token-identity between mental and physical events: the charge of epiphenomenalism stems from assuming a view of events as tropes, whereas non-reductive monism takes events as property exemplifications.
1995a Introduction: Supervenient Causation, in C. A. Macdonald and G. Macdonald, eds. (1995), pp. 4-28.
Surveys recent positions and problems about supervenient causation and epiphenomenalism.
1995b How to Be Psychologically Relevant, in C. A. Macdonald and G. Macdonald, eds. (1995), pp. 60-77.
Develops on the position of non-reductive monism put forward in (1986, 1991) and in C. A. Macdonald (1989).
1995c Introduction: Causal Relevance and Explanatory Exclusion, in C. A. Macdonald and G. Macdonald, eds. (1995), pp. 86-106.
An introduction to the issues raised by Kim (1989a, 1990) and Dretske (1990, 1995).
Macdonald, C. A., Macdonald, G., eds.
1995 Philosophy of Psychology. Debates on Psychological Explanation, Volume 1, Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.
Includes Dretske (1995), Macdonald and Macdonald (1995a, 1995b, 1995c), and reprints of Dretske (1990) and Kim (1990).
MacIntosh, J. J.
1992 Adverbs, Identity and Multiple Personalities, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 22, 301-21.
Discusses an adverbial account of multiple personality (according to which "some of the terms which appear, syntactically, to be names are in fact not so: an expansion shows them to be functioning as integral parts of an adverbial phrase" [p. 321], even though "Miss B is making love as Sally" resists rendering as "There is an event which is the event of Miss B making love, and it (the event) is as Sally" [p. 317].
1997 The Individuation of Actions, The Philosophical Quarterly, 47, 38-54
A critical re-examination of the state of the debate on action identity, concluding that the case against the unifiers approach (Anscombe, Davidson) is "much stronger than typically supposed" [p. 39]. Includes a discussion of the status of the by locution, focusing on Hornsbys (1980a) treatment.
Mackie, J. L.
1965 Causes and Conditions, American Philosophical Quarterly, 2, 245-64; reprinted in E. Sosa, ed. (1975), pp. 15-38, and M. Brand, ed. (1976), pp. 308-44.
Introduces the notion of an INUS condition (Insufficient but Necessary part of a condition which is itself Unnecessary but Sufficient for the result) and applies it to the analysis of singular causal statements. See Marc-Wogau (1962) for a similar treatment focusing on the historians use of such statements. Discussion in R. Martin (1972).
1974 The Cement of the Universe. A Study of Causation, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Chapter 10 argues that we mention facts as causes if our purpose is explanatory (to allude to the law connecting the explanandum to its circumstances), whereas we mention events as causes if our aim is simply to identify the causal conditions we are interested in.
1991 Causing, Enabling, and Counterfactual Dependence, Philosophical Studies, 62, 325-30.
Argues that the concept of an enabler introduced by Lombard (1990) fails to pick out a group of events that are not causes of the events counterfactually depending on them: whether an event is a cause or an enabler is a question that in some cases seems to depend exclusively on temporal considerations. Reply in Lombard (1992b).
1992 Causing, Delaying, and Hastening: Do Rains Cause Fires?, Mind, 101, 483-500.
Argues that an event that delays the occurrence of another event is to be regarded as one of its causes (along with those events that hasten its occurrence). See reply in Lombard (1995b).
1995 Event, in T. Honderich, ed., The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, Oxford and New York: Oxford Universty Press, pp. 253-54.
Brief introductory survey.
1967 Actions, Consequences, and Ethical Theory, The Journal of Value Inquiry, 1, 72-80.
"There are clear cases of a break in the chain of action and consequence such that we cannot recast certain consequences as redescription of the action". Criticism in H. J. Allen (1967).
1968 Doing and Happening, The Review of Metaphysics, 22, 246-61.
Argues that the distinction between what one does and what happens to one is unclear and therefore of questionable value in action theory.
1957 The Self As Agent, New York and London: Humanities Press.
"To call any apprehended change an act is to refer it to an agent as its source. To call it an event is to refer it to a non-agent. We express the distinction between acts and events, therefore, if we say: for each event there is a cause; for each act there is a reason [...] No act can have a cause; and no event a reason" [pp. 148-49].
1992 Bare Common Nouns and their Relation to the Temporal Constitution of Events in Hungarian, in P. Dekker and M. Stokhof, eds., Proceedings of the 8th Amsterdam Colloquium, University of Amsterdam: Institute for Language, Logic and Computation, pp. 347-65.
Supports with data from Hungarian the view that there is a close connection between the structured domains of objects and events. Includes a sketch of the interdependencies between the temporal constitution of events and their participants.
Marbourg, W. D.
1971 Action and Bodily Motion, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Kansas.
1962 On Historical Explanation, Theoria, 28, 213-33.
An account of singular causal statements with particular reference to their use by historians: "When historians in singular causal statements speak of a cause or the cause of a certain individual event b, then what they are referring to is another individual event a which is a moment in a minimal sufficient and at the same time necessary condition post factum b" [pp. 226f]. Account similar to J. L. Mackies (1965). Discussion in R. Martin (1972).
1970 Danto on Basic Actions, Inquiry, 13 [Special Issue on "Action"], 104-8.
Against Danto (1965), argues that either there are no basic actions, or else Dantos criterion for identifying them is untenable. Reply in Danto (1970).
1973 Knowledge and Existence, New York: Oxford University Press.
Chapter 6, "Actions and Events" [pp. 146-79], addresses various issues concerning the identification, explanation, and description of actions and events. "There are no actions without agents [...] and, normally at least, there are no events that are not undergone by something", and yet "it turns out to be extremely helpful to treat events themselves (including actions) as if they were individual things; for then, we may describe them in whatever convenient way we wish" [p. 148]. This leads to a Davidsonian account: "Sebastian strolled through the streets of Bologna at 2 may be added to by way of an endless variety of modifications without obliging us to deny that one and the same event is being referred to" [p. 172].
1974 Review of Goldman (1970), Metaphilosophy, 5, 548-64.
1978 Persons and Minds. The Prospects of Nonreductive Materialism, Dordrecht and Boston: Reidel.
A defense of a nonreductive materialist account of the relationship between the mental and the physical. Views events and states as "would-be entities" ontologically dependent on the admission of more fundamental entities such as persons and material objects: "One may identify a person without regard to any particular event or state [...] But we cannot normally identify events or states [...] except as the events or states of this or that person or body" [p. 43]. Includes also a critical discussion of Davidsons views on reasons as causes in relation with the thesis that an action can have different descriptions [pp. 250ff].
Margolis, J., ed.
1969 Fact and Existence, Oxford: Blackwell.
Includes Davidson (1969b), R. M. Martin (1969b), Butler (1969), and Salmon (1969).
Martin, J. N.
1975 Facts and the Semantics of Gerunds, Journal of Philosophical Logic, 4, 439-54.
Outlines a factual semantics for gerunds exploiting the idea that "the presuppositional properties of gerunds may be explained analogously to the existential use of singular terms" [p. 439].
1981 Facts and Events as Semantic Constructs, Theoretical Linguistics, 8, 259-85.
Proposes an account of facts and events as "complex structures mirroring the surface syntax of gerunds and infinitives" [p. 283]. Thus, The sinking of Atlantis started the tidal wave has the logical form G[Fa]b, where [Fa] is the gerund standing for the event of Atlantiss sinking. (References are made to Kims canonical representation of event names.) The account is contrasted to Davidsons (1967a), which "requires a non-syntactic distinction that is by no means easy to draw" [p. 280]. The analysis is ultimately used to argue for the general thesis that "ontology is best understood as disguised semantics" [p. 259].
Martin, J. R.
1972 Basic Actions and Simple Actions, American Philosophical Quarterly, 9, 59-68.
Argues against the thesis that basic actions are necessarily simple actions.
1978 Volitions and Actions, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 8, 187-90.
A criticism of L. H. Davis (1975).
1972 Marc-Wogau and Mackie on Singular Causal Statements, Philosophical Forum, 5, 145-51.
A criticism of the views of Marc-Wogau (1962) and Mackie (1965). Discussion in Beauchamp and Rosenberg (1974).
Martin, R. M.
1967 Facts: What They Are and What They Are Not, American Philosophical Quarterly, 4, 269-80.
There is simply no room for [facts] in the admissible furniture--or rather, there is no furniture for them in the admissible room" [p. 269].
1969a On Events and the Calculus of Individuals, Akten des XIV. Internationalen Kongresses für Philosophie, Vienna: Herder, Vol. 3, pp. 202-8.
Argues that mereology is "a perhaps indispensable [logical tool] if we are to try to gain some clarity concerning physical objects and events and their relations with each other" [p. 203]. Outlines a formal account based on a two-sorted language: "When we speak of events it is to happenings or occurrences in time that we refer. When we speak of physical objects, we refer to objects with a definite spatiality [...] But happenings involve spatial location and physical objects endure through time, so that the two kinds of entities are interrelated in significant ways" [ibid.]. First formulation of the analysis of event-descriptions further developed in (1969b).
1969b On Events and Event-Descriptions, in J. Margolis, ed. (1969), pp. 63-73, 97-109.
A property exemplification approach to the ontology of events: an event is an ordered (n+1)-tuple made up of the denotations of the n singular terms and the n-adic predicate of a true sentence. (Compare the theory put forward by Kim beginning in 1966.) Moreover, "events are clear-cut extensional entities [that] can be referred to directly", and must therefore be kept separate from facts, which are "intensional entities having a nominal structure [and] can be referred to indirectly" [p. 73]. Discussed by Butler (1969) and Davidson (1969b).
1969c Belief, Existence, and Meaning, New York: New York University Press; London: University of London Press.
Chapter IX, On Events and Propositions, puts forward a formulation of the conception of events as "virtual ordered n-tuples" anticipated in (1969b).
1971a Logic, Language, and Metaphysics, New York: New York University Press.
Chapters VII and VIII on the problem of formulating a logic of events--more precisely, a two-sorted logic with one kind of variables ranging over physical objects and another over events. Based on the conception of events put forward in (1969b, 1969c), includes a formal account of the their mereology and causal relations.
1971b On Hartshornes "Creative Synthesis" and Event Logic, The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 9, 399-410.
Critical review of Hartshorne (1970). "The main point of the present paper is to show that a somewhat nominalized form of event logic seems to provide also precisely what is needed by way of logical background for Hartshornes metaphysics" [p. 399].
1976 Events and Actions: Some Comments on Brand and Kim, in M. Brand and D. Walton, eds. (1976), pp. 179-92; reprinted with revisions as Events and Actions: Brand and Kim in R. M. Martin (1979b), pp. 144-59.
On Brand (1976a) and Kim (1976). Focuses on Brands identity criteria ("Just what kind of necessity is involved here we are not told" [p. 181]) and on Kims notion of an event (asking for a clarification: "Just what is this complex [x, P, t]? Clearly it is not itself a substance, a property, or a time" [p. 188]). Kims identity criteria are also examined.
1977 Tense, Aspect, and Modality, Philosophia, 19, 69-87; reprinted in R. M. Martin (1979b), pp. 110-29.
An attempt to accommodate tense, aspect, and modality within the framework of Martins event logic.
1978a On Existence, Tense, and Logical Form, in N. Rescher, ed. Studies in Ontology (American Philosophical Quarterly Monograph Series, No. 12), Oxford: Basil Blackwell, pp. 27-41; reprinted with revisions as Existence and Logical Form in R. M. Martin (1979b), pp. 95-109.
Outlines a general framework for the study of logical form in which "a realm of events, including states, acts, processes, and the like, is recognized, so that the various existence predicates introduced for virtual classes and relations of individuals may be extended to apply also to virtual classes and relations of events" [p. 40].
1978b Events, Reference, and Logical Form, Washington: Catholic University of America Press.
From the Authors Preface: "The main novelty of the book is the outline of a systematic theory of events, which are construed so broadly as to embrace all kinds of entities whatsoever, physical objects, acts, states, processes, mental events, linguistic events, natural numbers, and so on" [p. i]. Thus, in the first chapters a logico-metaphysical theory is developed in which "events and events only are taken as values for variables, and everything in heaven or earth is then construed in terms of them" (constructs being "mere logical fictions handled as manières de parler").
1978c Semiotics and Linguistic Structure. A Primer of Philosophical Logic, Albany: State University of New York Press.
Chapter IV, "Events, Acts, States, and Processes [pp. 57-72], gives "a sketch of a logical analysis of the internal structure of events", including part-whole and other formal ontological principles.
1979a Of "Of", in R. M. Martin (1979b), pp. 130-43.
An account of gerundives within the framework of Martins event logic.
1979b Pragmatics, Truth, and Language, Dordrecht: Reidel.
Includes R. M. Martin (1979a) along with revised reprints of (1976, 1977, 1978a).
1980 Primordiality, Science, and Value, Albany: State University of New York Press.
Chapter XVIII, On Peirces Analysis of Events, argues in favor of a treatment of action sentences along the lines suggested by Peirce (Collected Papers, 3.492). A sentence of the form "A gives B to C" is analysed as "($e)(Giving(e) & A Agent e & B Object e & C Patient e)". The analysis resembles that of T. Parsons (1980, 1985, 1989, 1990), Carlson (1984) and Dowty (1989). See also Martins further discussion in (1981).
1981 Logico-Linguistic Papers, Dordrecht: Foris Publications.
Chapter I on Peirces analysis of events (examined in detail in Martin 1980). Chapter X (On the Analysis of Action Sentences) is a criticism of Davidsons (1967a) account. The Peircean alternative is preferred on account of its "simplicity and greater depth of analysis" [p. 157]: Davidson increases the degree of the predicates, while Peirce decreases them. Other theories examined include Reschers (1967).
1983 Mind, Modality, Meaning, and Method, Albany: State University of New York Press.
"Our protometaphysical talk of beings might seem rather restricted if explicit provision is not allowed for events, happenings, processes, acts, states, and the like" [p. 23]. Includes applications of Martins theory of events and event descriptions to various topics.
1987 Toward a Logistic Grammar: Relations, Roles, Representations and Rules, Journal of Chinese Philosophy, 14, 261-83; reprinted with the title On Logical Semiotics and Logistic Grammar: Relations, Roles, Representations, and Rules as Chapter 2 of R. M. Martin (1992), pp. 15-32.
A sketch of a "logistic grammar" of natural language as based on Martins event logic. The leading feature is that the "semantic role" of words (agent, patient, goal, result, etc.) are explicitly indicated, normally as relations. For instance, p Agent e is to express that person p is the/an agent of action e.
1988 Metaphysical Foundations: Mereology and Metalogic, München: Philosophia Verlag.
Passim on events and event-descriptions.
1992 Logical Semiotics and Mereology, Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Contains a reprint of (1987) as well as further material relevant to the general program of Martins event logic.
Martin, W. A.
1984 A Logical Form Based on the Structural Descriptions of Events, in L. Vaina and J. Hintikka, eds., Cognitive Constraints on Communication. Representations and Processes, Dordrecht: Reidel, pp. 201-28.
A structural description in terms of semantic networks.
Matthews, G. B.
1971 On Not Being Said to Do Two Things, Analysis, 31, 204-8.
Contra Ryle (1949, p. 108), argues that "there seems to be no good reason for insisting that a man said to enjoy what he is doing is said to do one thing rather than two. To say Sam has been enjoying digging is, if you like, to say that Sam has been both digging and enjoying what he was doing" [p. 208].
1968 Can There Be Necessary Connections between Successive Events?, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 19, 1-25.
A defense of the view that "It may be, it is possible, as far as we can ever know for certain, that logically necessary connections do exist between successive events" [p. 1].
1950 Events and Language, Analysis, 10, 109-14; reprinted in M. Macdonald, ed., Philosophy and Analysis. A Selection of Articles Published in Analysis between 1933-40 and 1947-53, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1954, pp. 173-80.
A criticism of the standard way of dealing with "sentences referring to events" in classical logic, where nouns and adjectives are "more prominent" than verbs and adverbs. An anticipation of the remarks of Kenny (1963, ch. 7) and Davidson (1967a) on variable polyadicity and adverb-dropping inferences. Argues also that Russells theory of descriptions is inadequate for dealing with event-referring definite descriptions.
1961 Objects, Events, and Complementarity, Mind, 70, 340-61.
Argues that certain descriptions of events and objects can be interchanged modulo interchange of spatial and temporal determinants (for instance, the same object cannot be at two different places at the same time, and the same event cannot be at two different times at the same place). See criticisms in Dretske (1962).
McArthur, R. P.
1976 Tense Logic, Dordrecht and Boston: Reidel.
An introductory text. Gives a semantic analysis based on the idea that the earlier/later relation should be "a relation on temporal world states, and not on the more abstract temporal intervals. For we have no means (in general) of specifying a temporal interval apart from those events and states of affairs which take place during the interval, i.e., [...] a world state" [p. 9].
1966 Abstract Individuals, Dialogue, 5, 217-31.
Unlike individual substances, abstract individuals depend for their existence upon the existence of other individuals. Examples include particularized properties such as "the stupidity of George I" along with events such as "the sound of an individual shoe falling on the floor" and "the sinking of the Bismarck" [p. 217]. Develops a free logic for dealing with the relevant notion of existence.
1994 A Model of the Universe. Space-Time, Probability, and Decision, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
On distinguishing things and events in a four-dimensional metaphysics: "Both are four-dimensional objects. But the difference between them consists in the fact that while things can be redescribed as three-dimensional objects which are wholly present at each moment, events cannot" [p. 216].
McCann, H. J.
1972 Is Raising Ones Arm a Basic Action? The Journal of Philosophy, 67, 235-49.
Argues that they are not. The argument exploits a moderately unifying account of action identity.
1974 Volition and Basic Action, The Philosophical Review, 83, 451-73.
Argues that a theory of causally basic mental actions of volitions can explain the difference between raising ones arm and merely having it rise.
1979 Nominals, Facts, and Two Conceptions of Events, Philosophical Studies, 35, 129-49.
Argues that there are two distinct ways of conceiving events, on one of which the job of naming events is done via structures that Vendlers (1962a, 1967a) classical account "mistakes" for fact designators, viz. imperfect gerundives whose verbal element signify change. These are events conceived as temporally extended wholes. By contrast, "in order to keep track of change through time, we must conceive of something temporally persistent, which is intrinsically tied to the temporally extended event, but which unlike it is wholly present throughout the stretch of time the temporally extended entity occupies. It is this temporally persistent item [...] that is designated by perfect nominals" [p. 142].
1982 The Trouble with Level-Generation, Mind, 91, 481-500.
On some inadequacies of Goldmans theory of level-generation for the fine-grained approach to action individuation, concluding that "we have seen no convincing reason to believe that any ontological relationship of generation obtains between acts such as shooting and killing" [p. 500].
1983 Individuating Actions: The Fine-Grained Approach, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 13, 493-512.
Fine-grained actions are individual accidents (abstract particulars, or "tropes").
1987 Review of Lombard (1986), Ethics, 97, 891.
1959 Programs with Common Sense, in D. V. Blake and AA. M. Uttley, eds., Proceedings of the Teddington Conference on the Mechanization of Thought Processes, London: Her Majestys Stationery Office, pp. 75-91; reprinted with revisions in M. Minsky, ed., Semantic Information Processing, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1968, pp. 403-18; in McCarthy (1990), pp. 9-20; and in G. F. Langer, ed., Computation and Intelligence. Collected Readings, Menlo Park, CA: AAAI Press, and Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995, pp. 479-92.
Seminal paper on reasoning about actions from the standpoint of Artificial Intelligence. Presents a "situation calculus" in which statements about the effects of actions are expressed by formulas such as P(Result(x, A, S) asserting that P is true in the situation (state of affairs) that results from agent xs performing action A in situation S.
1977 Epistemological Problems of Artificial Intelligence, Proceedings of the 5th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-77), Vol. 2, Cambridge, MA: IJCAI [Morgan Kaufmann], pp. 1038-44; reprinted in McCarthy (1990), pp. 77-92.
"How to express rules that give the effects of actions and events when they occur concurrently" is regarded as "the most difficult unsolved epistemological problem for AI" [1990, p. 80].
1990 Formalizing Common Sense. Papers by John McCarthy (V. Lifschitz ed.), Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
Includes reprints of McCarthy (1959, 1977) and McCarthy and Hayes (1969).
McCarthy, J., Hayes, P.
1969 Some Philosophical Problems from the Standpoint of Artificial Intelligence, in B. Meltzer and D. Michie, eds., Machine Intelligence 4, Edimburgh: Edimburgh University Press, pp. 463-502; reprinted in B. L. Webber and N. J. Nilsson, eds., Readings in Artificial Intelligence, Palo Alto, CA: Tioga, 1981, pp. 431-50, and in M. J. Ginsberg, ed., Readings in Nonmonotonic Reasoning, Los Altos, CA: Morgan Kaufmann, 1987, pp. 26-45; also in McCarthy (1990), pp. 21-63.
Presents an extension of McCarthys (1959) "situation calculus". The fact that the calculus quantifies over "strategies" (which have actions as a special case) is presented as germane to Davidsons (1967a) advice to quantify over individual actions. [p. 498].
McCawley, J. D.
1968 Lexical Insertion in a Transformational Grammar without Deep Structure, in B. J. Darden, C.-J. N. Bailey, and A. Davison, eds., Papers from the Fourth Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society, pp. 71-80.
Includes an analysis of causative verbs such as kill as derived by predicate raising and lexicalization from a semantic structure featuring phrases such as cause to die. Compare also (1972, 1973a) and Lakoff (1970). Contrasting view in Katz (1970), Fodor (1970b), Kac (1972), Shibatani (1972), Wierzbicka (1975).
1971 Tense and Time Reference in English, in C. J. Fillmore and D. T. Langendoen, eds., Studies in Linguistic Semantics, London: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, pp. 96-113.
Distinguishes between "existential" and "universal" present perfect: the former serves to indicate the existence of events; the latter indicates "that a state of affairs prevailed throughout some interval" [p. 104].
1972 Kac and Shibatani on the Grammar of Killing, in J. P. Kimball, ed., Syntax and Semantics, Volume 1, New York: Seminar Press, pp. 139-49.
Critical assessment of Kac (1972a) and Shibatani (1972).
1973a Syntactic and Logical Arguments for Semantic Structures, in O. Fujimura, ed., Three Dimensions in Linguistic Theory. Proceedings of the Fifth International Seminar on Theoretical Linguistics, Tokyo: TEC Corporation, pp. 259-376.
Includes a restatement of the (1968) analysis of causative verbs such as kill.
1973b Fodor on Where the Action Is, The Monist, 57, 396-407.
A criticism of Fodors (1970a) criticism of Davidsons (1967a) analysis of action sentences.
1976 Remarks on What Can Cause What, in M. Shibatani, ed., Syntax and Semantics, Volume 6, The Grammar of Causative Constructions, New York: Academic Press, pp. 117-29.
"Having come to the conclusion that several distinct notions of causation can play a role in the meaning of sentences, I should raise the question of whether it is merely accidental that the word cause is used with reference to all of them" [p. 125]. Answers that "Each proposition A cause B, whatever the sense of cause and whatever the nature of the A and the B, can be associated in a natural way with a proposition S1 causes S2, which it implies and which involves the sense of cause that is analysable in terms of local entailment [i.e. D. K. Lewiss counterfactual conditional]" [pp. 125-26].
1985 Actions and Events Despite Bertrand Russell, in E. LePore and B. P. McLaughlin, eds. (1985), pp. 177-92.
A criticism of Russells theory of descriptions and an assessment of its role in Davidsons theory of actions and events.
1982 Adverbs and Logical Form: A Linguistically Realistic Theory, Language, 58, 144-84.
"Ad-verbs modify (i.e. change) verbs. Adverbs internal to a VP are Ad-Verbs modifying the verb that heads that VP. VP-external adverbs may be interpreted as Ad-Verbs only with respect to some higher verb (e.g. an auxiliary or a verb in the translation into an interpreted logic). Basic Ad-Sentences also exist; but neither they nor Ad-Verbs are adequately translated as functional operators applying to independently evaluated arguments. Adverbs typically translate into expressions like variable-binding operators which introduce the variables which they bind. Adverbs signal re-evaluation of the expressions on which they operate, helping to build logical form" [p. 145, Authors Abstract].
McCullagh, C. B.
1976 The Individuation of Actions and Acts, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 54, 133-39.
Argues that the apparent impasse between Davidsons views and those of Goldman and L. H. Davis stems from a diversity of concerns: Davidsons concern is with the individuation of actions (= doings of things) whereas Goldman and Davis are concerned with the individuation of acts (= what is done). For instance, the by relation holds between acts, not between actions. See comments in Elliot and Smith (1976).
1978 Planning and Acting, Cognitive Science, 2, 71-109; reprinted in J. F. Allen, J. Hendler, and A. Tate, eds. (1990), pp. 225-44.
Views problem solving as part of the general study of action: "A problem is a difficult action. Solving a problem is the construction and successful execution of a plan to carry it out" [p. 72]. Includes a discussion of events and processes as abstract entities to be included in the universe of discourse.
1982 A Temporal Logic for Reasoning about Processes and Plans, Cognitive Science, 6, 101-55; reprinted in J. F. Allen, J. Hendler, and A. Tate, eds. (1990), pp. 436-63.
Seminal paper on the application of temporal logic to artificial intelligence (compare J. F. Allen 1981). The proposed logic is based on a many-sorted predicate calculus with variables ranging over a basic ontology of times, states ("instantaneous snapshots of the universe"), facts (sets of states), and events (sets of time intervals).
