Settled objectives and rational constraints

American Philosophical Quarterly 28 (1):25-36 (1991)
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Abstract

Some authors reject what they call the "Simple View"---i.e., the principle that anyone who A's intentionally intends to A. My purpose here is to defend this principle. Rejecting the Simple View, I shall claim, forces us to assign to other mental states the functional role of intention: that of providing settled objectives to guide deliberation and action. A likely result is either that entities will be multiplied, or that the resultant account will invite reassertion of reductionist theories. In any case, the account must drive a wedge between intention and practical rationality, by forbidding agents to intend goals it is rational to seek. Worse yet, the states it "substitutes" for intention turn out to be subject to the same constraints that prompted the substitution, and hence are indistinguishable from intention in the very respect in which they are alleged to differ. Thus, I shall argue, there is no evidence to justify such supposed distinctions, and the Simple View is to be preferred.

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Hugh J. McCann
Texas A&M University

Citations of this work

The Normativity of Rationality.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
How Does Coherence Matter?Niko Kolodny - 2007 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt3):229 - 263.

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