Intentions

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  1. Was There a Scientific ’68? Its Repercussion on Action Research and Mixing Methods.José Andrés-Gallego - 2018 - Arbor 194 (787):436: 1-10.
    The author asks whether there was a “scientific ‘68”, and focuses on aspects of two specific methodological proposals defined in the 1940s and 50s by the terms “action research” and “mixing methods”, applied particularly to social sciences. In the first, the climate surrounding the events of 1968 contributed to heightening the participative element to be found –by definition– in “action research”; that is: the importance of making the research subjects themselves participants in the design, execution and application of the study (...)
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  2. Effort and the Standard Story of Action.Michael Brent - 2012 - Philosophical Writings 40:19 - 27.
    In this paper, I present an alternative account of action that improves upon what has come to be known as the standard story. The standard story depicts actions as events that are caused by and made intelligible through the appropriate combinations of the agent’s beliefs, desires, decisions, intentions and other motivational factors. I argue that the standard story is problematic because it depicts the relation between the agent and their bodily actions as causally mediated by their motivational factors. On the (...)
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  3. Can Reason Establish the Goals of Action? Assessing Interpretations of Aristotle’s Theory of Agency.Juan Pablo Bermúdez - forthcoming - Discusiones Filosóficas.
    Scholarship on Aristotle’s theory of action has recently veered toward an intellectualist position, according to which reason is in charge of setting the goals of action. This position has recently been criticized by an anti-intellectualism revival, according to which character, and not reason, sets the goals of action. I argue that neither view can sufficiently account for the complexities of Aristotle’s theory, and suggest a middle way that combines the strengths of both while avoiding their pitfalls. The key problem for (...)
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  4. How To Share An Intention.J. David Velleman - 1997 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57 (1):29-50.
    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 (...)
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  5. Lying by Promising. A Study on Insincere Illocutionary Acts.Neri Marsili - 2016 - International Review of Pragmatics 8 (2):271-313.
    This paper is divided into two parts. In the first part, I extend the traditional definition of lying to illocutionary acts executed by means of explicit performatives, focusing on promising. This is achieved in two steps. First, I discuss how the utterance of a sentence containing an explicit performative such as “I promise that Φ ” can count as an assertion of its content Φ . Second, I develop a general account of insincerity meant to explain under which conditions a (...)
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  6. What Good is a Diachronic Will?Luca Ferrero - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 144 (3):403-430.
    There are two standard conceptions of the functioning of and rationale for the diachronic will, i.e., for an agent's capacity to settle on her future conduct in advance. According to the pragmatic-instrumentalist view, the diachronic will benefits us by increasing the long-term satisfaction of our rational preferences. According to the cognitive view, it benefits us by satisfying our standing desire for self-knowledge and self-understanding. Contrary to these views, I argue for a constitutive view of the diachronic will: the rationale for (...)
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  7. Ludwig on Conditional Intentions.Luca Ferrero - 2015 - Methode 4 (6):61-74.
    In this paper, I discuss Ludwig's systematic and illuminating account of conditional intentions, with particular reference to my own view (presented in "Conditional Intentions", Noûs, 2009). In contrast to Ludwig, I argue that we should prefer a formal characterization of conditional intentions rather than a more substantial one in terms of reasons for action (although the conditions that qualify an intention bear on the reasonableness and justifiability of the intention). I then defend a partially different taxonomy of the conditions that (...)
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  8. Pro-Tempore Disjunctive Intentions.Luca Ferrero - 2016 - In Roman Altshuler & MIchael J. Sigrist (eds.), Time and The Philosophy of Action. Routledge. pp. 108-123.
    I investigate the structure of pro-tempore disjunctive intentions: intentions directed at two or more eventually incompatible goals that are nonetheless kept open for the time being, while the agent is waiting to acquire more information to determine which option is better. These intentions are the basic tool for balancing, in our planning agency, rigidity and flexibility, stability and responsiveness to changing circumstances. They are a pervasive feature of intentional diachronic agency and contribute to secure dynamic consistency in our plans. I (...)
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  9. Three Ways of Spilling Ink Tomorrow.Luca Ferrero - 2006 - In E. Baccarini & S. Prijic-Samarzija (eds.), Rationality in Belief and Action. Rijeka. pp. 95-127.
    There are three ways to control our future conduct: by causing it, by manipulating our future selves, or by taking future-directed decisions. I show that the standard accounts of future-directed decisions fail to do justice to their distinctive contribution in intentional diachronic agency. The standard accounts can be divided in two categories: First, those that conflate the operation of decisions with that of devices for either physical constraint or manipulative self-management. Second, accounts that, although they acknowledge the non-manipulative nature of (...)