1985 Reasoning about Plans, in J. R. Hobbs and R. C. Moore, eds., Formal Theories of the Commonsense World, Norwood: Ablex, pp. 268-317.
Elaborates on the logical formalism introduced in (1982) for reasoning about the relationships between actions, plans, and time. The logic "allows events to come in many varieties", e.g., instantaneous vs. extended, or discrete vs. uncountable [pp. 277ff].
1994 Mind and World, Cambridge, MA, and London: Harvard University Press; second edition with a new Introduction, 1996.
Includes a criticism of Davidsons ontological claims about mental events [pp. 74ff].
McGilvray, J. A.
1976 Becoming: A Modest Proposal, Philosophical Studies, 30, 161-70.
Section 4 on "Presentness, events, and the nominalization becoming".
1983 Pure Process(es)?, Philosophical Studies, 43, 243-51.
A critical discussion of Sellars metaphysics of pure process, stating among other things that "just as Spinozas radical monistic metaphysics could be seen to rely on a subject-predicate logic, a monistic process metaphysics could rely on a properly refined verb-adverb logic" [p. 245].
1976 A Note on the Frege Argument, Mind, 85, 422-3.
A discussion of the "slingshot".
1977 Anomalous Monism and Kripkes Cartesianism, Analysis, 37, 78-80.
A defense of Davidsons version of the token-identity theory of the mental and the physical (anomalous monism) against Kripkes (1972) modal argument.
1979 Action and Its Explanation, in N. Bolton , ed., Philosophical Problems in Psychology, London: Methuen, pp. 20-42.
1982 The Character of Mind, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Chapter 5 on action and mental events.
1991 Mental Content, Oxford: Blackwell.
Ch. 1 discusses different types of dependence (linguistic, conceptual, metaphysical, epistemological) in relation to events and material objects (compare Strawson 1959, ch. 1).
McGowan, R., Gochnauer, M.1971 A Bibliography of the Philosophy of Action in R. Binkley, R. Bronaugh, and A. Marras, eds. (1971), pp. 167-99.
A comprehensive bibliography on action theory up to 1970.
McHenry, L. B.
1989 Review of J. Bennett (1988), The Review of Metaphysics, 43, 148-49.
1986 Omissions and Other Acts, Doctoral Dissertation, Princeton University.
An attempt to develop an account of agency able to accommodate negative acts (acts of omission), which are argued to run afoul of an event-oriented approach. Acts of omission are facts, not events.
1992 Review of J. Bennett (1988), The Philosophical Review, 101, 416-20.
McLaughlin, B. P.
1984 Response: Event Supervenience and Supervenient Causation, The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 22, Suppl. Vol., 77-91 [Spindel Conference 1983, "Supervenience", ed. T. Horgan].
An examination of Kims account (especially as given in Kim 1984b) of how macro-causal transactions are dependent on micro-causal transactions, objecting that macro-causal transactions are not instances of supervenient causation.
1985 Anomalous Monism and the Irreducibility of the Mental, in E. LePore and B. P. McLaughlin, eds. (1985), pp. 331-68.
Critical survey of Davidsons theory of anomalous monism in the light of his theory of events, causation, and nomic subsumption.
1989 Type epiphenomenalism, Type Dualism, and the Causal Priority of the Physical, in J. E. Tomberlin, ed. (1989), pp. 109-35.
Distinguishes between token epiphenomenalism (physical events cause mental events, but the latter dont cause anything) and type epiphenomenalism (events are causes in virtue of falling under physical types, but no event can be a cause in virtue of falling under a mental type).
1993 On Davidsons Response to the Charge of Epiphenomenalism, in J. Heil and A. R. Mele, eds. (1993), pp. 27-40.
Critical remarks on Davidson (1993c).
1994 Epiphenomenalism, in S. Guttenplan, ed., A Companion to the Philosophy of Mind, Oxford and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, pp. 277-88.
Useful introductory survey.
1995 Varieties of Supervenience, in E. E. Savellos and Ü. D. Yalin, eds. (1995), pp. 16-59.
Looks at event supervenience as a counterexample to the view that a global supervenience thesis (in the sense, e.g., of Kim 1984c) fails to imply the corresponding weak supervenience thesis [pp. 42-44].
1963 The Origin of Motion, Mind, 72, 155-75.
Early interval-based analysis of the puzzle of the temporal boundary between two states (how can there be a last instant when an object is still before starting to move?)
Meggle, G., ed.
1977 Analytische Handlungstheorie. Band 1: Handlungsbeschreibungen [Analytic Action Theory. Volume I: Action Descriptions, in German], Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag.
An anthology of classic papers on action theory (in German translation), focusing on the topic of action description. Useful introductory thematic bibliography. See Beckermann, ed. (1977) for volume 2 (on action explanation).
1987 Handlung, Zeit, Notwendigkeit. Eine ontologisch-semantische Untersuchung [Action, Time, Necessity. An Ontological-semantical Investigation, in German], Berlin and New York: de Gruyter.
A formal ontological account. Events are a kind of happening (punctual happenings, as opposed to extended happenings such as processes), happenings being a kind of situation (temporally localized situations). Includes a lengthy formalized Appendix with logical axioms, definitions, and theorems.
1994 Events and Their Reality, Logic and Logical Philosophy, 2, 23-33.
Outline of a set-theoretical framework for theorizing about (possible) events; statement of some "analytical and synthetical" principles describing "the way in which the concept of reality (or actuality) applies to them" [p. 24].
1986 Whats Wrong with Anomalous Monism?, The Journal of Philosophy, 83, 265-74.
Argues against those critics who accuse Davidsons anomalous monism of epiphenomenalism (e.g., H. Robinson 1982 and T. Honderich 1982, 1983). "If there is something wrong with anomalous monism, it is located elsewhere" [p. 265]. "The mental properties of events are not left dangling inefficaceously, for the reason that there arent any distinctive mental properties in the world" [p. 274].
Melden, A. I.
1956 Action, The Philosophical Review, 65, 529-41; reprinted in D. A. Gustafson, ed., Essays in Philosophical Psychology, New York: St. Martins Press, 1964, pp. 58-76, and in N. Care and C. Landesman, eds. (1968), pp. 27-47; partially reprinted in Brand, ed. (1970), pp. 91-99.
Maintains that "the attempt to distinguish bodily movements that do, from those that do not, count as actions in terms of occurrent psychological processes is doomed to failure. What passes through my mind as I now act may be anything or nothing; it may be that all that happens is that without anything relevant passing through my mind, I just act" [p. 33].
1961 Free Action, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Contains influential arguments against naive behaviorism ("one does not raise ones arm by performing another doing which has the motion of ones arm as effect--one simply raises ones arm" [p. 65]) and against the revised behaviorist formula: action = bodily movement + motive ("the presence of a motive is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition" [p. 81]).
Mele, A. R.
1992a Springs of Action. Understanding Intentional Behavior, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Argues for an explanatory model of intentional behavior that places mental phenomena in the etiology of intentional action. Compare especially Chapter 2 on mental causation.
1992b Review of Ginet (1990), Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 52, 488-91.
1996 Action Theory, in D. M. Borchert, ed. in chief, The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Supplement, New York: Simon & Schuster Macmillan, pp. 3-4.
A compact survey of the main positions in action theory, focusing on questions about the nature and the explanation of human action.
Mellor, D. H.
1975a Review of J. L. Mackie (1974), Ratio, 17, 251-54.
"If a thing is [a causal sequence of events] it has temporal parts (phases), namely the events in the sequence; the ontological distinction between things (substances) and events is destroyed, since it is just lack of temporal parts that distinguishes a thing from temporally extended events".
1975b Comments on Wesley C. Salmons "Theoretical Explanations", in S. Körner, ed., Explanation, New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 146-52.
"Once we see that cause-effect relations results from features of events rather than from their bare occurrence, we can see that e being F1 may cause e' being F1' without e being F2 causing e' being F2'" [p. 151].
1980 Things and Causes in Spacetime, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 31, 282-88.
Distinction between objects and events: "Events take time, and none is wholly present at any one time [...] Things, on the other hand, are wholly present at every time at which they exist at all" [p. 283]. On change: "Events [...] do not change at all, although they may be changes, namely changes in things" [ibid.].
1981a Real Time, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; Chapter 6, The Unreality of Tense, reprinted with revisions in R. Le Poidevin and M. Mac Beath, eds. (1993), pp. 47-59, and in L. N. Oaklander and Q. Smith, eds. (1994), pp. 163-75.
Treats causation as a relation between events (see revised view in Mellor 1987a, 1987b, 1995) and argues that the temporal order of events is fixed by their causal order. Chapter 6 on the "tenseless theory of time", denying the reality of changing tense without imperilling the reality of change and hence of time itself.
1981b McTaggart, Fixity, and Coming True, in R. Healey, ed., Reduction, Time and Reality. Studies in the Philosophy of the Natural Sciences, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 79-97; reprinted in Mellor (1991b), pp. 183-200, and in R. C. Hoy and L. N. Oaklander, eds., Metaphysics. Classic and Contemporary Readings, Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1991, pp. 64-75.
Includes a characterization of events as particulars individuated by their causes and effects (following Davidson 1969a). Distinguishes between events and things in terms of their having/not having temporal parts. Compare (1980) for an early formulation; (1995) for developments.
1987a Fixed Past, Unfixed Future, in B. Taylor, ed., Michael Dummett: Contributions to Philosophy, Dordrecht: Nijhoff, pp. 166-86.
Includes a discussion of causation that marks a revision of the view defended in (1981a). "Causation between facts is what matters to agents, not causation between events; and causation relates events only because it relates facts, not vice versa. And it relates far more facts than it relates events [...] What we call causal relations between events only arise when suitable subjunctive conditionals, made true by propensities, happen to have their existential antecedents and consequents instantiated by events" [pp. 179f].
1987b The Singularly Affecting Facts of Causation, in P. Pettit, R. Sylvan, and J. Norman, eds., Metaphysics and Morality. Essays in Honor of J. J. C. Smart, Oxford and New York: Basil Blackwell, pp. 111-36; reprinted in Mellor (1991b), pp. 201-24.
Further thoughts on causation, facts, and events, including a criticism of Davidsons account. "Dons fall [caused] his death, but only because Don died because he fell. Causation relates those events only because it relates those facts; and most causation relates facts without relating events at all" [p. 112]. Compare Smarts reply.
1988/9 I and Now, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 89, 79-94; reprinted in Mellor (1991b), pp. 17-29.
A defense of the tenseless view of time, and a restatement of the view that "most causation connects facts, and is rightly reported by a connective" [p. 85].
1991a Properties and Predicates, in Mellor (1991b), pp. 170-82; reprinted in J. Bacon, K. Campbell, and L. Reinhardt, eds., Ontology, Causality and Mind. Essays in Honour of D. M. Armstrong, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 101-13.
Includes a restatement of the thesis that causation is not a universal and should not be represented by an event-predicate (caused) but by a connective (because).
1991b Matters of Metaphysics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Contains Mellor (1991a) along with reprints of (1981b, 1987b, 1988/9).
1995 The Facts of Causation, London and New York: Routledge.
A study in the metaphysics of causation, including an account of how events could figure as causal relata (causation being essentially a relation linking facts). Elaborates on the (1980, 1981b) view that events are particulars and differ from objects in this: "Events do [have temporal parts]: each course of meal is a temporal part of it. But things do not. An omelette has no temporal parts, only spatial ones [...] Things, such as omelettes and their spatial parts, are wholly present at any instant of time at which they exist at all. Whereas extended events, like meals and the courses that are their temporal parts, are never wholly present at any instant" [pp. 122-23]. (Only things, therefore, can be reidentified.) As for the need for identity criteria, events are "no worse off in that respect than things are" [p. 125]. Chapter 9 contains a discussion of the "slingshot" argument. Critical Notice in Hinckfuss (1997).
1997 Reply to Hinckfuss, Philosophical Books, 38, 8-11.
A rejoinder to Hinckfuss (1997).
1988 Against Causal Reductionism, Mind, 97, 551-74.
"Causations relata are more-finely individuated than Davidsons coarse-grained events", so that if sameness of causal role is sufficient for singling out "any particular conception of events, it seems to favour a fine-grained as opposed to a coarse-grained conception" [p. 570]. Besides, the coherent core of the coarse-grained conception "can only be captured within the framework of a fine-grained conception" [p. 571]. Generalizes Goldmans act-trees to event-trees, suggesting that "a Davidsonian coarse-grained event is a class consisting of all the events on a given event-tree" [p. 571].
1989 A Unified Account of Causal Relata, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 67, 59-83.
The account develops the idea that the causal relata are "situations" (denotations of a certain class of true statements), of which events and states of affairs are a subclass. Also causal statements involving facts and features of events are characterized in terms of causal relations between situations. The first part of the paper includes a criticism of Davidsons views, and the final part defends the account against slingshot-type arguments.
Menzies, P., Price, H.
1993 Causation as a Secondary Quality, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 44, 187-203.
Defends the agency account of causation: event A is a cause of event B "just in case bringing about the occurrence of A would be an effective means by which a free agent could bring about the occurrence of B " [p. 187], the notion of an effective means being explained in probabilistic terms.
1995 On the Incompatibility of Enduring and Perduring Entities, Mind, 104, 523-31.
Argues for the "striking claim" that "a single world cannot contain both temporally extended, perduring events and three-dimensional, enduring objects" [p. 524].
Mertz, D. W.
1996 Moderate Realism and Its Logic, New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
Argues that "instance ontology provides an elaboration and both material and formal simplification" of the property exemplification account of events [see pp. 78-80]. An event is defined as "a structure, more or less complex, whose substructures consist in temporal or causal relation instances that are sequentially related" [p. 78].
Michael, M. A.
1987 A Defense of Donald Davidsons Theory of Events, Doctoral Dissertation, State University of New York at Albany.
Focuses mostly on the by relation and on the allied notions of causation and explanation. Chapter 5 examines how Davidsons theory can be applied to solve some metaphysical puzzles about event recurrence and negative events.
Milanich, P. G.
1984 Allowing, Refraining, and Failing: The Structure of Omissions, Philosophical Studies, 45, 57-67.
An analysis of omissions in terms of the three categories mentioned in the title.
Miller, A. R.
1974 Correct vs. "Merely True" Act-descriptions, Inquiry, 17, 457-60.
Critical analysis of Rayfield (1970).
Miller, F. E., Jr.
1975 Actions and Results, Philosophical Quarterly, 25, 350-54.
Criticizes the theory of identification of actions of von Wright (1971) and puts forward an alternative account based on Aristotles kinêsis/energeia distinction. This is argued to fare better in the case of interrupted actions or of actions subsumed under different descriptions. An application to the question of whether intentional actions can be causally explained is also given.
1962 Time, Events, and Substance, in D. R. Griffin, ed., Physics and the Ultimate Significance of Time, Albany: State University of New York Press, pp. 115-21.
"I am an Aristotelian who thinks that enduring individual substances are ontologically more fundamental than events, in that the latter are features of the former rather than vice versa" [p. 115]. Comments on Hurley (1962); criticisms of Whiteheads theory of events.
1980 The Grammar of Duration, Studies in Language, 4, 201-27.
Categorization of verbs into durative vs. non-durative, the former dividing into telic (terminative) and atelic.
1982 On the Difference Between eating and eating something: Activities versus Accomplishments, Linguistic Inquiry, 13, 113-22.
Discusses various differences between activity and accomplishment verbal constructions.
1988 Aspects of English Aspect: On the Interaction of Perfect, Progressive and Durational Phrases, Linguistics and Philosophy, 11, 203-54.
On the truth conditions for perfect and progressive, with a revision of Dowtys (1977) account.
1987 Tense, Aspect and Temporal Reference, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Edinburgh.
Develops a semantics for temporally referring expressions based on the assumption that "categories like tense, aspect, aspectual adverbials and propositions refer to a mental representation of events that is structured on other than purely temporal principles, and to which the notion of a nucleus or consequentially related sequence of preparatory processes, goal event and consequent state is central" [Abstract].
1994 Review of T. Parsons (1990), Minds and Machines, 4, 112-15.
Moens, M., Steedman, M.
1988 Temporal Ontology and Temporal Reference, Computational Linguistics, 14/2 [Special Issue on "Tense and Aspect"], 15-28.
It is argued that "a semantics of temporal categories in natural language and a theory of their use in defining the temporal relations between events both require a more complex structure on the domain underlying the meaning representations that is commonly assumed". The proposed ontology is based on the notion of an elementary event-complex (called "nucleus"), to be thought of as "an association of a goal event, or culmination, with a preparatory process by which it is accomplished, and a consequent-state, which ensues" [p. 15, Abstract].
1989 Nominal and Clausal Event Predicates, in C. Wiltshire, R. Graczyk, and B. Music, eds., CLS 25. Papers from the 25th Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society, pp. 300-14.
Argues that not only prepositional phrases and adverbs can act as predicates over the event argument of an action verb (as in Davidsons 1967a account), but also certain noun phrases (as in John died a painful death) as well as certain clauses (as in John sighed that the ghost died).
1991a The Multidimensional Part Structure of Events, in A. L. Halpern, ed., Proceedings of the Ninth West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics [WCCFL9], Stanford: Center for the Study of Language and Information, pp. 361-78.
Argues that "there is a crucial difference between the part structure of objects (i.e., individuals like chairs, groups of individuals, or masses like quantities of water) and the part structure of events (in the general sense of the term including actions and states). Objects have simple part structures, which consist of parts only in the spatial dimension. Events, however, may have multidimensional part structures [...] for instance, a temporal part structure, a spatial part structure and a part structure corresponding to a participant in the event" [p. 361]. The account is then applied to various natural language phenomena apparently involving quantification over the parts of ("abstract" or "concrete") events.
1991b Measure Adverbials, Linguistics and Philosophy, 14, 629-60.
On treating adverbials such as for two hours or until noon as part quantifiers ranging over the parts of some measuring entity (e.g., an interval of two hours) rather than as event predicates à la Davidson (1967a).
1992a Reciprocals and Same/Different: Towards a Semantic Analysis, Linguistics and Philosophy, 15, 411-62.
A semantic account of constructions with same or different (as in John and Mary bought the same book/different books) in which the relevant semantic antecedent is an event, namely the event argument of the relevant verb in Davidsons (1967a) sense.
1992b Individuation und Lokalität. Studien zur Ereignis- und Nominalphrasensemantik [Individuation and Locality. Studies on Event and Noun Phrase Semantics, in German], Munich: Fink.
Explains predication in terms of quantification over "moments of a verb" [p. 74]--moments being Davidsonian events, states, and processes. Includes a classification of moments in terms of their mereological structure [pp. 81ff].
1997 Parts and Wholes in Semantics, New York: Oxford University Press.
Chapter 6 ("Dimensions of Parts and Wholes and the Part Structure of Events") gives an analysis of expressions involving part structures that are "relativized to a particular dimension", for instance adverbs of completion such as completely and partially, and quantifiers ranging over the parts of a concrete event, such as simultaneously or same/different. Chapter 7 on "The Mass-Count Distinction for Verbs and Adverbial Quantification over Events".
1969 On the Nature of Certain Philosophical Entities, The Monist, 53, 159-94; reprinted in R. Montague (1974), pp. 149-87. (Abstract also published in Akten des XIV. Internationalen Kongresses für Philosophie, Vienna: Herder, Vol. 3, 1969, pp. 201-2).
Suggests "to take as the event corresponding to a formula the property expressed by that formula. Thus the event of the suns rising will be the property of being a moment at which the sun rises, and events in general will form a certain class of properties of moments of time" (or, more generally, properties of intervals or of unions of intervals of time) [pp. 149-50]. The corresponding identity criterion for events follows immediately from the view that "properties are identical just in case they are coextensive in every possible world" [p. 150].
1970a English as a Formal Language, in B. Visentini et al., eds., Linguaggi nella società e nella tecnica, Milan: Edizioni di Comunità, pp. 189-224; reprinted in R. Montague (1974), pp. 188-221.
Treats adverbs as verb modifiers along the lines of T. Parsons (1970) and R. Clark (1970), with the result that neither Jones kills Smith in a dream nor Jones kills Smith with a knife logically implies Jones kills Smith, but Necessarily, if Jones kills Smith with a knife, then Jones kills Smith "might well turn out to be true (though not logically true) once we provide a proper analysis of if ... then" [p. 213]. Includes also an account of adjectives as predicate modifiers, arguing that it is capable of accommodating non-intersective adjectives such as big ("not all big fleas are big entities" [p. 211]).
1970b Universal Grammar, Theoria, 36, 373-98; reprinted in R. Montague (1974), pp. 222-46.
Refinement of the account given in (1970).
1973 The Proper Treatment of Quantification in Ordinary English, in J. Hintikka, J. M. E. Moravcsik, and P. Suppes, eds., Approaches to Natural Language. Proceedings of the 1970 Stanford Workshop on Grammar and Semantics, Dordrecht: Reidel, pp. 221-42; reprinted in R. Montague (1974), pp. 247-70.
Reformulation of the theory put forward in (1970a, 1970b), confirming the treatment of adverbs as verb modifiers. (The system presented here is often referred to as PTQ.)
1974 Formal Philosophy (ed. by R. H. Thomason), New Haven: Yale University Press.
Reprint of Montagues papers in philosophy and linguistics, including (1969, 1970a, 1970b, 1973).
Montmarquet, J. A.
1978 Actions and Bodily Movements, Analysis, 38, 137-40.
Argues that actions (arm raising) differ from the corresponding bodily movements (arm rising) insofar as performance of the former involves the bringing about of the events which cause the occurrence of the latter. Compare Owen (1980).
1980 Whither States?, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 10, 251-56.
Argues that "all of Davidsons arguments for events serve equally well to provide proper ontological credentials for states [...] States are like Davidsonian events in being unrepeatable particulars; they differ only in not being changes" [p. 251]. For example, a statement of the form "John s sitting quietly" can be analysed as "($s)(Sitting(John,s) & Quiet(s))". Compare T. Parsons (1987/8). Conclusion: "If we need both states and events, then virtually all predicates, regardless of whether they ascribe change, will receive the semantics Davidson accords event-introducing sentences" [p. 256].
Moore, R. C.
1985 A Formal Theory of Knowledge and Action, in J. R. Hobbs and R. C. Moore, eds., Formal Theories of the Commonsense World, Norwood: Ablex, pp. 319-58; reprinted in R. C. Moore, Logic and Representation, Stanford: CSLI Lecture Notes No. 39, 1995, pp. 27-70.
An influential attempt at a formalization of "both the knowledge prerequisites of action and the effects of action on knowledge". Based on a view of actions as determining a relation between states of affairs (the performing an action in one state of affairs yielding as a result another state of affairs).
Moore, R. E.
1979 Refraining, Philosophical Studies, 36, 407-24.
Agent x refrains from A-ing iff (i) x has decided not to A, (ii) this decision does not deprive x of the opportunity to A, and (iii) because of this decision, x does not A.
Moravcsik, J. M. E.
1965 Strawson and Ontological Priority, in R. J. Butler, ed., Analytical Philosophy, Second Series, Oxford: Basil Blackwell (reprint New York: Barnes and Noble, 1968), pp. 106-19.
Against Strawson (1959), remarks that in some cases we ground the identity and identification conditions of material objects in the identity and identification conditions for events.
1980 Verkuyl on Semantics, Theoretical Linguistics, 7, 149-53.
Reply to Verkuyl (1980).
1982 Tense, Aspect, and Negation, Theoretical Linguistics, 9, 95-109.
Extends Gabbay and Moravcsiks (1980) analysis of tense and aspect to the case of negated sentences.
1990 Thought and Language, London and New York: Routledge.
Includes ample discussion of the variety of events and on the distinction between events and material objects. Eventually characterizes events as "property instantiations over time, with the temporal structure of points and intervals interacting with the properties to carve out different types of events. The lack of a conceptual link to three-dimensionality and the sole necessary locatability being temporal, as well as the interaction with temporal structures, separate events from material objects and other types of particular" [p. 165].
Morillo, C. R.
1979 Comments on Gorr and Green, Tulane Studies in Philosophy, 28 [Issue on "Studies in Action Theory", ed. by R. C. Whittemore], 125-34.
On M. Gorr (1979) and O. H. Green (1979).
Morris, J. M.
1978 Non-Events, Philosophical Studies, 34, 321-24.
Non-events are the non-occurrences of events. Since they function in much the same way as events, their analysis may help provide a solution to questions concerning the existence of events, their individuation criteria, and their role in explanations.
Morris, M. W., Murphy, G. L.
1990 Converging Operations on the Basic Level in Event Taxonomies, Memory and Cognition, 18, 407-18.
Reports on experimental psychology research on the naming of events and the rating of event names. Contains instructive empirical data and taxonomic distinctions.
Morris, R. A., Shoaff, W. D., Khatib, L.
1996 Domain-Independent Temporal Reasoning with Recurrent Events, Computational Intelligence, 12 [Special Issue on "Temporal Representation and Reasoning", S. D. Goodwin and H. J. Hamilton, eds.], 450-77.
Presents a formal theory for modeling patterns of temporal reasoning that involve "a process of abstraction from the number of times an event is to occur or the number of times events stand in a temporal relation" [p. 450, Abstract].
1969 Extensional and Non-Truth-Functional Contexts, The Journal of Philosophy, 66, 159-64.
Early discussion of the "slingshot" argument. Includes some remarks on the inferential principles governing predicate modifiers.
