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Causalism holds behavior and actions to be the result of previous mental states, such as beliefs, desires, or intentions, rather than from a present conscious will guiding one's actions. Causalism is in accord with how most people have traditionally explained their actions, but critics point out that certain habitual actions such as scratching an itch are only noticed during or after the fact, if at all, making the causalist explanation that such behaviors have a mental antecedent that is not recalled seem ad hoc.
- Frankfurt, Harry. 1988. "The Problem of Action", in The Importance of What We Care About. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.
- Mele, Alfred. 1997. "Introduction", in Philosophy of Action. Oxford: Oxford UP.
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