How to Contradict an Expression of Intention

In Christopher Frey & Jennifer Frey (eds.), Practical Truth. Oxford University Press (forthcoming)
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Abstract
This chapter interprets G. E. M. Anscombe’s discussion in §31 of Intention of the relationship between expressions of intention and descriptions of matters of fact. For Anscombe, a statement like “I’m raising my arm” or “I’m going to get up at 7:00”, which expresses an intention by saying what is happening or is going to happen, is contradicted only by an opposing command or the expression of an opposing intention. I first challenge an interpretation of this passage as claiming that the truth of statements like these is somehow independent of whether the action they describe is actually performed. Against this reading, my preferred interpretation highlights the fact that Anscombe is speaking here only of what contradicts expressions of intention, while her position is that statements like these describe the world in ways that will be contrary to, and so truth-functionally incompatible with, any opposing statements of fact.
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First archival date: 2021-12-06
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