1989 Review of Tooley (1988), Philosophical Books, 30, 157-61.
Moser, P. K., Trout, J. D.
1995 Physicalism, Supervenience, and Dependence, in E. E. Savellos and Ü. D. Yalin, eds. (1995), pp. 187-225.
Includes a brief discussion of psychophysical supervenience as a relation between mental and physical events.
Mourelatos, A. P. D.
1978 Events, Processes, and States, Linguistics and Philosophy, 2, 415-34; reprinted in P. Tedeschi and A. Zaenen, eds. (1981), pp. 191-212, and in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 457-76.
An influential study of the classifications of verb types put forward by Ryle (1949), Kenny (1963), and Vendler (1957), with regard to both their linguistic evidence and their ontological underpinnings. Eventually proposes a generalized trichotomy embedded in a binary classificatory tree, where states are contrasted to occurrences, which in turn are subcategorized into processes (=activities) and events (=performances), the latter in turn being subcategorized into developments (= accomplishments) and punctual occurrences (= achievements). Emphasizes the analogy between the count/ mass noun distinction and the distinction between (the nominalized version of) performances and activities.
1993 Aristotles Kinêsis/Energeia Distinction: A Marginal Note on Kathleen Gills Paper, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 23, 385-88.
A defense of the typology put forward in (1978) in response to Gills (1993) criticisms. Argues also that the distinction between events (= performances) and processes (= activities) should not be conflated with the Aristotelian distinction between kinêsis and energeia. Reference to the work of Graham (1980).
Moutafakis, N. J.
1971 A New Approach Towards a Logic of Imperatives, The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 9, 411-16.
An account of the logic of imperatives based on the suggestion that formal relationships between imperatives can be expressed within a logic of events.
Moya, C. J.
1990 The Philosophy of Action. An Introduction, Cambridge: Polity Press; New York: Basil Blackwell.
Chapter 3, on the ontology of actions, discusses Goldmans and Davidsons views. In the end, it is suggested that "ontological theses about actions (What kind of entity is an action?) do not have a direct bearing on the question of what an action is and what distinguishes actions from mere happenings [...] Questions about ontology and questions about agency are largely independent" [p. 35].
Moyal, J. E.
1949 Causality, Determinism, and Probability, Philosophy, 24, 310-17.
Argues that the notion of causality can cover both probabilistic and deterministic relations among events.
Mulligan, K., Simons, P. M., Smith, B.
1984 Truth-Makers, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 44, 287-321.
Develops an event-based correspondence theory of truth according to which all true logically simple sentences about the empirical world are made true by that simple or complex event which is referred to by the relevant main verb. Contains a discussion also of the perception of events and of the role of such perception in verification and falsification.
Mulligan, K., Smith, B.1982 Pieces of a Theory, in B. Smith, ed., Parts and Moments. Studies in Logic and Formal Ontology, München: Philosophia Verlag, pp. 15-109.
Includes the outline of a two-dimensional, pictorial language in which the grammatical inferences involved in (adverbially modified) action sentences are directly represented without need to resort to the "artificiality" of their Davidsonian quantification-theoretical translations [see especially pp. 85ff].
1986 A Relational Theory of the Act, Topoi, 5, 115-30.
Expands the account of relational and non-relational events put forward in B. Smith (1984) to prove a general theory of the different categories of real entities and of their interconnections. Includes a discussion also of Cambridge changes, arguing that the notion of Cambridge change can be extended to include Cambridge relations and Cambridge states.
Murray, R. D.
1993 The Explanation of Human Action: A Critical Analysis of Davidsons Theory of Action, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Toronto.
Argues that, given the ordinary notion of cause along with certain presuppositions of ordinary causal explanations, Davidsons theory of action is inconsistent. See also (1995).
1995 Is Davidsons Theory of Action Consistent?, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 25, 317-34.
Argues "against Davidsons contention that reason explanations illustrate the same pattern of explanation as do ordinary causal explanations", issuing a plea for (among other things) a "reevaluation of Davidsons arguments that the connection between reasons and actions is that of event causality" [p. 333].
Myers, C. M.
1962 Perceptual Events, States, and Processes, Philosophy of Science, 29, 285-91.
Against Ryle (1949) argues that there are legitimate uses of the word see which allow us to speak of seeing sometimes as an event, sometimes as a state, and sometimes as a process" [p. 286].
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1965 Physicalism, The Philosophical Review, 74, 339-56.
Suggests an identity criterion for events according to which events are the same which have the same causes and effects. The criterion coincides with the one put forward by Davidson (1969a).
1988 Aspect, Aspectual Class, and the Temporal Structure of Narrative, Computational Linguistics, 14/2 [Special Issue on "Tense and Aspect"], 29-43.
A computational linguistic analysis of common-sense knowledge about events based on a three-fold distinction: compositional knowledge (concerns "internal structuring of events into preparatory, initial, main (the body), final, and resulting stages"); durational knowledge (concerns "durational relations between events and stages of the same event"); and aspectual knowledge (concerns "the aspectual perspective of the sentence determined by the position of the Reference Time [...] with respect to the event described by a finite clause"). [All quotes from Abstract, p. 29.]
1992 Cause e ragioni. Modelli di spiegazione delle azioni umane nella filosofia analitica [Causes and Reasons. Models of Explanation of Human Actions in Analytic Philosophy, in Italian], Roma: Editori Riuniti.
A critical survey of various issues in analytic action theory, with emphasis on the relationship between reason explanation and causal explanation.
1991 Evénement et poiesis [Event and Poiesis, in French], in J.-L. Petit, ed. (1991), pp. 177-201.
"Whether the moderns oppose action and event or assimilate them, they are always subscribing to the Humean tradition, which imputes the regularity of changes only to physical causes outside the object which experiences them [...] Aristotle has sketched the alternative: individualising the events as realising the potentiality of a being to acquire a quality which determines its essence" [Abstract, p. 286].
1994 Events and Externalism, in Preyer, G., Siebelt, F., and Ulfig, A., eds. (1994), pp. 117-44.
Explores "the relation between Davidsons theory of events and his distal theory of meaning" [p. 118]. Argues that an answer to the question How are the events determined which figure as causes of our thoughts? "must be compatible with Davidsons theory of events" [p. 120] and argues that events, necessary to Davidsons distal approach, are introduced only at too late a stage, and only as result of a semantic analysis of sentences" [p. 141].
1988 Events and "Logical Form", Linguistics and Philosophy, 11, 303-21.
A criticism of Higginbothams (1983) treatment of "naked infinitive" perceptual reports, arguing that it does not provide a satisfactory alternative to the account available in situation semantics (Barwise 1981, Barwise and Perry 1981b, 1983).
1990 Descriptions, Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT Press / Bradford Books.
Discusses the applicability of Russells theory of descriptions to event descriptions such as "the flood", "the sinking of the Titanic" or "Marys departure" (esp. § 4.6). Also examines anaphoric phenomena involving quantification over events.
1995 The Philosophical Significance of Gödels Slingshot, Mind, 104, 761-825.
A thorough attempt to "answer all technical questions raised by slingshot arguments" and to encourage people to face "the genuine philosophical questions" that they pose. Among these: (i) Which rules of inference are valid in which linguistic contexts (for example, truth-functional, modal, and causal contexts)? (ii) Is it possible to have useful ontologies of propositions, state-of-affairs, situations or facts? [pp. 764-65]. Discussion in Oppy (1997).
Neale, S., Dever, J.
1997 Slingshot and Boomerangs, Mind, 106, 143-68.
A defense of Neale (1995) against Oppy (1997).
1988 Causation: Relation or Connective?, Dialectica, 42, 201-19.
Arguing that neither Davidson nor Kim offers a satisfactory account of events, advocates an account of singular causal statements in terms of a modal sentential connective in place of the relational view.
1994 The Causal Connective, in J. Faye, U. Scheffler, and M. Urchs, eds., Logic and Causal Reasoning, Berlin: Akademie Verlag, pp. 67-89.
Gives a detailed account of singular causal statements in terms of a conditional causal connective, ©®, so that e.g. The fact that A caused it to be the case that B is analysed as A & A ©® B. The causal connective in turn is characterized in terms of subjunctive conditionals.
1981 Bibliographie, Langages, 115, 21-27.
An annotated bibliography (1957-1981) comprising 149 titles on the semantics of time and tense in natural languages, and on the neighboring areas of tense logic and linguistics. Annotations in French.
1985 La these des descriptions multiples: lieu commun ou paradoxe de la philosophie de laction? [The Thesis of Multiple Descriptions: A Common Place or a Paradox of the Philosophy of Actions?, in French], Dialogue, 24, 617-38.
Against the thesis that by importing an actions consequences into the actions description one obtains just as many different descriptions of that same action.
1990 Expliquer et comprendre: la théorie de laction de G. H. von Wright [Explaining and Understanding: von Wrights Philosophy of Action, in French], Revue Philosophique de Louvain, 88, 48-79.
A critical examination of von Wrights action theory. It is argued that some "paradoxical" consequences of the theory could be avoided if the presupposition that the bodily movements that form an action are themselves natural events.
1993 Philosophie de laction. Contribution critique à la théorie analytique de laction [Philosophy of Action. A Critical Contribution to Analytical Philosophy, in French], Brussels: Académie Royale Belgique.
Chapter 1 includes an extensive discussion of identity and individuation criteria for actions. It is argued that Davidsons thesis that one and the same action can be described in many ways cannot support the view that all actions are bodily movements. Reviewed by Kaufman (1995).
1988 The Causal Relation and Its Terms, Mind, 97, 529-50.
Three arguments for the thesis that "events are not the terms of the causal relation".
Newmeyer, F. J.
1970 The Derivation of the English Action Nominalization, Papers from the Sixth Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society, pp. 408-15.
Argues in favor of Frasers (1970) "transformationalist" account of nominalization against the "lexicalist" account of Chomsky (1970).
Newton-Smith, W. H.
1980 The Structure of Time, London, Boston, and Henley: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Includes an extensive discussion of the controversy between absolutist and relativist theories of time (i.e., between the view that time is a container for events and that according to which time is a construction from events). Chapter 2 gives a revised version of Shoemakers (1969) argument for the coherence of the idea of empty time between events.
1986 Space, Time and Space-Time: A Philosophers View, in R. Flood and M. Lockwood, eds., The Nature of Time, Oxford, Basil Blackwell, pp. 22-35.
Comparative examination of the absolutist (Newtonian) conception of time and the relativist (Leibnizian) conception according to which "time is nothing over and above an ordered system of events" [p. 25].
1977 Davidson on Explanation, Philosophical Studies, 31, 141-45.
Argues that Davidson is wrong in allowing that particular mental events are explainable (as such) when particular identities to physical events are known.
Nielsen, M., Plotkin, G., Winskel, G.
1981 Petri Nets, Event Structures, and Domains, Theoretical Computer Science, 13, 85-108.
Formulation of the mathematical theory of event structures (to be distinguished from the homonymous notion used by linguists, following Kamp 1979). See Winskel (1987, 1989) for an overview.
Noonan, H. W.
1976 The Four-Dimensional World, Analysis, 37, 32-39
Defends Quines four-dimensional conception of continuants against Geachs (1965) criticisms.
1980 Objects and Identity. An Examination of the Relative Identity Thesis and Its Consequences, The Hague, Boston, and London: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
Chapter 10, "Events, Continuants and Diachronic Identity" [pp. 82-106], elaborates on Noonan (1976).
1989 Personal Identity, London and New York: Routledge.
Defends an identity principle for objects and persons formulated in terms of events: "If two events are parts of the history of a single entity of a kind in one situation then they must also be part of the history of a single entity of the kind in any situation in which, as judged by the Cambridge criterion [according to which mere Cambridge changes are not events], both they, and all the events which are parts of the history of the entity in the first situation, remain present" [p. 164].
1953 A Simple Theory of Time, Philosophy of Science, 20, 236-37.
"Time is reduced to a simple, annoyingly un-mysterious definition: It is a characteristic of events" [p. 237]. Criticises Biser (1952), with a reply in Biser (1953).
1974 Explanation of Human Action, Uppsala: University of Uppsala.
An attempt to construe a general conceptual framework for action explanation based on the notion of "intentional deterministic explanation".
1977 Events, Actions, and Ordinary Language, Lund: Doxa.
Presented as "a study in the philosophy of episodes" [p. 9], suggests "a new conceptual framework inspired both by von Wright and the linguistic philosophers [...] From the point of view of change involved there are three kinds of episodes, states, events, and processes. These episodes can be qualified in two basic ways. They can be causative [or] agentive [or] both [...] Moreover, episodes can be complex in at least two ways. They can involve more than one episode, and they can involve more than one cause or agent" [pp. 9-10].
1984 On the Classification of Verbs and Actions, Studies in Communication (Five Studies in Action Theory), 8, 1-30.
A discussion of Ryle (1949), Kenny (1963), and Vendler (1957) on classifying the verb vocabulary of natural language.
Noren, S. J.
1979 Anomalous Monism, Events, and "The Mental", Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 40, 64-74.
A criticism of (a version of) anomalous monism, arguing that despite its "prima facie advantages", there are "reasons to doubt its viability. On the one hand, there are reasons to deny that sensation events can be distinguished from physical events merely by virtue of their mode of description [...] On the other hand, even if such difficulties could be resolved, there is the added problem of making plausible the thesis that one and the same event can fall under mental and physical descriptions" [p. 73].
1974 Events and Semantic Theories, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.
1981 Causes, Laws, and Law Statements, Philosophical Studies, 48, 347-69.
Includes a discussion of D. K. Lewis (1973), Swain (1978), and W. A. Davis (1980).
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Oaklander, L. N.
1976 Propositions, Facts, and Becoming, Philosophical Studies, 29, 397-402.
On the incompatibility of objective or absolute becoming with the reality of timeless facts about temporal objects.
1984 McTaggart, Schlesinger, and the Two-Dimensional Time Hypothesis, Philosophical Quarterly, 33, 391-97; reprinted in L. N. Oaklander and Q. Smith, eds. (1994), pp. 221-28.
Argues that Schlesinger (1980) does not succeed in vindicating McTaggarts "positive" conception of time (eventually rejected by McTaggart as unreal).
1985 A Reply to Schlesinger, Philosophical Quarterly, 35, 93-94; reprinted in L. N. Oaklander and Q. Smith, eds. (1994), pp. 232-33.
Reply to Schlesinger (1985).
1986 Review of Tiles (1981), Noûs, 20, 111-13.
1987 McTaggarts Paradox and the Infinite Regress of Temporal Attributions: A Reply to Smith, Southern Journal of Philosophy, 25, 425-31; reprinted in L. N. Oaklander and Q. Smith, eds. (1994), pp. 195-201.
Reply to Q. Smith (1986). Argues that the infinite regress of temporal attributions implied by the tensed theory of time is vicious.
1990 The New Tenseless Theory of Time: A Reply to Smith, Philosophical Studies, 58, 287-93; reprinted in L. N. Oaklander and Q. Smith, eds. (1994), pp. 77-82.
Reply to Q. Smith (1987) in defense of the view that although tensed discourse is necessary for timely action, "tensed facts are not, since the truth conditions of tensed sentences can be expressed in a tenseless metalanguage that describes unchanging temporal relations between or among events" [p. 287]. Rejoinder in Smith (1994b).
1991 A Defense of the New Tenseless Theory of Time, Philosophical Quarterly, 41, 26-38; reprinted in L. N. Oaklander and Q. Smith, eds. (1994), pp. 57-68.
Further arguments in defense of the tenseless theory of time against Q. Smith (1987). Rejoinder in Smith (1994a).
1992 Zeilicovici on Temporal Becoming, Philosophia, 21, 329-34; reprinted in L. N. Oaklander and Q. Smith, eds. (1994), pp. 252-56.
A rejoinder to Zeilicovici (1989).
1994 McTaggarts Paradox Revisited, in L. N. Oaklander and Q. Smith, eds. (1994), pp. 211-13.
Argues that on Q. Smiths (1986, 1988/89) analysis of tenses, McTaggarts paradox is unavoidable.
1996 McTaggarts Paradox and Smiths Tensed Theory of Time, Synthese, 107, 205-21.
Argues that Q. Smiths tensed theory of time fails because (i) it cannot account "for the sense in which events have their tensed properties successively", and (ii) it cannot account for the direction of time [p. 205].
Oaklander, L. N., Smith, Q., eds.
1994 The New Theory of Time, New Haven: Yale University Press.
Includes Oaklander (1994) and Q. Smith (1994a, 1994b, 1994c) along with reprints of Beer (1988), Mellor (1981a, Ch. 6), Oaklander (1984, 1985, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1992), Schlesinger (1985), Q. Smith (1986, 1987, 1988/9, 1990a, 1990b), C. Williams (1992), and Zeilicovici (1989).
Oberbrunner, C. W.
1990 A Metaphysics of Events, Doctoral Dissertation, Syracuse University.
A non-multiplier, moderately unifier view, exploiting the idea of relying on Kripkes notion of natural kinds to "bundle-up" event properties. The main thesis is that "a simple physical event is a spatiotemporal exemplifying, by a subject at a time, of a property which belongs to a single natural event kind, like motion. So two expressions which pick out the same subject and time but different properties, like jogging and jogging uphill--both motion properties--can nevertheless refer to a single event" [Abstract].
1976 Causal Overdetermination and Counterfactuals, Philosophical Studies, 29, 275-77.
Offers a counterexample to Loebs (1974) analysis of C-condition on the counterfactual approach.
OConnor, T. W.
1995 Agent Causation, in T. W. OConnor, ed. (1995), pp. 173-200.
OConnor, T. W., ed.
1995 Agents, Causes, and Events. Essays on Indeterminism and Free Will, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Includes Chisholm (1995) and T. W. OConnor (1995).
1971 The Sense of Mental Events-Corporeal Events, Synthese, 22, 360-68.
Against certain arguments for the nonsense of "mental events-corporeal events".
1991 Plaidoyer pour lévénement quelconque [A Plea for the Undetermined Event, in French], in J.-L. Petit, ed. (1991), pp. 203-28.
On the role of the semantics of event in contemporary debates on action theory. Drawing on Ricoeurs critique of Davidsons theory, argues that "the use of agency as a means for distinction between action and event implies a primitive conception of causality, which is opposed to a discursive or explicative, one" [Abstract, on p. 286].
1996 Tense, Attitudes, and Scope, Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
A model-theoretic account of the semantics of tense in natural language. Chapter 6, on "Tense and de re attitudes" [190-46], follows an eventuality-based approach.
Øhrstrøm, P., Hasle, P. F. V.
1995 Temporal Logic. From Ancient Ideas to Artificial Intelligence, Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
A comprehensive, multidisciplinary survey.
1967 Choosing, Deciding, and Doing, in P. Edwards, ed. in chief, The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, New York: Macmillan and Free Press, Vol. 2, pp. 96-104.
Critical survey of the main positions concerning (i) the question of whether choosing and deciding stand for mental events, and (ii) various issues in the philosophy of action, including causality and the temporal boundaries of actions.
1985 Review of Thomson (1977), Philosophia, 15, 163-67.
Oller, C. A.
1993 Acciones complejas y inferencias adverbiales [Complex Actions and Adverbial Inferences, in Spanish], in M. J. Palacios, ed., Temas Actuales de Filosofia, Buenos Aires: Universidad Nacional Salta, pp. 423-27.
Argues that Davidsons (1967a) analysis of action sentences "fails to validate certain intuitively valid inferences. The introduction of complex actions in an analysis of this kind is proposed as a solution to this problem. The solution is illustrated by the explanation of why adverbial modifiers are not always distributive in the context of action sentences" [The Philosophers Index Abstract].
Olson, K. R.
1987 An Essay on Facts, Stanford: CSLI Lecture Notes No. 6.
"Facts belong [...] to the world itself, and not merely to the apparatus by means of which we represent it" [p. 1]. Considers the notion of an event as "not sufficiently general to serve as a basic ontological category in its own right [...] Individuals, properties, and relations can be conceived of as adjectives of events because events seem to comprise these elements in themselves. But they do so only if they are construed as a kind of fact" [p. iv]. The final chapter includes an extensive discussion of the "slingshot" argument.
ONeill, L. J.
1980 Singular Causal Statements, Mind, 89, 595-98.
Explores how reference to causal laws allows one to distinguish between specifying a cause and giving a partial description of it. Includes a discussion of Davidsons (1967c) critique of Mills notion of total cause. Comments in Vision (1982).
1997 The Philosophical Insignificance of Gödels Slingshot, Mind, 106, 121-41.
A criticism of Neale (1995). "I do not believe that any Slingshot arguments have any interesting and important philosophical consequences for theories of facts or for referential treatments of definite descriptions" [p. 121]. Develops a fact-friendly theory in order to suggest "(i) that it isnt obvious on independent grounds that no theory of this kind can succeed; and yet (ii) that it is quite clear that this theory will not fall to Gödels Slingshot" [p. 123]. Reply in Neale and Dever (1997).
1971/2 Processes, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 72, 215-40.
Articulated analysis of the relation between processes and events and of the distinction between processes that do and processes that do not involve completion. "We shall encounter a tendency to reduce the process to the discontinuity and thereby a tendency toward the exorcism of time from process. My aim will be to defend it from reduction, and to restore it to the rightful arms of time" [p. 215]. Remarks that "Events take place in time, though not necessarily at an instant, for events can extend over time as objects do over space. Processes, on the other hand, advance through time, and necessarily endure [...] Thus, the process is not a kind of event, and yet the on-going of a process is not a distinct phenomenon from the happening of the event it constitutively realises [pp. 222-23].
1973 Trying (as the Mental "Pineal Gland"), The Journal of Philosophy, 70, 365-86.
Trying as "an essential constituent of intentional action as such" [p. 365].
1980 The Will: A Dual Aspect Theory, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Gives arguments for the reality of sub-intentional acts; argues that they do not provide a counterexample to the thesis [p. 58] that all physical actions are identical with some strivings or other.
1994 The Mind-Body Problem, in Warner and Szubka, eds. (1994), pp. 204-14.
Defends a kind of identity theory, but restricted to actions.
Ouderkirk, W. E.
1984 Cause and Action. A Critical Examination of Three Types of Theories of Human Action, Doctoral Dissertation, State University of New York at Albany.
Argues that the causal status of action is an (undecided) empirical question. Based on a critical examination of the event-causation model (Davidson), the agent-causation view (Chisholm, R. Taylor), and the agency theory of von Wright.
Owen, D. W. D.
1980 Actions and Bodily Movements: Another Move, Analysis, 40, 32-36.
Elaboration of Montmarquet (1978) concerning the argument that "if my action of arm raising is the bringing about of the bodily movement that is the event of my arm going up, then there is something wrong with [Davidsons] identifiying the action (the bringing about of an event) with the very event that is brought about" [p. 32].
1992 Causes and Coincidences, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
"An event is a coincidence iff it can be naturally divided into parts which are such that the (temporally prior) conditions necessary and sufficient for the occurrence of one part are independent of those necessary and sufficient for the occurrence of the other."
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1957 A Note on Causation and the Meaning of "Event", The Journal of Philosophy, 54, 155-58; reprinted in Beauchamp, ed. (1974), pp. 160-63.
A criticism of Ducasses analysis of causation (in 1951): it fails to analyse the ordinary meaning of cause because this "is applied to instances of definite kinds of events, not to what Ducasse calls concrete events. Causal questions do not have the form why did the event with space-time coordinates x, y, z, t happen?, but why did the event of kind K with space-time coordinates x, y, z, t happen?" [p. 163].
1970 Some Problems Concerning the Logic of Grammatical Modifiers, Synthese, 21, 320-33; reprinted in D. Davidson and G. Harman, eds. (1972), pp. 127-41.
After criticizing Reichenbachs proposal, gives an account of grammatical modifiers (adverbs, adjectives, and prepositions) as operators added to a first-order predicate calculus: "Syntactically these operators precede well-formed formulas (frequently atomic), forming more complex well-formed formulas; semantically they can be construed as functions [...] which map the properties expressed by the formulas they modify onto new properties" [p. 132]. Compare R. Clarks (1970) theory of predicate modifiers.
1973 Tense Operators versus Quantifiers, The Journal of Philosophy, 70, 609-10.
Comments on Partee (1973).
1980 Modifiers and Quantifiers in Natural Language, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Suppl. Vol. 6 ["New Essays in Philosophy of Language", F. J. Pellettier and C. G. Normore, eds.], 29-60.
Argues that Davidsons (1967a) semantic analysis of adverbs as predicates of events is compatible with a standard syntactic treatment of adverbs as predicate modifiers. Puts forward additional semantic evidence for taking sentences such as "Brutus stabbed Caesar" as involving quantification over events. The analysis exploits an extension of Davidsons in which the event participants are separated out yielding the logical form "($e)(stabbing(e) & Subj(e,Brutus) & Obj(e,Caesar))". (Compare Castañedas 1967 suggestion.) See Carlson (1984) and Dowty (1989) for similar accounts.
1985 Underlying Events in the Logical Analysis of English, in E. LePore and B. P. McLaughlin, eds. (1985), pp. 235-67.
Arguments à la Davidson (1967a) towards an ontology of events. Applications of the theory put forward in (1980) to the analysis of perceptual statements and of adverbials of manner, location, instrument, direction, and motion. The final section addresses the issue of event identity, pointing out connections and differences between the implications of Davidsons original theory of logical form and Parsons own revised formulation.
