In order to be doing something intentionally, must one know that one is doing it? Some philosophers have answered yes. Our aim is to test a version of this knowledge thesis, what we call the Knowledge/Awareness Thesis, or KAT. KAT states that an agent is doing something intentionally only if he knows that he is doing it or is aware that he is doing it. Here, using vignettes featuring skilled action and vignettes featuring habitual action, we provide evidence that, in (...) various scenarios, a majority of non-specialists regard agents as intentionally doing things that the agents do not know they are doing and are not aware of doing. This puts pressure on proponents of KAT and leaves it to them to find a way these results can coexist with KAT. (shrink)
Existing accounts of shared intention do not claim that a single token of intention can be jointly framed and executed by multiple agents; rather, they claim that multiple agents can frame distinct, individual intentions in such a way as to qualify as jointly intending something. In this respect, the existing accounts do not show that intentions can be shared in any literal sense. This article argues that, in failing to show how intentions can be literally shared, these accounts (...) fail to resolve what seems problematic in the notion of shared intention. It then offers an account in which the problem of shared intention is resolved, because intention can indeed be literally shared. This account is derived from Margaret Gilbert's notion of a "pool of wills," to which it applies Searle's definition of intention. (shrink)
In the past few years, a number of philosophers ; Horgan and Tienson 2002; Pitt 2004) have maintained the following three theses: there is a distinctive sort of phenomenology characteristic of conscious thought, as opposed to other sorts of conscious mental states; different conscious thoughts have different phenomenologies; and thoughts with the same phenomenology have the same intentional content. The last of these three claims is open to at least two different interpretations. It might mean that the phenomenology of a (...) thought expresses its intentional content, where intentional content is understood as propositional, and propositions are understood as mind-and language-independent abstract entities. And it might mean that the phenomenology of a thought is its intentional content—that is, that the phenomenology of a thought, like the phenomenology of a sensation, constitutes its content. The second sort of view is a kind of psychologism. Psychologistic views hold that one or another sort of thing—numbers, sentences, propositions, etc.—that we can think or know about is in fact a kind of mental thing. Since Frege, psychologism has been in bad repute among analytic philosophers. It is widely held that Frege showed that such views are untenable, since, among other things, they subjectivize what is in fact objective, and, hence, relativize such things as consistency and truth to the peculiarities of human psychology. The purpose of this paper is to explore the consequences of the thesis that intentional mental content is phenomenological and to try to reach a conclusion about whether it yields a tenable view of mind, thought and meaning. I believe the thesis is not so obviously wrong as it will strike many philosophers of mind and language. In fact, it can be defended against the standard objections to psychologism, and it can provide the basis for a novel and interesting account of mentality. (shrink)
Mind wandering is typically operationalized as task-unrelated thought. Some argue for the need to distinguish between unintentional and intentional mind wandering, where an agent voluntarily shifts attention from task-related to task-unrelated thoughts. We reveal an inconsistency between the standard, task-unrelated thought definition of mind wandering and the occurrence of intentional mind wandering (together with plausible assumptions about tasks and intentions). This suggests that either the standard definition of mind wandering should be rejected or that intentional mind wandering is an incoherent (...) category. Solving this puzzle is critical for advancing theoretical frameworks of mind wandering. (shrink)
What happens to our conception of mind and rational agency when we take seriously future-directed intentions and plans and their roles as inputs into further practical reasoning? The author's initial efforts in responding to this question resulted in a series of papers that he wrote during the early 1980s. In this book, Bratman develops further some of the main themes of these essays and also explores a variety of related ideas and issues. He develops a planning theory of intention. (...) Intentions are treated as elements of partial plans of action. These plans play basic roles in practical reasoning, roles that support the organization of our activities over time and socially. Bratman explores the impact of this approach on a wide range of issues, including the relation between intention and intentional action, and the distinction between intended and expected effects of what one intends. (shrink)
In order to be doing something intentionally, must one know that one is doing it? Some philosophers have answered yes. Our aim is to test a version of this knowledge thesis, what we call the Knowledge/awareness Thesis, or KAT. KAT states that an agent is doing something intentionally only if he knows that he is doing it or is aware that he is doing it. Here, using vignettes featuring skilled action and vignettes featuring habitual action, we provide evidence that, in (...) various scenarios, a majority of non-specialists regard agents as intentionally doing things that the agents do not know they are doing and are not aware of doing. This puts pressure on proponents of KAT and leaves it to them to find a way these results can coexist with KAT. (shrink)
This paper concerns Kripke’s puzzle about belief. I have two goals in this paper. The first is to argue that two leading approaches to Kripke’s puzzle, those of Lewis and Chalmers, are inadequate as they stand. Both approaches require the world to supply an object that the relevant intentional attitudes pick out. The problem is that there are cases which, I argue, exhibit the very same puzzling phenomenon in which the world does not supply an object in the required way. (...) The second goal is to draw out a more general lesson about Kripke’s puzzle. I argue that Kripke’s puzzle should be understood as intimately related to a phenomenon known as ‘intentional identity’, and that an adequate account of Kripke’s puzzle should be extensible to cases in which the relevant attitudes are empty. (shrink)
What’s the relationship between (i) intending to do something, (ii) believing that you are going to do this, and (iii) its being the case that you are going to do the thing in question? I propose a position on which all three categories, correctly understood, amount in the fundamental case to the very same thing. The belief that constitutes future-directed intention, when strong, likewise constitutes one as having a real tendency to act in the intended way.
