Synthese 198 (11):10289-10312 (2020)

Authors
Fernando Rudy-Hiller
National Autonomous University of Mexico
Abstract
An important recent debate in the philosophy of action has focused on whether there is a persistence requirement on intention and, if there is, what its proper formulation should be. At one extreme, Bratman has defended what I call Strong Persistence, according to which it’s irrational to abandon an intention except for an alternative that is better supported by one’s reasons. At the other extreme, Tenenbaum has argued that there isn’t a persistence requirement on intention at all. In the middle, philosophers like Broome, Ferrero, and Paul have defended persistence requirements with varying degrees of stringency while agreeing that Bratman’s proposed requirement is too strong. In this paper I side with Bratman in defending Strong Persistence. I argue, however, that Bratman’s own argument in favor of it is defective and an easy prey to the multiple objections that have been leveled against it. I thus offer in its place a “first-personally addressed constitutivist argument” whose aim is to show to the minimally reflective agent the kind of commitment involved in deciding and forming an intention in situations of incomparability—which are taken to be the litmus test for persistence requirements—and the persistence rational requirement governing it. Along the way I respond to the objections against Strong Persistence and explain why my argument represents an improvement over Bratman’s.
Keywords intention  persistence requirements  incomparability  rational requirements  diachronic rationality
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-020-02719-8
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References found in this work BETA

Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason.Michael Bratman - 1987 - Cambridge: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Why Be Rational.Niko Kolodny - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):509-563.
Willing, Wanting, Waiting.Richard Holton - 2009 - Oxford University Press UK.
Intending.Donald Davidson - 1978 - Philosophy of History and Action 11:41-60.

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