Impersonal Intentions

Philosophical Quarterly 68 (271):376-384 (2018)
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Matthew Babb offers a strikingly elegant argument for, and explanation of, the essential indexicality of intentional argument. His two key thoughts are that intentional action always involves intentions, and intentions are essentially indexical. In particular, every intention is indexically about the agent whose intention it is, i.e. de se. In this paper, I set out two models on which at least some intentions are not de se—they are impersonal—and I show that these models are compatible with the data Babb points to. I also set out some more data that an account of essential indexical cases ought to be responsive to. Its span suggests that the claim that all intentions are de se, even if true, cannot be what explains what is going on in essential indexical cases involving intention.



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Daniel Morgan
University of York

Citations of this work

Self-Consciousness.Joel Smith - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
First-Person Thought.Daniel Morgan & Léa Salje - 2020 - Analysis 80 (1):148-163.
Temporal indexicals are essential.Daniel Morgan - 2019 - Analysis 79 (3):452-461.

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References found in this work

The Inessential Indexical: On the Philosophical Insignificance of Perspective and the First Person.Herman Cappelen & Josh Dever - 2013 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. Edited by Josh Dever.
The Myth of the De Se.Ofra Magidor - 2015 - Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1):249-283.
The Essential Indexicality of Intentional Action.Matthew Babb - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (264):439-457.

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