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Theories of Action

Theories of action are theories that link behaviors or actions with both the beliefs and values that give rise to them and their intended and unintended consequences. They are theories, like any other, in the sense that they provide an account of the relationships between a series of claims—but in the case of theories of action, the claims are about how to act, under particular conditions, in order to achieve the intended consequences. From the point of view of the observer, a theory of action explains a person’s action by identifying the reasoning that produced this action rather than alternatives. From the point of view of the actor, a theory of action is a theory of design—it specifies how to achieve what one wants in ...

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