This paper examines the context in which Anscombe wrote Intention—focusing on the years 1956–1958. At this time Anscombe was engaged in a number of battles against her university, her colleagues, and, ultimately, “the spirit of the age,” which included her public opposition to Oxford University’s decision to award Harry Truman an honorary degree. Intention, I show, must be understood as a product of the explicitly ethical and political debates in which Anscombe was involved. Understanding the intention (...) with which she wrote Intention suggests that we need radically to rethink its nature and character, and that the consequences of the book for work in ethics—consequences Anscombe foresaw and intended—are yet to be understood. (shrink)
A corporate culture strengthened by ethical values and other positive business practices likely yields more favorable employee work responses. Thus, the purpose of this study was to assess the degree to which perceived corporate ethical values work in concert with group creativity to influence both job satisfaction and turnover intention. Using a self-report questionnaire, information was collected from 781 healthcare and administrative employees working at a multi-campus education-based healthcare organization. Additional survey data was collected from a comparative convenience (...) sample of 127 sales and marketing employees working for a variety of firms operating in the south-central United States. The results indicated that group creativity and corporate ethical values were positively related, and that both variables were associated with increased job satisfaction. Conversely, corporate ethical values and job satisfaction were associated with decreased turnover intention. Sales managers should create work cultures that precipitate increased ethical values and group creativity, and suggestions about how they may institutionalize these factors are provided. (shrink)
The moral of Buridan's Ass is that it can sometimes be rational to perform one action rather than another even though one lacks stronger reason to do so. Yet it is also commonly believed that it cannot ever be rational to believe one proposition rather than another if one lacks stronger reason to do so. This asymmetry has been taken to indicate a deep difference between epistemic and practical rationality. According to the view articulated here, the asymmetry should instead be (...) explained by the difference between rational intentions and rational actions. Thus, it turns out, Buridan's Ass-style cases do not indicate an asymmetry between epistemic and practical rationality as such. (shrink)
Ruth Leys starts with accounts that reduce emotion to a few simple states and emphasize the degree to which it is genetically wired . She then argues that other cultural theorists who emphasize the role of affect are driven in this direction, too, even when they wish to avoid such a trajectory. Much of the argument revolves around the charge of “anti-intentionalism” against us. Because of limitations of space, my response concentrates on my own thinking in this domain, though (...) I suggest some lines of connection to other theories of affect. I will not always try to unpack Leys’s views but will focus more on where mine deviate from her account of them. (shrink)
Ruth Leys starts with accounts that reduce emotion to a few simple states and emphasize the degree to which it is genetically wired. She then argues that other cultural theorists who emphasize the role of affect are driven in this direction, too, even when they wish to avoid such a trajectory. Much of the argument revolves around the charge of “anti-intentionalism” against us. Because of limitations of space, my response concentrates on my own thinking in this domain, though I (...) suggest some lines of connection to other theories of affect. I will not always try to unpack Leys’s views but will focus more on where mine deviate from her account of them. (shrink)
This paper describes a formal measure of epistemic justification motivated by the dual goal of cognition, which is to increase true beliefs and reduce false beliefs. From this perspective the degree of epistemic justification should not be the conditional probability of the proposition given the evidence, as it is commonly thought. It should be determined instead by the combination of the conditional probability and the prior probability. This is also true of the degree of incremental confirmation, and I (...) argue that any measure of epistemic justification is also a measure of incremental confirmation. However, the degree of epistemic justification must meet an additional condition, and all known measures of incremental confirmation fail to meet it. I describe this additional condition as well as a measure that meets it. The paper then applies the measure to the conjunction fallacy and proposes an explanation of the fallacy. (shrink)
Cases of modest sociality are cases of small scale shared intentional agency in the absence of asymmetric authority relations. I seek a conceptual framework that adequately supports our theorizing about such modest sociality. I want to understand what in the world constitutes such modest sociality. I seek an understanding of the kinds of normativity that are central to modest sociality. And throughout we need to keep track of the relations—conceptual, metaphysical, normative—between individual agency and modest sociality. In pursuit of these (...) theoretical aims, I propose that a central phenomenon is shared intention. I argue that an adequate understanding of the distinctiveness of the intentions of individuals allows us to provide a construction of attitudes of the participants, and of relevant inter-relations and contexts that constitutes shared intention. I explain how shared intention, so understood, differs from a simple equilibrium within common knowledge. And I briefly contrast my views with aspects of views of John Searle and Margaret Gilbert. (shrink)
While logical theories of information attitudes, such as knowledge, certainty and belief, have flourished in the past two decades, formalization of other facets of rational behavior have lagged behind significantly. One intriguing line of research concerns the concept of intention. I will discuss one approach to tackling the notion within a logical framework, based on a database perspective.
