Journal of Philosophical Logic

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 499–530 | Cite as

Making a Start with the stit Logic Analysis of Intentional Action

  • Jan M. Broersen
Open Access


This paper studies intentional action in stit logic. The formal logic study of intentional action appears to be new, since most logical studies of intention concern intention as a static mental state. In the formalization we distinguish three modes of acting: the objective level concerning the choices an agent objectively exercises, the subjective level concerning the choices an agent knows or believes to be exercising, and finally, the intentional level concerning the choices an agent intentionally exercises. Several axioms constraining the relations between these different modes of acting will be considered and discussed. The side effect problem will be analyzed as an interaction between knowingly doing and intentionally doing. Non-successful action will be analyzed as a weakening of the epistemic attitude towards action. Finally, the notion of ‘attempt’ will be briefly considered as a further weakening in this direction.


Agency Indeterminism Action theory Modal logic Formal epistemology 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Intelligent Systems Group, Department of Information and Computing Sciences, Faculty of ScienceUniversiteit UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands

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