Disjunctivism about intending

American Philosophical Quarterly 58 (2):161-180 (2021)
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Abstract

The overwhelmingly predominant view in philosophy sees intending as a mental state, specifically a plan-like state. This paper rejects the predominant view in favor of a starkly opposed novel alternative. After criticizing both the predominant Bratman-esque view of intention, and an alternative view inspired by Michael Thompson, the paper proceeds to set out and defend the idea that acting with an intention to V should be understood disjunctively, as either one’s V-ing intentionally or one’s performing some kind of failed intentional V-ing, where the two disjuncts share no common state of intention. Instructive structural parallels to perceptual disjunctivism are pointed out, and the view is shown, unlike its rivals, to successfully extend to capture both prospective and present intention, thereby unifying the three different guises of intention.

Author's Profile

Yair Levy
Tel Aviv University

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