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  10. Can I Only Intend My Own Actions?Luca Ferrero - 2013 - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Action and Responsibility. Oxford University Press. pp. (1) 70-94.
    In this paper, I argue against the popular philosophical thesis---aka the ‘own action condition’---that an agent can only intend one’s own actions. I argue that the own action condition does not hold for any executive attitude, intentions included. The proper object of intentions is propositional rather than agential (‘I intend that so-and-so be the case’ rather than ‘I intend to do such-and-such’). I show that, although there are some essential de se components in intending, they do not restrict the content (...)
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  11. Belief, Attitude, Intention, and Behavior: An Introduction to Theory and Research.Martin Fishbein & Icek Ajzen - 1977 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 10 (2):130-132.
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  12. Diachronic Structural Rationality.Luca Ferrero - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (3):311-336.
    In this paper I investigate whether there are genuine and irreducible pressures of diachronic rationality grounded on the structure of the subject rather than on substantive considerations, such as pragmatic ones. I argue that structural pressures of diachronic rationality have a limited scope. The most important pressure only tells against arbitrary interference with the mechanisms for the retention of attitudes over time. I then argue that in the practical case, a substantial account in terms of the agent's temporal identity appears (...)
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  13. The Desire‐Belief Account of Intention Explains Everything.Neil Sinhababu - 2013 - Noûs 47 (4):680-696.
    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 (...)
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  14. Jaspers on Drives, Wants and Volitions.Ulrich Diehl - 2012 - Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Karl-Jaspers-Gesellschaft 25:101-125.
    In § 6 of his General Psychopathology (1st edition 1913) Jaspers distinguished between drives, wants and volitions as three different and irreducible kinds of motivational phenomena which are involved in human decision making and which may lead to successful actions. He has characterized the qualitative differences between volitions in comparison with basic vital drives and emotional wants such as being (a.) intentional, (b.) content-specific and (b.) directed towards concrete objects and actions as goals. Furthermore, Jaspers has presented and discussed three (...)
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  15. Diachronic Constraints of Practical Rationality.Luca Ferrero - 2012 - Philosophical Issues 22 (1):144-164.
    In this paper, I discuss whether there are genuinely *diachronic* constraints of practical rationality, that is, pressures on combinations of practical attitudes over time, which are not reducible to mere synchronic rational pressures. Michael Bratman has recently argued that there is at least one such diachronic rational constraint that governs the stability of intentions over time. *Pace* Bratman, I argue that there are no genuinely diachronic constraints on intentions that meet the stringent desiderata set by him. But I show that (...)
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  16. Decisions, Diachronic Autonomy, and the Division of Deliberative Labor.Luca Ferrero - 2010 - Philosophers' Imprint 10:1-23.
    It is often argued that future-directed decisions are effective at shaping our future conduct because they give rise, at the time of action, to a decisive reason to act as originally decided. In this paper, I argue that standard accounts of decision-based reasons are unsatisfactory. For they focus either on tie-breaking scenarios or cases of self-directed distal manipulation. I argue that future-directed decisions are better understood as tools for the non-manipulative, intrapersonal division of deliberative labor over time. A future-directed decision (...)
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  17. Action.Luca Ferrero - 2009 - In John Shand (ed.), Central Issues of Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 137-151.
    An introductory survey of the contemporary philosophy of action.
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Collective Intentions
  1. Monuments as Commitments: How Art Speaks to Groups and How Groups Think in Art.C. Thi Nguyen - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    Art can be addressed, not just to individuals, but to groups. Art can even be part of how groups think to themselves – how they keep a grip on their values over time. I focus on monuments as a case study. Monuments, I claim, can function as a commitment to a group value, for the sake of long-term action guidance. Art can function here where charters and mission statements cannot, precisely because of art’s powers to capture subtlety and emotion. In (...)
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  2. Systemic Fragility as a Vulnerable World.David Manheim - manuscript
    The possibility of social and technological collapse has been the focus of science fiction tropes for decades, but more recent focus has been on specific sources of existential and global catastrophic risk. Because these scenarios are simple to understand and envision, they receive more attention than risks due to complex interplay of failures, or risks that cannot be clearly specified. In this paper, we discuss a new hypothesis that complexity of a certain type can itself function as a source of (...)
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  3. Acting Intentionally and its Limits: Individuals, Groups, Institutions.Michael Schmitz, Gottfried Seebaß & Peter M. Gollwitzer (eds.) - 2013 - Berlin: DeGruyter.
