Intentional, Unintentional, or Neither? Middle Ground in Theory and Practice

American Philosophical Quarterly 49 (4):369 - 379 (2012)
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Abstract

There are intentional actions and unintentional actions. Do we ever perform actions that are neither intentional nor unintentional? Some philosophers have answered "yes" (Mele 1992; Mele and Moser 1994; Mele and Sverdlik 1996; Lowe 1978; Wasserman, forthcoming). That is, they have claimed that there is a middle ground between intentional and unintentional human actions.1 Motivation for this claim is generated by attention to a variety of issues, including two that are of special interest to experimental philosophers of action: the status of side-effect actions, and the status of actions that are instances of luckily succeeding in doing something one is trying to do. This article explores the idea that there is a middle ground between intentional and unintentional human actions, paying special attention to the two issues just identified. The exploration is partly theoretical and partly empirical. Section 2 reports the results of two new studies designed to yield evidence about whether and to what extent nonspecialists recognize this middle ground.

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Author's Profile

Alfred Mele
Florida State University

Citations of this work

Agency.Markus Schlosser - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Direct Versus Indirect: Control, Moral Responsibility, and Free Action.Alfred R. Mele - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (3):559-573.
Direct control.Alfred R. Mele - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (2):275-290.
Agency as difference-making: causal foundations of moral responsibility.Johannes Himmelreich - 2015 - Dissertation, London School of Economics and Political Science

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References found in this work

Intention, plans, and practical reason.Michael Bratman - 1987 - Cambridge: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Practical reasoning.Gilbert Harman - 1997 - In Alfred R. Mele (ed.), The philosophy of action. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 431--63.
On Action.Carl Ginet - 1990 - Mind 100 (3):390-394.

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