Planning organizes our actions and conditions our effective-ness. To understand this philosophical hint better, the author investigates and juxtaposes two important accounts in action theory. He discusses the concept of a plan proposed by Tadeusz Kotarbiński in his praxiology (theory of efcient action), and the so called “planning theory of intention” by Michael E. Bratman. The conceptual meeting of these two proposals helps to remove aws in Kotarbiński’s action theory, it also shows the way, in which we can enrich (...) the idea of plans in the frame-work of intentions. Generally, praxiology occurs to be still an important perspective in action theory, which particularly shows how we can improve our understanding of planning when confronted with infuentialcontemporary accounts. (shrink)
A number of authors have noted that vagueness engenders degrees of belief, but that these degrees of belief do not behave like subjective probabilities. So should we countenance two different kinds of degree of belief: the kind arising from vagueness, and the familiar kind arising from uncertainty, which obey the laws of probability? I argue that we cannot coherently countenance two different kinds of degree of belief. Instead, I present a framework in which there is a single notion (...) of degree of belief, which in certain circumstances behaves like a subjective probability assignment and in other circumstances does not. The core idea is that one’s degree of belief in a proposition P is one’s expectation of P’s degree of truth. (shrink)
Partial explanations are everywhere. That is, explanations citing causes that explain some but not all of an effect are ubiquitous across science, and these in turn rely on the notion of degree of explanation. I argue that current accounts are seriously deficient. In particular, they do not incorporate adequately the way in which a cause’s explanatory importance varies with choice of explanandum. Using influential recent contrastive theories, I develop quantitative definitions that remedy this lacuna, and relate it to existing (...) measures of degree of causation. Among other things, this reveals the precise role here of chance, as well as bearing on the relation between causal explanation and causation itself. (shrink)
The “New Natural Law” Theory (NNL) of Germain Grisez, John Finnis, Joseph Boyle, and their collaborators offers a distinctive account of intentional action, which underlies a moral theory that aims to justify many aspects of traditional morality and Catholic doctrine. -/- In fact, we show that the NNL is committed to premises that entail the permissibility of many actions that are irreconcilable with traditional morality and Catholic doctrine, such as elective abortions. These consequences follow principally from two aspects of the (...) NNL. The first aspect is its distinctive version of the planning theory of intention, in which adopting the 'first-person perspective' of an agent is a sufficient, and not merely necessary, condition for determining the nature of his intentional action; this planning theory rests upon an implicitly Cartesian conception of human behavior, in which behavior chosen by an agent has no intrinsic “intentionalness” apart from what he confers upon it as part of his plan. The second aspect is the NNL's distinctive account of basic human goods' incommensurability, according to which there is no common factor shared by basic human goods that allows them to be comparatively ranked in any way that directs practical deliberation. -/- The entailments of these two aspects of the NNL, we argue, amount to a reductio ad absurdum. Pace the proponents of the NNL account, we sketch an alternative hylomorphic conception of intentional action that avoids untoward moral implications by grounding human agency in the exercise of basic powers that are either (a) essential constituents of human nature or (b) acquired through participation in social practices. This conception of intentional action provides a stronger foundation for natural law theory. (shrink)