1987/8 Underlying States in the Semantical Analysis of English, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 88, 13-30.
Gives natural language evidence for quantifiying over states in addition to events. Proposes to analyse an atomic sentence such as "Brutus is clever" as "($s)[s is a state of being clever & Subj(s, Brutus)]". Claims that states are perceivable: if Mary saw John naked, then his being naked was a state, and that is what she saw. Compare Montmarquet (1978).
1989 The Progressive in English: Events, States and Processes, Linguistics and Philosophy, 12, 213-41; reprinted with revisions as Chapter 9 of T. Parsons (1990), pp. 167-85; reprinted in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 47-76.
Accounts for the difference between non-progressive and progressive sentences in terms of "whether the sentence requires for its truth that the eventuality picked out by the verb culminates, or whether it only needs to go on for a while [...] If A is an event verb, then be A-ing is to be treated semantically as a state verb; otherwise, be A-ing is to be treated the same as A" [p. 222]. On the "category switch" problem of how modification of a verb like run by an adverbial like to the store can turn a process phrase into an event [accomplishment] phrase. "A process is actually a series or amalgam of events [...] A so-called process verb is a verb which has the property that when it is true of an event e it is typically true of many culminated subevents of e which have the same subjects and objects" [p. 235].
1990 Events in the Semantics of English. A Study in Subatomic Semantics, Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT Press.
An investigation of "subatomic semantics" (the study of those "formulas" of English that are usually treated as atomic in logical investigations) building on the neo-Davidsonian analysis developed in (1980, 1985, 1987/8, 1989). The book covers many topics such as the logic of predicate modifiers, the semantics of perceptual statements, the relations between implicit and explicit reference to events, causatives and inchoatives, and much more. Reviewed by Hornstein (1993) and Moens (1994).
1991 Tropes and Supervenience, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 51, 629-32.
Part of a symposium on J. Bennett (1988) (with replies in J. Bennett 1991b). Defends a conception of events as tropes understood as "neither properties nor things that have the same properties that ordinary individuals have" [p. 631]. The account is couched within a neo-Davidsonian framework that "analyses ordinary predications of general properties to individuals in terms of appeal to events and states", and therefore "does not clearly sit well with [Bennetts] thesis that events are supervenient on substances and properties" [p. 632].
Partee, B. H.
1973 Some Structural Analogies Between Tenses and Pronouns in English, The Journal of Philosophy, 70, 601-9.
Argues that there is a significant parallel in the behavior of tenses (Past and Present) and pronouns, at least in English. This should encourage an account in which tenses are represented via quantified variables ranging over times (picking out e.g. the times at which certain relevant events occur).
1984 Nominal and Temporal Anaphora, Linguistics and Philosophy, 7 [special issue on "Pronouns and Anaphora. Part II", E. Klein, ed.], 243-86.
Extends the arguments put forward in (1973).
1991 Adverbial Quantification and Event Structures, in L. A. Sutton, C. Johnson, and R. Shields, eds., (1991), pp. 439-56.
A study of the expression of quantification and the semantic distinctions between eventive and non-eventive sentences in the spirit of E. Bachs (1986b) "natural language metaphysics". Quantification can "help shed light on where implicit event arguments and the like enter the grammar proper" [p. 453].
1988 A Computational Model of the Semantics of Tense and Aspect, Computational Linguistics, 14/2 [Special Issue on "Tense and Aspect"], 44-60.
Describes a natural-language system that "processes references to situations and the intervals over which they hold using an algorithm that integrates the analysis of tense and aspect" [p. 44]. Situations taking place in actual time are of three types: states, processes, or transition events. Their temporal structure consist of intervals characterized with reference to the feature kinêsis (pertaining to their internal structure) and boundedness (constraining the manner in which they are located in time).
Pears, D. F.
1967 Are Reasons for Actions Causes?, in A. Stroll, Epistemology. New Essays in the Theory of Knowledge, New York: Harper and Row (reprint Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1979), pp. 204-28.
Casts doubts on various arguments against the thesis that reasons are causes for actions.
1971 Two Problems about Reasons for Actions, in R. Binkley, R. Bronaugh, and A. Marras, eds. (1971), pp. 128-53.
"Is it possible to take any agents reason for his action, and to find a description of his operative desire under which, given his factual beliefs, it contingently produced his action? And is it possible to find a description of his action under which it contingently issued from his operative desire?" [p. 128].
Pelavin, R. N.
1991 Planning with Simultaneous Actions and External Events, in J. F. Allen, H. A. Kautz, R. N. Pelavin, and J. D. Tenenberg (1991), pp. 127-211.
Presents an extension of temporal logic designed for planning situations that might involve simultaneous actions and interactions with external events.
1970 Verbs and the Identity of Actions. A Philosophical Exercise in the Interpretation of Aristotle, in O. P. Wood and G. Pitcher, eds., Ryle. A Collection of Critical Essays, Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, pp. 393-460.
An analysis of Aristotles distinction between energeia and kinêsis, mostly in reply to Ackrills (1965) analysis, but including references to Ryles (1949) parallel account of the distinction between activity and accomplishment verbs.
Peppas, P., Foo, N. Y., Wobcke, W.
1991 Events as Theory Operators, in M. de Glas and D. M. Gabbay, eds., Proceedings of the First World Conference on the Fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence (WOCFAI 91), Paris: Angkor, pp. 413-26.
Presents an axiomatic, domain-independent theory of events that captures the principle of minimal change (which says that as little as necessary changes in the world when an action is performed). Includes also representation results relating events to belief revision functions. (See Peppas and Wobcke 1992 for further developments in this direction.)
Peppas, P., Wobcke, W.
1992 On the Use of Epistemic Entrenchment in Reasoning about Action, in B. Neumann, ed., Proceedings of the 10th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI 92), Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, pp. 403-07.
Extends the results of Peppas, Foo, and Wobcke (1991) concerning the relation between events and belief revision functions.
1993 Hechos, eventos, tropos y el análisis de la causalidad [Facts, Events, Tropes, and the Analysis of Causality, in Spanish], in M. J. Palacios, ed., Temas Actuales de Filosofia, Buenos Aires: Universidad Nacional Salta, pp. 477-84.
1994 Davidson, la relación causal y los eventos particulares [Davidson, the Causal Relation, and Particular Events, in Spanish], Revista de Filosofía (Argentina) 9, 29-42.
Against Davidsons (1967c) view that the relata of the causal relation are particular events.
Peterson, P. L.
1979a On Representing Event Reference, in C.-K. Oh and D. A. Dinnen, eds., Syntax and Semantics, Volume 11, Presupposition, New York: Academic Press, pp. 325-55.
Argues "(a) that reference to events and reference to individuals can be fruitfully represented in the same way; and (b) that event phrases are not factive clauses and so are to be associated not with factive predicates but with eventives" [p. 325].
1979b On the Natural Logic of Complex Event Expressions, in Abstracts of the 6th International Congress on Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science, Sections 10-12, Hannover: DLMPS, pp. 177-81.
Outline of a general theory of events "required for the complete explanation of natural language referring expressions, since there are genuine event-referring expressions" [p. 177]. The theory is a generalization of Kims: in addition to "simple" events of the form [x, P, t ] (x exemplifying property P at t , where x is an object or sequence of objects), there are three sorts of "complex" events: negative compounds (e.g., Platos not drinking hemlock), conjunctive compounds (e.g., Sacco and Vanzettis execution), and non-compound complex events obtained by letting the first term of a triple [x, P, t ] be itself an event or sequence of events (e.g., the Titanics sinking being rapid). The general notion is characterized recursively. Illustrative applications are included. See (1989) for a fully developed account.
1981 What Causes Effects?, Philosophical Studies, 19, 107-39.
A criticism of Vendlers (1962a, 1967c) view that causes are facts. "Vendlers linguistic analysis does not support his philosophical conclusion that cause sequences are heterogeneous (fact-event) while effect sequences are homogeneous (event-event). The correct linguistic analysis of events, propositions, and facts reveals that genuine causes are events and supports a strict distinction between causation and explanation" [The Philosophers Index Abstract].
1982 Anaphoric Reference to Facts, Propositions, and Events, Linguistics and Philosophy, 5 [Special Issue on "The Semantics of Temporal Elements", R. Wall and R. E. Grandy, eds.], 235-76.
"Logically speaking, events, facts, and propositions need not all be posited in order to assign truth-values to the various sentences in which event expressions, fact expressions, and/or proposition expressions occur (i.e., sentences with purported references to facts, propositions, and/or events)" [p. 239]. "So, if all three kinds of referents turn out to be required for natural language semantics, their postulation is empirically significant" [p. 235].
1985 Causation, Agency, and Natural Actions, in W. H. Eilfort, P. D. Kroeber, and K. L. Peterson, eds., CLS 21: Papers from the Twenty-First Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, Part 2, Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society, pp. 204-27.
Carries out the analysis of "cause" in the agentive sense set aside in Peterson (1981) and applies it to closely related verbs.
1988 Which Universal?, in A. Fine and J. Leplin, eds., Proceedings of the 1988 Biennal Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association, Vol. I, East Lansing, MI, pp. 24-30.
1989 Complex Events, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 70, 19-41; reprinted in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 153-75.
Full account of the theory of "complex events" adumbrated in (1979b), obtained by letting the first term of a Kimean triple [x, P, t ] to be itself an event (or by letting one or more of the xs be events when P is relational). "Such an event is thought of as the event of some concrete event e having a property at some time" [p. 20]. Accordingly, "not only is there the event of Caesar crossing the Rubicon and the fact that makes the proposition expressible by an appropriate use of the sentence Caesar crossed the Rubicon true [...], there are events like Caesars crossing the Rubicon being before Napoleons crossing the Alps (an event containing two subevents)" [ibid.].
1990 Critical Notice of Olson (1987), Philosophy and Phenomenology Research, 50, 610-15.
Criticizes Olson (1987) for conflating facts with events.
1994 Facts, Events, and Semantic Emphasis in Causal Statements, The Monist, 77 [Issue on "Facts and Situations", ed. by P. M. Simons], 217-38.
Defends the view (put forward in 1989) that the logical form of a semantically emphasized causal sentence like "Socrates drinking hemlock at dusk caused his death" (Dretske 1977) is that of an attribution of causality in which the logical subject refers to a complex event. Criticizes Sterns (1993) account.
1995 Are Some Propositions Empirically Necessary?, Philosophy and Phenomenology Research, 55, 251-77.
"By realizing that there are false propositions, we come to realize that propositions in general are clearly distinguishable from actual facts as well as from states and events" [p. 257].
Peterson, P. L., Wali, K.
1985 Event, Linguistic Analysis, 15, 3-18.
"The formal semantics of statements with fact-referring, event-referring, and proposition-referring expressions need not, logically speaking, be one which assumes that entities of all three types (facts, propositions, and events) exist. At most, one type alone is absolutely required (and maybe even less [...])" [p. 17].
1984 La semantique de laction de D. Davidson [Davidsons Semantics of Action, in French], Archives de Philosophie, 47, 449-75.
A synthetic exposition.
1986 Review of LePore and McLaughlin, eds. (1985), Archives de Philosophie, 49, 683-85.
1991a Laction dans la philosophie analytique [Action in Analytic Philosophy, in French], Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.
Chapter III on Davidsons semantics of action sentences.
1991b Oublier lévénement? [Forgetting Events?, in French], in J.-L. Petit, ed. (1991), pp. 259-262.
A critical study of J. Bennett (1988), "in which Bennett takes an opposite view to the philosophical approaches which introduce the concept of event to work out problems of a theory of semantics" [from the Abstract on p. 287].
Petit, J.-L., ed.
1991 Lévénement en perspective [Event in Perspective, in French], Paris: Editions de lEcole des hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales.
Includes de Fornel (1991), Ogien (1991), Engel (1991), Natali (1991), Petit (1991b), Pettit (1991), Ricoeur (1991), and Stahl (1991).
1991 Pertinence causale et identité événementielle [Causal Relevance and Event Identity, in French], in J.-L. Petit, ed. (1991), pp. 57-73.
"Is an event a concrete object, or an example of a property? In the first case, one could identify it with the help of a property, but since only physical properties are relevant from the causal point of view, mental events, or social ones, must therefore be physical. In the second case, it is sufficient for properties of events to have the same result differently, for the events not to be the same: therefore the mental events can be supervenient on physical ones, without being identified with them. Between these two hypotheses, the criterion of causal relevance is not decided, because a similar result can depend on a whole hierarchy of causal levels" [Abstract, p. 285].
1980 Events, Individuation and Identity, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Calgary.
1981a Time, Entailment, and Event Inclusion, Dialogue, 23, 51-57.
A defense of Davidsons unifying approach to event identity against the "temporal objection" (time-of-a-killing problem) raised by Goldman (1971) and Thomson (1971a).
1981b Thomson on Events and the Causal Criterion, Philosophical Studies, 39, 319-22; incorporated in Pfeifer (1989), Section 8.3.
A defense of Davidsons (1969a) causal criterion for event identity against an alleged counterexample put forward by Thomson (1977).
1982 A Problem of Motivation for Multipliers, The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 20, 209-24; incorporated in Pfeifer (1989), Chapter 3, Section 2.2.
Argues that the three main objections raised by Goldman (1971) against Davidsons unifying approach to event identity--the relational objection, the temporal objection, and the causal objection--can be raised against Goldmans own account. Compare Lombard (1974).
1985 A Consideration of Modifications to the Multiplying Account, Philosophy Research Archives, 11, 141-54; reprinted with modifications as Chapter 4 of Pfeifer (1989).
Examines a way of modifying Goldmans (1971) theory so as to overcome the objections advanced in (1982).
1988a A Short Vindication of Reichenbachs "Event-Splitting", Logique et Analyse, 31, 143-52.
Argues that "Reichenbach has available a rather pedestrian way of avoiding Davidsons (1967a) objection" [p. 143], thus leaving their accounts largely comparable.
1988b Some By the Way Remarks on Wreens "By" Ways, Analysis, 48, 107-9.
A criticism of Wreen (1987). Reply in Wreen (1988).
1989 Actions and Other Events: The Unifier-Multiplier Controversy, New York: Peter Lang.
An extensive defense of the "unifying" approach to event identity (Anscombe and Davidson) against the criticisms of the rival "multiplying" account (Kim, Goldman, and others). Concludes that, "depending on the types of events involved, pragmatic considerations such as speakers interests and purposes will influence what is picked out or left out by event-describing expressions, and that therefore even utterances of the same expression may not identify the same event" [p. 184]. This is argued to be in line with Davidsons remarks in (1969a), Davidsons causal criterion being regarded as "a general criterion of individuation in principle, but not in practice" [p. 186]. Partly based on material already published in (1981a, 1981b, 1982, 1985). Reviewed by Rankin (1992) and Ripley (1995).
Pianesi, F., Varzi, A. C.
1994a The Mereo-Topology of Event Structures, in P. Dekker and M. Stokhof, eds., Proceedings of the 9th Amsterdam Colloquium, Amsterdam: Institute for Language, Logic and Computation, pp. 527-46.
Holds that a combined mereological and topological perspective provides a resourceful framework for the formal-ontological analysis of natural language semantics. The account focuses on event-related phenomena and includes a discussion of present tense sentences along with a tentative characterization of Aktionsarten-aspectual facts.
1994b Mereotopological Construction of Time from Events, in A. Cohn, ed., Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI 94), Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, pp. 396-400.
Argues that the formal connection between the way events are perceived to be ordered and the underlying temporal dimension is essentially that of a construction of a linear ordering from the mereotopological properties of an oriented structure including events as bona fide individuals.
1996a Events, Topology, and Temporal Relations, The Monist, 78, 89-116.
Refinements and developments of the argument outlined in (1994b).
1996b Refining Temporal Reference in Event Structures, Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, 37, 71-83.
Generalizes the notion of an event structure to that of a refinement structure, where various degrees of temporal granularity are accommodated, and investigates how refinement structures can account for the context-dependence of temporal structures in natural language.
Platts, M. D. B.
1979 Ways of Meaning, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Includes a discussion of Davidsons (1967a) analysis of action sentences [pp. 190-201].
1979 The Semantic Interpretation of Aspect and Aktionsarten. A Study of Internal Time Reference in Swedish, Dordrecht: Foris, pp. 75-115.
Puts forward a feature-based account of aspect in the spirit of Verkuyl (1972).
Pollock, J. L.
1979 Chisholm on States of Affairs, Grazer philosophische Studien, 7/8 [special issue "Essays in the Philosophy of R. M. Chisholm", also published as E. Sosa, ed. (1979)], 163-75.
A criticism of Chisholms program to dispense with particular events by reducing all talk about concrete events to talk about states of affairs.
1981 Causes, Conditionals, and Time, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 63, 275-88.
An analysis of causation in terms of counterfactuals and temporal relations. The basic notion is that of a "causal conditional", which is claimed to exhibit the desired logical properties for a causal relation.
1971 The Logic of Power, Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Includes a formulation of a logic of action based on an intensional agency-operator of bringing about. See Åqvist (1974).
1974 Some Basic Concepts of Action, in S. Stenlund, ed., Logical Theory and Semantic Analysis. Essays Dedicated to Stig Kanger on His Fiftieth Birthday, Dordrecht: Reidel, pp. 93-101.
Developments of the intensional theory set forth in (1971).
1977 Action Theory and Social Science. Some Formal Models, Dordrecht: Reidel.
A formal approach to action theory, based on the (1974) characterization of action in terms of bringing about.
1983 On the Logic of Adverbs, Studia Logica, 42, 293-98.
An account of the logic of adverbial (and attributive) modification as belonging to the logic of predicate modifiers.
1991 Gerunds and Types of Events, in S. Moore and A. Z. Wyner, eds., Proceedings of the First Semantics and Linguistics Theory Conference (SALT I), Ithaca, NY: Cornell University (Cornell University Working Papers in Linguistics, No. 10), pp. 189-208.
"What is perhaps the simplest way of letting gerunds denote properties of events--by incorporating a special Davidsonian argument and otherwise treating a gerund like an ordinary noun--has difficulty giving a unified treatment of both internally quantified and simple gerunds. Instead, if the notion of proposition is reconstructed in situational terms, gerunds can be propositional expressions that have event-like entities in their denotations" [p. 205].
1994 A Uniform Semantics for Aspectual -ing, in M. Gonzàlez, ed., Proceedings of the North East Linguistic Society (NELS 24), Volume 2, Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts, pp. 507-17.
Gives an event-based reformulation of Dowtys (1979) "inertia worlds" account of the progressive and extends it so as to account for other -ing forms in English.
1995 Quantification, Events, and Gerunds, in E. Bach, E. Jelinek, A. Kratzer, and B. H. Partee, eds., Quantification in Natural Language, Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 619-59.
Argues that "gerunds are amenable to a treatment that ascribes much of their semantic variability to various quantificational operators that may be present in the sentence" (including quantification over events).
Potts, T. C.
1965 States, Activities, and Performances (Symposium with C. C. W. Taylor), Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl. Vol. 39, 65-84.
A closer look at Kennys (1963) claim that his distinctions between static, activity and performance verbs correspond to those drawn by Aristotle between kinêsis and energeia, echein and energeia, poiesis and praxis. It is suggested that Aristotles views actually provide a basis for simplifying Kennys criteria as well as for tense logic. Reply by C. C. W. Taylor (1965).
1967 Knowledge of Actions, London: Allen & Unwin.
On knowing what we or others are doing.
Power, W. L.
1975 Philosophical Logic and Process Theory in The Work of Richard M. Martin: A Review Article, Process Studies, 5, 204-13.
An exposition of Martins theory of first-order logic and semiotic, augmented by the calculus of individuals and event logic.
Preyer, G., Siebelt, F., Ulfig, A., eds.
1994 Language, Mind and Epistemology. On Donald Davidsons Philosophy, Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Includes Antony (1994), Siebelt (1994), and Naumann (1994).
Prichard, H. A.
1949 Acting, Willing, Desiring, in Moral Obligation, Oxford: Clarendon Press, pp. 187-98; reprinted in A. R. White, ed. (1968), pp. 59-69, and in Brand, ed. (1970), pp. 41-49.
Influential defense of the volitional theory of action: "To act is really to will something" [p. 43]. What we will is a bodily change [p. 45]; and the relation between the willing and the change is causal [p. 46]. (Thus, the willing does not directly cause a bodily movement, but only the first link in the causal chain that culminates in the bodily movement.)
1991 Theories of the Mind, Boston, New York, and London: Houghton Mifflin.
An exposition of the main views in the philosophy of mind, including a discussion of Davidsons [1970b] argument for anomalous monism [pp. 115-22] and Honderichs  materialist model for the explanation of action [122-32. Includes also an account of Russells construction of matter out of events [pp. 162ff].
Prior, A. N.
1949 Determinables, Determinates and Determinants (Part I) Mind, 58, 1-20.
Early account of events as particular properties (tropes), with remarks on the logical form of event sentences: "[In] Bob is running swiftly it would seem that running, the generic character of which running swiftly is the specific form, quite plainly characterises the object Bob [...], while swiftly, the specifying term, just as plainly characterises a character [...] We might re-state Bob is running as There is a running in Bob--not There is running in Bob, as if it were like There is goodness in Bob, but There is a running in Bob, like There is a movement in Bob. A running, like a movement, is not a universal or a quality, but a particular or substance, or as Johnson [Logic, Part III, Intr., 5] would say substantive, though it is an occurrent substantive rather than a continuant one" [pp. 9-10].
1968 Changes in Events and Changes in Things, in Papers on Time and Tense, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 1-14; reprinted in R. Le Poidevin and M. Mac Beath, eds. (1993), pp. 35-46.
"What looks like talk about changes in events is really just slightly more complicated talk about changes in things. This applies both to the changes that we say occur in events when they are going on, like the change in speed of a movement (movement is a façon the parler; there is just the moving car, which moves more quickly than it did), and the changes that we say occur in events when they are not going on any longer, or not yet, e.g. my births receding into the past (birth is a is a façon the parler--theres just me being born, and then getting older)" [p. 43]. But then, "Does Queen Annes death getting more past mean that she is still getting older?" No: she doesnt herself enter into the recession of her death into the past; "but the recession is still a change [...] in the sense that it fits the formula It was the case that p, but is not now the case that p" [p. 46, where p is, e.g., it was the case only 250 years ago that Queen Anne is dying].
1970 The Notion of the Present, Studium Generale, 23, 245-48.
Develops on the idea, already put forward in (1968), that the present is the real.
1996 Hypothetical Reasoning about Actions: From Situation Calculus to Event Calculus, Computational Intelligence, 12 [Special Issue on "Temporal Representation and Reasoning", S. D. Goodwin and H. J. Hamilton, eds.], 478-98.
Moving from the consideration that the "situation calculus" (McCarthy and Hayes 1969) cannot represent actual actions while the "event calculus" (Kowalski and Sergot 1986) cannot represent hypothetical actions, offers an extension of the latter that overcomes this limitation. Compare Kowalski and Sadri (1994).
1974 Neural Plasticity and the Location of Mental Events, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 52, 154-62.
Evidence concerning neural plasticity make it doubtful that the language of identity will ever be appropriate to address the question of locating mental events in the brain.
Pulman, S. G.
1987 Events and VP Modifiers, in B. G. T. Lowden, ed., Proceedings of the Alvey Sponsored Workshop on Formal Semantics in Natural Language Processing, Colchester: University of Essex, pp. 74-80.
1989 The Geometry of Events, in C. L. Tenny, ed., Studies in Generative Approaches to Aspect, Cambridge, MA: MIT, Lexicon Project Working Papers No. 24.
1991a The Syntax of Event Structure, Cognition, 41, 47-81.
An examination of the role of events for a lexical semantic theory for natural language, based on the view that "an internal event structure can provide a distinct and useful level of representation for linguistic analysis involving the aspectual properties of verbs, adverbial scope, the role of argument structure, and the mapping from the lexicon to syntax" [p. 47, Abstract]. It is argued that grammatical phenomena "make reference to the internal structure of events", and that a rather sophisticated subevent analysis for predicates "is able to systematically capture these effects" [p. 48].
1991b The Generative Lexicon, Computational Linguistics, 17, 409-41.
Argues that the "event structure" of a word (in the sense of Pustejovsky 1991a) is one level of semantic specification necessary to capture the meaning of a lexical item.
1995 The Generative Lexicon, Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT Press.
Full development of the theory presented in (1991b). See especially § 5.3 [pp. 67-75] on event structures, and § 8.4-8.5 [pp. 157-77] on event descriptions, propositions, and nominalizations.
Pustejovsky, J., Busa, F.
1995 Unaccusativity and Event Composition, in P. M. Bertinetto, V. Bianchi, J. Higginbotham, and M. Squartini, eds. (1995), pp. 159-77.
Within the framework of the Generative Lexicon theory (Pustejovsky 1991b), argues that distinct forms such as The enemies sank the boat and The boat sank are projected from one underspecified lexical entry by foregrounding different components in the event structure of the predicate (an operation similar to argument changing operations such as passivization). The account includes an reformulation of the notion of an event structure.
1979 Reflections on Goodmans Ways of Worldmaking, The Journal of Philosophy, 76, 603-18; reprinted in H. Putnam, Realism and Reason. Philosophical Papers, Volume 3, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983, pp. 155-69.
