(L. actionem). In the sphere of human relations, every manifestation of intention or expression of interest capable of influencing a given situation. For example, social a. (strikes, public protest, declarations in the mass media), political a. (participation in elections, political demonstrations, negotiations, participation in elected bodies), diplomatic a., military a., etc.
The existence of extreme or diametrically opposed positions does not invalidate the broad gamut of possibilities that constitute a. in general. While anarchists place absolute priority on direct a., Buddhists tend to overvalue passivity.
In one’s personal life, a combination of more or less codified actions called “conduct” or “behavior” can be observed. Humanist psychology discovers in the image the direction of the consciousness toward the world, and understands this as intentional activity and not at all as passivity, simple reflection, or deformation of perception.
N.H. postulates: 1) the recognition of freedom of a. within a matrix of situational conditions and responsibility toward oneself and others; 2) the evaluation of ends and forms of a. in relation to their correspondence with the values of humanism. In conformity with the previous postulates we can speak of the coherence or incoherence of an a.