Anscombe and The Difference Rationality Makes

In Adrian Haddock & Rachael Wiseman (eds.), Anscombean Minds. Routledge (forthcoming)
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Abstract
Anscombe famously argues that to act intentionally is to act under a description, and that “it is the agent's knowledge of what he is doing that gives the descriptions under which what is going on is the execution of an intention.” Further, she takes ‘knows’ to mean that the agent can give these descriptions herself. It would seem to follow that animals cannot act intentionally. However, she denies this, insisting that although animals cannot express intentions, they can have them. But can we speak without equivocation of humans and animals acting intentionally while maintaining that linguistic expressibility is an essential characteristic of only human action? My defense of an affirmative answer rests on an argument for the following claim: whereas animal intentions are immanent in their behavior, human action is an actualization of a capacity to make judgments about what is to-be-done and this confers on human intentions a kind of independence from behavior.
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