Includes a discussion of Davidsons anomalous monism. "But one can say nothing about the causal powers of particulars apart from a relevant theoretical description of those particulars. The whole idea of saying that a particular brain event is a sensation without any type-type theory is a chimera" [p. 160]. Also makes a comparison between continuants and events in relation to their physical status.
Pylyshyn, Z. W.
1984 Computation and Cognition. Toward a Foundation for Cognitive Science, Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT Press/Bradford Books.
"A theory never explains an entirely unique event, only an event viewed against a background of distinctions and equivalences defined by the vocabulary with which the events are described. That is what I mean when I say that theories address phenomena as events under descriptions" [pp. 16-17].
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Quine, W. V. O.
1950 Identity, Ostension and Hyposthasis, The Journal of Philosophy, 47, 621-33; reprinted in Quines From a Logical Point of View, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1953, pp. 65-79.
Two distinct events cannot occupy the same spatio-temporal region.
1953 Three Grades of Modal Involvement, Proceedings of the XIth International Congress for Philosophy (Brussels 1953), Amsterdam: North-Holland, vol. 14, pp. 65-81; reprinted in Quines The Ways of Paradox and Other Essays, Cambridge, MA, and London: Harvard University Press, 1966 (revised and enlarged edition, 1976), pp. 158-76.
Contains a classic formulation of the "slingshot" argument (here used to demonstrate that devices of quantification and description yield a collapse of modal distinctions).
1960 Word and Object, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
"Physical objects, conceived [...] four-dimensionally in space-time, are not to be distinguished from events, or, in the concrete sense of the term, processes. Each comprises simply the content, however heterogeneous, of some portion of space-time, however disconnected and gerrymandered. What then distinguishes material substances from other physical objects is a detail: if an object is a substance, there are relatively few atoms that lie partly in it (temporally) and partly outside" [p. 171]
1970 Philosophy of Logic, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall; second edition Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986.
A restatement of the four-dimensional conception of material entities: "We might think of a physical object [...] as simply the whole four-dimensional material content, however sporadic and heterogeneous, of some portion of space-time. Then if such a physical object happens to be fairly firm and coherent internally, but coheres only slightly and irregularly with its spatio-temporal surroundings, we are apt to call it a body. Other physical objects may be spoken of more naturally as processes, happenings, events" [p. 30]. Includes also a brief discussion of Davidsons (1967a) treatment of adverbs.
1976 On Multiplying Entities, Chapter 25 of The Ways of Paradox and Other Essays - Revised and Enlarged Edition, Cambridge, MA, and London: Harvard University Press, pp. 259-64.
"If a man whistled a song all the while he was walking to the bus stop and not a moment more, then presumably the event of his whistling the song and the event of his walking to the bus would both be identified with the same temporal segment of the man" [p. 260].
1981 Things and Their Place in Theories, in Theories and Things, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 1-23; reprinted in P. K. Moser and J. D. Trout, eds., Contemporary Materialism. A Reader, London and New York: Routledge, 1995, pp. 193-208.
"A reason for being particularly glad to have accommodated events is [that] Davidson has shown to my satisfaction that quantification over events is far and away the best way of construing adverbial constructions" [p. 12].
1985 Events and Reification, in E. LePore and B. P. McLaughlin, eds. (1985), pp. 162-71; reprinted in R. Casati and A. C. Varzi, eds. (1996), pp. 107-16.
Objects that Davidsons (1969a) identity criterion for events is circular. (Arguments close to those of Tiles 1976. Davidson conceded in 1985a; but see Lowe 1989a for a defense.) Holds that events are individuated via spatio-temporal location: "The problem of individuation of events would seem to be dissolved now by the assimilation of events to physical objects or to some sort of constructs upon physical objects" [p. 167]. This view goes back to Quine (1950) and Lemmon (1967).
1987 Quiddities, Cambridge, MA, and London: Harvard University Press.
Entries: Space-time, pp. 196-99; Things, pp. 204-6.
1973 The Nature of Things, London and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
"Jones has done something likely to prevent his winning at Wimbledon. Oh, what? Jones has broken his arm. The third remark is clearly a further, more specific or intrinsic description of the event reported in the first. But the intentionality of the first description, even if it were irreducible, would not be a sufficient reason for taking it to describe a distinct event from the second" [p. 349].
1979 Objects and Events, Mind, 88, 197-214.
"While events are particulars, just as much as objects, in virtue of their unique occupancy of space and time, they are not concrete particulars, but ones. An object is the complete occupant of the spatiotemporal region in which it is to be found. An event, however, is a selected, abstracted aspect of the content of the region in which it is derivatively and perhaps indeterminately located" [p. 29].
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1996 Azione, causalità e razionalità in Donald Davidson [Action, Causality, and Rationality in Donald Davidson, in Italian], Pisa: Edizioni ETS.
A critical exposition of Davidsons views on action and agency.
1961 Choice and Chance, Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Chapter III, on "Agent, Substance, and Event", discusses substance-event and event-event relations. See also Chapter IV on "Action and Process" and Chapter V on "Types of Process", where a distinction is drawn between: (i) activities and phenomena; (ii) self-determining and non-self-determining processes; (iii) prospective and retrospective processes [p. 50]. It is argued that there are "alternative methods of grouping the content of what falls within one particular strand of time or spatio-temporally continuous region" [p. 52].
1981 McTaggarts Paradox: Two Parodies, Philosophy, 56, 333-48.
On the interpretation of McTaggarts argument for the unreality of time.
1992 Review of Pfeifer (1989), Canadian Philosophical Reviews, 12, 133-35.
1988 Musical Work and Possible Events, Acta Philosophica Fennica, 43, 97-109.
Investigates an event-based semantics of musical notation.
1968 Action, Noûs, 2, 131-45.
Item f of xs behavior is an action iff (i) x is f-ing / has f-ed; (ii) x is responsible for f-ing / having f-ed; (iii) x would answer Yes to the questions "Are you f-ing?" or "Did you f?"; and (iv) someone (not necessarily x) can decide to f.
1970 On Describing Actions, Inquiry, 13 [Special Issue on "Action"], 90-99.
Distinguishes between true, correct, and applicable descriptions of actions and argues--contra Cody (1967a)--that a single action can have many correct descriptions. Based on a revised account of the general notion of human action put forward in (1968).
1995 Broken Bottles, Ex- or Future Prime Ministers, Non-Existent Houses, and the Progressive: Time and Modifiers, in P. Amsili, M. Borillo, and L. Vieu, eds. (1995), Part A, pp. 49-61.
Concerning Dowtys (1977) Imperfective Paradox, it is argued that the progressive, when it regards verbs of accomplishment, should be treated as a modifier acting not on the extension of the verb phrase, but on the set of contextual implications that can be derived from it.
1988 Review of Loizou (1986), Philosophical Books, 29, 118-19.
1977 Logicians, Language, and George Lakoff, Linguistics and Philosophy, 1, 221-31.
Against Lakoff (1973).
1947 Elements of Symbolic Logic, New York: Macmillan.
Section 48 (The problem of individuals) is by many authors regarded as containing a first thorough discussion of the logical form of action sentences: a sentence such as "Amudsen flew to the North Pole" is logically equivalent to "($x) (x consists in the fact that Amudsen flew to the North Pole)". Davidson (1967a) has argued (adapting Freges "slingshot" argument to the effect that all true sentences name the same thing) that this view implies "that all events that occur (= all events) are identical" [p. 117]. Section 53 (Functions of higher types) examines two ways of dealing with adverbial modification: one based on the foregoing account of action sentences; the other based on the idea that adverbs can be viewed as "predicates, like adjectives, not denoting properties of things [...] but of properties" [p. 303].
1956 The Direction of Time (M. Reichenbach, ed.), Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press.
Time order is reducible to causal order. §22 includes a statement of the view that "A thing is a series of events succeeding one another in time", and that "Speaking of things and speaking of events represents merely different modes of speech". For instance, "the sentence of the thing language, This tree is old, must be translated into event language [...] in the form, The first events of the series constituting this tree are separated by a long time stretch from the present event" [p. 224]. Compare also (1947), §48.
Rennie, M. K.
1971 Completeness in the Logic of Predicate Modifiers, Logique et Analyse, 55, 627-43.
Studies various extensions of predicate calculus that deal with adverbial modification and proves their semantic completeness
1962 The Revolt Against Process, The Journal of Philosophy, 59, 410-17.
"The appropriate paradigm for ontological discussion is a thing (most properly a physical object) that exhibits qualities (most properly of a timeless [...] character). Even persons and agents [...] are secondary and ontologically posterior to proper (i.e. inert or inertly regarded) things. Change, process, and perhaps even time itself are consequently to be downgraded in ontological considerations to the point where their unimportance is so blatant that such subordination hardly warrants explicit defense. They may, without gross impropriety, be given short shrift in or even omitted from ontological discussions" [p. 410].
1967 Aspects of Action, in N. Rescher, ed. (1967), pp. 215-19.
Suggests that individual actions can be given a canonical description based on a matrix of rubrics under which the essential features of actions can be classed: Agent, Act Type, Modality of Action, Setting of Action, Rationale of Action. "If adequate, our survey of the descriptive elements of an action has a significant bearing upon Kennys (1963) problem of the variable polyadicity of actions. For it suggests that, while the description of an action can indeed be elaborated more and more (perhaps indefinitely so), this can be viewed as the increasingly detailed presentation of a limited and manageable number of distinctive characteristic aspects of action" [p. 219].
1969 Introduction to Value Theory, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Include a characterization of the notion of a "concrete act" or a "specific action" in the spirit of Goldmans and Kims property exemplification account [p. 30].
1970 On the Characterization of Actions, in M. Brand, ed. (1970), pp. 247-54.
Expanded version of (1967).
1996 Process Metaphysics. An Introduction to Process Philosophy, Albany: State University of New York Press.
A general outlook on process metaphysics--the view that substances are "subordinate in status and ultimately inhering in processes".
Rescher, N., ed.
1967 The Logic of Decision and Action, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.
Includes Castañeda (1967), Chisholm (1967a), Davidson (1967a, 1967b), Lemmon (1967), Rescher (1967).
Rescher, N., Urquhart, A.
1971 Temporal Logic, New York and Vienna: Springer-Verlag.
Early extensive study on temporal logic. Distinguishes between homogeneous, majoritative, occasional, and wholistic processes [p. 160].
1976 Adverbs: From a Logical Point of View, Synthese, 32, 329-72.
"Singular terms and relational expressions have scope just as much as quantifiers and connectives. By attending to the property of scope we attempt in this paper to uncover the logical form of sentences containing adverbs [...] To reveal their distinct logical properties we extend first-order logic by adding operators of the appropriate sort. However, we do not treat the resulting system as an intensional logic, nor do we resort to an intensional ontology or an ontology of events. As a result, our approach is different from those of Davidson, Montague, and Thomason and Stalnaker" [p. 329].
1982 Tense, Aspect and Time Adverbials, I, Linguistics and Philosophy, 5 [Special Issue on "The Semantics of Temporal Elements", R. Wall and R. E. Grandy, eds.], 59-107.
An account of tense, aspect and adverbials as sentential operators, using an interval-based semantics. See Heny (1982) for Part II.
1976 E Pluribus Unum: A Defence of Davidsons Individuation of Action, Philosophical Studies, 29, 191-98.
Defends Davidsons unifying approach to event identity against Goldmans (1971) three objections: the relational, the temporal, and the causal objection.
1984 A Note on Smith on Attempts and Internal Events, Analysis, 44, 81-83.
Criticism of M. Smith (1983).
1991 Événement et sens [Event and Meaning, in French], in J.-L. Petit, ed. (1991), pp. 41-56.
"The constitution of an event is indissociably linguistic and ontological in character: at whatever level of language an event has meaning--a semantic reference to that which happens, a pragmatics of the speech act, or the narrative structure of historical discourse--implications beyond language are always intended" [Abstract, on p. 285].
1985 Evidence for a Basic Level in Event Taxonomies, Memory and Cognition, 13, 538-56.
Reports experiments testing the view that "the partonomic organizations of event knowledge have a "basic" level comparable to the taxonomic organizations of object knowledge" [p. 538].
Riggs, P. J.
1991 A Critique of Mellors Argument against "Backwards" Causation, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 42, 75-86.
Includes a criticism of Mellors (1981a) thesis that the temporal order of events is fixed by their causal order.
Riker, W. H.
1957 Events and Situations, The Journal of Philosophy, 54, 57-70.
"An event is any subjectively differentiated portion of motion or action" [p. 58]. More precisely: "An event is the motion and action occurring between an initial situation and a terminal situation such that all and only the movers and actors of the initial situation (or the components into which they are subdivided or the constructs into which they are formed in the course of the event) are included in the terminal situation", where "a situation is an arrangement and condition of movers and actors in a specified, instantaneous, and spatially extended location" [p. 61]. Ample discussion of issues of ambiguity (events with two or more beginnings, or two or more endings).
1958 Causes of Events, The Journal of Philosophy, 55, 281-91.
An analysis of causality based on the account of events put forward in (1957) (and argued to be necessary to improve reasoning in the social sciences). Definition: "One event causes another if and only if the terminal situation of the causing event is identical with the initial situation of the caused event" [p. 282]. A detailed argument is given to show that this definition is equivalent to the notion of one event causing another if and only if the former is a necessary and sufficient condition of the latter.
1983 Narrative Fiction, London: Methuen.
"An event [...] may be said to be a change from one state of affairs to another" [p. 156].
1979 Actions: Particulars or Properties?, Philosophy Research Archives, 5, 120-37.
Actions are properties: "As it is appropriate to regard mental events as properties of the subject rather than particulars, so it is appropriate to treat actions as properties of the agent rather than particulars" [p. 120, Abstract]. Includes an account of the logical form of action sentences based on the possibility of predicating attributing of attributes: "I washed this shirt yesterday" is rendered as the conjunction of "I washed this shirt" and "Washing occurred yesterday" [p. 135].
1995 Review of Pfeifer (1989), Dialogue, 34, 190-94.
Ritchie, G. D.
1979 Temporal Clauses in English, Theoretical Linguistics, 6, 87-115.
Examines "the ways that time-clauses can be used in English to convey various relationships between events and situations" [Authors Abstract, p. 87].
Roberts, J. H.
1979 Activities and Performances Considered as Objects and Events, Philosophical Studies, 35, 171-85.
Argues that Kennys distinction between activities and performances "derives from a more fundamental distinction between objects and events" [p. 171]. In particular, activities have a logical form in which the verb is nominalized to become the subject of a sentence ascribing properties to a continuant at a time, whereas performances have a logical form in which the nominal is made the subject of a sentence ascribing properties to an event.
Roberts, P. M.
1988 Action, Intention, and Language: A Davidsonian Study, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Edinburgh.
On incorporating ascriptions of intentional and complex action (such as "x f-ed deliberately", "x f-ed by y-ing", "x f-ed in order to y", "x intended to f") into a Davidsonian framework.
Robinson, A. E.
1981 Determining Verb Phrase Referents in Dialogue, American Journal of Computational Linguistics, 7, 1-16.
On determining the relationship between the actions described in an utterance and events in the world, and inferring the state of the world.
1982 Matter and Sense, New York: Cambridge University Press.
Includes a criticism of Davidsons "ingenious but sophistical" anomalous monism as leading to epiphenomenalism [pp. 8-13].
1974 The Individuation of Speech Acts, The Philosophical Quarterly, 24, 316-36.
Describes (drawing from, but elaborating, Goldman and Davidson) different criteria for act identity (a Synonymy Criterion [p. 318]; a Co-extension Criterion [p. 319]; an Inclusion Criterion [p. 321]; a Conventional Criterion [p. 334]; and a Causal Criterion, according to which "As f-ing is the same act as Bs causing event e, iff the [...] f-ing causes the event e, or it causes an event which causes the event e, or ... and A=B" [p. 329]. Claims that "an Austinian perlocutionary act is the same act as a locutionary act in the same sense of the Causal Criterion" [p. 333].
1987 Principles of Abstraction for Events and Processes, Journal of Philosophical Logic, 16, 273-307.
"The reference to events and processes made by general nouns like kicking(s), swimming can be seen as the effect of abstraction applied to the corresponding verbs. Principles are formulated which support the equivalence of a Fs n times with There are n F-ings by a and of a Gs much with There is much G-ing by a. Adverbial modification of verbs are specially considered and semantics for event verbs and process verbs are outlined" [The Philosophers Index Abstract].
1981 Quelques remarques sur lanalyse de la forme progressive de langlais [Some Remarks on the Analysis of the English Progressive Form, in French], Langages, 115, 29-38.
Criticizes M. Bennetts (1977) account.
Rohrer, C., ed.
1977 On the Logical Analysis of Tense and Aspect, Tübingen: Narr.
Includes Åqvist (1977), Cresswell (1977), and Guenthner (1977).
1980 Time, Tense, and Quantifiers. Proceedings of the Stuttgart Conference on the Logic of Tense and Quantification, Tübingen: Niemeyer.
Includes E. Bach (1980), Gabbay and Moravcsik (1980), Hoepelman and Rohrer (1980), Kamp (1980), and van Benthem (1980).
Roque, A. J.
1983 Does Level Generation Always Generate Act-Tokens?, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 9, 177-92.
Argues that level generation does not always generate act-tokens.
Rorty, A. O.
1987 How to Interpret Actions, in J. Margolis, M. Krausz, and R. M. Buriau, eds., Rationality, Relativism, and the Human Sciences, Dordrecht: Nijhoff, pp. 81-90.
"It is events, indeed events in contexts, rather than isolated actions that we understand" [p. 81]. Distinguishes various types of action individuation of increasing "thickness".
1971 Verificationism and Transcendental Arguments, Noûs, 5, 3-14.
Includes material on the Strawson-Moravcsik debate on the asymmetric relation of dependency between events and objects.
1983 Matter and Event, in L. S. Ford and G. L. Kline, eds., Explorations in Whiteheads Philosophy, New York: Fordham University Press, pp. 68-103.
On the significance of Whiteheads "taking time seriously" for a discussion of the concept of matter.
1974 On Kims Account of Events and Event-Identity, The Journal of Philosophy, 71, 327-36.
Argues that (i) "Kims claims about the relation of particular events to generic events and the relation of these latter to constitutive properties of particular events is incompatible with the constant-conjunction view [of causality] he wishes to defend" [p. 328] and (ii) "his criterion of event identity is subject to compelling counterexamples, and, moreover, is incompatible with the claim that constant conjunction of unique generic events [...] is a necessary condition of causal relations between particular events" [p. 330]. Proposes alterations of Kims theory to overcome these difficulties.
1977 Concrete Occurrences vs. Explanatory Facts: Mackie on the Extensionality of Causal Statements, Philosophical Studies, 31, 133-40.
Argues that Mackie (1974) reaches false conclusions to the effect that the most illuminating causal claims are intensional and concern facts as opposed to events.
1979 Causation and Counterfactuals: Lewis Treatment Reconsidered, Dialogue, 18, 209-19.
Argues that neither causation nor the similarity relation involved in D. K. Lewiss analysis of counterfactuals is infected by the kind of vagueness Lewis attributes to it, and suggests counterexamples to the resulting account.
Rosenberg, A., Martin, R.
1979 The Extensionality of Causal Contexts, in P. A. French, T. Uehling, and H. K. Wettstein, eds. (1979), pp. 401-8.
Argues that explanatory contexts are non-extensional, because they are "mind-dependent"; but causal ones are extensional, because the are "mind-independent" and "the only reason to suspect that causal statements are intensional is their similarity in form and employment to statements, like explanatory ones, whose intensionality does consist wholly in their mind-dependence" [p. 402]. The paper offers arguments in defense of this last claim, together with a revised "test for extensionality" that causal contexts pass, but that intensional contexts do not pass: "a sentence-taking context is extensional if the references of the gerundive nominalization of the contained sentences remain the same" [p. 406]. Compare Lombards (1979b) reply.
Rosenkrantz, G. S.
1993 Haecceity. An Ontological Essay, Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Events are a species of concreta, along with other species such as substances and tropes; as such, events are ontologically less fundamental than such abstracta as properties, relations, and propositions.
1977 When Do We Do What We Do?, Philosophical Studies, 32, 419-23.
Critical discussion of Vollraths (1975) solution to the time-of-a-killing problem (Goldman 1971, Thomson 1971a), including an attempt to make it sound " less paradoxical".
Ross, J. R.
1972 Act, in D. Davidson and G. Harman, eds. (1972), pp. 70-126.
Offers "evidence that every verb of action is embedded in the object complement of a two-place predicate whose subject is identical to the subject of the action verb, and whose phonological realization in English is do" [p. 70].
1978 Historical Actions or Historical Events, in Y. Yovel, ed. (1978), pp. 69-84.
On the question whether the historical domain should be characterized as consisting of events or of actions.
1995 Adverbial Quantification over Events, Natural Language Semantics, 3, 1-31.
A neo-Davidsonian analysis of the adverbial quantification involved in such sentences as I regretted it every time I had dinner with him, interpreting it as a form of quantification over events. "Sentences of this kind [...] are true if every event in the denotation of time I had dinner with him can be matched with an event [of] regretting that dinner event. They are thus truth-functionally equivalent to sentences of the form There are at least as many As as Bs" [Authors abstract].
Rowlands, M. N. J.
1989 Property Exemplification and Proliferation, Analysis, 49, 194-97.
Against Kim, argues that "mental event [x, M, t] can be identical with physical event [y, P, t'] even if M only supervenes on P" [p. 195]. The reason is that Kims identity condition rests on "a confusion of properties with their instances. The condition needs to be weakened to the following: Event [x, P, t] = Event [y, Q, t'] just in case x=y, t=t', and P=Q or PÞQ, where Þ denotes the relation of necessity determination", i.e., in the mental-physical case, the supervenience of mental properties on physical properties [p. 195]. More generally, if this weakened criterion is accepted, the property exemplification account does not entail event proliferation.
1977 On Visual Perception of Dynamic Events, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Uppsala.
1949 The Concept of Mind, London: Hutchinson; New York: Barnes & Noble.
Classic reference for the literature on tense and aspect. Chapter 5 outlines a typology of "episodic verbs" similar to those of Vendler (1957) and Kenny (1963). The actual classification is slightly different. For instance, Ryles achievement verbs fall into all three of Kennys categories: "know" is a state, "cure" a performance, and "keep a secret" an activity (cf. Kenny 1963, p. 185, n. 1).
1973 Negative "Actions", Hermathena, 81, 81-93.
On such (seeming) actions as refraining, postponing, waiting, etc.: such avoidings are not dispositions, but they are of a higher order than the actions avoided.
Back to Contents
1987 Three Recent Approaches to Temporal Reasoning, in A. P. Galton, ed. (1987), pp. 121-68.
Includes an extensive critical overview of Kowalski and Sergots (1986) event calculus and J. F. Allens (1984) temporal logic.
Sadri, F., Kowalski, R. A.
1995 Variants of the Event Calculus, in L. Sterling, ed., Logic Programming. Proceedings of the Twelfth International Conference (ICLP 95), Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp. 67-81.
Considers advantages and disadvantages of various modifications of the event calculus of Kowalski and Sergot (1986).
1973 On the State of Progress on Progressives and Statives, in C. J. Bailey and R. W. Shuy, eds., New Ways of Analyzing Variation in English, Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, pp. 83-95.
Argues that "more than mere binary classification" is required to explain the actual behavior of stative and non-stative verbs [p. 85]. Suggests an implicational hierarchy to the effect that futurate progressive ® process progressive ® habitual progressive.
1991 Logical Forms. An Introduction to Philosophical Logic, Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Includes a short presentation and discussion of Davidsons (1967a) "roundabout route" for the logical analysis of action sentences and adverb-dropping inferences [pp. 152-54]. Some criticisms in the spirit of Wiggins (1985/6).
Salmon, W. C.
1969 Comment on R. Martins "On Events and Event-Description", in J. Margolis, ed. (1969), pp. 95-97.
Questions the use of time in R. M. Martins (1969b) construction of events. "In order even to begin laying the foundations for the language of space and time, we must have already available the concept of an event" [p. 96].
1984 Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
A section on Processes [pp. 139-47] argues that it is them (conceived as causal lines, and not distinct from material objects), rather than events, that constitute the best ontology for special relativity [p. 140]. Introduces the notion of a pseudo-process: "Causal processes are those that are capable of transmitting signals; pseudo-processes are incapable of doing so" [p. 141].
1994 Features and Fluents. The Representation of Knowledge about Dynamical Systems. Volume I, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
An artificial intelligence approach to modeling agency in a dynamic domain. Events are occurrences characterizing relevant aspects of the domain.
1990 Grammatical Relations, Thematic Roles and Verb Semantics, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Edinburgh.
Proposes a unification-based categorial grammar framework "which incorporates the semantic insights of a neo-Davidsonian approach to verb semantics and predicate-argument combination, where thematic roles are defined as clusters of entailments of verb meanings" [Authors abstract].
1993 Grammatical Relations in Unification Categorial Grammar, Lingua e Stile, 27, 171-200.
Following Dowty (1991), argues that "regularities concerning the syntactic realization of verbal arguments [...] should be stated in terms of selected entailments of verb meanings which characterize thematic properties of event participants" [p. 172]. On this basis, an extension of Dowtys theory is proposed in which such thematic entailments are characterized as "clusters of properties" encoded "as sorted thematic predicates within a neo-Davidsonian system for semantic interpretation" [ibid.].
Sanford, D. H.
1976 The Direction of Causality and the Direction of Conditionship, The Journal of Philosophy, 73, 193-207.
An account of causation should not assume that causes must precede their effects. The paper therefore attempts to account for the direction of causation.