Intentional sampling methods are non-probabilistic procedures that select a group of individuals for a sample with the purpose of meeting specific prescribed criteria. Intentional sampling methods are intended for exploratory research or pilot studies where tight budget constraints preclude the use of traditional randomized representative sampling. The possibility of subsequently generalize statistically from such deterministic samples to the general population has been the issue of long standing arguments and debates. Nevertheless, the intentional sampling techniques developed in this paper explore pragmatic (...) strategies for overcoming some of the real or perceived shortcomings and limitations of intentional sampling in practical applications. (shrink)
This paper argues that a popular account of intentions can be extended to beliefs. Beliefs are stable all-out states that allow for planning and coordination in a way that is tractable for cognitively limited creatures like human beings. Scepticism is expressed that there is really anything like credences as standardly understood.
Existing accounts of shared intention do not claim that a single token of intention can be jointly framed and executed by multiple agents; rather, they claim that multiple agents can frame distinct, individual intentions in such a way as to qualify as jointly intending something. In this respect, the existing accounts do not show that intentions can be shared in any literal sense. This article argues that, in failing to show how intentions can be literally shared, these accounts (...) fail to resolve what seems problematic in the notion of shared intention. It then offers an account in which the problem of shared intention is resolved, because intention can indeed be literally shared. This account is derived from Margaret Gilbert’s notion of a “pool of wills,” to which it applies Searle’s definition of intention. (shrink)
Are there distinct roles for intention and motor representation in explaining the purposiveness of action? Standard accounts of action assign a role to intention but are silent on motor representation. The temptation is to suppose that nothing need be said here because motor representation is either only an enabling condition for purposive action or else merely a variety of intention. This paper provides reasons for resisting that temptation. Some motor representations, like intentions, coordinate actions in virtue of (...) representing outcomes; but, unlike intentions, motor representations cannot feature as premises or conclusions in practical reasoning. This implies that motor representation has a distinctive role in explaining the purposiveness of action. It also gives rise to a problem: were the roles of intention and motor representation entirely independent, this would impair effective action. It is therefore necessary to explain how intentions interlock with motor representations. The solution, we argue, is to recognise that the contents of intentions can be partially determined by the contents of motor representations. Understanding this content-determining relation enables better understanding how intentions relate to actions. (shrink)
There has been a long-standing dispute in the philosophical literature about the conditions under which a behavior counts as 'intentional.' Much of the debate turns on questions about the use of certain words and phrases in ordinary language. The present paper investigates these questions empirically, using experimental techniques to investigate people's use of the relevant words and phrases. g.
