chapter  11
The concept of action
Pages 26

The main aim of this chapter and the next is to elucidate those things that are basic to the psychological construction of the mind. In this chapter I deal with the basic concept of action and its production. In the next I consider the idea of 'I' as an enduring su6stance with two capacities, consciousness and the capacity to produce action, and the issue of basic categories in the mind. In that chapter I shall also be

Under the causal powers theory, people understand causation as involving some power of a thing operating to produce or generate an effect, usually if not invariably by acting upon some liability of another thing. Thus, things have two kinds of causally relevant properties -leaving aside considerations of the natures of things in which powers may be taken as grounded; Harre and Madden (1975) - powers and liabilities. Powers are active, meaning that they produce or generate effects, as in the power of a hammer to smash things, and liabilities are passive, meaning that they are acted upon in the production of effects, as in the liability of a plate to be smashed. A noteworthy feature of this concept is that the causal connection is understood as necessary (Shultz 1982b). That is, if appropriate conditions are set up for the operation of a power, the power must operate to produce the effect: it cannot be otherwise (unless the power is not sufficient to overcome the resistance in the object acted upon). The effect is necessitated by its cause (Shultz 1982b; Bunge 1963; Harre and Madden 1975).