The Doing and the Deed : Action in Normative Ethics
This essay is motivated by the thought that the things we do are to be distinguished from our acts of doing them. I defend a particular way of drawing this distinction before proceeding to demonstrate its relevance for normative ethics. Central to my argument is the conviction that certain ongoing debates in ethical theory begin to dissolve once we disambiguate the two concepts of action in question. If this is right, then the study of action should be accorded a far more prominent place within moral philosophy than previously supposed. I end by considering an extension of the above to aesthetic evaluation and, mutatis mutandis, that of our lives in general.