This paper argues that the types of intention can be modeled both as modal operators and via a multi-hyperintensional semantics. I delineate the semantic profiles of the types of intention, and provide a precise account of how the types of intention are unified in virtue of both their operations in a single, encompassing, epistemic space, and their role in practical reasoning. I endeavor to provide reasons adducing against the proposal that the types of intention are reducible (...) to the mental states of belief and desire, where the former state is codified by subjective probability measures and the latter is codified by a utility function. I argue, instead, that each of the types of intention -- i.e., intention-in-action, intention-as-explanation, and intention-for-the-future -- has as its aim the value of an outcome of the agent's action, as derived by her partial beliefs and assignments of utility, and as codified by the value of expected utility in evidential decision theory. (shrink)
Ethologists and others studying animal behavior in a spirit are in need of a descriptive language and method that are neither anachronistically bound by behaviorist scruples nor prematurely committed to particular Just such an interim descriptive method can be found in intentional system theory. The use of intentional system theory is illustrated with the case of the apparently communicative behavior of vervet monkeys. A way of using the theory to generate data - including usable, testable data - is sketched. The (...) underlying assumptions of this approach can be seen to ally it directly with theorizing in evolutionary biology, which has recently come under attack from Stephen Gould and Richard Lewontin, who castigate it as the Their arguments, which are strongly analogous to B. F, Skinner's arguments against point to certain pitfalls that attend the careless exercise of such thinking (and rival varieties of thinking as well), but do not constitute a fundamental objection to either adaptationist theorizing or its cousin, intentional system theory. (shrink)
In the literature of collective intentions, the ‘we-intentions’ that lie behind cooperative actions are analysed in terms of individual mental states. The core forms of these analyses imply that all Nash equilibrium behaviour is the result of collective intentions, even though not all Nash equilibria are cooperative actions. Unsatisfactorily, the latter cases have to be excluded either by stipulation or by the addition of further, problematic conditions. We contend that the cooperative aspect of collective intentions is not a property of (...) the intentions themselves, but of the mode of reasoning by which they are formed. We analyse collective intentions as the outcome of team reasoning, a mode of practical reasoning used by individuals as members of groups. We describe this mode of reasoning in terms of formal schemata, discuss a range of possible accounts of group agency, and show how existing theories of collective intentions fit into this framework. (shrink)
Four experiments examined people’s folk-psychological concept of intentional action. The chief question was whether or not _evaluative _considerations — considerations of good and bad, right and wrong, praise and blame — played any role in that concept. The results indicated that the moral qualities of a behavior strongly influence people’s judgements as to whether or not that behavior should be considered ‘intentional.’ After eliminating a number of alternative explanations, the author concludes that this effect is best explained by the hypothesis (...) that evaluative considerations do play some role in people’s concept of intentional action.<b> </b>. (shrink)
Among philosophers, there are at least two prevalent views about the core concept of intentional action. View I (Adams 1986, 1997; McCann 1986) holds that an agent S intentionally does an action A only if S intends to do A. View II (Bratman 1987; Harman 1976; and Mele 1992) holds that there are cases where S intentionally does A without intending to do A, as long as doing A is foreseen and S is willing to accept A as a consequence (...) of S’s action. Joshua Knobe (2003a) presents intriguing data that may be taken to support the second view.1 Knobe’s data show an asymmetry in folk judgements. People are more inclined to judge that S did A intentionally, even when not intended, if A was perceived as causing a harm (e.g. harming the environment). There is an asymmetry because people are not inclined to see S’s action as intentional, when not intended, if A is perceived as causing a beneﬁt (e.g. helping the environment). In this paper we will discuss Knobe’s results in detail. We will raise the question of whether his ordinary language surveys of folk judgments have accessed core concepts of intentional action. We suspect that instead Knobe’s surveys are tapping into pragmatic aspects of intentional language and its role in moral praise and blame. We will suggest alternative surveys that we plan to conduct to get at this difference, and we will attempt to explain the pragmatic usage of intentional language. (shrink)
In the last years of his life, Gerald C. MacCallum, Jr., defied illness to continue his work on the philosophy of law. This book is a monument to MacCallum’s effort, containing fourteen of his essays, five of them published here for the first time. Two of those previously published are widely admired and reprinted: “Legislative Intent,” certainly one of the best papers ever published on its topic, and “Negative and Positive Freedom,” which offered a new way of looking at a (...) distinction that had been canonical for the last two centuries. To complete MacCallum’s unfinished pieces, Marcus G. Singer and Rex Martin painstakingly consulted MacCallum’s notes for planned revisions. MacCallum discusses legal reasoning, the application of rules, the interpretation of statutes and constitutional provisions, and the relation of these matters to morality and justice. In the last decade of his working life, he became greatly concerned with the interrelated themes of integrity, autonomy, conscience, and violence. He wished to relate competition to morality and justice to adversarial systems of law. These themes are woven together in Legislative Intent and constitute the main subject of some of the essays. MacCallum was engaged in a constant search for truth and understanding, and in his life and work lived up to Emerson’s vision of the “American Scholar” as a “human being thinking.” These essays are informed by the author’s deep curiosity, penetrating intelligence, wide knowledge, and outstanding character. They will be treasured wherever these characteristics and true philosophy are treasured. (shrink)