The paper discusses intention as a rhetorical key term and argues that a consideration of rhetor’s intent should be maintained as relevant to both the production and critique of rhetorical discourse. It is argued that the fact that the critic usually has little or no access to the rhetor’s mind does not render intention an irrelevant factor. Rather than allowing methodological difficulties to constrain critical inquiry, I suggest some ways in which the critic can incorporate the rhetor’s (...) class='Hi'>intention in evaluating argumentation. To this end, a standard of fairness is presented. (shrink)
We investigate the extent to which perceptions of the authenticity of supervisor’s personal integrity and character (ASPIRE) moderate the relationship between people’s love of money (LOM) and propensity to engage in unethical behavior (PUB) among 266 part-time employees who were also business students in a five-wave panel study. We found that a high level of ASPIRE perceptions was related to high love-of-money orientation, high self-esteem, but low unethical behavior intention (PUB). Unethical behavior intention (PUB) was significantly correlated with (...) their high Machiavellianism, low self-esteem, and low intrinsic religiosity. Our counterintuitive results revealed that the main effect of LOM on PUB was not significant, but the main effect of ASPIRE on PUB was significant. Further, the significant interaction effect between LOM and ASPIRE on unethical behavior intention provided profoundly interesting findings: High LOM was related to high unethical behavior intention for people with low ASPIRE, but was related to low unethical intention for those with high ASPIRE. People with high LOM and low ASPIRE had the highest unethical behavior intention; whereas those with high LOM and high ASPIRE had the lowest. We discuss results in light of individual differences, ethical environment, and perceived demand characteristics. (shrink)
This collection of essays by one of the most prominent and internationally respected philosophers of action theory is concerned with deepening our understanding of the notion of intention. In Bratman's view, when we settle on a plan for action we are committing ourselves to future conduct in ways that help support important forms of coordination and organization both within the life of the agent and interpersonally. These essays enrich that account of commitment involved in intending, and explore its implications (...) for our understanding of temptation and self-control, shared intention and shared cooperative activity, and moral responsibility. The essays offer extensive discussions of related views by, among others, Donald Davidson, Hector-Neri Castañeda, Christine Korsgaard, Harry Frankfurt, and P. F. Strawson. This collection will be a valuable resource for a wide range of philosophers and their students. (shrink)
In this article, I examine Michael Bratman’s account of stability in his planning theory of intention. Future-directed intentions should be stable, or appropriately resistant to change, over time. Bratman claims that the norm of stability governs both intentions and plans. The aim of this article is to critically enrich Bratman’s account of stability by introducing plasticity as an additional norm of planning. I construct plasticity as a kind of stability of intentions which supplements Bratman’s notion of “reasonable stability.” Unlike (...) the latter, plasticity applies mainly to cases in which plan states are abandoned without reconsideration. I focus on the intra-theoretical problems of PTI and elucidate: the distinction between future-directed intentions and plans, the conceptual difference between stability and inertia, which is only implicit in PTI, and the role of the environment of the planner, which has a vestigial role in Bratman’s work. I also defend my incorporation of pl... (shrink)
This paper considers a view according to which there are certain symmetries between the nature of belief and that of intention. I do not defend this Symmetry View in detail, but rather try to adjudicate between different versions of it: what I call Evaluative, Normative and Teleological versions. I argue that the central motivation for the Symmetry View in fact supports only a specific Teleological version of the view.