    The book presents the first comprehensive survey of limits of the intentional control of action from an interdisciplinary perspective. It brings together leading scholars from philosophy, psychology, and the law to elucidate this theoretically and practically important topic from a variety of theoretical and disciplinary approaches. It provides reflections on conceptual foundations as well as a wealth of empirical data and will be a valuable resource for students and researchers alike. Among the authors: Clancy Blair, Todd S. Braver, Michael W. (...)
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  4. Two Problems for Accepting as Intending.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2018 - Ethics 128 (3):626-641.
    It’s possible to accept or to reject a promise. According to a new proposal by Abraham Roth, accepting a promise involves intending that the promisee perform the promised action. According to Roth, this view is supported by rational symmetries between promissory acceptance and intention. Here, I show how these symmetries actually generate two problems for the view.
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  5. Methodological Individualism, the We-Mode, and Team Reasoning.Kirk Ludwig - 2017 - In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Social Ontology and Collective Intentionality: Critical Essays on the Philosophy of Raimo Tuomela with his Responses. Cham, Switzerlan: Springer. pp. 3-18.
    Raimo Tuomela is one of the pioneers of social action theory and has done as much as anyone over the last thirty years to advance the study of social action and collective intentionality. Social Ontology: Collective Intentionality and Group Agents (2013) presents the latest version of his theory and applications to a range of important social phenomena. The book covers so much ground, and so many important topics in detailed discussions, that it would impossible in a short space to do (...)
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  6. Collective Intentionality.Marija Jankovic & Kirk Ludwig - 2016 - In Lee McIntyre & Alex Rosenberg (eds.), The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Social Science. New York: Routledge. pp. 214-227.
    In this chapter, we focus on collective action and intention, and their relation to conventions, status functions, norms, institutions, and shared attitudes more generally. Collective action and shared intention play a foundational role in our understanding of the social. -/- The three central questions in the study of collective intentionality are: -/- (1) What is the ontology of collective intentionality? In particular, are groups per se intentional agents, as opposed to just their individual members? (2) What is the psychology of (...)
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  7. Reductive Views of Shared Intention.Facundo M. Alonso - 2017 - In Kirk Ludwig & Marija Jankovic (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Collective Intentionality. Routledge.
    This is a survey article on reductive views of shared intention.
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  8. How To Share An Intention.J. David Velleman - 1997 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57 (1):29-50.
    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 (...)
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  9. Intention, Expectation, and Promissory Obligation.Abraham Sesshu Roth - 2016 - Ethics 127 (1):88-115.
    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 (...)
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  10. A Dual Aspect Theory of Shared Intention.Facundo M. Alonso - 2016 - Journal of Social Ontology 2 (2):271–302.
    In this article I propose an original view of the nature of shared intention. In contrast to psychological views (Bratman, Searle, Tuomela) and normative views (Gilbert), I argue that both functional roles played by attitudes of individual participants and interpersonal obligations are factors of central and independent significance for explaining what shared intention is. It is widely agreed that shared intention (I) normally motivates participants to act, and (II) normally creates obligations between them. I argue that the view I propose (...)
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  11. Corporate Speech in Citizens United Vs. Federal Election Commission.Kirk Ludwig - 2016 - SpazioFilosofico 16:47-79.
    In its January 20th, 2010 decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, the United States Supreme Court ruled that certain restrictions on independent expenditures by corporations for political advocacy violate the First Amendment of the Constitution, which provides that “Congress shall make no law […] abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Justice Kennedy, writing for the 5-4 majority, (...)
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  12. Collective Intentions And Team Agency.Natalie Gold & Robert Sugden - 2007 - Journal of Philosophy 104 (3):109-137.
    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 (...)
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  13. Collective Intentionality and Individual Action.Henk Bij de Weg - 2016 - My Website.
    People often do things together and form groups in order to get things done that they cannot do alone. In short they form a collectivity of some kind or a group, for short. But if we consider a group on the one hand and the persons that constitute the group on the other hand, how does it happen that these persons work together and finish a common task with a common goal? In the philosophy of action this problem is often (...)
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  14. Shared Agency in Modest Sociality.Kirk Ludwig - 2015 - Journal of Social Ontology 1 (1):7-15.
    This is contribution to a symposium on Michael Bratman's book Shared Agency : A Planning Theory of Acting Together.
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  15. Social Glue and Norms of Sociality.David Copp - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3387-3397.