We all make mistakes in pronunciation and spelling, but a common view is that there are limits beyond which a mistaken pronunciation or spelling becomes too dramatic to be recognized as of a particular word at all. These considerations have bolstered a family of accounts that invoke speaker intentions and standards for tolerance as determinants of which word, if any, an utterance tokens. I argue this is a mistake. Neither intentions nor standards of tolerance are necessary or sufficient (individually or (...) jointly) for determining which word an utterance tokens. Instead, drawing in part on empirical research on word production, I offer an alternative account, Originalism-plus-Transfer (OPT), according to which word tokening depends entirely on lexical selection during word production, and on how the selected lexical item is situated within the network of causal/historical connections leading back to its neologizing. Once the elements of my account are in place, as a bonus, we will have resources for a promising answer to the question of word individuation as well. (shrink)
This article explores the question: what is it for two or more people to intend to do something in the future? In a technical phrase, what is it for people to share an intention ? Extending and refining earlier work of the author’s, it argues for three criteria of adequacy for an account of shared intention (the disjunction, concurrence, and obligation criteria) and offers an account that satisfies them. According to this account, in technical terms explained in the (...) paper, people share an intention when and only when they are jointly committed to intend as a body to do such-and-such in the future. This account is compared and contrasted with the common approach that treats shared intention as a matter of personal intentions, with particular reference to the work of Michael Bratman. (shrink)
Each of the following claims has been defended in the scientific literature on free will and consciousness: your brain routinely decides what you will do before you become conscious of its decision; there is only a 100 millisecond window of opportunity for free will, and all it can do is veto conscious decisions, intentions, or urges; intentions never play a role in producing corresponding actions; and free will is an illusion. In Effective Intentions Alfred Mele shows that the evidence offered (...) to support these claims is sorely deficient. He also shows that there is strong empirical support for the thesis that some conscious decisions and intentions have a genuine place in causal explanations of corresponding actions. In short, there is weighty evidence of the existence of effective conscious intentions or the power of conscious will. Mele examines the accuracy of subjects' reports about when they first became aware of decisions or intentions in laboratory settings and develops some implications of warranted skepticism about the accuracy of these reports. In addition, he explores such questions as whether we must be conscious of all of our intentions and why scientists disagree about this. Mele's final chapter closes with a discussion of imaginary scientific findings that would warrant bold claims about free will and consciousness of the sort he examines in this book. (shrink)
For the first time, Robert Audi presents in Action, Intention, and Reason a full version of his theory of the nature, explanation, freedom, and rationality of human action. Ove the years Audi has set out in journal articles different aspects of a unified theory of action. This volume offers the unity of a single, seamless book with thirteen self-contained chapters, two of them previously unpublished, and a new overview of action theory and the book's contribution to it. The book (...) is divided into four parts, each addressing a major problem area. The chapters in Part One describe the motivational grounds of action, explicate desire, belief, intention, and volition, and give a distinctive account of their interconnections. In the second part, Audi sets out a theory of the explanation of action and argues that actions can be both law-governed and performed for reasons. The third part provides an account of free action and its relation to causation and responsibility. Chapters in the fourth and final part construct an account of rational action and its connections with practical reasoning, self-deception, and weakness of will. (shrink)
Recent empirical and conceptual research has shown that moral considerations have an influence on the way we use the adverb 'intentionally'. Here we propose our own account of these phenomena, according to which they arise from the fact that the adverb 'intentionally' has three different meanings that are differently selected by contextual factors, including normative expectations. We argue that our hypotheses can account for most available data and present some new results that support this. We end by discussing the implications (...) of our account for folk psychology. (shrink)
A full account of purposive action must appeal not only to propositional attitude states like beliefs, desires, and intentions, but also to motor representations, i.e., non-propositional states that are thought to represent, among other things, action outcomes as well as detailed kinematic features of bodily movements. This raises the puzzle of how it is that these two distinct types of state successfully coordinate. We examine this so-called “Interface Problem”. First, we clarify and expand on the nature and role of motor (...) representations in explaining intentional action. Next, we characterize the respective functions of intentions and motor representations, the differences in representational format and content that these imply, and the interface challenge these differences in turn raise. We then evaluate Butterfill and Sinigaglia’s recent answer to this interface challenge, according to which intentions refer to action outcomes by way of demonstrative deference to motor representations. We present some worries for this proposal, arguing that, among other things, it implicitly presupposes a solution to the problem, and so cannot help to resolve it. Finally, we suggest that we may make some progress on this puzzle by positing a “content-preserving causal process” taking place between intentions and motor representations, and we offer a proposal for how this might work. (shrink)
What are the most detailed descriptions under which subjects intend to perform bodily actions? According to Pacherie, these descriptions may be found by looking into motor representations—action representations in the brain that determine the movements to be performed. Specifically, for any motor representation guiding an action, its subject has an M-intention representing that action in as much detail. I show that some M-intentions breach the constraints that intentions should meet. I then identify a set of intentions—motor intentions—that represent actions (...) in as much detail as some motor representations while meeting the constraints that intentions should meet. (shrink)
Scientific realism has been advanced as an interpretation of the natural sciences but never as an interpretation of the behavioural sciences. This book introduces a novel version of scientific realism -- Measured Realism -- that characterizes the kind of theoretical progress in the social and psychological sciences that is uneven but indisputable. Measuring the Intentional World proposes a theory of measurement -- Population-Guided Estimation -- that connects natural, psychological, and social scientific inquiry.