1981 Knowledge and Relevant Alternatives: Comments on Dretske, Philosophical Studies, 40, 378-88.
Suggests that quantifying over events in the spirit of Davidsons theory may help respond to a certain argument (due to Dretske) on scope differences.
1985 Causal Relata, in E. LePore and B. P. McLaughlin, eds. (1985), pp. 282-93.
Argues that the causal relation holds not only between events, but also between aspects of events (the blotches on Floras skin were caused by her drying herself with a coarse towel). Compare Achinstein (1975a, 1979) and Dretske (1977). More related discussion in Kim (1977), Boër (1979), Ehring (1987) inter alia.
1990 The Mechanisms of Mental Causation, Acta Analytica, 6, 79-89.
Discusses the relations between mental and physical events from the perspective of a theory of causation according to which "there is causation when and only when mechanisms operate; mechanism distinguishes causal from noncausal explanations, laws, necessities, and possibilities. On this view of causation, mechanism replaces law" [p. 84].
1991a Symposium Contribution on Events and Their Names by Jonathan Bennett, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 51, 633-36.
Part of a symposium on J. Bennett (1988) (with replies in J. Bennett 1991b). Focuses on issues concerning causality.
1991b Proper Knowledge, in B. McLaughlin, ed., Dretske and His Critics, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, pp. 38-51.
Includes some remarks on Dretskes (1972, 1977) views on the effect of contrastive stress on the interpretation of causal statements.
1996 Time, Quantum Mechanics, and Tense, Synthese, 107, 19-53.
On the relational view according to which "passage" and "becoming" are to be understood in terms of relations between events.
Savellos, E. E.
1988 Actions Without Events, Southwest Philosophy Review, 4, 17-27.
A sketch of an ontology of "reducible spatio-temporal particulars" aiming at combining the merits of Davidsons (1967a) analysis of actions as species of events and J. Bennetts (1985) arguments to the effect that acceptance of Lemmons and Quines spatio-temporal criterion for event identity allows one to account for the logic of adverbial modification by accepting only subjects of events.
1992 Criteria of Identity and the Individuation of Natural-Kind Events, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 52, 807-31.
Argues for a criterion to the effect that e1 is the same event as e2 iff "there is an event-sortal ƒ such that a) e1, e2 are ƒ tells us what e1, e2 are and b) e1 spatio-temporally coincides with e2 under ƒ, that is, where DF denotes the subclass of spatio-temporal properties, all pairs áe1, e2ñ that are members of the relation spatio-temporally coincides under ƒ satisfy the schema: (F)(FÎDF ) ® (Fe1 «Fe2 )" [p. 830]. The account is supposed to hold for "natural kind" events such as "earthquakes, heart-attacks, high tides, and photosynthesis", as opposed to "such events as shootings, butterings of toast, and philosophical conventions that are not" [p. 808].
1995 Supervenience and the Essences of Events, in E. E. Savellos and Ü. D. Yalin, eds. (1995), pp. 244-63.
Argues that Lombards (1986) account of event supervenience is flawed, in that "it neither supports nor is supported by the view that events have essences, and it is at conflict with the view that events have individual essences (haecceities)" [p. 245]. Indeed, it is argued that if the view that events have individual essences is held on to, then "we might as well abandon hope that any substantive event-supervenience thesis can be formulated" [ibid.].
Savellos, E. E., Yalin, Ü. D., eds.
1995 Supervenience. New Essays, New York: Cambridge University Press.
• Includes Enç (1995), C. A. Macdonald (1995), McLaughlin (1995), Moser and Trout (1995), and Savellos (1995).
1979 Davidsons Psycho-physical Anomalism, Nature and System, 1, 203-13.
Argues that Davidson does not and cannot exclude that scientific research will make psycho-physical laws possible.
1981 The Causality of Reasons: A Survey of Recent Developments in the Mind-Body Problem, Metaphilosophy, 12, 13-30.
A useful review article.
Scheer, R. K.
1967 Predictions of Events, The Philosophical Quarterly, 17, 257-61.
A dialogue on the difference between asserting that she would wed F and making an assertion about that particular event that has (later) been the wedding. Holds that "an accident is not a type of happening or occurrence like a race, wedding, collision or fire. It is what we call certain of those happenings under certain circumstances of their occurrences" [p. 261].
1975 The Progressive in English, Amsterdam: North-Holland.
A thorough study, with a great amount of linguistic data relevant to the analysis of action-reporting sentences.
1963 The Anatomy of Inquiry, New York: Knopf.
Section 6 of Part I on the ontology of explanation (using the concept of event). Section 7 on the explanation of psychological and historical events.
1993 On the Logic of Event Causation. Part I: Fundamental Reflections, Logic and Logical Philosophy, 1, 129-55.
Causality as a binary relation between singular events (event tokens). Causal laws as generalizations on sentences about token causation by quantifying over event types.
1994a Events as Shadowy Entities, Logic and Logical Philosophy, 2, 35-53.
Contains an argument for linguistic conventionalism with respect to events, in the spirit of van Benthem (1983). Main thesis: "Only the introduction of some kind of epistemological involvement avoids the two extreme consequences: an overcrowded ontology with really shadowy entities, or the lack of events in the ontology at all" [p. 37].
1994b Token versus Type Causation, in J. Faye, U. Scheffler, and M. Urchs, eds., Logic and Causal Reasoning, Berlin: Akademie Verlag, pp. 91-108.
An investigation into the relationship between singular and general causal statements, favoring an "inductive" account to the effect that event tokens and token causation have to be "methodologically and ontologically prior" to event types and type causation. Events are viewed as entities that "belong to the empirical world", which "can be clustered in kinds" and "may recur" [p. 92].
1986 Event Logic and the Interpretation of Plurals, Doctoral Dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Preliminary formulation of the event-based treatment of plurals fully developed in (1993).
1993 Plurals and Events, Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT Press.
Thorough development of the theory advanced in Schein (1986) and Higginbotham and Schein (1986). Combines a second-order treatment of plurals with Davidsons treatment of event sentences to account for the semantics of sentences involving plurals without invoking "plural objects": a sentence like John and Mary lifted the piano reports an event that had more than one agent. Includes ample discussion of mereological issues, quantification, and identity.
1991 Understanding Action, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Holds a Davidsonian view that "events/situations are the same if they have the same causes and effects. Or better, to avoid still more issues of sameness (about these causes and effects), that e and f are the same event/situation where what causes e also causes f and what e causes is caused too by f " [p. 76].
Schlesinger, G. N.
1969 The Passage of Time, in R. Brown and C. D. Rollins, eds., Contemporary Philosophy in Australia, London: Allen & Unwin, pp. 204-13.
"Every physical process consists of stages which are formed by couples of events" [p. 205].
1976 The Stillness of Time and Philosophical Equanimity, Philosophical Studies, 30, 145-59.
A discussion of some problems arising on a Russellian view of the nature of temporal relations (in contrast to McTaggarts).
1980 Aspects of Time, Indianapolis: Hackett.
Includes a discussion of the similarities between space and time, an analysis of temporal becoming, and a discussion of McTaggarts argument for the unreality of time.
1982 How Time Flies, Mind, 91, 501-23.
Criticism of Smart (1949). Presents a thought experiment concerning two planets in which qualitatively the same events flow at different rates [pp. 517ff].
1983 Reconstructing McTaggarts Argument, Philosophy, 58, 541-43.
On the logical structure of McTaggarts argument for the unreality of time.
1984 Events and Explicative Definitions, Mind, 93, 215-29.
A study of identity conditions for events culminating with a proposal [p. 225] which is meant to indicate that "the essence of an event is [...] any sort of change that may occur in physical systems of any degree of complexity and richness" [p. 226].
1985 How to Navigate the River of Time, Philosophical Quarterly, 35, 91-92; reprinted in L. N. Oaklander and Q. Smith, eds. (1994), pp. 229-31.
A novel attempt to vindicate McTaggarts "positive" conception of time in reply to Oaklanders (1984) criticism of the account put forward in Schlesinger (1980).
1994 Timely Topics, London: MacMmillan; New York: St. Martins Press.
Further material on the similarities and differences between space and time. Chapter 3 focuses on the temporal properties of events in relation to McTaggarts argument.
Schmitt, F. F.
1978 Change, Philosophical Studies, 34, 401-16.
An account of the necessary and sufficient conditions for being a change. The account validates Kims property exemplification conception.
1983 Events, Erkenntnis, 20, 281-93.
Stresses the difference between events and states of affairs and argues that events must also be distinguished from states.
1962 A Definition of Event and Some of Its Applications, Theoria, 28, 250-68.
Schubert, L. K., Hwang, C. H.
1990 Picking Reference Events from Tense Trees: A Formal, Implementable Theory of English Tense-Aspect Semantics, Speech and Natural Language. Proceedings of the 1990 DARPA Workshop, San Mateo, CA: Morgan Kaufmann, pp. 34-41.
Outlines a formal theory for interpreting time adverbials and tense-aspect constructions in a context-dependent way. Makes use of the general motion of an "episode" (event, situation, or eventuality).
Schueler, G. F.
1989 The Idea of a Reason for Acting. A Philosophical Argument, Lewiston, Lampeter, and Queenston: Edwin Mellen Press.
Against the view that an account of what it is to have a reason for doing something must include a reference to some motive or desire of the agent.
Schwartz, S. P.
1979 Review of Thomson (1977), The Philosophical Review, 88, 100-5.
Objects to some basic causal-mereological principles in Thomsons theory, e.g., to the assumption that no event causes any of its parts, or to the unrestricted principle of event-fusion, according to which the fusion of any class of events is itself an event.
1975 The Logic of Modifiers, Journal of Philosophical Logic, 4, 361-80.
Argues that the logic of modifiers is essentially a variant of the Standard Logic Textbook theory of the logic of prepositions (pace Davidson).
Schwind, C. B.
1987 Action Theory and the Frame Problem, in F. M. Brown, ed., The Frame Problem in Artificial Intelligence. Proceedings of the 1987 Workshop, Los Altos, CA: Morgan Kaufmann, pp. 121-34.
Presents a modal logic in which actions are represented semantically as pairs of preconditions and results. The account is argued to solve the "frame problem" (which facts remain unchanged when actions are performed).
1995 Time and Change, The Philosophical Quarterly, 45, 213-18.
Defends the view that, given our present concept of time, talk about time without any change is "senseless" (contra Shoemaker 1969 and Teichmann 1991).
1979 The Intentionality of Intention and Action, Inquiry, 22, 253-80.
Sketch of a theory of action in which the relation of intention to action is located within a general theory of intentionality. Includes discussion of action description, the accordion effect, and of the notion of basic action.
1983 Intentionality. An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Full development of the theory sketched in (1979). Mental states and events "are as real as any other biological phenomena, as real as lactation, photosynthesis, mitosis, or digestion" [p. 264]. Action is among the primary forms of intentionality, which can be causally efficient: "When I raise my arm my intention in action causes my arm to go up. This is a case of a mental event causing a physical event [...] The intention in action causes the bodily movement even though both the intention in action and the bodily movement are caused by and realized in a microstructure at which level terms like "intention in action" and "bodily movement" are inappropriate" [p. 269]. See also Section 3.5 on the accordion effect and the notion of basic action.
1984 Minds, Brains and Science, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
All mental phenomena are caused by processes going on in the brain. Mental states and events are "features of the brain" and "have two levels of description--a higher level in mental terms, and a lower level in physiological terms" [p. 26]. Thus, "at the higher level of description, the intention to raise my arm causes the movement of the arm. But at the lower level of description, a series of neuron firings starts a chain of events that results in the contraction of the muscles [...] The same sequence of events has two levels of description" [ibid.]. Presuppositions and consequences of this view with regard to the structure and explanation of human action are extensively presented in Chapter 4 [pp. 57-70].
1992 The Rediscovery of the Mind, Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT Press/ Bradford Books.
Bald restatement and further developments of the thesis that "mental events and processes are as much part of our biological natural history as digestion, mitosis, meiosis, or enzyme secretion" [p. 1].
1987 Time. A Philosophical Treatment, London, New York, and Sydney: Croom Helm.
Works with a notion of an event as a change (gaining/shedding of properties) in some object. (See Chapter 8, "Objects, Events, and Properties".) Maintains that a statement such as "The journey was boring", if true, is true "only insofar as someone happens to be bored by the journey" [p. 31].
1989a Bringing It About, Journal of Philosophical Logic, 18, 327-47.
Presents an account of agency in the spirit of von Wrights (1963, 1967) theory of action, with a bringing about operator using propositions in the description of actions. An influential paper in recent logic-oriented literature. (Compare Chellas 1995 for useful discussion.)
1989b Getting Started: Beginnings in the Logic of Action, in G. Corsi, C. Mangione, and M. Mugrini, eds., Le teorie della modalità: Atti del convegno internazionale di storia della logica, Bologna: CLUEB, pp. 221-50.
Traces some efforts to develop a logic of action, understood as the logicians rigorous examination of some central notions from the philosophy of action (most notably those of agency and ability).
1992 Representing Facts, in C. Bicchieri and M. L. Dalla Chiara, eds., Knowledge, Belief and Strategic Interaction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 239-56.
Outline of a formal theory in which states of affairs, events and processes can be modelled.
1995 A Festival of Facts, Logic and Logical Philosophy, 2, 7-22.
Elaborates on the theory put forward in (1992). Among topics discussed are the type/token distinction, the one/many problem, event and process generation, and the progressive tense.
1990 Properties as Processes. A Synoptic Study of Wilfrid Sellars Nominalism, Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview.
Includes an examination of Sellars "No-Event" Theory. Discusses two ontological criteria for processes: "Spatio-temporal extension: Unlike objects, which are temporally continuant but spatially bound, processes are temporally bound but spatially continuant. [...] Homeomerity: Every spatio-temporal part of a process is a process of the same kind" [pp. 263f].
1991 Process, in H. Burkhardt and B. Smith, eds., Handbook of Metaphysics and Ontology, Vol. 2, Munich: Philosophia, pp. 725-27.
A compact survey.
1957 Time and the World Order, in H. Feigl and G. Maxwell, eds., Scientific Explanation, Space, and Time [Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. III], Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 527-616.
Argues for an ontology based on "things and persons" against an event-based one: "statements about events are, in principle, translatable into statements about changeable things" [p. 550], i.e. "events have a derivative status in the sense that singular terms referring to events are contextually introduced in terms of sentences involving singular terms referring to things" [p. 572].
1966 Thought and Action, in K. Lehrer, ed., Freedom and Determinism, New York: Random House, pp. 105-40.
Frames the problem of the compatibility between determinism and "would have done otherwise" in a formal setting [113ff].
1973 Actions and Events, Noûs, 7, 179-202; reprinted in W. Sellars, Essays in Philosophy and Its History, Dordrecht: Reidel, 1974, pp. 189-213.
Critical examination of Davidson (1963). Seeking to answer the question "What is an event?", suggests that we can "regard event expressions as a proper subset of that-clauses", that "events are a species of proposition".
1976 Volitions Re-affirmed, in M. Brand and D. Walton, eds. (1976), pp. 47-66.
A defense of the view that actions are caused by volitions.
1981a Mental Events, Philosophical Studies, 39, 325-45.
Overview of Sellarss metaphysics of the mental. "In the domain of the physical [...] the middle-sized objects of the Manifest Image are prior in the order of knowing to microphysical processes. The latter, to the Scientific Realist, are prior in the order of being" [p. 326]. Holds that "the core concept of a mental event is that of a representational event" [p. 338].
1981b Lecture 2: Naturalism and Process, The Monist, 64 ["The Carus Lectures of Wilfrid Sellars: Foundations for a Metaphysics of Pure Process"], 37-65.
Explores some issues concerning the ontology of change and process. Proposes that the relation between the sentences Socrates runs at t and A running by Socrates at t is taking place is analogous to the relation between Snow is white and Being white is exemplified by snow [pp. 39-40]. In the manifest world, "there are no events in addition to changing things and persons" [p. 43]. "There are no temporal relations": time is expressed by a temporal connective [p. 44]. "Event locutions belong one step up the semantic ladder and refer to linguistic or conceptual items, rather than to items in the world" [p. 52]. Contrasts this theory, the theory of the manifest image, to Russells processual theory in which we have "a truly a truly Heraclitean ontology. panta rei. There are no objects. The world is an ongoing tissue of goings on" [p. 57].
Severens, R. H., ed.
1974 Ontological Commitment, Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.
Includes Berersluis (1974), Clark (1974), Cebik (1974), and Kleiner (1974).
1961 Could Mental States Be Brain Processes?, The Journal of Philosophy, 58, 813-22.
Argues that mental states cannot be brain processes because mental states and brain processes do not occur in the same place. (This does not prevent one from making the identity theory true by adopting a convention for locating mental states, but the usefulness of such a convention would depend upon empirical facts presently unknown.)
1963 Mental Events and the Brain, The Journal of Philosophy, 60, 160-66; reprinted in D. M. Rosenthal, ed., The Nature of Mind, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991, pp. 177-80.
Defends the view that a convention can be adopted for locating mental events in the brain and describes conditions under which the identity theory should be empirically refuted.
1990 Representing Continuous Change in the Event Calculus, in L. C. Aiello, ed., Proceedings of the 9th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, London: Pitman, pp. 598-603.
Presents a simplified version of Kowalski and Sergots (1986) event calculus and extends it so as to deal with continuous change. The notion of "autotermination" is introduced. "A period of continuous change autoterminates if it brings about the event which terminates it. For example, when the increasing level of water in a sink reaches the overflow, it ceases to increase" [p. 598].
1983 Reply to Widerker, Philosophia, 3/4, 453-55.
On the "slingshot" argument in reply to Widerker (1983).
Shaw, D. J.
1986 Review of Vermazen and Hintikka, eds. (1985), Philosophical Books, 27, 174-78.
1973 Causal Explanation and the Vocabulary of Action, Mind, 8, 22-30.
Moving from the view that the difference between action and bodily movement is a difference between the predicates used to describe one and the same event, examines the problem of how (causal) laws that are couched solely in the vocabulary of mere movement can figure in an explanation whose explanandum is coached in the vocabulary of action.
1974 On Event-Identity, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 52, 39-47.
Examines (i) Nagels (1965) criterion for event identity in terms of sameness of causes and effects (= Davidsons 1969a criterion) along with (ii) the thesis that some event identities are merely particular, not general. If the criterion is to avoid circularity, then events must be defined as "sets of instantiated properties with the same causes and effects"; but given this conception of an event, criterion (i) and thesis (ii) are incompatible.
1972 Three Reasons for Not Deriving "Kill" from "Cause to Die" in Japanese, in J. P. Kimball, ed., Syntax and Semantics, Volume 1, New York: Seminar Press, pp. 125-37.
Offers arguments similar to Fodors (1970b), on the basis of Japanese data, against the analysis of causative verbs such as kill offered by McCawley (1968, 1973a) and Lakoff (1970). Compare also Katz (1970), Fodor (1970b), Kac (1972), and Wierzbicka (1975).
1976 The Grammar of Causative Constructions: A Conspectus, in M. Shibatani, ed., Syntax and Semantics, Volume 6, The Grammar of Causative Constructions, New York: Academic Press, pp. 1-40.
A criticism of generative semantics analyses of causatives.
1969 Time Without Change, The Journal of Philosophy, 66, 363-81; reprinted in Shoemaker (1984), pp. 49-66, and in R. Le Poidevin and M. Mac Beath, eds. (1993), pp. 63-79.
A mental experiment purporting to show that there might be intervals of time in which no changes whatever occur. See Newton-Smith (1980, Chapter 2) for a reformulation.
1979 Identity, Properties, and Causality, in P. A. French, T. Uehling, and H. K. Wettstein, eds. (1979), pp. 321-42; reprinted in S. Shoemaker (1984), pp. 234-60, and in H. W. Noonan, ed., Identity, Aldershot: Dartmouth Publishing, 1993, pp. 123-44.
Identity through time "consists at least in part in the holding of causal relations of certain kinds between momentary entities--events, or momentary thing-stages (phases, slices)--existing or occurring at different times" [p. 234].
1980 Causality and Properties, in P. van Inwagen, ed. (1980), pp. 109-35; reprinted in Shoemaker (1984), pp. 206-33.
On the relationship between events and properties. The notion of causality as a relation between events involves reference "to the properties of the constituent objects of the events"; conversely, the notion of a property "is to be explained in terms of the notion of causality".
1984 Identity, Cause, and Mind, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Includes reprints of Shoemaker (1969, 1979, 1980).
1986 Reified Temporal Logics: Semantical and Ontological Considerations, in Proceedings of the 7th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Brighton: ECAI, pp. 390-97.
Preliminary version of Shoham (1987).
1987 Temporal Logics in AI: Semantical and Ontological Considerations, Artificial Intelligence, 33, 89-104.
Presents a temporal logic exploiting the approaches of J. F. Allen (1981, 1983, 1984) and D. McDermott (1982), but without resorting to the property/event/process trichotomy of the former or the fact/event dichotomy of the latter. The proposed theory is actually argued to allow even finer distinctions, but without forcing any.
1988 Reasoning about Change: Time and Causation from the Standpoint of Artificial Intelligence, Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT Press.
What are the participants in the causal relation? What distinguishes events from propositions? "I argue that nothing does [...] and that if the theory of events were developed to a degree comparable with the theory of propositions (i.e., logic), the two would become indistinguishable" [p. 157].
1990 Non-Monotonic Reasoning and Causation, Cognitive Science, 14, 213-52.
Uses the reified logic of Shoham (1987, 1988) to support inferences about causation.
Shorter, J. M.
1962 Facts, Logical Atomism and Reducibility, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 40, 283-302.
Includes a criticism of Austin (1950): the phrase the collapse of France is not grammatically identical in the sentences (a) The collapse of France occurred in 1940 and (b) The collapse of France is a fact. "For in (b) we can substitute for it that France collapsed, whereas in (a) we cannot do so" [p. 287]. So Austins alignment of facts and events is ungrounded. Compare Vendler (1967a).
1963 Items and Clusters, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 41, 404-7.
Contends that one can imagine a language with expressions for describing subjective events, but no expressions for objective ones.
1965 Causation, and a Method of Analysis, in R. J. Butler, ed., Analytical Philosophy, Second Series, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, pp. 145-57.
Against Vendlers (1962a) claim that causes have results rather than effects, argues that in a sentence like the explosion was the cause of the accident "there is, in the nature of the case, no answer to the question Is the word "explosion" being used in what Vendler calls an event-like sense or what he calls the fact-like sense?" [p. 156].
Shwayder, D. S.
1965 The Stratification of Behaviour, New York: Humanities Press; London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Sets up a theory according to which "An act of behaviour is an act if and only if the movements constituting the behaviour might be explained by mention of the belief that some conditions of success for some purpose are satisfied" [p. 128]. The first part of the book discusses various issues pertaining to the identification and description of action.
1970 Topics in the Bordergrounds of Action, Inquiry, 13 [Special Issue on "Action"], 32-53.
Applications of the notion of action introduced in (1965).
1984 Hume Was Right, Almost; and Where He Wasnt, Kant Was, in P. A. French, T. Uehling, and H. K. Wettstein, eds. (1984), pp. 135-49.
"I agree with the negative side of [Humes] doctrine, that causation is not a kind of phenomenon wholly resident in or among happenings that may truly be said to be the causes or effects of happenings" [p. 135]. And "Kant was right [...] in holding that identifiability of substances over time is no less essential to our idea of causation than is (say) contiguity" [p. 138].
1992 Statement and Referent. An Inquiry into the Foundations of Our Conceptual Order, Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
See Part III, "Categories, Referents and Constructions, with Special Attention to Things Met with in Space and Time".
1994 Singular Causal Sentences and Two Relational Views, in Preyer, G., Siebelt, F., and Ulfig, A., eds. (1994), pp. 199-219.
Studies two arguments (one linguistic, one metaphysical) to the effect that singular causal statements must be analysed as extensional and thus as relational. Discusses Davidson, Strawson, and Kim on causal explanation.
Siegler, F. A.
1968 Omissions, Analysis, 28, 98-106.
A discussion of some views about the nature of acts (not actions) of omission.
Silber, J. R.
1964 Human Action and the Language of Volitions, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 64, 199-220; reprinted in N. Care and C. Landesman, eds. (1968), pp. 68-92.
Includes a discussion of the identity of actions. Regarding a list of twelve statements describing Lincolns assassination: "Can we answer the question What did Booth really do? in any simple, straightforward and yet accurate way? [...] If there is any unity of action in this example, clearly it is not a logical unity: although all twelve descriptions are true and although all are partial descriptions of the activity of one man over a very short period of time, they are, with very few noted exceptions, truth functionally independent. The bond of action is not a logical one" [p. 78].
Simons, P. M.
1981 Brand on Event Identity, Analysis, 41, 195-98.
A discussion of the identity criterion proposed by Brand (1976a, 1977). Among other things, it is argued that the criterion makes it impossible to identify events that are described using logically independent nouns--which brings Brands theory much closer to the multiplying property exemplification approach of Kim (1969) than to that of Davidson (1967a).
1982 Handlungsontologien [Ontologies of Action, in German], Rechtstheorie, 13, 303-23.
A useful introduction to the metaphysics of action.