I argue that one intends that ϕ if one has a desire that ϕ and an appropriately related means-end belief. Opponents, including Setiya and Bratman, charge that this view can't explain three things. First, intentional action is accompanied by knowledge of what we are doing. Second, we can choose our reasons for action. Third, forming an intention settles a deliberative question about what to do, disposing us to cease deliberating about it. I show how the desire- belief view can (...) explain why these phenomena occur when they occur, and why they don't when they don't. (shrink)
This study aims to develop and defend an account of practical rationality and intention that explains how weakness of the will is conceptually possible. I first present two sceptical arguments against the possibility of weakness and then distinguish two different responses to scepticism that defends its possibility. Both sceptical arguments are motivated by what many have believed is an analogy between theoretical and practical reasoning. This analogy holds that the conclusion of practical reasoning is an intention just as (...) the conclusion of theoretical reasoning is a belief. The particular version held by what I call the Socratic theorists claims, in addition, that the value of desirability is transferred from premisses to conclusion in practical reasoning, just as probability is transferred from premisses to conclusion in theoretical reasoning. One example of an author who takes the analogy as a basic premise and seek to explain how weakness of the will still may be possible, is Donald Davidson. Critics of Davidson object that the the kinds of difficulties that his account runs into shows that the Socratic version of the analogy must be false; not only is this account phenomenologically implausible, it also exaggerates the degree of irrationality of the weak agent. In this study I suggest the possibility of a weaker version of the Davidsonian account. The main source of difficulty for the Davidsonian account, I argue, may not be its reliance on the Socratic version of the analogy between practical and theoretical reasoning, but rather its particular understanding of this analogy in terms of an analogy between practical and inductive-statistical reasoning. This understanding may lead one to accept too “rationalistic” a picture of the reasoning processes behind weakness of the will which, in effect, may make the account vulnerable to objections that it is phenomenologically implausible and exaggerates the irrationality of the weak agent. The weaker version of the Davidsonian account that I propose, ties in the account of weakness with the notions of “satisficing” and “default reasoning”. Although it preserves the central idea of the stronger version that intentions are unconditional evaluative judgements, it proposes a different view of the contents of these judgements, as well as of the reasoning process that lie behind them. It is not difficult to motivate this weaker view: given our human finitary predicament, both satisficing and default reasoning seem to be likely results of an optimal trade-off between the speed and reliability of our computational processes. The question is how these notions may shape the concepts we use to understand weakness of the will. I argue that if we modify the account usually ascribed to Davidson in the light of these notions, the result is a less rationalistic picture of weakness of the will. The gains are more phenomenological credibility as well as a less extreme view of the degree of irrationality involved. (shrink)
Moral issues have been included in the studies of consumer misbehavior research, but little is known about the joint moderating effect of moral intensity and moral judgment on the consumer’s use intention of pirated software. This study aims to understand the consumer’s use intention of pirated software in Taiwan based on the theory of planned behavior (TPB) proposed by Ajzen (Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50, 179, 1991). In addition, moral intensity and moral judgment are adopted as (...) a joint moderator to examine their combined influence on the proposed research framework. The results obtained from this Taiwan case reveal that the antecedent constructs proposed in the TPB model–an individual’s attitude and subjective norms toward using pirated software, and perceived behavioral control to use pirated software–indeed have positive impacts on the consumer’s use intention of pirated software. In addition, the joint moderating effect of moral intensity and moral judgment is manifested in the consumer’s use intention of pirated software. The results of this study not only could substantiate the results of consumer misbehavior research, but also could provide some managerial suggestions for Taiwanese government authorities concerned and the related software industries devoted to fighting pirated software. (shrink)
The moral importance of the ‘intention–foresight’ distinction has long been a matter of philosophical controversy, particularly in the context of end-of-life care. Previous empirical research in Australia has suggested that general physicians and surgeons may use analgesic or sedative infusions with ambiguous intentions, their actions sometimes approximating ‘slow euthanasia’. In this paper, we report findings from a qualitative study of 18 Australian palliative care medical specialists, using in-depth interviews to address the use of sedation at the end of life. (...) The majority of subjects were agnostic or atheistic. In contrast to their colleagues in acute medical practice, these Australian palliative care specialists were almost unanimously committed to distinguishing their actions from euthanasia. This commitment appeared to arise principally from the need to maintain a clear professional role, and not obviously from an ideological opposition to euthanasia. While some respondents acknowledged that there are difficult cases that require considered reflection upon one's intention, and where there may be some ‘mental gymnastics,’ the nearly unanimous view was that it is important, even in these difficult cases, to cultivate an intention that focuses exclusively on the relief of symptoms. We present four narratives of ‘terminal’ sedation – cases where sedation was administered in significant doses just before death, and may well have hastened death. Considerable ambiguities of intention were evident in some instances, but the discussion around these clearly exceptional cases illustrates the importance of intention to palliative care specialists in maintaining their professional roles. (shrink)
We construct a class of relations on computable structures whose degree spectra form natural classes of degrees. Given any computable ordinal and reducibility r stronger than or equal to m-reducibility, we show how to construct a structure with an intrinsically invariant relation whose degree spectrum consists of all nontrivial r-degrees. We extend this construction to show that can be replaced by either or.
