BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    A conditional theory of trying

    Ruben, David (2016) A conditional theory of trying. Philosophical Studies 173 (1), pp. 271-287. ISSN 0031-8116.

    Full text not available from this repository.


    What I shall do in this paper is to propose an analysis of ‘Agent P tries to A’ in terms of a subjunctive conditional, that avoids some of the problems that beset most alternative accounts of trying, which I call ‘referential views’. They are so-named because on these alternative accounts, ‘P tries to A’ entails that there is a trying to A by P, and therefore the expression ‘P’s trying to A’ can occur in the subject of a sentence and be used to refer to a particular, namely an act or event of trying. A conditional account such as mine avoids having to answer questions about those alleged particulars, for example their location and their causal relation to physical actions, or alternatively their identity to physical actions. In brief, the analysis I propose eschews any need to quantify over any sort of trying particulars. I both clarify the proposal and deal with five possible objections to it: (1) metaphysically impossible actions: (2) cases of finking and reverse-cycle finking; (3) the empirical emptiness of preventers and blockers; (4) proximate intentions and trying; and (5) alleged explanatory loss.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Trying, Subjunctive conditional, Finking and reverse cycle finking, Metaphysically impossible actions
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2016 11:45
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:25


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item