This symposium includes reactions to action theory from a variety of theoretical perspectives. Eckensberger and Meacham provide a framework for discussion, defining intentional action as a basic unit of analysis that includes being future-oriented, a free choice of means, potential consciousness of goals and means, and responsibility. Boesch argues that cognitive and affective systems do not develop in parallel, and that affects serve a communicative function. Furth reviews Habermas’s concepts of communicative action and the life-world, a concept referring to concrete interpersonal relations. Sigel suggests that goals for individuals develop from dialogues, for example, between adult and child. Wertsch and Lee argue that linguistic communication allows the incorporation of individual, microsociologi-cal, and macrosociological levels of analysis into a general theory of action. Harris criticizes action theory for neglecting motivations that remain outside of consciousness, and argues that individual goals or intentions are comprehensible only retrospectively and in the context of social discourse.

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