1987 Parts. A Study in Ontology, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Includes a defense of an ontology that distinguishes objects (continuants) and events (occurrents) against a unified Quinean ontology of four-dimensional worms (§ 3.4). Argues that events are among those few categories of entity relative to which mereological extensionality (according to which identity of parts implies identity of wholes) holds. The mereology of events, activities, performances and other occurrents is fully examined in Chapter 4. There is also a discussion of various specific mereological theories of events (see e.g. § 2.9.1 on Whiteheads theory) and an application to the aspectual analysis of verbs.
1991 Whitehead und die Mereologie [Whitehead and Mereology, in German], in M. Hampe and H. Maassen, eds., Die Gifford Lectures und ihre Deutung. Materialien zu Whiteheads "Prozess und Realität", Volume 2, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, pp. 369-88.
Reviews Whiteheads successive formal treatments of mereology, with emphasis on the change from early account (1919), where the field of the mereological relation comprises solely events, to the later system (1929), where the ontology of events is replaced by one of actual entities (whose "becoming" or "genetic division" is process and whose "coordinate division" yields the regions they occupy). Whitehead is criticised for not clearly separating mereological issues from topological ones.
1970 Actions and Extensions, American Philosophical Quarterly, 7, 349-56.
Basic human actions are event-like, and it should be possible to refer to them without mention of specific intentions. Actions may be viewed as "indivisible complexes" (of agent, object, and tool) which are not named but referred to by statements.
1990 Rules of Conceptual Well-formedness and Optional Vs. Obligatory Iterativity, Lingua, 80, 253-93.
Argues that "the obligatory iterative interpretation of a wide range of English sentences containing punctual event expressions vs. the optional iterative interpretation of similar sentences with unbounded event expressions can be accounted for in terms of the interaction of language-specific principles of meaning with Jackendoff-type [1983, 1987] universal principles of conceptual structure" [p. 253, Abstract]
Singer, B. J.
1975 Substitutes for Substances, The Modern Schoolman, 53, 19-38.
An analysis of the substance-quality metaphysical scheme allegedly rejected by Whitehead in his ontology of events.
Singer, M. G.
1975 Logic, Facts, and Events, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 36, 253-54.
"There can be logical connections between facts and between events, so that the dogma of empiricism, No logical relations between facts needs to be reconsidered, along with the concepts of fact and event" [The Philosophers Index Abstract].
1991 The Perfective Paradox: Or How to Eat Your Cake and Have It Too, in L. A. Sutton, C. Johnson, and R. Shields, eds., (1991), pp. 469-79.
A semantic account of such seemingly paradoxical sentences as "I ate my cake today and I will eat the remaining tomorrow", which is contradictory in English but not in other languages (a phenomenon called here the "perfective paradox"). The approach is based on a lattice-theoretic account of event and object structures as developed by Krifka (1991).
1992 An Event-Based Analysis of Causatives, in C. P. Canakis, G. P. Chan, J. Marshall Denton, eds., CLS 28: Papers from the 28th Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, Vol. 1, Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society, pp. 515-29.
Puts forward an event-based analysis of morphological causatives motivated by Dowtys (1991) theory of thematic proto-roles as well as by action-theoretic considerations. "Causatives refer to events, the important subevents of which include the following: (1) the causer causing the causee to undertake some action, and (2) the causees performance of that action" [p. 518].
Sinisi, V. F.
1966 Lesniewskis Analysis of Whiteheads Theory of Events, Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, 7, 323-27.
A presentation of Lesniewskis (1928) arguments to the effect that Whiteheads axiomatic basis for the concept of an event is ultimately inadequate.
1985 A Solution to Forresters Paradox of Gentle Murder, The Journal of Philosophy, 82, 162-68.
Solution of Forresters (1984) deontic paradox, based on a Davidsonian analysis of the logical form of action sentences inside the scope of deontic operators. Compare also R. Clark (1986b).
Slobin, D. I.
1981 The Origins of Grammatical Encoding of Events, in W. Deutsch, ed., The Childs Construction of Language, London and New York: Academic Press, pp. 185-99; reprinted in P. J. Hopper and S. A. Thompson, eds., Syntax and Semantics, vol. 15, Studies in Transitivity, London and New York: Academic Press, 1982, pp. 409-22.
Focuses on the encoding of "transitive events", characterized by "a human-like agent behaving actively, volitionally, and totally to a definite or referential object" [p. 411].
Slonneger, N. A.
1993 Anomalous Monism and Epiphenomenalism: The Causal Responsibility of Mental Events, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
A defense of Davidsons (1970b) token-token identity theory known as "anomalous monism" against the charge that it makes the mental epiphenomenal (causally inefficacious)
1975 Metaphysics and Essence, New York: New York University Press; Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Chapter 3 on "Changes, Processes and Events". Eventhood is defined in terms of change: "(is) an event means approximately the same as (is) a change such that there is a t1 before any t2 when it exists and a t3 after any t4 when it exists" [p. 22].
Smart, J. J. C.
1949 The River of Time, Mind, 58, 483-94; reprinted in A. G. N. Flew, ed., Essays in Conceptual Analysis, London: Macmillan, pp. 213-27.
"If we think of events as changing, namely, in respect to pastness, presentness and futurity, we think of them as substances changing in a certain way. But if we substantialise events, we must, to preserve some semblance of consistency, spatialise time".
1955 Spatialising Time, Mind, 64, 239-41; reprinted in R. M. Gale, ed. (1967), pp. 163-67.
A clarification of the suggestion that time be "spatialised" put forward in (1949).
1972a Space-Time and Individuals, in R. Rudner and I. Schaeffer, eds., Logic and Art. Essays in Honor of Nelson Goodman, New York: Macmillan, pp. 3-20.
Endorses a Quinean conception of events and processes as four-dimensional entities "I suggest that talk of processes gets replaced by talk of four-dimensional chunks, and that talk of events gets replaced by talk of boundaries between different temporal chunks: thus, the event of my demobilization is four-dimensionally to be thought of as a boundary between an army serving chunk of me and a later non-military chunk of me" [p. 15].
1972b Further Thoughts on the Identity Theory, The Monist, 56, 149-72.
Includes further thoughts on events as four-dimensional entities [p. 160].
1974 Review of Lucas (1973), Philosophia, 4, 355-59.
1980 Time and Becoming, in P. van Inwagen, ed. (1980), pp. 3-15.
Says that "ordinary adverbs" should be treated as predicates of events (à la Davidson 1967a), but tenses should be handled differently, "by means of a tenseless metalanguage" [p. 15].
1982 Sellars on Process, The Monist, 65, 302-14.
The difference between events and processes is a contextual one, and not a category difference. "We speak of a process as an event when we are not much concerned with its inner temporal structure, and as a process when we are so concerned" [p. 303].
1985 Davidsons Minimal Materialism, in B. Vermazen and M. B. Hintikka, eds. (1985), pp. 173-82.
Critical discussion of Davidsons (1970b) argument to the effect that there are no strict laws relating mental events to one another or to physical events.
1987 Replies, in P. Pettit, R. Sylvan, and J. Norman, eds., Metaphysics and Morality. Essays in Honor of J. J. C. Smart, Oxford and New York: Basil Blackwell, pp. 173-95.
Includes replies to Davidson (1987) and Mellor (1987b), the latter with a defense of the account of causation as a relation between events.
1989 Our Place in the Universe. A Metaphysical Discussion, Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Treats events as "ordered pairs of (1) temporal stages of objects and (2) certain classes". For instance, with reference to Davidsons (1969a) example of a ball that is rotating and heating up: "the heating up stage of the ball is the same temporal stage as the rotating stage, but the class of heating up stages of objects and the class of rotating stages of objects are different, and enable us to distinguish the event of the ball heating up as a different event from the event of the ball rotating" [p. 116].
Smith, A. D.
1988 Agency and the Essence of Actions, The Philosophical Quarterly, 38, 401-21.
Argues that the unifying approach to event identity is incompatible with the view that identity is necessary, since e.g. the flipping of a switch and the turning on of a light, if identical, are contingently so. The only way to retain both doctrines is by distinguishing between accidental and essential features of actions. In this regard, it is then argued that bodily movement is inessential to any action, and that the only actions are tryings.
1982 Some Formal Moments of Truth, in W. Leinfellner, E. Kraemer, and J. Schank, eds., Language and Ontology. Proceedings of the 6th International Wittgenstein Symposium, Vienna: Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky, pp. 186-90.
Sets out axioms for a correspondence theory of truth with events as truth-makers.
1983 Acts and Their Objects, in P. Weingartner and H. Czermak, eds., Epistemology and Philosophy of Science. Proceedings of the 7th International Wittgenstein Symposium, Vienna: Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky, pp. 85-88.
Conceives acts of perception as relational events depending on persons and physical objects as their relata.
1984 Acta cum fundamentis in re, Dialectica, 38, 157-78.
Develops an ontological theory of acts of perception as special sorts of relational events. All events are dependent upon their bearers (in this case on the corresponding cognitive subjects). Relational events are dependent in addition on some objectual correlate in the world. The core of the paper is an account of the relation of ontological dependence that is needed for such a conception, an account which is derived from Husserls third Logical Investigation.
1987 On the Cognition of States of Affairs, in K. Mulligan, ed., Speech Act and Sachverhalt: Reinach and the Foundations of Realist Phenomenology, Dordrecht, Boston, and Lancaster: Nijhoff, pp. 189-225.
Generalizes the relational theory of event perception of (1984) to the case of judgement.
1989 Constraints on Correspondence, in W. L. Gombocz, H. Rutte, and W. Sauer, eds., Traditionen und Perspektiven der analytischen Philosophie. Festschrift für Rudolf Haller, Vienna: Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky, pp. 415-30.
Section 3 on truth-makers as events (Davidsons "verb correlate theory").
1990 On the Phases of Reism, in J. Wolenski, ed., Kotarbinski: Logic, Semantics and Ontology, Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 137-84.
Considers a range of attempts--by Kotarbinski, Brentano, Chisholm, Quine, and others--to reduce the bicategorial ontology of things and events to a monocategorial ontology of concreta, things or thing phases.
1992 Sachverhalt, in J. Ritter and K. Gründer, eds., Historisches Wörterbuch der Philosophie, Stuttgart and Basel: Schwabe, Vol. 8, pp. 1102-13.
A survey of the role of the concept of state of affairs in the history of philosophy, starting from its earliest roots in ancient jurisprudence (the status rerum or state of things as the issue to be resolved by the court) to modern statements of the correspondence theory of truth.
1993 Putting the World Back into Semantics, Grazer philosophische Studien, 44, 91-109.
Critical consideration of the theory that events are truth-makers.
Smith, B., Casati, R.
1994 Naive Physics, Philosophical Psychology, 7, 227-47.
Review article. Section 2 on "Events, Processes and Causality".
Smith, C. S.
1991 The Parameter of Aspect, Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
A study of aspectual meaning, based on the assumption that the aspectual categories are not language dependent but based in human cognitive abilities. Includes rich discussions of theoretical and comparative linguistic phenomena in terms of a five-fold taxonomy of verb types into accomplishments, activities, achievements, states, semelfactives. (Compare Vendlers (1957) quadripartition; the fifth category is defined here as comprising dynamic, atelic, instantaneous events such as tapping or knocking.)
1995 Activity Sentences in Narrative: States or Events?, in P. Amsili, M. Borillo, and L. Vieu, eds. (1995), Part A, pp. 193-206.
Evidence is given to the effect that activity sentences advance time in narrative discourse, as telic events do (and unlike states). Thus, they should be analysed as events.
Smith, J. A.
1978 Goldman on Act Individuation, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 56, 230-41.
Focuses on the Goldmans (1970, 1971) notion of level-generation.
1983 Actions, Attempts and Internal Events, Analysis, 43, 142-46.
Criticises the view that all tryings are internal events. Rejoined by M. Rickard (1984).
Smith, M. B.
1985 Event Chains, Grammatical Relations, and The Semantics of Case in German, in W. H. Eilfort, P. D. Kroeber, and K. L. Peterson, eds., CLS 21: Papers from the Twenty-First Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, Part 1, Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society, pp. 388-407.
Uses the notion of an "event chain" (which is meant to represent "the basic interactional relationships among the profiled participants in a conceived event" [p. 390]) to analyse the meanings of the German cases.
1982 Bad News for Anomalous Monism?, Analysis, 42, 220-24.
A defense of anomalous monism against the criticisms of Honderich (1982).
1984 Anomalous Monism and Epiphenomenalism: A Reply to Honderich, Analysis, 44, 83-85.
Rejoinder to Honderich (1983).
Smith, P., Jones, O. R.
1986 The Philosophy of Mind. An Introduction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Chapter 17 on "Reasons and Causes" (introductory survey).
Smith, P. G.
1986 Ethics and Action Theory on Refraining: A Familiar Refrain in Two Parts, Journal of Value Inquiry, 20, 3-17.
Agent A refrains from performing action s if and only if (i) A believes he or she can perform s, (ii) A does not perform s, (iii) A performs some mental action t to prevent As performing s [p. 14]. Ontological issued further discussed in Gill (1988).
1986 The Infinite Regress of Temporal Attributions, Southern Journal of Philosophy, 24, 383-96; reprinted in L. N. Oaklander and Q. Smith, eds. (1994), pp. 180-94.
A defense of the tensed theory of time against "McTaggarts paradox": the idea that presentness, pastness, and futurity are attributes of events does imply an infinite regress, but the regress "is neither vicious not constituted of tenseless predications" [p. 383]. Criticism in Oaklander (1994).
1987 Problems with the New Tenseless Theory of Time, Philosophical Studies, 52, 371-92; reprinted in L. N. Oaklander and Q. Smith, eds. (1994), pp. 38-56.
Argues that the tenseless theory of time (Mellor 1981a, 1981b) faces various problems and should be abandoned in favor of the tensed theory. See replies by Oaklander (1990, 1991).
1988/9 The Logical Structure of the Debate about McTaggarts Paradox, Philosophy Research Archives, 24, 371-79; reprinted in L. N. Oaklander and Q. Smith, eds. (1994), pp. 202-10.
Continues the debate with Oaklander. See Smith (1986, 1987) and Oaklander (1987, 1994).
1990a The Co-reporting Theory of Tensed and Tenseless Sentences, Philosophical Quarterly, 40, 213-22; reprinted in L. N. Oaklander and Q. Smith, eds. (1994), pp. 94-103.
Criticisms of Beer (1988).
1990b Temporal Indexicals, Erkenntnis, 32, 5-25; reprinted in L. N. Oaklander and Q. Smith, eds. (1994), pp. 136-53.
Argues that the view that times are sets of events is incompatible with the theory that indexicals are rigid designators.
1993 Language and Time, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Part I is a lengthy defense of the tensed theory of time: temporal determinations of events include the properties of pastness, presentness, and futurity. Part II includes arguments to the effect that both mental and physical events are in metaphysical time [pp. 236ff].
1994a The Truth Conditions of Tensed Sentences, in L. N. Oaklander and Q. Smith, eds. (1994), pp. 69-76.
A rejoinder to Oaklanders (1991) defense of the tenseless theory of time.
1994b Smart and Mellors New Tenseless Theory of Time: A Reply to Oaklander, in L. N. Oaklander and Q. Smith, eds. (1994), pp. 83-86.
Reply to Oaklander (1990).
1994c Mellor and McTaggarts Paradox, in L. N. Oaklander and Q. Smith, eds. (1994), pp. 176-79.
Outlines a theory of infinite tensed facts to cope with "McTaggarts paradox". See also (1986).
Smith, T. P.
1973 On the Applicability of a Criterion of Change, Ratio, 15, 325-33.
An attempt to rehabilitate the Cambridge criterion for change. "The criterion may be applied in all cases where we have an expression of the form FI(x) in which FI is a non-relational predicate. Where FI is a relational predicate, that is where we have Ry(x), the criterion may be applied unless R is a spatial relationship as between x and y; but a successful application of the criterion will indicate only that either x or y has changed, it will not enable us to decide which of the two has changed" [p. 333].
Smullyan, A. F.
1947 Modality and Description, The Journal of Symbolic Logic, 12, 139-41.
A criticism of the "slingshot" argument (in the formulation used by Quine 1953 to demonstrate the collapse of modal distinctions in quantified modal logic).
1985 Self-Deception and Scattered Events, Mind, 94, 64-69.
A solution to the time-of-a-killing problem (Goldman 1971, Thomson 1971a) by appeal to the notion of a scattered event. A scattered event has parts existing at different times, and it thereby does not change (thus the shooting does not change into a killing).
1965 Actions and Their Results, Logique et Analyse, 30, 111-25.
Develops on von Wright (1963) and provides a rich classificatory table of actions in terms of their conditions, act, and results [p. 115]. Seeks a clarification of the notion of an act and proposes "an amended set of necessary conditions for the performance of an act which help" von Wrights theory to evade a number of difficulties [p. 125].
1984 Mind-Body Interaction and Supervenient Causation, in P. A. French, T. Uehling, and H. K. Wettstein, eds. (1984), pp. 271-81.
The causal relation between events is analysed in terms of existence of a causal law that links properties and relations of these events: "Event x causes event y" is understood as "There are properties P and Q such that the having of property P by x causes y to have property Q", which is true iff "there are properties of x, including P, and properties of y, and a relation R between x and y, such that it is nomologically necessary that whenever an event has such properties of x and bears relation R to some other event with such properties as y, then that other event also has Q" [p. 279]. Applications to Davidsons (1970a) arguments for anomalous monism.
1987 Subjects Among Other Things, in J. Tomberlin, ed., Metaphysics (Philosophical Perspectives, Vol. 1), Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, pp. 155-87; reprinted in M. Rea, ed., Material Constitution. A Reader, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1997, pp. 63-89.
Section I (An Event or Process Ontology?) focuses on the question whether ordinary things can be identified with their underlying events (with their careers). The answer is skeptical, on account of the fact that an object could have had a different career than it actually had. The conclusion is that we should "leave open the question of reduction and [...] recognize instead a relation between things and their underlying events which though compatible with reduction or identity does not necessarily require reduction or identity" [p. 181].
1993 Davidsons Thinking Causes, in J. Heil and A. R. Mele, eds. (1993), pp. 41-50.
A defense of the criticisms of anomalous monism put forward in (1984) in reply to Davidson (1993c).
Sosa, E., ed.
1975 Causation and Conditionals, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Includes reprints of Davidson (1967c), Ducasse (1926), Kim (1971, 1973b), D. K. Lewis (1973), J. L. Mackie (1965), von Wright (1973), and parts of R. Taylor (1965).
1979 Essays in the Philosophy of R. M. Chisholm [= Grazer philosophische Studien, 7/8], Amsterdam and Atlanta, GA: Editions Rodopi.
Includes Anscombe (1979b), Chisholm (1979d), Donagan (1979), Kim (1979), Pollock (1979), Wiggins (1979), Wolterstorff (1979).
Sosa, E., Tooley, M., eds.
1993 Causation, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Includes J. Bennett (1987), Davidson (1967c), Kim (1971), D. K. Lewis (1973).
1987 Review of LePore and McLaughlin, eds. (1985), Philosophical Books, 28, 65-73.
1990 Direct and Indirect Cause, Topoi, 9, 125-45.
Proposes the transitive closure of direct causation as the weakest notion of causation.
Srzednicki, J. T., Stachniak, Z., eds.
1988 S. Lesniewskis Lecture Notes in Logic, Warsawa: PWN - Polish Scientific Publishers; Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Includes notes from a lecture by Lesniewski on Whiteheads (1919) axiomatic theory of events [pp. 171-78]. Compare Lesniewski (1928) (infra, Appendix) and Sinisi (1966).
Stafleu, M. D.
1985 Spatial Things and Kinematic Events, Philosophia Reformata, 50, 9-20.
A discussion of the reality of such events as waves and periodic oscillations, which have a "low-level" individuality with respect to plants and animals (as do purely spatial entities such as geometric figures).
1984 Note, Archives de Philosophie, 47, 476-79.
A note on Petit (1984).
1986 Review of LePore and McLaughlin, eds. (1985), Revue Philosophique de la France et de létranger, 17, 542-44.
1991 Événements et éventualités [Events and Eventualities, in French], in J.-L. Petit, ed. (1991), pp. 251-55.
Drawing from Reichenbach, argues that Davidsons theory "cant deal with what is the opposite of events, the antisituations" [Abstract, on p. 286]. A semantic analysis based on both events and such opposites is outlined.
Stalnaker, R. C.
1967 Events, Periods, and Institutions in Historians Language, History and Theory, 6, 159-79.
Examines the use of proper names to refer to events. "The American Civil War is the name of an event. A lot of smaller events like the moving of armies, people dying, and the government issuing proclamations constitute this event; but an analysis of the meaning of the American Civil War would not show us what was happening in the relevant spatio-temporal region, or even very precisely what the relevant spatio-temporal region is; we must investigate the facts" [p. 165]. Section 4 on the ontological question, "Do things like the Renaissance--events, periods, and institutions--really exist?"
1973 Tenses and Pronouns, The Journal of Philosophy, 70, 610-2.
Comments on Partee (1973).
Stanton, W. L.
1983 Supervenience and Psychophysical Law in Anomalous Monism, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 64, 72-79.
On whether Davidsons denial of psychophysical laws is compatible with psychophysical supervenience. Defends the denial, but has misgivings about the soundness of Davidsons argument for anomalous monism.
1974 Irving Thalbergs Component Analysis of Emotion and Action, The Philosophical Quarterly, 24, 150-55.
A criticism of Thalberg (1973).
1977 Verbs, Time and Modality, Cognitive Science, 1, 216-34.
Classifies verb types following Vendler (1957).
1997 Temporality, in J. van Benthem and A. G. B. ter Meulen, eds., Handbook of Logic and Language, Amsterdam: Elsevier; Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp. 895-938.
Section 2, on temporal ontology, discusses approaches that take events as primitive.
1983 "Under a Description", in L. S. Cauman, I. Levi, C. Parsons, and R. Schwartz, eds., How Many Questions? Essays in Honor of Sidney Morgenbesser, Indianapolis: Hackett, pp. 120-31.
On Davidsons view (also attributed to S. Morgenbesser) that all explanation is relative to a description. Includes a criticism of Davidsons account of singular causal statements.
1986 Events and Causality, The Journal of Philosophy, 83, 249-64.
Applies Davidsons (1967c) views on causal relations to the question whether causality continues to play any role in mathematical physics. In the last part argues "that there is no longer any need to restrict the causal relation to events and that scientific theories have, in the past, asserted causal relations as holding among such entities as charges and fields.
Stenner, A. J.
1974 Toward a Theory of Event Identity, Philosophy of Science, 41, 65-83.
An extensional, Davidsonian theory of event identity for application to historical sentences.
Stern, C. D.
1978 The Alleged Extensionality of "Causal Explanatory Concepts", Philosophy of Science, 45, 614-25.
A criticism of Levin (1976). Argues that the referential opacity of explanation can be accounted for by viewing explanation as a speech act, which may or may not be successful depending on which of several co-referential expressions is used.
1981 Lewis Counterfactual Analysis of Causation, Synthese, 48, 333-46.
With regard to D. K. Lewiss (1973) analysis, argues that determination of the set of possible worlds "most similar" to the actual one depends on causal relations.
1982 Logical Features of Reference to Facts in Causal Statements, Philosophical Studies, 41, 197-212.
Argues that "substitutivity holds in the case of event-citing but fails in the case of fact-citing singular causal statements because of the logical properties of the mechanism for referring to events and facts, rather than those of the context --- caused ... or of different kinds of causal statements. That context, or perhaps we should say both of those contexts, are extensional" [pp. 198-99].
1988 The Prospects for Elimination of Event-Talk, Philosophical Studies, 54, 43-62.
Argues against the possibility of a language in which expressions involving reference to or quantification over events can be systematically avoided. Focuses particularly on singular causal statements.
1989 Paraphrase and Parsimony, Metaphilosophy, 20, 34-42.
Discussion of strategies à la Horgan (1978) for avoiding ontological commitment to events.
1993 Semantic Emphasis in Causal Sentences, Synthese, 95, 379-418.
Argues that emphasized causal sentences such as "Socrates drinking hemlock at dusk caused his death" (Dretske 1977) "conjoin predication of a causal relation between events with predication of a relation of causal relevance between states of affairs (or perhaps facts)" [p. 379, Abstract]. Compare Peterson (1994).
1965 Fictional Characters, Places, and Events, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 26, 202-15.
On creating fictional events by means of fictional sentences.
1970 The Concept of a Human Action, Inquiry, 13 [Special Issue on "Action"], 1-31.
A human action is "something done, such that what is done is an expression of the agents meaning" [p. 2].
1992 Was sind Ereignisse? Eine Studie zur Anlytische Ontologie [What Are Events? A Study on Analytic Ontology, in German], Berlin and New York: de Gruyter
Argues that the fine-grained conception of events (e.g., Goldmans) is incompatible with the causal role of events and, more generally, with any materialist ontology.
1993 Actions, Reasons, and Their Relationship, in R. Stoecker, ed. (1993), pp. 265-86.
Compares Davidsons criteria for introducing events with parallel putative criteria for introducing states. If sentences such as Doris was tired hide a quantification over states, "there will hardly be any sentence left that does not. And this would [...] shed a strange light on Davidsons entire semantical project" [p. 273]. Davidsons reply in (1993b).
Stoecker, R., ed.
1993 Reflecting Davidson. Donald Davidson Responding to an International Forum of Philosophers, Berlin: de Gruyter.
Includes Künne (1993) and Stoecker (1993) along with Davidsons replies (1993a, 1993b). There is also a rich bibliography and a complete listing of Davidsons publications, reprints and translations up to Spring 1993.