Time is a fundamental dimension of consciousness. Many studies of the “sense of agency” have investigated whether we attribute actions to ourselves based on a conscious experience of intention occurring prior to action, or based on a reconstruction after the action itself has occurred. Here, we ask the same question about a lower level aspect of action experience, namely awareness of the detailed spatial form of a simple movement. Subjects reached for a target, which unpredictably jumped to the side (...) on some trials. Participants (1) expressed their expectancy of a target shift during the upcoming movement, (2) pointed at the target as quickly and accurately as possible before returning to the start posiment to the target shift if required and (3) reproduced the spatial path of the movement they had just made, as accurately as possible, to give an indication of their awareness of the pointing movement. We analysed the spatial disparity between the initial and the reproduced movements on those with a target shift. A negative disparity value, or undershoot, suggests that motor awareness merely reflects a sluggish record of coordinated motor performance, while a positive value, or overshoot, suggests that participants’ intention to point to the shifting target contributes more to their awareness of action than their actual pointing movement. Undershoot and overshoot thus measure the reconstructive (motoric) and the preconstuctive (intentional) aspects of action awareness, respectively. We found that trials on which subjects strongly expected a target shift showed greater overshoot and less undershoot than trials with lower expectancy. Conscious expectancy therefore strongly influences the experience of the detailed motor parameters of our actions. Further, a delay inserted either between the expectancy judgement and the pointing movement, or between the pointing movement and the reproduction of the movement, had no effect on visuomotor adjustment but strongly influenced action awareness. Delays during either interval boosted undershoots, suggesting increased reliance on a time-limited sensory memory for action. The experience of action is thus strongly influenced by prior thoughts and expectations, but only over a short time period. Thus, awareness of our actions is a dynamic and relatively flexible mixture of what we intend to do, and what our motor system actually does. (shrink)
We argue that analogical reasoning, particularly Gentner's structure-mapping theory, provides an integrative theoretical framework through which we can better understand the development of symbol use. Analogical reasoning can contribute both to the understanding of others’ intentions and the establishment of correspondences between symbols and their referents, two crucial components of symbolic understanding. We review relevant research on the development of symbolic representations, intentionality, comparison, and similarity, and demonstrate how structure-mapping theory can shed light on several ostensibly disparate findings in the (...) literature. Focusing on visual symbols, we argue that analogy underlies and supports the understanding of both intention and correspondence, which may enter into a reciprocal bootstrapping process that leads children to gain the prodigious human capacity of symbol use. (shrink)
This paper addresses a problem concerning the rational stability of intention. When you form an intention to φ at some future time t, you thereby make it subjectively rational for you to follow through and φ at t, even if—hypothetically—you would abandon the intention were you to redeliberate at t. It is hard to understand how this is possible. Shouldn't the perspective of your acting self be what determines what is then subjectively rational for you? I aim (...) to solve this problem by highlighting a role for narrative in intention. I'll argue that committing yourself to a course of action by intending to pursue it crucially involves the expectation that your acting self will be ‘swept along’ by its participation in a distinctively narrative form of self-understanding. I'll motivate my approach by criticizing Richard Holton's and Michael Bratman's recent treatments of the stability of intention, though my account also borrows from Bratman's work. I'll likewise criticize and borrow from David Velleman's work on narrative and self-intelligibility. When the pieces fall into place, we'll see how intending is akin to telling your future self a kind of story. My thesis is not that you address your acting self but that your acting self figures as a ‘character’ in the ‘story’ that you address to a still later self. Unlike other appeals to narrative in agency, mine will explain how as narrator you address a specifically intrapersonal audience. (shrink)
In this paper, I present the fundamental ideas of a new theory of justification strength. This theory is based on the epistemological approach to argumentation. Even the thesis of a valid justification can be false for various reasons. The theory outlined here identifies such possible errors. Justification strength is equated with the degree to which such possible errors are excluded. The natural expression of this kind of justification strength is the (rational) degree of certainty of the belief in (...) the thesis. (shrink)
