The Causal Theory Of Action: Overpopulation

1625 words - 7 pages

The problem of mental overpopulation is pretty easy to see. It is visible in situations like freezing on a test, cramping on the field, or overthrowing the first baseman. Basically, those times when you overthink or try to do too much in a situation, those thoughts actually become detrimental and stop us from performing as well as expected. Philosophers Ruben and Dreyfus do a really good job of highlighting this problem in the Causal Theory of Action. Thinkers like Davidson and Clarke do not do enough to solve this problem of mental overpopulation. They attempt to show that the Causal Theory of Action forms the foundation on which we act. The problem of mental overpopulation reveals the cracks in the casual theory’s foundation. Thus, the Causal Theory of Action cannot withstand the problem of mental overpopulation.
The Causal Theory of Action is one way that philosophers try to explain why humans act the way we do. Davidson is really the first to formulate and popularize the theory. He believed a person’s action was the result of a primary reason and belief under a description. In other words, “the primary reason for an action is its cause” (Davidson 686). Primary reasons consist of pro attitudes and beliefs, “which are states or dispositions, not events; therefore they cannot be causes” (Davidson 693). It is hard for me to see the cause-effect relationship Davidson talks about at times. He tries to create a causal explanation for action, but does not fully connect the dots between primary reasons and actions for every situation. He tries to create a pretty generalizable formula to explain human action. But it does not seem to apply in every situation. This is where Ruben and Dreyfus and the problem of mental overpopulation seem to come in to the discussion.
Ruben and Dreyfus highlight thinkers that show the Causal Theory of Action is not the end all be all explanation for identifying the roots of human action. In reference to the causal theory, Ruben states that in order to account for skilled activity, “the theory must overpopulate the mind” (Clarke 532). He goes on to say that “the appeal to causation by psychological attitudes of the specified types,” that is to say desires and beliefs, “cannot alone” answer the question of how and why humans act. Ruben is not alone in this belief. As Montero put it, “once you have developed the ability to play an arpeggio on the piano, putt a golf ball or parallel park, attention to what you are doing leads to inaccuracies, blunders and sometimes even utter paralysis.” Desires and reasoning fall by the wayside after a while because our minds and bodies become so in tune with the activity we are engaging in that we do not need to think about it. But when we do, that is when we mess up.
This is apparent in a classic study by Timothy Wilson and Jonathan Schooler that is frequently cited in support of the notion that experts, when performing at their best, act intuitively and automatically and don’t think...

Find Another Essay On The Causal Theory of Action: Overpopulation

The Problem of Overpopulation Essay

611 words - 3 pages begin reproducing and it is estimated within 50 years Earth's population will reach 10 billion. Overpopulation is an issue that affects us all and the population surge on our planet is tremendous. It poses danger to not only we as humans, but to the world around us. The worst part of all this is that there is no one cure, no panacea. A worldly effort will be needed to cure Earth's population problem. However, one proposed solution to help ease the

The Causal Factors of the Arab Spring

823 words - 3 pages movements had toppled, though in different ways, authoritarian leaders including Zine El Abidine Bin Ali in Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen, and Muammar al-Qaddafi in Libya. In this article, I review the causal factors of the Arab Spring as perceived by scholars who applied qualitative methods (Weyland, 2013; Travis, 2012) or quantitative methods (García-Rivero, 2013; Archilov, 2013). Qualitative approach to

The Environmental Impact of Overpopulation

862 words - 3 pages inhabit planet earth will have a chance to survive. Solutions to maintaining world population will decrease overcrowding and human poverty. “Solutions to sustaining population growth include: education which warns people about the effects of overpopulation, family planning, sex-education, and health care. These things will allow people to acknowledge the effects of overpopulation, hopefully encouraging world stability.” (Kulkarni

The Devastating Effects of Overpopulation

2065 words - 8 pages this issue is too ‘big’ for the average person to do anything about.  Every move to reduce overpopulation is helping the environment and allowing the earth and life to be sustained.   In order to slow population growth, thus maintaining a fairly high quality of living and good health, action must be taken.  I am going to offer a few small suggestions as to what the average, busy American citizen can do about this problem. An obvious

The Cause of Animal Overpopulation

755 words - 4 pages these adoptable companions to be euthanized in animal shelters? The major cause was the overpopulation of animals without a home. Moreover, the irresponsible owners and breeders that did not sterilize their animals caused the overpopulation of animals. First of all, the main objective of all living organisms was to simply grow, survive, and reproduce (Raven 406). In other words, it would be a natural for animals to mate and reproduce, such as

