Rational constraints and the Simple View

Analysis 70 (3):481-486 (2010)
According to the Simple View of intentional action, I have intentionally switched on the light only if I intended to switch on the light. The idea that intending to is necessary for intentionally -ing has been challenged by Bratman (1984, 1987) with a counter-example in which a videogame player is trying to hit either of two targets while knowing that she cannot hit both targets. When a target is hit, the game finishes. And if both targets are about to be hit simultaneously, the game shuts down. The player knows that she cannot hit both targets, but still she concludes that, given her skills, the best strategy is to have a go at each target at the same time. Suppose she hits target 1. It seems obvious that she has hit target 1 intentionally. But, Bratman argues, she could not have intended to hit target 1. Since the scenario is perfectly symmetrical, had the player intended to hit target 1, she would have also had to intend to hit target 2. But the player knows that she cannot hit both targets.
Keywords Simple View  intentional action  intention
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DOI 10.1093/analys/anq032
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References found in this work BETA
Michael Bratman (1984). Two Faces of Intention. Philosophical Review 93 (3):375-405.

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Ezio Di Nucci (2013). Embryo Loss and Double Effect. Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (8):537-540.
Ezio Di Nucci (2012). Priming Effects and Free Will. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 20 (5):725-734.
Ezio Di Nucci (2014). Avoiding and Alternate Possibilities. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (5):1001-1007.

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