Deciding to act

Philosophical Studies 100 (1):81–108 (2000)
As this passage from a recent book on the psychology of decision-making indicates, deciding seems to be part of our daily lives. But what is it to decide to do something? It may be true, as some philosophers have claimed, that to decide to A is to perform a mental action of a certain kind – specifically, an action of forming an intention to A. (Henceforth, the verb ‘form’ in this context is to be understood as an action verb.) Even if this is so, we are faced with pressing questions. Do we form all of our intentions? If not, how does forming an intention differ from other ways of acquiring one? Do we ever, in fact, form intentions, or do we rather merely acquire them in something like the way we acquire beliefs or desires? These are some of the questions that will occupy me here. My aim is to clarify the nature of deciding to act and to make a case for the occurrence of genuine acts of intention formation.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Philosophy of Mind   Philosophy of Religion
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1023/A:1018639622382
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,904
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Sarah K. Paul (2012). How We Know What We Intend. Philosophical Studies 161 (2):327-346.
Alfred R. Mele (2005). Decisions, Intentions, and Free Will. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):146-162.
Jing Zhu (2004). Locating Volition. Consciousness and Cognition 13 (2):302-322.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

49 ( #68,656 of 1,725,474 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #211,098 of 1,725,474 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.