Philosophers have proposed accounts of shared intentions that aim at capturing what makes a joint action intentionally joint. On these accounts, having a shared intention typically presupposes cognitively and conceptually demanding theory of mind skills. Yet, young children engage in what appears to be intentional, cooperative joint action long before they master these skills. In this paper, I attempt to characterize a modest or ‘lite’ notion of shared intention, inspired by Michael Bacharach’s approach to team–agency theory in terms (...) of framing, group identification and team reasoning. I argue that the account of shared intentions this approach yields is less cognitively and conceptually demanding than other accounts and is thus applicable to the intentional joint actions performed by young children. I also argue that it has limitations of its own and that considering what these limitations are may help us understand why we sometimes need to take other routes to shared intentions. (shrink)
Intentional action involves both a series of neural events in the motor areas of the brain, and also a distinctive conscious experience that ''I'' am the author of the action. This paper investigates some possible ways in which these neural and phenomenal events may be related. Recent models of motor prediction are relevant to the conscious experience of action as well as to its neural control. Such models depend critically on matching the actual consequences of a movement against its internally (...) predicted effects. However, it remains unclear whether our conscious experience of action depends on a precise matching process, or a retrospective inference that ''I'' must have been responsible for a particular event. We report an experiment in which normal subjects judged the perceived time of either intentional actions, involuntary movements, or subsequent effects (auditory tones) of these. We found that the subject's intention to produce the auditory tone produced an intentional binding between the perceived times of the subject's action and the tone. However, if the intention was interrupted by an imposed involuntary movement, followed by the identical tone, no such binding occurred. The phenomenology of intentional action requires an appropriate predictive link between intentions and effects, rather than a retrospective inference that ''I'' caused the effect. (shrink)
Accepting a promise is normatively significant in that it helps to secure promissory obligation. But what is it for B to accept A’s promise to φ? It is in part for B to intend A’s φ-ing. Thinking of acceptance in this way allows us to appeal to the distinctive role of intentions in practical reasoning and action to better understand the agency exercised by the promisee. The proposal also accounts for rational constraints on acceptance, and the so-called directedness of promissory (...) obligation. Finally, the proposal, conjoined with Cognitivism about intentions, addresses recent criticism of Scanlon’s expectation-based view of promissory obligation. (shrink)
The concept of acting intentionally is an important nexus where ‘theory of mind’ and moral judgment meet. Preschool children’s judgments of intentional action show a valence-driven asymmetry. Children say that a foreseen but disavowed side-effect is brought about 'on purpose' when the side-effect itself is morally bad but not when it is morally good. This is the first demonstration in preschoolers that moral judgment influences judgments of ‘on-purpose’ (as opposed to purpose influencing moral judgment). Judgments of intentional action are usually (...) assumed to be purely factual. That these judgments are sometimes partly normative — even in preschoolers — challenges current understanding. Young children’s judgments regarding foreseen side-effects depend upon whether the children process the idea that the character does not care about the side-effect. As soon as preschoolers effectively process the ‘theory of mind’ concept, NOT CARE THAT P, children show the side-effect effect.idea.. (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.
