Wanting and Intending

Elements of a Philosophy of Practical Mind

  • Neil Roughley

Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 123)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Wanting

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Neil Roughley
      Pages 23-52
    3. Neil Roughley
      Pages 53-79
    4. Neil Roughley
      Pages 117-143
  3. Intending

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 145-145
    2. Neil Roughley
      Pages 217-258
    3. Neil Roughley
      Pages 259-291
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 335-364

About this book


This book aims to answer two simple questions: what is it to want and what is it to intend? Because of the breadth of contexts in which the relevant phenomena are implicated and the wealth of views that have attempted to account for them, providing the answers is not quite so simple. Doing so requires an examination not only of the relevant philosophical theories and our everyday practices, but also of the rich empirical material that has been provided by work in social and developmental psychology.

The investigation is carried out in two parts, dedicated to wanting and intending respectively. Wanting is analysed as optative attitudinising, a basic form of subjective standard-setting at the core of compound states such as 'longings', 'desires', 'projects' and 'whims'. The analysis is developed in the context of a discussion of Moore-paradoxicality and deepened through the examination of rival theories, which include functionalist and hedonistic conceptions as well as the guise-of-the-good view and the pure entailment approach, two views popular in moral psychology.

In the second part of the study, a disjunctive genetic theory of intending is developed, according to which intentions are optative attitudes on which, in one way or another, the mark of deliberation has been conferred. It is this which explains intention's subjection to the requirements of practical rationality. Moreover, unlike wanting, intending turns out to be dependent on normative features of our life form, in particular on practices of holding responsible.

The book will be of particular interest to philosophers and psychologists working on motivation, goals, desire, intention, deliberation, decision and practical rationality.


Question of Motivational Unity Plato and the Tripartite Practical Mind Motivational States Symptoms of Wanting Expressive Explication and the Optative Mode Moore's Paradox and the Idea of Expressive Explication Axiological Conceptions of Wanting Conscious Occurrentism Wanting, Consciousness and Affect Intention, Belief and Commitment Intentional Syndrome Characteristic Causal Features and Rational Requirements Genetic Disjunctive Theory of Intention Intentions Decisional and Nondecisional Intention-Consequential Requirements Anchoring Attributability

Authors and affiliations

  • Neil Roughley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyDuisburg-Essen UniversityEssenGermany

Bibliographic information