    If we are going to understand morality, it is important to understand the nature of societies. What is fundamental to them? What is the glue that holds them together? What is the role of shared norm acceptance in constituting a society? Michael Bratman’s account of modest sociality in his book, Shared Agency, casts significant light on these issues. Bratman’s account focuses on small-scale interactions, but it is instructive of the kinds of factors that can enter into explaining sociality more generally. (...)
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  16. Shared Agency: A Planning Theory of Acting Together.Adam Morton - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (260):582-585.
    I praise Bratman's minimal account of shared agency, while expressing some doubts about the explanatory force of his central concepts and some puzzlement about what he means by norms.
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  17. Simulation and the We-Mode. A Cognitive Account of Plural First Persons.Matteo Bianchin - 2015 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 45 (4-5):442-461.
    In this article, I argue that a capacity for mindreading conceived along the line of simulation theory provides the cognitive basis for forming we-centric representations of actions and goals. This explains the plural first personal stance displayed by we-intentions in terms of the underlying cognitive processes performed by individual minds, while preserving the idea that they cannot be analyzed in terms of individual intentional states. The implication for social ontology is that this makes sense of the plural subjectivity of joint (...)
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  18. An Account of Boeschian Cooperative Behaviour.Olle Blomberg - 1st ed. 2015 - In Catrin Misselhorn (ed.), Collective Agency and Cooperation in Natural and Artificial Systems. Springer Verlag.
    Philosophical accounts of joint action are often prefaced by the observation that there are two different senses in which several agents can intentionally perform an action Φ, such as go for a walk or capture the prey. The agents might intentionally Φ together, as a collective, or they might intentionally Φ in parallel, where Φ is distributively assigned to the agents, considered as a set of individuals. The accounts are supposed to characterise what is distinctive about activities in which several (...)
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  19. Ontological Support for Living Plan Specification, Execution and Evaluation.Erik Thomsen, Fred Read, William Duncan, Tatiana Malyuta & Barry Smith - 2014 - In Semantic Technology in Intelligence, Defense and Security (STIDS), CEUR vol. 1304. pp. 10-17.
    Maintaining systems of military plans is critical for military effectiveness, but is also challenging. Plans will become obsolete as the world diverges from the assumptions on which they rest. If too many ad hoc changes are made to intermeshed plans, the ensemble may no longer lead to well-synchronized and coordinated operations, resulting in the system of plans becoming itself incoherent. We describe in what follows an Adaptive Planning process that we are developing on behalf of the Air Force Research Laboratory (...)
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  20. Three Kinds of Collective Attitudes.Christian List - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S9):1601-1622.
    This paper offers a comparison of three different kinds of collective attitudes: aggregate, common, and corporate attitudes. They differ not only in their relationship to individual attitudes—e.g., whether they are “reducible” to individual attitudes—but also in the roles they play in relation to the collectives to which they are ascribed. The failure to distinguish them can lead to confusion, in informal talk as well as in the social sciences. So, the paper’s message is an appeal for disambiguation.
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  21. Who has Got Our Group-Intentions?Ludger Jansen - 2004 - In Johann C. Marek & Maria E. Reicher (eds.), Erfahrung und Analyse. Beiträge des 27. Internationalen Wittgenstein-Sym­posiums. ILWG. pp. 151-153.
    There are group-actions, and if actions are intentional, there should also be group-intentions. Who has got these intentions? The groups? This seems to be the natural answer. But then: Groups do not have a mind or brain of there own to form any mental attitude. Different kinds of individualistic analyses of group-intentions have been suggested in the literature. On the one hand there are suggestions to reduce group intentions to a complex of different Iattitudes. John Searle, on the other hand, (...)
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  22. Subject, Mode and Content in We-Intentions.Michael Wilby - 2012 - Phenomenology and Mind.
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  23. Foundations of Social Reality in Collective Intentional Behavior.Kirk Ludwig - 2007 - In Savas L. Tsohatzidis (ed.), Intentional Acts and Institutional Facts: Essays on John Searle's Social Ontology.
    This paper clarifies Searle's account of we-intentions and then argues that it is subject to counterexamples, some of which are derived from examples Searle uses against other accounts. It then offers an alternative reductive account that is not subject to the counterexamples.
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  24. Proxy Agency in Collective Action.Kirk Ludwig - 2014 - Noûs 48 (1):75-105.
    This paper gives an account of proxy agency in the context of collective action. It takes the case of a group announcing something by way of a spokesperson as an illustration. In proxy agency, it seems that one person or subgroup's doing something counts as or constitutes or is recognized as (tantamount to) another person or group's doing something. Proxy agency is pervasive in institutional action. It has been taken to be a straightforward counterexample to an appealing deflationary view of (...)