Stoothoff, R. H.
1968 What Actually Exists (Symposium with P. Geach), Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl. Vol. 42, 17-30.
Commenting on Geachs (1968): "Actuality does not comprise only what actually exists (actual objects); it includes also what actually holds (actual attributes) and what actually occurs (actual events) [...] An actual event is an event which implies change in some actual object. Some, but not all, actual events are events that happen to actual objects: the melting of a piece of butter is an actual event that happens to the butter whereas a rise in its price is an actual event that does not happen to it (or to any actual object)" [p. 22].
1996 Things That Happen Because They Should. A Teleological Approach to Action, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
An externalist approach to the explanation of actions: "actions are the immediate results of causal processes which are sensitive to actual (external) means-end considerations [...] Activity constitutes intentional action in virtue of being causally explainable in terms of a teleological justification of it" [p. 3]. "Like Davidson, I claim that an event constitutes an action in virtue of being explained in terms of a justification of it. What makes my Teleological Theory of Action different from Davidsons account is that I do not spell out this justification in terms of attitudes and beliefs. I claim that the appropriate notion of justification can be spelt out without mentioning beliefs and intentions at all" [p. 5].
1997 Processes, Philosophy, 72, 19-27.
Presents an original conception of processes "as entities which, like physical objects, do not extend in time and do not have temporal parts, but rather persist in time. Processes and events belong to metaphysically distinct categories" [p. 19]. Thus, "at every moment during which a process is happening, the process as a whole is present" [p. 26].
1968 Basic Actions and Causality, The Journal of Philosophy, 65, 467-75.
Contests two consequences of Dantos characterization of the distinction between basic and non-basic actions, namely (i) that all non-basic actions are cases of causing something to happen, and (ii) that to perform a non-basic action by causing something to happen is always to cause some action to happen.
1976 The Causation of Behavior, Acta Philosophica Fennica, 28 (Essays on Wittgenstein in Honour of G. H. von Wright), 286-325.
Includes a criticism of Davidsons account of the notions of causation and explanation. Further developed in (1980, 1982).
1980 Oblique Causation and Reasons for Action, Synthese, 43, 351-67.
A criticism of Davidsons view that attitudes cause behavior only obliquely.
1982 Philosophy of Action: Davidson, von Wright, and the Debate over Causation, in G. Fløistad, ed., Contemporary Philosophy. A New Survey. Volume 3. Philosophy of Action, Boston: Nijhoff, pp. 45-72.
A critical review of the debate over the causal theory of action in the 70s, focusing on the work of Davidson and von Wright,.
1990 Von Wrights Theory of Action, in P. A. Schilpp and L. E. Hahn, eds., The Philosophy of George Henrik von Wright, La Salle, IL: Open Court, pp. 305-32.
Argues that von Wrights (Kantian-Wittgensteinian) theory of action has a problem in relating intentional actions and bodily movements.
1987 Accordion Effects Without Accordion Players, Philosophia, 17, 191-94.
Argues that Davidson (1971a) is wrong to regard Feinbergs (1965) thesis (an action can be expanded to include its effects and still be called an action) as philosophically useful.
Strawson, P. F.
1950 Truth (Symposium with J. L. Austin), Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl. Vol. 24, 129-56.
Contends that Austins (1950) assumption that facts are in the world is based on a type mistake confusing facts with events and things. Compare Shorter (1962) and Vendler (1967a). Critical examination of the debate in Tillman (1966).
1959 Individuals: An Essay in Descriptive Metaphysics, London: Methuen.
Communication is possible even in a language lacking means for referring to or quantifying over events, whereas concepts for (quantification over) other individuals such as material bodies are necessary in order for communication to be possible. Holds that "A flash occurred" does not entail "Something flashed" [p. 46]. Discussion in Moravcsik (1965), Lycan (1970), Thalberg (1978a), Harman (1981), Tiles (1981), McGinn (1991), and Lowe (1994) inter alia.
1974 On Understanding the Structure of Ones Language, in Freedom and Resentment and Other Essays, London: Methuen, pp. 198-207; reprinted in G. Evans and J. McDowell, eds., Truth and Meaning: Essays in Semantics, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976, pp. 189-98.
A criticism of Davidsons account of linguistic understanding in terms of mastering of an underlying logical form.
1985 Causation and Explanation, in B. Vermazen and M. B. Hintikka, eds. (1985), pp. 115-35; reprinted as Chapter 9 of Strawson (1992), pp. 109-31.
On Davidson (1967c). Causation is a natural relation; explanation an intellectual relation, holding between facts or between truths.
1992 Analysis and Metaphysics. An Introduction to Philosophy, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Remarks that Davidsons (1967a) analysis of action sentences is "unrealistic and unnecessary" [pp. 102-6]. Chapter 9 on causation and explanation.
Sutton, A., Johnson, C., Shields, R., eds.
1991 Proceedings of the Seventeenth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society. General Section and Parasession on the Grammar of Event Structure, Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Linguistic Society.
Includes Partee (1991), DeLancey (1991), ter Meulen (1991b), Talmy (1991), and Singh (1991).
1980 Davidson Dualised, Philosophical Papers, 9, 14-20.
The identity criteria for mental events and those for physical events are so distinct that the mental/physical identity thesis cannot be established.
1978 A Counterfactual Analysis of Event Causation, Philosophical Studies, 34, 1-19; partially incorporated in Chapter 2 of Swain (1981).
Gives an analysis of singular event causation in the spirit of D. K. Lewiss (1973) counterfactual account, though giving a different account of the asymmetry of the causal relation. The final part focuses on the problem of causal overdetermination. Claims that the account remains neutral with respect to questions such as the possibility of backwards or simultaneous causation. See comments of W. A. Davis (1980).
1980 Causation and Distinct Events, in P. van Inwagen, ed. (1980), pp. 155-69; partially incorporated in Chapter 2 of Swain (1981).
1981 Reasons and Knowledge, Ithaca, NY, and London: Cornell University Press.
Chapter 2, "Causation", rielaborates material from Swain (1978, 1980). Events are spatio-temporally located particulars. They are not repeatable, but "each is, we might suppose, a unique exemplification of something that is repeatable" [p. 47]. Events c and e are identical iff, necessarily, c occurs iff e occurs [p. 52]. Causation is defined in terms of causal chains of occurrent events [final definition on p. 68]. Includes a discussion of compound events.
1982 Are Mental Events Identical with Brain Events?, American Philosophical Quarterly, 19, 173-82.
Answers the title question in the negative. Treating events as property exemplifications, argues that "although the instantiation of two different properties in a substance may constitute the same event, that will be so only if (in Goldmans terminology) the instantiation of the one level-generates the instantiation of the other, This does not hold in the case of mental and brain events" [The Philosophers Index Abstract].
1990 Tensed Facts, American Philosophical Quarterly, 27, 117-30.
Criticizes the new tenseless theory of time (Mellor 1981a, 1981b).
1976 Tatsachen und empirischen Gesetze im Lichte der These von der Existenz objektiver Ereignisse [Facts and Empirical Laws in the Light of the Thesis of the Existence of Objective Events, in German], Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie, 24, 1461-72.
An analysis of the notions of fact and event in the spirit of Reichenbach. Applications to dialectic materialism.
Back to Contents
1976 Semantic Causative Types, in M. Shibatani, ed., Syntax and Semantics, Volume 6, The Grammar of Causative Constructions, New York: Academic Press, pp. 43-116.
A study of (simple and complex) causative situations. Conditions on simple causative situations include their consisting of "simple" events (cause and effect) and the fact that "the caused event functions as the figure and the causing event as the ground of the whole situation [...]; the causal relation is result from" [p. 67]. "The term causative in a semantic analysis of language must [...] be distinguished from the scientific notion of causation in the physical world" [p. 47]. In the sentence A ball rolling into it broke the vase, "causality is expressed at present only at the moment of interaction between two events, but not also throughout the events" [p. 48]. Event-sentences are thus taken to express autonomous events.
1991 Path to Realization: A Typology of Event Conflation, in L. A. Sutton, C. Johnson, and R. Shields, eds., (1991), pp. 480-519.
Among other things, argues that "in the underlying conceptual organization of language, there is a major inclusive type of event complex--composed of certain kinds of simplex events in certain relationships--that perhaps universally is also amenable to conceptualization as a single fused event and, accordingly, to expression by a single clause" [p. 480].
1974 The Semantics of Adverbs, Doctoral Dissertation, Oxford University.
1976 States of Affairs, in G. Evans and J. McDowell, eds., Truth and Meaning: Essays in Semantics, Oxford: Clarendon Press, pp. 263-84.
Set-theoretic construction of states of affairs. Includes a defense of the basic approach against slingshot-type arguments (Davidson 1967a, 1967c) to the effect that sentences that are either substitutionally or logically equivalent refer to the same state of affairs.
1977 Tense and Continuity, Linguistics and Philosophy, 1, 199-220; reprinted with revisions as Chapter 3 of B. Taylor (1985), pp. 51-80.
Extended discussion of the taxonomy of verbs in terms of the properties they display in their continuous tenses. The account is similar that of Dowty (1977) and M. Bennett and B. H. Partee (1978). Also germane to Vendler (1957) in proposing "a formal account [within a Fregean tense framework] of Aristotles trichotomy of verbs, in terms of properties of their continuous tensing" [Authors Abstract, p. 199].
1983/4 Events and Adverbs, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 84, 103-22.
The "predicate modifier" approach is rejected in favor of Davidsons (1967a) treatment of adverbs as adjectives of events. This treatment, however, is claimed to only work if underpinned by an adequate metaphysical account of the nature of events. The proposed account views events as states of affairs in the spirit of the (1976) treatment. Most material incorporated in (1985), passim.
1985 Modes of Occurrence: Verbs, Adverbs and Events, Oxford: Blackwell.
An investigation of the problems adverbs pose for systematic semantics (from the Davidsonian perspective that a recursive theory of truth is central to a theory of meaning). The bulk of the theory is an expansion of (1983/4) and builds on (1976, 1977). Events are regarded as "facts which constitute temporally continuous changes manifested in some objects" [p. 85]. Affinities with the property exemplification account of R. M. Martin, Kim, and Goldman. Reviewed by Tiles (1986), Cresswell (1987), C. A. Macdonald (1985b).
Taylor, B[arry], Hazen, A. P.
1992 Flexibly Structured Predication, Logique et Analyse, 139-40, 375-93.
Considers languages which contains "flexibly structured predicates", i.e., predicates which have a fixed number of predicate places (as in standard first-order logic), each such argument-place being occupied by a variable number of terms (as in Grandys 1976 anadic logic). Relevant to an assessment of Kennys (1963) problem of the "variable polyadicity" of action verbs.
1973 Mental Events: Are There Any?, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 51, 189-200.
Argues that certain grammatical features of mental language do not fit in with the view that there are such things as mental events. Expressions usually taken to refer to mental events are best understood as factive. And "a fact is not an event".
1970 Explaining Action, Inquiry, 13 [Special Issue on "Action"], 54-89.
Discussion of the relation between desires, feelings, etc., and the actions that flow from them.
Taylor, C. C. W.
1965 States, Activities, and Performances (Symposium with T. C. Potts), Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl. Vol. 39, 85-102.
Comments on Potts (1965), focusing mainly on the analysis of Aristotles views.
1955 Spatial and Temporal Analogies and the Concept of Identity, The Journal of Philosophy, 52, 599-612.
Argues against the view that a thing can move back and forth in space, but it cannot move back and forth in time. "Consider, for instance, an aerial disturbance such as a whistle blast, existing non-simultaneously in three nearby towns, A, B, and C, B being located between the other two. At T1 the disturbance exists in A and C but not in B, and at T2 it is heard at neither A nor C but is at B" [p. 611].
1959 Moving about in Time, The Philosophical Quarterly, 9, 289-301.
Further elaborates on the idea that objects are not temporally immobile. The opposite, commonplace view rests on the conventional tensing of verbs: "If we were in the habit of modifying verbs to indicate where things are [...] instead of when things are [...], then the notion of things moving in space would probably appear as a great absurdity, whereas moving in time would seem commonplace" [p. 289]. Critical discussion in Thomson (1965).
1963a Metaphysics, Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall (Second Edition 1974).
Chapter 7 includes a discussion of time, change, and the similarities between spatial and temporal concepts [pp. 72ff] based mostly on (1955). Chapter 9 on causation, viewed as a relationship "between changes or states of substances, and only indirectly between the substances themselves" [pp. 92-93].
1963b Causation, The Monist, 47, 287-313; reprinted in Brand, ed. (1976), pp. 279-313.
Analysis of the necessary-and-sufficient account of causation. "It is, at best, simply arbitrary how one divides any process up into events" [p. 312].
1965 Action and Purpose, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall; reprint New York: Humanities Press, 1974.
Draws a sharp distinction between actions and mere happenings: Johns moving his finger entails, but is not entailed by, his fingers moving. Causality can generally be explained in terms of events bringing about other events. But when a person acts, the cause of the act is not an event but simply the person.
1967 Causation, in P. Edwards, ed. in chief, The Encyclopedia of Philosophy New York: Macmillan and Free Press, Vol. 2, pp. 56-66.
An extensive and wide-ranging survey.
Tedeschi, P., Zaenen, A., eds.
1981 Syntax and Semantics, Volume 14, Tense and Aspect, New York: Academic Press.
Includes M. Bennett (1981), Dahl (1981), Mourelatos (1978), Hoepelman and Rohrer (1981), M. R. Johnson (1981), and Vlach (1981a).
1987 Review of Lombard (1986), LePore and McLaughlin, eds. (1985), and Fang (1985), Mind, 96, 124-33.
1990 Review of J. Bennett (1988), Mind, 99, 299-301.
1991 Time and Change, The Philosophical Quarterly, 41, 158-77.
Statements about changeless time are intelligible (see Shoemaker 1969).
1992 Abstract Entities, Basingstoke: Macmillan.
• Events are abstract entities, in the sense that "event is to be lumped with, and treated in the same way as, some other expressions usually called abstract terms" [p. 103]. Event is a contextually eliminable general term. "Neither event-statements nor event-terms refer to/specify events [...] That it is events that we commit ourselves [...] is shown simply by the sort of predicables which get attached to the bound variables: predicables like - is a bark and Fido did -" [pp. 108f]. Includes detailed discussion of Davidsons views and arguments. Chapter 5 on identity criteria.
Tenny, C. L.
1987 Grammaticalizing Aspect and Affectedness, Doctoral Dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
1994 Aspectual Roles and the Syntax-Semantics Interface, Dordrecht, Boston, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Aspectual structure is part of the semantic representation of events (event structure) and syntactic phenomena may be classified as to whether or not they are sensitive to the "core event" of event structure. Most material in Chapter 2, with the caveat "this is not metaphysics; it is not a search for the nature of events as temporal entities in the world. It is a search for the nature of events as temporal entities in natural language" [p. 131].
1996 Integrating World Knowledge and Linguistic Constraints in the Temporal Interpretation of "When" Sentences, International Journal of Intelligent Systems, 11, 367-408.
On determining the qualitative temporal constraints between the eventualities described by when-clauses.
ter Meulen, A. G. B.
1980 Substances, Quantities, and Individuals, Doctoral Dissertation, Stanford University.
1983 The Representation of Time in Natural Language, in A. G. B. ter Meulen, ed., Studies in Model-Theoretic Semantics, Dordrecht: Foris, pp. 177-91.
A model-theoretic account of the state/activity/accomplishment/achievement classification.
1984 Events, Quantities and Individuals, in F. Landman and F. Veltman, eds., Varieties of Formal Semantics. Proceedings of the 4th Amsterdam Colloquium, Dordrecht: Foris, pp. 259-79.
A study of homogeneously referring expressions, i.e., expressions whose denotation is closed under parts of their referents: parts of acts of writing are themselves acts of writing.
1985 Progressives without Possible Worlds, in W. H. Eilfort, P. D. Kroeber, and K. L. Peterson, eds., CLS 21: Papers from the Twenty-First Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, Part 1, Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society, pp. 408-23.
Argues that progressives should not be interpreted by sets of atomic facts, but by incomplete events which are parts of complete events. Includes a presentation of the required theory of parts and wholes.
1986 Structured Domains for Events (Abstract), The Journal of Symbolic Logic, 51, 857.
"What counts as one uninterrupted event, if we have partial information, depends on what other events our representation contains and on the grain of detail of the representation". Develops a situation semantics with "event-indeterminates", in terms of which the notions of divisible event and concurrence of events with different internal structure are characterized.
1987a Incomplete Events, in J. Groenendijk, M. Stokhof, and F. Veltman, eds., Proceedings of the 6th Amsterdam Colloquium, University of Amsterdam: Institute for Language, Logic and Computation, pp. 263-79.
Developments of the ideas put forward in (1985).
1987b Locating Events, in J. A. G. Groenendijk, D. de Jongh, and M. Stokhof, eds., Foundations of Pragmatics and Lexical Semantics, Dordrecht: Foris, pp. 27-40.
Defines "the location of an event as an equivalence-class of events in a temporal structure based on a domain structured by [a] general spatial part-of relation between objects", which entails a negative answer to the Davidsonian question "if relations may be constituents in events and hold of objects, do they hold of larger objects containing them?" [p. 30].
1991a English Aspectual Verbs as Generalized Quantifiers, in A. L. Halpern, ed., Proceedings of the Ninth West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics [WCCFL9], Stanford: Center for the Study of Language and Information, pp. 347-60.
Argues that aspectual verbs are essentially quantificational in nature. "The theory provides a systematic distinction between aspectual verbs which concern the internal structure of an event, quantifying over stages of one and the same event, and aspectual verbs which govern the external temporal relations between events, quantifying over distinct occurrences of the same type of events" [p. 348]. A contribution to natural language metaphysics.
1991b Shifting of Reference-Time and Perspective, in L. A. Sutton, C. Johnson, and R. Shields, eds., (1991), pp. 520-30.
On the way we incorporate descriptions of past events and states into given information. The ontological structure of the representations is provided by a non-reductionist conception of events (events cannot be reduced to sets of temporal instants). "Events are part of the world as much as we are, and they consist of other semantic objects (e.g., relations, individuals, and properties). But event-types are best understood as ways of classifying the world into similar parts in which the same thing happens" [p. 521].
1995 Representing Time in Natural Language. The Dynamic Interpretation of Tense and Aspect, Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT Press/Bradford Books.
An original approach (in the spirit of dynamic temporal logic) to the analysis of how temporal information is used to reason about the flow of time, inferring the order in which events happen.
1967a Do We Cause Our Own Actions?, Analysis, 27, 196-201; reprinted with revisions in Thalberg (1972), pp. 35-47.
An attempt to understand the notion of agent causation as opposed to event causation. No intelligible instance is found.
1967b Verbs, Deeds and What Happened to Us, Theoria, 33, 259-77; reprinted with revisions under the title How Can We Distinguish Between Doing and Undergoing? in Thalberg (1972), pp. 48-72.
Proposes a quasi-linguistic criterion for distinguishing verbs of action from verbs and verb phrases used to delineate things that befall to us.
1968 Other Times, Other Places, Other Minds, Philosophical Studies, 20, 23-29.
With many individual events we can imagine that they occur at a different time or in a different location. Can we likewise conceive of one mans earache belonging to someone else?
1971a Singling out Actions, their Properties and Components, The Journal of Philosophy, 68, 781-87.
Proposes (against Kim, Goldman and L. H. Davis, collectively referred to as "multipliers") that "My right foot changes position" and "I careen past a red light" do not mark separate occurrences, and (against Anscombe and Davidson, the "unifiers") that they do not record the same event. "To ask whether x and y describe a single action is not to ask whether they describe tandem deeds. A negative answer to the former is not a positive answer to the latter" [p. 786]. The proposed account accordingly exploits the idea of tallying up the subevents each reported event includes: its parts which are themselves events". A middle-ground approach in the spirit of Thomsons (1977) mereological account.
1971b Comments, in R. Binkley, R. Bronaugh, and A. Marras, eds. (1971), pp. 154-66.
Comments on Pears (1971) on describing actions.
1972 Enigmas of Agency. Studies in the Philosophy of Human Action, London: Allen & Unwin.
Includes revised reprints of Thalberg (1967a, 1967b) and Levison and Thalberg (1969).
1973 Constituents and Causes of Emotion and Action, The Philosophical Quarterly, 23, 1-13.
Proposes to rank some of a persons beliefs as components of his actions. Muscular and neural event ingredients cannot be causes of the broader event, but they may cause other subevents. Criticism in Staude (1974).
1975 When Do Causes Take Effect?, Mind, 84, 583-89.
On the by-relation. "From the premise that I carry out action A by doing B, and the premise [...] that A and B are not identical, you cannot infer that A and B are numerically distinct individual performances, in the clear sense that tuning and winking are" [p. 589]. See comments in Elliot and Smith (1976).
1976 How Does Agent Causality Work?, in M. Brand and D. Walton, eds. (1976), pp. 213-37.
Raises various difficulties for the theory of free action stemming from Chisholms (1976b) account of agent causation.
1977 Perception, Emotion and Action: A Component Approach, Oxford: Blackwell.
Full presentation of the "component approach" to actions and events outlined in previous work (especially 1973, 1975), including a discussion of the tie between reasons and deeds (Chapter 3), of the bodily components of action (Chapter 4), and of the individuation of events which are basic and non-basic actions (Chapter 5). The "unifier-multiplier" terminology introduced in (1971a) is replaced by a "pluralist-reductive" opposition.
1978a The Irreducibility of Events, Analysis, 38, 1-9.
Argues against "the best known schemes for reductively analysing events in material-body and other terms" [p. 3], specifically the propositional theories of Chisholm and N. L. Wilson and the property-exemplification theories of Kim and Goldman. Favours the position of a symmetry ontologist like Moravcsik (1965) vs. Strawson (1959). Criticisms in Feldman and Wierenga (1979).
1978b Could Affects Be Effects?, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 56, 143-54.
Our descriptions of two events may be logically linked even though the link between the events themselves may be contingent (perhaps causal). Even so, we should be able to distinguish the episode (state) of emotion from the cognitive goings-on that may have spawned it.
1978c A Novel Approach to Mind-Brain Identity, Philosophical Studies, 33, 255-72.
The solution is not to equate mental events with brain processes, but to regard the cerebral event as one (localizable) component of the larger (possibly incorrigible and intentional) mental state.
1978d Agent Causality and Reasons for Acting, Philosophia, 7 [Special Issue on "The Philosophy of Roderick M. Chisholm"], 555-66.
Asks "whether there is a correlation between [...] a person agent causing his body to move and the event of that person having reasons to perform an action which comprises such a bodily movement. Either a Yes or a No answer will have implications which agent causationists [such as Chisholm] probably wish to avoid" [p. 555]. Reply in Chisholm (1978).
1980a Can We Get Rid of Events?, Analysis, 40, 25-31.
A refinement of Thalberg (1978a) in reply to Feldman and Wierenga (1979).
1980b Avoiding the Emotion-Thought Conundrum, Philosophy, 55, 396-402.
Proposes an adverbial analysis which makes emotion a "way of thinking" (as opposed to a distinguished event).
1981 Demarcating Actions and Their Effects, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 11, 241-44.
Challenges C. A. Macdonalds (1978, 1981) Davidsonian claim that an act of killing someone may be identical with the killers bodily movement which causes the victims death: it is not clear how the aggressor can cause a death before the death has occurred.
1985 A World Without Events?, in B. Vermazen and M. B. Hintikka, eds. (1985), pp. 137-55.
A defense of pro-event metaphysicians against no-event metaphysicians. Summarizes and tries to meet objections by Aune (1977), Horgan (1978), Trenholme (1975, 1978), Chisholm (1976a), Kim, and others.
1986 The Immateriality of "Abstract Objects" and the Mental, Analysis, 46, 93-97.
The analogy between the alleged immateriality of mental events and the immateriality of numbers (or other abstract objects) is "promising, but ultimately unhelpful".
Thelin, N. B.
1990a Perception, Conception and Linguistic Reproduction of Events and Time: the Category of Verbal Aspect in the Light of Charles Sanders Peirces Theory of Signs, in K. L. Ketner, ed., Proceedings of Charles S. Peirce Sesquicentennial International Congress, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University.
1990b Verbal Aspect in Discourse: On the State of the Art, in N. B. Thelin, ed., Verbal Aspect in Discourse, Contributions to the Semantics of Time and Temporal Perspective in Slavic and Non-Slavic Languages, Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, pp. 3-88.
A useful survey particularly concerned with the notion of event and its role in aspect semantics.
Theobald, D. V.
1970 Accident and Chance, Philosophy, 45, 106-13.
A discussion of the meaning of accident and chance in relation to events that happen--or doings that are done--accidentally or by chance.
Thomason, R. H.
1971 Logic and Adverbs, The Journal of Philosophy, 68, 715-16.
Following Montague (1970a, 1970b), predicate adverbs can be formalized using the abstraction operator and interpreted as functions taking propositional functions into propositional functions. This account "produces fewer logical consequences than one might desire" [p. 715]. For instance, it does not validate adverb dropping inferences. But what criteria can be used to establish when such an inference should be validated? As a problematic example, the pattern Otto closed the door partway. Therefore Otto closed the door is considered.
1984 Some Issues Concerning the Interpretation of Derived and Gerundive Nominals, Linguistics and Philosophy, 8 [Special Issue on "Situations and Attitudes", R. Cooper and