What I take to be that which is always a part of action, always to be understood in action, always present whenever action is present, is that which is presupposed by the very idea, that which cannot be avoided when thinking about action itself.
To start with action is to start at a place and time for action is always in time, and it involves the movement from place to place. But so the changes on the sand made by the waves washing upon it are at a place and time and presuppose it. What more is in the idea of action?
We should distinguish between apriori insight thought of as presuppositional and as complete. I will aim for the former but not make claim to the latter. It should not be problematic to distinguish between insight and completeness, but it is worth explicitly setting out the work as well as I can. Completeness may be practically impossible. An analogic example? Geometry. Presumably the derivation of necessary truths from Euclidian principles and elements is infinite. If it has a limit it is not one that I can even foresee. But the extent of later development does not destabilize the fundamental grasp of elements and principles. What fun that the openness to the new in Geometry does not destabilize or risk the falsification of anything that came before. How exciting to walk forward in confidence into the new!
For any wanting to cite non-Euclidian competitors, shhhhhh, calm down. While it may be fun to tinker with hypothetical alternatives, no house has ever been built by non-Euclidian competitors. No universe has ever been built by non-Euclidian competitors. No tools used to make what appear to be discoveries about the non-Euclidian shape of the universe have been built by anything other than Euclidian Geometrical principles. In other words the supposed non-Euclidian discoveries are rooted in Euclidian design and presupposition.
What I want to do is to generalize to action. Euclidian Geometry was elaborated by a person. It was elaborated. Do you note the presupposed activity? It is more than mere waves moving sand dear reader. I do not deny that a large part of the world is to be understood as waves moving sand, inert stuff moving inert stuff. I do not deny it. But what I do is either understand of deny. These I cannot escape. I do not want to escape. I want to affirm the realm of human activity. I am going to call that the realm of action.
The claim is going to be that there are presupposed elements of human action which must be presupposed. By appreciating those elements we can block certain mistaken or manipulative ways of framing human activity by their failure to include the presupposed elements. And, we can make predictions about human action knowing that the elements must be present and so having insight other than the wearying and ever-changing up for negotiation empirical study. Finally, we will set empirical research (a human activity) on its own presuppositional foundation such that it is possible.
Next, a list of elements of action which we will look at in turn.