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  25. We-Attitudes and Social Institutions.Petri Ylikoski & Pekka Mäkelä - 2002 - In Georg Meggle (ed.), Social Facts and Collective Intentionality. Philosophische Forschung / Philosophical research. Dr. Hänsel-Hohenhausen.
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  26. Socially Extended Intentions-in-Action.Olle Blomberg - 2011 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (2):335-353.
    According to a widely accepted constraint on the content of intentions, here called the exclusivity constraint, one cannot intend to perform another agent’s action, even if one might be able to intend that she performs it. For example, while one can intend that one’s guest leaves before midnight, one cannot intend to perform her act of leaving. However, Deborah Tollefsen’s (2005) account of joint activity requires participants to have intentions-in-action (in John Searle’s (1983) sense) that violate this constraint. I argue (...)
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  27. Ontological Individualism Reconsidered.Brian Epstein - 2009 - Synthese 166 (1):187-213.
    The thesis of methodological individualism in social science is commonly divided into two different claims—explanatory individualism and ontological individualism. Ontological individualism is the thesis that facts about individuals exhaustively determine social facts. Initially taken to be a claim about the identity of groups with sets of individuals or their properties, ontological individualism has more recently been understood as a global supervenience claim. While explanatory individualism has remained controversial, ontological individualism thus understood is almost universally accepted. In this paper I argue (...)
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  28. Collective Intentional Behavior From the Standpoint of Semantics.Kirk Ludwig - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):355–393.
    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.
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Intentional Action
  1. The Power of Excuses.Paulina Sliwa - forthcoming - Philosophy and Public Affairs.
    Excuses are commonplace. Making and accepting excuses is part of our practice of holding each other morally responsible. But excuses are also curious. They have normative force. Whether someone has an excuse for something they have done matters for how we should respond to their action. An excuse can make it appropriate to forgo blame, to revise judgments of blameworthiness, to feel compassion and pity instead of anger and resentment. The considerations we appeal to when making excuses are a motley (...)
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  2. Basic Action and Practical Knowledge.Will Small - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
    It is a commonplace in philosophy of action that there is and must be teleologically basic action: something done on an occasion without doing it by means of doing anything else. It is widely believed that basic actions are exercises of skill. As the source of the need for basic action is the structure of practical reasoning, this yields a conception of skill and practical reasoning as complementary but mutually exclusive. On this view, practical reasoning and complex intentional action depend (...)
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  3. Concepts and Action. Know-How and Beyond.David Löwenstein - forthcoming - In Christoph Demmerling & Dirk Schröder (eds.), Concepts in Thought, Action, and Emotion. New Essays. London, Ontario, Kanada:
    Which role do concepts play in a person's actions? Do concepts underwrite the very idea of agency in somebody's acting? Or is the appeal to concepts in action a problematic form of over-intellectualization which obstructs a proper picture of genuine agency? Within the large and complicated terrain of these questions, the debate about know-how has been of special interest in recent years. In this paper, I shall try to spell out what know-how can tell us about the role of concepts (...)
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  4. How to Cancel the Knobe Effect: The Role of Sufficiently Strong Moral Censure.Matthew Lindauer & Nicholas Southwood - forthcoming - American Philosophical Quarterly.
    Empirical support is offered for the claim that the original Knobe effect, whereby our intentional action ascriptions exhibit certain asymmetries in light of our moral attitudes, can be successfully cancelled. This is predicted by the view that the Knobe effect can be explained in purely pragmatic terms (Adams and Steadman 2004a, 2004b, 2007). However, previous cancelling studies (Adams and Steadman 2007; Nichols and Ulatowski 2007) have failed to identify evidence of cancellability. The key to the successful cancelling strategy presented here (...)
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  5. Elizabeth Anscombe e la svolta normativa del 1958.Sergio Volodia Marcello Cremaschi - 2010 - In Juan Andrés Mercado (ed.), Elisabeth Anscombe e la psicologia morale. Roma, Italy: Armando. pp. 43-80.
    I discuss the three theses defended by Anscombe in 'Modern Moral Philosophy'. I argue that: a) her answer to the question "why should I be moral?" requires a solution of the problem of theodicy and ignores any attempts to save the moral point of view without recourse to divine retribution; b) her notion of divine law is an odd one, more neo-Augustinian than Biblical or Scholastic; c) her image of Kantian ethics and intuitionism is the impoverished image manufactured by consequentialist (...)
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