Intentions

Edited by Santiago Amaya (University of the Andes)
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  1. Action.Juan S. Piñeros Glasscock & Sergio Tenenbaum - 2023 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  2. Four Objections to a Broad Scope Theory of Intention.Harrison Lee - forthcoming - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association.
    Proponents of “Broad Scope Theories” of intention argue that agents cannot intend to achieve given ends without intending certain inevitable or probable consequences. I shall argue that some Thomistic variants of these theories collapse into the Expectation View (EV), i.e., that we intend to produce all of the consequences that we expect to result from our actions. I shall then raise four objections to EV. First, EV falsely implies that we intend to produce all of the expected beneficial consequences of (...)
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  3. Acts and Embodiment.Kit Fine - 2022 - Metaphysics 5 (1):14–28.
    The theory of embodiment is used in providing an account of the identity of acts and in providing solutions to various puzzles concerning acts.
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  4. Agency and Time.Abraham Sesshu Roth - 2022 - In Time in Action - The Temporal Structure of Rational Agency and Practical Thought. New York: Routledge. pp. 133-148.
    Is there something special about one’s attitude toward a prospective action when deciding or intending to do it? Philosophers often appeal to the idea of settling to distinguish intention from other attitudes toward some prospective action, such as expecting it, or desiring it. But settle has become a term of art invoked in divergent ways. The first use of the term concerns the more immediate upshot of a decision on the psychology of the agent. Once a decision has been made (...)
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  5. Pragmatic Particularism.Ray Buchanan & Henry Ian Schiller - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 105 (1):62-78.
    For the Intentionalist, utterance content is wholly determined by a speaker’s meaning-intentions; the sentence uttered serves merely to facilitate the audience’s recovering these intentions. We argue that Intentionalists ought to be Particularists, holding that the only “principles” of meaning recovery needed are those governing inferences to the best explanation; “principles” that are both defeasible and, in a sense to be elaborated, variable. We discuss some ways in which some theorists have erred in trying to tame the “wild west” of pragmatics (...)
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  6. Perceiving commitments: When we both know that you are counting on me.Francesca Bonalumi, John Michael & Christophe Heintz - 2021 - Mind and Language 37 (4):502-524.
    Can commitments be generated without promises, commissive speech acts or gestures that are conventionally interpreted as such? While we remain neutral with respect to the normative answer to this question, we propose a psychological answer. Specifically, we hypothesize that people at least believe that commitments are in place if one agent (the sender) has led a second agent (the recipient) to rely on her to do something, and if this is mutually known by the two agents. Crucially, this situation can (...)
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  7. Consistent Desires and Climate Change.Daniel Coren - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    Philosophers have described the human perspective on climate change as a perfect moral storm. I take a new angle on that storm: I argue that our relevant desires feature a particularly problematic case of seemingly consistent but genuinely inconsistent desires. We have, first, non-indexical desires such as a desire to (make the sacrifices necessary to) stop polluting our environment at some point. We have, second, indexical desires such as a desire not to (make the sacrifices necessary to) stop polluting our (...)
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  8. Indecision and Buridan’s Principle.Daniel Coren - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-18.
    The problem known as Buridan’s Ass says that a hungry donkey equipoised between two identical bales of hay will starve to death. Indecision kills the ass. Some philosophers worry about human analogs. Computer scientists since the 1960s have known about the computer versions of such cases. From what Leslie Lamport calls ‘Buridan’s Principle’—a discrete decision based on a continuous range of input-values cannot be made in a bounded time—it follows that the possibilities for human analogs of Buridan’s Ass are far (...)
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  9. The Unity of Normative Thought.Jeremy David Fix - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (3):639-658.
    Practical cognitivism is the view that practical reason is our will, not an intellectual capacity whose exercises can influence those of our will. If practical reason is our will, thoughts about how I am to act have an essential tie to action. They are intentions. Thoughts about how others are to act, though, lack such a tie to action. They are beliefs, not intentions. How, then, can these thoughts form a unified class? I reject two answers which deny the differences (...)
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  10. Intention, Knowledge, and Responsibility.Rémi Clot-Goudard - 2022 - In Roger Teichmann (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Elizabeth Anscombe. Oxford University Press. pp. 53-71.
    To what extent can an agent be held responsible for what he does? According to Aristotle, we are answerable for our voluntary actions, the “voluntary” being “[1] that of which the origin is in oneself, [2] when one knows the particular factors that constitute the location of action.” This question, which was of paramount importance for Anscombe, led her to focus on the second, epistemic condition of responsibility. This chapter suggests that in fact, a large part of her philosophy of (...)
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  11. A Higher-Order Approach to Diachronic Continence.Catherine Rioux - 2022 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 11 (1):51-58.
    We often form intentions to resist anticipated future temptations. But when confronted with the temptations our resolutions were designed to withstand, we tend to revise our previous evaluative judgments and conclude that we should now succumb—only to then revert to our initial evaluations, once temptation has subsided. Some evaluative judgments made under the sway of temptation are mistaken. But not all of them are. When the belief that one should now succumb is a proper response to relevant considerations that have (...)
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  12. A Question-Sensitive Theory of Intention.Bob Beddor & Simon Goldstein - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly:1-39.
    This paper develops a question-sensitive theory of intention. We show that this theory explains some puzzling closure properties of intention. In particular, it can be used to explain why one is rationally required to intend the means to one’s ends, even though one is not rationally required to intend all the foreseen consequences of one’s intended actions. It also explains why rational intention is not always closed under logical implication, and why one can only intend outcomes that one believes to (...)
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  13. Intention as Belief.John Schwenkler - 2022 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 103 (2):318-334.
    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.
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  14. Making Sense of the Knobe-effect : Praise demands both Intention and Voluntariness.Istvan Zoltan Zardai - 2022 - Journal of Applied Ethics and Philosophy 13:11-20.
    The paper defends the idea that when we evaluate whether agents deserve praise or blame for their actions, we evaluate both whether their action was intentional, and whether it was voluntary. This idea can explain an asymmetry in blameworthiness and praiseworthiness: Agents can be blamed if they have acted either intentionally or voluntarily. However, to merit praise we expect agents to have acted both intentionally and voluntarily. This asymmetry between demands of praise and blame offers an interpretation of the Knobeeffect: (...)
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  15. Information and Mind.Paul Skokowski - 2020 - Stanford, CA, USA: CSLI Press.
    This volume examines a selection of topics that Fred Dretske addressed in his philosophical career. The topics range from one of the earliest problems Dretske analyzed, the nature of seeing an object, to epistemological issues that he worked on from mid-career onwards, to issues he focused on later in his career, including information, mental representation, and conscious experience. The papers in the volume are by former colleagues and students from the University of Wisconsin and Stanford University, and celebrate Dretske’s life (...)
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  16. Rational Norms for Degreed Intention (and the Discrepancy between Theoretical and Practical Reason).Jay Jian - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-15.
    Given the success of the formal approach, within contemporary epistemology, to understanding degreed belief, some philosophers have recently considered its extension to the challenge of understanding intention. According to them, (1) intentions can also admit of degrees, as beliefs do, and (2) these degreed states are all governed by the norms of the probability calculus, such that the rational norms for belief and for intention exhibit certain structural similarity. This paper, however, raises some worries about (2). It considers two schemes (...)
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  17. Self-control, co-operation, and intention's authority.Lilian O'Brien - 2020 - In Alfred Mele (ed.), Surrounding Self-Control. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    In this chapter I defend a novel view of the relationships among intention for the future, self-control, and co-operation. I argue that when an agent forms an intention for the future she comes to regard herself as criticizable if she does not act in accordance with her intention and as praiseworthy if she does. In forming intentions, then, agents acquire dispositions to have reflexive evaluative attitudes. In contexts where the agent has inclinations that run contrary to her unrescinded intention, these (...)
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  18. Intentional agency.Lilian O'Brien - 2022 - In Luca Ferrero (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Agency. Abingdon, UK: pp. 109-117.
  19. Answerability without reasons.Lilian O'Brien - 2021 - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility. New York, NY, USA: pp. 32-53.
    It is widely accepted that we are answerable in a special way for our intentional actions. And it is also widely accepted that we are thus answerable because we perform intentional actions for reasons. The aim of this chapter is to argue against this ‘reasons’ view of such answerability. First, reasons are distinguished from practical standards. Then, it is argued that the best interpretation of the practices in which we treat agents as answerable is that they fundamentally concern practical standards (...)
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  20. Meaning and Responsibility.Ray Buchanan & Henry Ian Schiller - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    In performing an act of assertion we are sometimes responsible for more than the content of the literal meaning of the words we have used, sometimes less. A recently popular research program seeks to explain certain of the commitments we make in speech in terms of responsiveness to the conversational subject matter (Hoek 2018, Stokke 2016, Yablo 2014). We raise some issues for this view with the aim of providing a more general account of linguistic commitment: one that is grounded (...)
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  21. Agency in the Space of Reasons. A Comment on The Castle.Josep E. Corbi - 2021 - In Tomas Koblízek and Petr Kotátko (ed.), Lessons From Kafka. Prague, Czechia: pp. 113-140.
    The received view about rationalizing explanations divides our psychological status into two kinds: beliefs and desires. In *The Retrieval of Ethics*, Talbot Brewer makes a case against this view. In this paper, I examine our experience as readers of *The Castle* by Franz Kafka to support Brewer's critical program, that is, his challenge to the received view. I will argue, however, that a proper analysis of this experience poses a serious problem to Brewer's alternative approach, that is, to his attempt (...)
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  22. Do Everything for the Glory of God.W. Scott Cleveland - 2021 - Religions 9 (12):754.
    St. Paul writes, “whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10: 31 NABRE).” This essay employs the work of St. Thomas Aquinas and the recent philosophical work of Daniel Johnson (2020) on this command to investigate a series of questions that the command raises. What is glory? How does one properly act for glory and for the glory of another? How is it possible to do everything for the glory of God? I begin with Aquinas’ (...)
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  23. Bayes, predictive processing, and the cognitive architecture of motor control.Daniel C. Burnston - 2021 - Consciousness and Cognition 96:103218.
    Despite their popularity, relatively scant attention has been paid to the upshot of Bayesian and predictive processing models of cognition for views of overall cognitive architecture. Many of these models are hierarchical ; they posit generative models at multiple distinct "levels," whose job is to predict the consequences of sensory input at lower levels. I articulate one possible position that could be implied by these models, namely, that there is a continuous hierarchy of perception, cognition, and action control comprising levels (...)
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  24. Promises, Intentions, and Reasons for Action.Andrew Lichter - 2021 - Ethics 132 (1):218-231.
    Abraham Roth argues that to accept a promise is to intend the performance of the promised action. I argue that this proposal runs into trouble because it makes it hard to explain how promises provide reasons for the performance of the promised action. Then, I ask whether we might fill the gap by saying that a promisor becomes entitled to the reasons for which her promise is accepted. I argue that this fix would implausibly shrink the class of binding promises (...)
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  25. Communication Before Communicative Intention.Josh Armstrong - forthcoming - Noûs.
    This paper explores the significance of intelligent social behavior among non-human animals for philosophical theories of communication. Using the alarm call system of vervet monkeys as a case study, I argue that interpersonal communication (or what I call “minded communication”) can and does take place in the absence of the production and recognition of communicative intentions. More generally, I argue that evolutionary theory provides good reasons for maintaining that minded communication is both temporally and explanatorily prior to the use of (...)
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  26. Anger and Absurdity.Daniel Coren - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (3):717-732.
    I argue that there is an interesting and underexplored sense in which some negative reactive attitudes such as anger are often absurd. I explore implications of this absurdity, especially for our understanding of forgiveness.
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  27. On self-governance over time.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (9):901-912.
    ABSTRACT In Planning, Time, and Self-Governanace, Bratman argues that the notion of self-governance plays an important role in grounding the rational principles such as means-ends coherence in the synchronic case, and principles of stability and coherence through time in the case of self-governance over time. In this paper, I grant Bratman’s claim for the synchronic case, however I argue that it is not clear that one can extend the reasoning to the diachronic case. More specifically, I raise a number of (...)
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  28. MAKING Metaphysics.Thomas Byrne - 2021 - Philosophers' Imprint 21 (20).
    We can cause windows to break and we can break windows; we can cause villages to flood and we can flood villages; and we can cause chocolate to melt and we can melt chocolate. Each time these can come apart: if, for example, A merely instructs B to break the window, then A causes the window to break without breaking it herself. Each instance of A breaking/flooding/melting/burning/killing/etc. something, is an instance of what I call making. I argue that making is (...)
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  29. Intention at the Interface.Ellen Fridland - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3):481-505.
    I identify and characterize the kind of personal-level control-structure that is most relevant for skilled action control, namely, what I call, “practical intention”. I differentiate between practical intentions and general intentions not in terms of their function or timing but in terms of their content. I also highlight a distinction between practical intentions and other control mechanisms that are required to explain skilled action. I’ll maintain that all intentions, general and practical, have the function specifying, sustaining, and structuring action but (...)
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  30. A Role for Conscious Accessibility in Skilled Action.Chiara Brozzo - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3):683-697.
    Skilled sportsmen or musicians—more generally, skilled agents—often fill us with awe with the way they perform their actions. One question we may ask ourselves is whether they intended to perform some awe-inspiring aspects of their actions. This question becomes all the more pressing as it often turns out that these agents were not conscious of some of those aspects at the time of performance. As I shall argue, there are reasons for suspecting lack of conscious access to an aspect of (...)
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  31. Intention: Hyperintensional Semantics and Decision Theory.Hasen Khudairi - manuscript
    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 (...)
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  32. On Second Thought, Libet-style Unreflective Intentions May Be Compatible With Free Will.Nick Byrd - 2021 - Logoi 39 (23):17-28.
    Some have argued that our sense of free will is an illusion. And some base this free will skepticism on claims about when we become consciously aware of our intentions. Evidence suggests that unreflective intentions form before we are conscious of them. And that is supposed to challenge our sense of free will. This inference from unreflective intention to free will skepticism may seem intuitive at first. However, upon reflection, this argument seems to entail a magical view of free will. (...)
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  33. A new cognitive model of long-term memory for intentions.Thor Grünbaum, Franziska Oren & Søren Kyllingsbæk - 2021 - Cognition 215 (C):104817.
    In this paper, we propose a new mathematical model of retrieval of intentions from long-term memory. We model retrieval as a stochastic race between a plurality of potentially relevant intentions stored in long-term memory. Psychological theories are dominated by two opposing conceptions of the role of memory in temporally extended agency – as when a person has to remember to make a phone call in the afternoon because, in the morning, she promised she would do so. According to the Working (...)
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  34. In Search of Doxastic Involuntarism.Matthew Vermaire - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (2):615-631.
    Doxastic involuntarists, as I categorize them, say that it’s impossible to form a belief as an intentional action. But what exactly is it to form a belief, as opposed to simply getting yourself to have one? This question has been insufficiently addressed, and the lacuna threatens the involuntarists’ position: if the question isn’t answered, their view will lack any clear content; but, after considering some straightforward ways of answering it, I argue that they would make involuntarism either false or insignificant. (...)
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  35. Quasi-Psychologism about Collective Intention.Matthew Rachar - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (2):475-488.
    This paper argues that a class of popular views of collective intention, which I call “quasi-psychologism”, faces a problem explaining common intuitions about collective action. Views in this class hold that collective intentions are realized in or constituted by individual, mental, participatory intentions. I argue that this metaphysical commitment entails persistence conditions that are in tension with a purported obligation to notify co-actors before leaving a collective action attested to by participants in experimental research about the interpersonal normativity of collective (...)
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  36. Folk psychology and proximal intentions.Alfred Mele, Thomas Nadelhoffer & Maria Khoudary - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-23.
    There is a longstanding debate in philosophy concerning the relationship between intention and intentional action. According to the Single Phenomenon View, while one need not intend to A in order to A intentionally, one nevertheless needs to have an A-relevant intention. This view has recently come under criticism by those who think that one can A intentionally without any relevant intention at all. On this view, neither distal nor proximal intentions are necessary for intentional action. In this paper we present (...)
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  37. The Effect of Cognitive Load on Intent‐Based Moral Judgment.Justin W. Martin, Marine Buon & Fiery Cushman - 2021 - Cognitive Science 45 (4):e12965.
    When making a moral judgment, people largely care about two factors: Who did it (causal responsibility), and did they intend to (intention)? Since Piaget's seminal studies, we have known that as children mature, they gradually place greater emphasis on intention, and less on mere bad outcomes, when making moral judgments. Today, we know that this developmental shift has several signature properties. Recently, it has been shown that when adults make moral judgments under cognitive load, they exhibit a pattern similar to (...)
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  38. Anscombe's Intention: A Guide. [REVIEW]Benjamin Schulz - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 71 (2):438-440.
    Anscombe's Intention: A Guide. By Schwenkler John.
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  39. Noncognitivism in Metaethics and the Philosophy of Action.Samuel Asarnow - 2023 - Erkenntnis 88 (1):95-115.
    Noncognitivism about normative judgment is the view that normative judgment is a distinctive kind of mental state, identical neither to belief or desire, but desire-like in its functional role and direction of fit. Noncognitivism about intention (also called the “distinctive practical attitude” theory) is the view that intention is a distinctive kind of mental state, identical neither to belief or desire, but desire-like in its functional role and direction of fit. While these theories are alike in several ways, they have (...)
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  40. Mark C. Murphy, God’s Own Ethics: Norms of Divine Agency and the Argument from Evil. [REVIEW]Nevin Climenhaga - 2020 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 17 (5):587-590.
  41. Rational Powers in Action: Instrumental Rationality and Extended Agency.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2021 - Oxford University Press.
    Rational Powers in Action presents a conception of instrumental rationality as governing actions that are extended in time with indeterminate ends. Tenenbaum argues that previous philosophical theories in this area, in focusing on momentary snapshots of the mind of idealized agents, miss central aspects of human rationality.
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  42. Aristotle on Motion in Incomplete Animals.Daniel Coren - 2020 - Apeiron 53 (3):285-314.
    I explain what Aristotle means when, after puzzling about the matter of motion in incomplete animals, he suggests in De Anima III 11.433b31–434a5 that just as incomplete animals are moved indeterminately, desire and phantasia are present in those animals, but present indeterminately. I argue that self-motion and its directing faculties in incomplete animals differ in degree but not in kind from those of complete animals. I examine how an object of desire differs for an incomplete animal. Using a comparison with (...)
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  43. Requirements of intention in light of belief.Carlos Núñez - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2471-2492.
    Much work in the philosophy of action in the last few decades has focused on the elucidation and justification of a series of purported norms of practical rationality that concern the presence or absence of intention in light of belief, and that demand a kind of structural coherence in the psychology of an agent. Examples of such norms include: Intention Detachment, which proscribes intending to do something in case some condition obtains, believing that such condition obtains, and not intending to (...)
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  44. Must we mean what we do? – Review Symposium on Leys’s The Ascent of Affect.Clive Barnett - 2020 - History of the Human Sciences 33 (2):115-126.
  45. Is Remembering to do a Special Kind of Memory?Thor Grünbaum & Søren Kyllingsbæk - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (2):385-404.
    When a person decides to do something in the future, she forms an intention and her intention persists. Philosophers have thought about the rational requirement that an agent’s intention persists until its execution. But philosophers have neglected to think about the causal memory mechanisms that could enable this kind of persistence and its role in rational long-term agency. Our aim of this paper is to fill this gap by arguing that memory for intention is a specific kind of memory. We (...)
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  46. Non-symmetric awe: why it matters even if we don't.Daniel Coren - forthcoming - Philosophia: Philosophical Quarterly of Israel.
    The universe is enormous, perhaps unimaginably so. In comparison, we are very small. Does this suggest that humanity has little if any cosmic significance? And if we don’t matter, should that matter to us? Blaise Pascal, Frank Ramsey, Bertrand Russell, Susan Wolf, Harry Frankfurt, Stephen Hawking, and others have offered insightful answers to those questions. For example, Pascal and Ramsey emphasize that whereas the stars (in all their enormity) cannot think, human beings can. Through an exploration of some features of (...)
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  47. Intention and Mental Causation.Rémi Clot-Goudard - forthcoming - Foundations of Science.
    Many philosophers nowadays take for granted a causalist view of action explanation, according to which intentional action is a movement caused by mental antecedents. For them, “the possibility of human agency evidently requires that our mental states – our beliefs, desires, and intentions – have causal effects in the physical world: in voluntary actions our beliefs and desires, or intentions and decisions, must somehow cause our limbs to move in appropriate ways” (Jaegwon Kim, Mind in a Physical World, Cambridge (MA), (...)
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  48. L'Explication de l'action. Analyses contemporaines.Rémi Clot-Goudard - 2014 - Paris, France: Vrin.
    En quoi consiste l’explication des actions humaines? Au sein de la philosophie analytique, la réponse standard à cette question, que les travaux de Davidson ont largement contribué à façonner, est la conception causaliste : expliquer une action consiste à mentionner la raison pour laquelle l’agent l’a accomplie, conçue comme la combinaison particulière d’états mentaux (désir et croyance) dont l’occurrence est la cause des mouvements corporels constituant l’action. En identifiant les raisons à des causes, cette conception a fait ressurgir les questions (...)
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  49. Does what we want influence what we see?Bence Nanay - 2006 - In Ron Sun & Naomi Miyake (eds.), Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. CPC Press.
    I aim to show that the content of our perceptual states depends counterfactually on the action we want to perform. Most philosophical and psychological theories of perception claim or at least assume the opposite: they conceive of perception as allpurpose: what we want to do does not influence what we see. I will argue that the content of one's perceptual state does vary as the action one is inclined to perform varies. To put it very simply, what we see does (...)
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  50. Revaluing the behaviorist ghost in enactivism and embodied cognition.Nikolai Alksnis & Jack Alan Reynolds - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):5785-5807.
    Despite its short historical moment in the sun, behaviorism has become something akin to a theoria non grata, a position that dare not be explicitly endorsed. The reasons for this are complex, of course, and they include sociological factors which we cannot consider here, but to put it briefly: many have doubted the ambition to establish law-like relationships between mental states and behavior that dispense with any sort of mentalistic or intentional idiom, judging that explanations of intelligent behavior require reference (...)
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