[Philosophy Seminar @ NTU] “A Motor Theory of Bodily Action?” by Dr. Wong Hong Yu (19 Mar)

On behalf of the NTU Philosophy Group, you are cordially invited to attend their philosophy seminar on Tuesday, 19 March, from 10.30am to 12pm at the HSS Meeting Room 4 (HSS-04-71), HSS Building, NTU (for a map of the place, go to: http://maps.ntu.edu.sg/maps#q:HSS ).

If you are attending, please RSVP Priya at shanmugapriya@ntu.edu.sg


In this talk I will argue against all major accounts of action in the philosophical literature. The unifying theme will be that all extant accounts either fail to capture the intrinsic agentive character of bodily action (the standard causal accounts; Davidson and followers) or attempt to assimilate it to some form of mental action (volitionism and trying theory; Hornsby 1980, McCann 1998). I will then explore whether examining the operation of the motor system itself – something philosophers have not yet done – might give us some insight into the agentive character of bodily action. Finally, I will compare aspects of this motor theory of bodily action with theories of action which also hold that action is intrinsically agentive, but which understand this in terms of the exercise of self-conscious capacities (Thompson 2010; McDowell 2011)

About the Speaker: Hong Yu Wong is currently Group Leader of the Junior Research Group in Philosophy of Neuroscience at the Werner Reichardt Centre of Integrative Neuroscience, an excellence cluster at the Univeristy of Tubingen. His primary research interests concern the relations between perception and action, and the role of the body in structuring these relations.

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