David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Philosophy 105 (12):737-755 (2008)
It is widely held that one who sincerely promises to do something must at least intend to do that thing: a promise communicates the intention to perform. In this paper, I argue that a promise need only communicate the intention to undertake an obligation to perform. I consider examples of sincere promisors who have no intention of performing. I argue that this fits well with what we want to say about other performatives - giving, commanding etc. Furthermore, it supports a theory of promissory obligation which I have advocated elsewhere - the authority interest theory - against the orthodox information interest theory.
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