BackgroundTurnover intention, an employee’s intention to voluntarily leave their jobs, affects workforce sustainability. However, scarce data are available about turnover intention and its associated factors among psychiatrists in China, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The current research was designed to address this gap.MethodsAn anonymous, nationwide online survey was disseminated to psychiatrists in 41 psychiatric hospitals in China. We collected demographic data, job-related information, and participants’ turnover intention in the next 12 months.ResultsIn total, 3,973 psychiatrists completed the (...) survey. The sample was predominantly female and married, and nearly three-fourths had children. More than one-third had a master’s or doctoral degree in addition to their medical degree. The overall level of job satisfaction was moderate. The rate of turnover intention was 22.0% and was comparable in males and females. Psychiatrists who had participated in the frontline work of COVID-19 were more likely to report an intention to leave their current job. Multiple regression analyses suggested that turnover intention was significantly associated with having insomnia, longer working hours, and more working days per week.ConclusionDuring the pandemic period, approximately one-fifth of psychiatrists in China reported turnover intention. Factors associated with turnover intention included high job-related burdens, low job satisfaction, participation in the frontline work against COVID-19, and insomnia. To improve psychiatric workforce sustainability, policymakers and hospital administrators need to be aware of this potential challenge and address the concerns of psychiatrists in China. (shrink)
It is nearly 10 years since Patrick Haggard and colleagues first reported the ‘intentional binding’ effect . The intentional binding effect refers to the subjective compression of the temporal interval between a voluntary action and its external sensory consequence. Since the first report, considerable interest has been generated and a fascinating array of studies has accumulated. Much of the interest in intentional binding comes from the promise to shed light on human agency. In this review we survey studies on intentional (...) binding, focusing, in particular, on the link between intentional binding and the sense of agency . We suggest that, whilst it is yet to be fully explicated, the link between intentional binding and the sense of agency is compelling. We conclude by considering outstanding questions and future directions for research on intentional binding. (shrink)
The paper motivates a novel research programme in the philosophy of action parallel to the ‘Knowledge First’ programme in epistemology. It is argued that much of the grounds for abandoning the quest for a reductive analysis of knowledge in favour of the Knowledge First alternative is mirrored in the case of intentional action, inviting the hypothesis that intentional action is also, like knowledge, metaphysically basic. The paper goes on to demonstrate the sort of explanatory contribution that intentional action can make (...) once it is no longer taken to be a target for reductive analysis, in explaining other, non-intentional kinds of action and voluntariness. (shrink)
This paper offers an analysis of the logical form of plural action sentences that shows that collective actions so ascribed are a matter of all members of a group contributing to bringing some event about. It then uses this as the basis for a reductive account of the content of we-intentions according to which what distinguishes we-intentions from I-intentions is that we-intentions are directed about bringing it about that members of a group act in accordance with a shared plan.
Recent empirical work calls into question the so-called Simple View that an agent who A’s intentionally intends to A. In experimental studies, ordinary speakers frequently assent to claims that, in certain cases, agents who knowingly behave wrongly intentionally bring about the harm they do; yet the speakers tend to deny that it was the intention of those agents to cause the harm. This paper reports two additional studies that at first appear to support the original ones, but argues that (...) in fact, the evidence of all the studies considered is best understood in terms of the Simple View. (shrink)
People intend to do things, try to do things, and do things. Do they also will to do things? More precisely, if people will to do things and their willing bears upon what they do, is willing, or volition, something distinct from intending and trying? This question is central to the intention/volition debate, a debate about the ingredients of the best theory of the nature and explanation of human action. A variety of competing conceptions of volition, intention, and (...) trying have been advanced in the literature; it would be impossible to examine each thoroughly in a single paper. We can show, however, that the major functional roles ascribed to volition are nicely filled by a triad composed of intention, trying, and information feedback. Sections I and II below develop an account of the connection between intention and trying. Section III examines leading arguments for the existence of volitions and decomposes volitions into members of the triad just identified. (shrink)
How come we can represent Bigfoot even though Bigfoot does not exist, given that representing something involves bearing a relation to it and we cannot bear relations to what does not exist?This is the problem of intentional inexistence. This paper develops a two-step solution to this problem, involving an adverbial account of conscious representation, or phenomenal inten- tionality, and the thesis that all representation derives from conscious representation. The solution is correspondingly two-part: we can consciously represent Bigfoot because consciously representing (...) Bigfoot does not involve bearing a relation to Bigfoot, but rather instantiating a certain non-relational property of representing Bigfoot-wise; and we can non-consciously represent Bigfoot because non-consciously representing Bigfoot does not involve bearing a relation to Bigfoot, but rather bearing a relation to conscious representations of Bigfoot. (shrink)