Two kinds of intentions: a new defense of the Simple View
This paper defends a version of the Simple View, the claim that someone intentionally φs only if the person intends to φ. To do this, I raise a problem for Bratman’s classic argument (Bratman in Philos Rev 93(3):375–405; Intentions, plans, and practical reasoning. Harvard University Press, Cambridge 1987) against it. The problem brings into focus an evaluative dimension behind the view, whose recognition allows for an improved version of it. With this improved version, I then go on to answer other criticisms that have been raised to it.
KeywordsSimple View Intentional action Goal intentions Implementation intentions Executive mistakes
This paper benefited from conversations and written comments from many people, including John Brunero, Kim Haddix, Camilo Martínez, Al Mele, and Carlos Moya. As a referee for this journal, Andrei Buckareff provided a sharp and timely evaluation that made the revision process both challenging and helpful.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.
- Amaya, S. (2015). The Argument from Slips. In A. Buckareff, C. Moya, & S. Rosell (Eds.), Agency, freedom, and moral responsibility (pp. 13–29). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Amaya, S., & Doris, J. M. (2014). No excuses: Performance mistakes in morality. In J. Clausen & N. Levy (Eds.), Springer handbook of neuroethics (pp. 253–272). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
- Anscombe, G. E. M. (1963). Intention. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Brand, M. (1984). Intending and acting. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Bratman, M. (1987). Intentions, plans, and practical reasoning. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Frost, K. (ms). Basic mistakes in performance.Google Scholar
- Gollwitzer, P. M. (1990). Action phases and mind-sets. In E. T. Higgins & R. M. Sorrentino (Eds.), The handbook of motivation and cognition: Foundations of social behavior (Vol. 2, pp. 53–92). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Gollwitzer, P. M. (1993). Goal achievement: The role of intentions. In W. Stroebe & M. Hewstone (Eds.), European review of social psychology (Vol. 4, pp. 141–185). Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Grice, H. P. (1971). Intention and uncertainty. Proceedings of the British Academy, 5, 263–279.Google Scholar
- Harman, G. (1976). Practical reasoning. The Review of Metaphysics, 29(3), 431–463.Google Scholar
- McCann, H. (1991). Settled objectives and rational constraints. American Philosophical Quarterly, 28(1), 25–36.Google Scholar
- Mele, A. (1992). Springs of action. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Mele, A. (1997a). Agency and mental action. Noûs, 31(11), 231–249.Google Scholar
- Mele, A. (1997b). Introduction. In A. Mele (Ed.), The philosophy of action (pp. 1–26). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Ross, J. (2009). How to be a cognitivist about practical reason. Oxford Studies in Metaethics, 4, 243–281.Google Scholar
- Stout, R. (2005). Action. Chesham: Acumen.Google Scholar
- Velleman, J. D. (1989). Practical reflection. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar