Flat intentions – crazy dispositions?

Philosophical Explorations 20 (1):54-69 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Future-directed intentions, it is widely held, involve behavioral dispositions. But of what kind? Suppose you now intend to Φ at future time t. Are you thereby now disposed to Φ at t no matter what? If so, your intention disposes you to Φ even if around t you will come to believe that Φ-ing would be crazy. And would not that be a crazy intention to have? – Like considerations have led Luca Ferrero and others to believe that only intentions with strong internal conditions are capable of rationality. This paper explores in how far a broadly dispositional view of intention supports their claims. Its first point will come as a surprise: Intentions indeed involve dispositions toward follies in plenty. Natural objections against this bizarre-sounding claim are shown to fail, and standard counterfactual analyses of disposition locutions are shown to underpin it further. However, since the dispositions at issue are pro tanto dispositions, the consequences are not as odd as might be expected: When hedged by reasonable habits to reconsider one’s intentions, dispositions toward follies do not entail any actual crazy behavior. On balance, unconditional intention is therefore found rational after all. Dispositions toward crazy actions need not be crazy dispositions.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 78,037

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

A Preface Paradox for Intention.Simon Goldstein - 2016 - Philosophers' Imprint 16.
What I Will Do and What I Intend To Do.Richard K. Scheer - 1996 - Philosophy 71 (278):531-539.
Causation, Laws and Dispositions.Andreas Hüttemann - 2007 - In Max Kistler & Bruno Gnassounou (eds.), Dispositions and Causal Powers. Ashgate.
Dispositions.Shungho Choi & Michael Fara - 2012 - The Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Conditional Intentions.Luca Ferrero - 2009 - Noûs 43 (4):700 - 741.
The Nature of Intentions.John Kevin Sauve - 1995 - Dissertation, University of Calgary (Canada)
The content of intentions.Elisabeth Patherie - 2000 - Mind and Language 15 (4):400-432.
Dispositions and subjunctives.Jesse R. Steinberg - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148 (3):323 - 341.
A case for extrinsic dispositions.J. McKitrick - 2003 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (2):155 – 174.
The conditional analysis of dispositions and the intrinsic dispositions thesis.Sungho Choi - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (3):568-590.
Intention and the authority of avowals.Andy Hamilton - 2008 - Philosophical Explorations 11 (1):23 – 37.
Dispositions.James M. Bucknell - 2015 - Dissertation, Univeristy of New South Wales


Added to PP

52 (#233,126)

6 months
1 (#485,976)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Jens Gillessen
University of Marburg

Citations of this work

Strong cognitivist weaknesses.Nathan Hauthaler - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
Strong cognitivist weaknesses.Nathan Hauthaler - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Blackwell.
Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason.Michael Bratman - 1987 - Cambridge: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Getting Causes From Powers.Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum - 2011 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Foundations of Language 13 (1):145-151.
Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 36 (3):602-605.

View all 38 references / Add more references