This paper focuses on Hegel's views on the idea of retrospective and intersubjective determination of intention. The main point is to distinguish four perspectives to human action: 1) The agent's "moral" perspective and the understanding and description under which the agent acted; from this perspective we can thematize the operative intention-in-action and distinguish "action" from "deed". 2) The agent's retrospective awareness and appropriation of the action: was what I did really justified and did it express my true goals? (...) 3) The retrospective takes of others concerning the action, from within relevant social practices and the prevailing Sittlichkeit. 4) The perspective of Reason or Idea as emerging in the world history. In this paper I use this differentiation of perspectives to discuss Hegel's views on action. I defend the primacy of the individual herself in the first aspect mentioned, in what Hegel calls the "moral" perspective. I hope to show that while the Hegelian or expressivist theme of "retrospective determination of intention" as discussed by Charles Taylor and Robert Pippin is true and important concerning retrospective awareness, retrospective appropriation and retrospective justification of action, we should not take it to imply that the intention-in-action is determined intersubjectively or retrospectively. The intention is formed by the self-determining agent herself, before or at the time of the action, just like a common sense theory of individual action assumes. Hegel's distinction in Philosophy of Right between "action" and "deed" and his views concerning the role of intended results and foreseen consequences in discussing the responsibilities of the moral agent make clear that this is also Hegel's mature view. In Phenomenology, Hegel toys with the idea of retrospective determination of intention, but does not put it forward as his own view. (shrink)
Recent studies point to a surprising divergence between people's use of the concept of _intention_ and their use of the concept of _acting intentionally_. It seems that people's application of the concept of intention is determined by their beliefs about the agent's psychological states whereas their use of the concept of acting intentionally is determined at least in part by their beliefs about the moral status of the behavior itself (i.e., by their beliefs about whether the behavior is morally (...) good or morally bad). These findings raise a number of difficult questions about the relationship between the concept of intention and the concept of acting intentionally. The present paper addresses those questions using a variety of different methods, including conceptual analysis, psychological experimentation, and an examination of people's use of certain expressions in other languages. (shrink)
The recent failures and scandals involving many large businesses have highlighted the importance of corporate social responsibility as a fundamental factor in the soundness of the free market system. The corporate social responsiveness orientation of business executives plays an important role in corporate decision making since managers make important decisions on behalf of their corporations. This paper explores whether there is a relationship between an individual's degree of religiousness and his or her corporate social responsiveness (CSR) orientation. The results (...) of a survey of 473 business students found a significant relationship between degree of religiousness and attitudes toward the economic and ethical components of CSR. Some explanations as well as limited generalizations and implications are developed. (shrink)
We present a modal logic called (logic of intention and attempt) in which we can reason about intention dynamics and intentional action execution. By exploiting the expressive power of , we provide a formal analysis of the relation between intention and action and highlight the pivotal role of attempt in action execution. Besides, we deal with the problems of instrumental reasoning and intention persistence.
Although the change of beliefs in the face of new information has been widely studied with some success, the revision of other mental states has received little attention from the theoretical perspective. In particular, intentions are widely recognised as being a key attitude for rational agents, and while several formal theories of intention have been proposed in the literature, the logic of intention revision has been hardly considered. There are several reasons for this: perhaps most importantly, intentions are (...) very closely connected with other mental states—in particular, beliefs about the future and the abilities of the agent. So, we cannot study them in isolation. We must consider the interplay between intention revision and the revision of other mental states, which complicates the picture considerably. In this paper, we present some first steps towards a theory of intention revision. We develop a simple model of an agent’s mental states, and define intention revision operators. Using this model, we develop a logic of intention dynamics, and then investigate some of its properties. (shrink)
It is a widely shared intuition that there is a close connection between knowledge-how and intentional action. In this paper, I explore one aspect of this connection: the normative connection between intending to do something and knowing how to do it. I argue for a norm connecting knowledge-how and intending in a way that parallels the knowledge norms of assertion, belief, and practical reasoning, which I call the knowledge-how norm of Intention. I argue that this norm can appeal to (...) support from arguments which parallel those for other epistemic norms, that it can deal with a number of prima facie problem cases, and that alternative conditions in a norm on intention are implausible. (shrink)