Pro-Tempore Disjunctive Intentions

In Roman Altshuler & MIchael J. Sigrist (eds.), Time and The Philosophy of Action. Routledge. pp. 108-123 (2016)
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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 show how they differ from simple disjunctive intentions, where the agent is indifferent between the options. I argue that pro-tempore disjunctive intentions meet the distinctive pressures of intentions and that, contrary to the initial impressions, they are both stable and successful at settling practical matters. In closing, I argue that pro-tempore disjunctive intentions are all-out intentions that are more explanatorily powerful than Holton's "partial" intentions.

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Luca Ferrero
University of California, Riverside


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