Graduate studies at Western
Religious Studies 30 (1):55 - 66 (1994)
|Abstract||In "Omniprescient Agency" (Religious Studies 28, 1992) David P. Hunt challenges an argument against the possibility of an omniscient agent. The argument—my own in "Agency and Omniscience" (Religious Studies 27, 1991)—assumes that an agent is a being capable of intentional action, where, minimally, an action is intentional only if it is caused, in part, by the agent's intending. The latter, I claimed, is governed by a psychological principle of "least effort," viz., that no one intends without antecedently feeling that (i) deliberate effort is needed to achieve desired goals, (ii) such effort has a chance of success, and (iii) it is yet contingent whether the effort will be expended and the goals realized. The goals can be anything from immediate intentional doings, tryings or basic actions, to remote and perhaps unlikely consequences of actions, e.g., global justice. The thrust of the principle is that it would be impossible for a wholly rational self-aware agent to intend without a background presumption of an open future as concerns the desired state and the means to it. But this presumption embodies a sense of contingency which, in turn, requires an acknowledged ignorance about what the future holds, otherwise the future would appear closed relative to present knowledge with the desired state presented as either guaranteed (necessary) or ruled out (impossible). Regardless whether this self-directed attitude is accurate, it follows that intentional action precludes complete knowledge of one's present and future. Consequently, no omniscient or omniprescient being can be an agent.|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Jan M. Broersen (2011). Making a Start with the Stit Logic Analysis of Intentional Action. Journal of Philosophical Logic 40 (4):499-530.
Alfred R. Mele & Paul K. Moser (1994). Intentional Action. Noûs 28 (1):39-68.
Thomas Nadelhoffer (2006). On Trying to Save the Simple View. Mind and Language 21 (5):565-586.
Thomas Nadelhoffer (2005). Skill, Luck, Control, and Intentional Action. Philosophical Psychology 18 (3):341 – 352.
J. David Velleman (1992). The Guise of the Good. Noûs 26 (1):3 - 26.
Cara Spencer (2007). Unconscious Vision and the Platitudes of Folk Psychology. Philosophical Psychology 20 (3):309 – 327.
David P. Hunt (1996). The Compatibility of Omniscience and Intentional Action: A Reply to Tomis Kapitan. Religious Studies 32 (1):49 - 60.
Tomis Kapitan (1997). Acting and the Open Future: A Brief Rejoinder to David Hunt. Religious Studies 33 (3):287-292.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads7 ( #142,523 of 739,189 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #61,778 of 739,189 )
How can I increase my downloads?