The Effects of Overpopulation & Consumption

3400 words - 14 pages human’s destructive consumption. A third and final solution which can help to regulate and maintain population is controlling the number of offspring that a family can conceive. People should be educated in cause and effects it can have on the surroundings. “It is one of the most commonly agreed assumptions that sections of the society deprived of education contribute more to overpopulation. A lack of education, coupled with poverty, gives rise to a

‘Only the type-identity theory can secure the causal efficacy of the mental’ Discuss - University of Nottingham Philosophy Undergraduate First Year - Essay

1513 words - 7 pages ‘Only the type-identity theory can secure the causal efficacy of the mental’ Discuss In my essay I will argue that type-identity is the only theory that can secure the causal efficacy of the mental. I will first present the Identity theory as a theory for mental causation. I will then look to object this theory with the Functionalist position and Cartesian Dualism. However, I hope to show in what follows, that the type-identity theory provides

How have dualist tried to explain the apparent two-way causal interaction between mind and body? Which version of dualism is the most plausible theory of mind?

1144 words - 5 pages How have dualist tried to explain the apparent two-way causal interaction between mind and body? Which version of dualism is the most plausible theory of mind?The theory of dualism is based on the separation of the mind and body into two types of stuff - spiritual and physical. Dualists believe that the mind consists of spiritual stuff absent in the material world, while "the body is composed of ordinary matter" . Cartesian, or interactionalist

The Effects of Overpopulation on the Environment

697 words - 3 pages The Effects of Overpopulation on the Environment The world population reached 6 billion, on October 12, 1999. It will reach 9.3 billion by 2050. The impacts of continued population growth are already felt by a majority of nations. Overpopulation is the root cause of most environmental problems. The demands of increasing population magnify demands for natural resources, clean air and water, as well as access to

The Existance Of God: CAUSAL Vs. Contingency Arguements

1574 words - 6 pages A cosmological argument is meant to explain the existence of the physical universe. The arguments are supposed to be sound deductive arguments, meaning that the premises lead to evidence, which prove the conclusion to be an absolute truth. The two major cosmological arguments attempt to explain the existence of God. They are the CAUSAL argument and the Contingency argument. There are few differences between the two arguments and there are

The Social Action Theory and Symbolic Interactionism

1302 words - 5 pages The Social Action Theory and Symbolic Interactionism Max Weber believed that individuals were the key to society. He developed social action theory, the purpose of which was to find out why individuals function in certain ways. He thought that every social action performed by an individual had a meaning attached to it. Social actions are the result of conscious thought processes that take into consideration the

Similar Essays

Does The Causal Theory Of Knowledge Solve The Gettier Problem?

686 words - 3 pages The purpose of this paper is to argue that Alvin Goldman's paper "A Causal Theory of Knowing" does not solve the problem in Edmund Gettier's paper "Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?" To argue the old view of knowledge, Gettier presents a case in which a Subject (S) is justified in believing that a proposition (P) and P entails another proposition (Q). S deduces Q from P and accepts Q. Then S is justified in believing Q. In the first Case that

Overpopulation Of The Philippines Essay

1039 words - 5 pages . Furthermore, the government refuses to do anything to restrain the growth of fertility rates until recently. The government is currently taking action by distributing free birth control materials to poor families which, naturally, are the people with a lot more children than others. It is not yet determined if this new law will make a change for the better, but it appears that the Philippines has decided to take the first step to become a

The Danger Of Overpopulation Essay

840 words - 4 pages Overpopulation is considered as one of the most dangerous problems that affects our world very badly. Our world now is completely overpopulated. People have suffered a lot because of overpopulation. As overpopulation caused in many other problems, as because of overpopulation, it is easier to catch and spread diseases. And it leads to food shortages. Overpopulation also causes a problem for the environment because the population produces a lot

Overpopulation Of The Earth Essay

1714 words - 7 pages Overpopulation of the Earth The little animatronic children at Disney World were right, it is “a small world after all”; maybe even too small. At the beginning of the present century there were approximately 1.7 billion people in the world(Southwick pg.159). Today, there are nearly 6 billion people in the world. The world’s population has more than tripled in the span of a hundred years. Given that the earth’s population is constantly on