Two notions of intentional action? Solving a puzzle in Anscombe’s Intention

Abstract

The account of intentional action Anscombe provides in her Intention has had a huge influence on the development of contemporary action theory. But what is intentional action, according to Anscombe? She seems to give two different answers, saying first that they are actions to which a special sense of the question ‘Why?’ is applicable, and second that they form a sub-class of the things a person knows without observation. Anscombe gives no explicit account of how these two characterizations converge on a single phenomenon, leaving us with a puzzle. I solve the puzzle by elucidating Anscombe's two characterizations in concert with several other key concepts in ‘Intention’, including, ‘practical reasons’, the sui generis kind of explanation these provide, the distinction between ‘practical’ and ‘speculative’ knowledge, the formal features which mark this distinction, and Anscombe's characterization of practical knowledge as knowledge ‘in intention’.

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,660

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2017-11-22

Downloads
118 (#101,791)

6 months
4 (#163,400)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Similar books and articles

On Art and Intention.Steven Farrelly‐Jackson - 1997 - Heythrop Journal 38 (2):172-179.
On Art and Intention.Steven Farrelly‐Jackson - 1997 - Heythrop Journal 38 (2):172–179.
Intention.Kieran Setiya - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Actions and Accidents.David Horst - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (3):300-325.
Nothing Added.Candace Vogler - 2016 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 90 (2):229-247.
Shared Intention and Reasons for Action.Caroline T. Arruda - 2015 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 45 (6):596-623.
Why “Why?”? Action, Reasons and Language.Roger Teichmann - 2015 - Philosophical Investigations 38 (1-2):115-132.
Elizabeth Anscombe and the New Natural Lawyers on Intentional Action.Matthew B. O'Brien - 2013 - National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly (1):47-56.
Intentio and Praeter Intentionem in the Constitution of the Moral Object in Thomas Aquinas.Andrew Jaspers - 2007 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 81:149-159.
Film Noir and Weakly Intentional Actions.Elinor Hallén - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (1):239-264.
Exciting Intentions.Alfred R. Mele - 1990 - Philosophical Studies 59 (3):289-312.
Intentio and Praeter Intentionem in the Constitution of the Moral Object in Thomas Aquinas.Andrew Jaspers - 2007 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 81:149-159.

Author's Profile

Lucy Campbell
University of Warwick

References found in this work

Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
Individuals.P. F. Strawson - 1964 - Routledge.
Philosophical investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein & G. E. M. Anscombe - 1953 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 161:124-124.
Individuals.P. F. Strawson - 1959 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 14 (2):246-246.
Intention.P. L. Heath - 1960 - Philosophical Quarterly 10 (40):281.

View all 53 references / Add more references

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations