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Title: Justifying intentions : agency, rationality and practical reason
Author: Olbrich, David
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2021
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This thesis defends an unusual view within the philosophy of intention: that there are reasons for intention per se and that these reasons are not necessarily co-extensive with, or conceptually derivative on, corresponding reasons for action. The question 'what to intend?' is, accordingly, a possible, legitimate and sui generis deliberative question, standing alongside the question 'what to do?'. The answering of each of these questions normally involves the answering of the other; though there is this intimate relationship, this should not obscure the possibility or rationality of the free formation of intention for a wider variety of reasons than is usually supposed. Objections to this idea are numerous and important: this thesis addresses, in particular, recent comparisons of intention to belief, particularly the idea that intention aims at good action in the same way that belief aims at truth; reflections on the Toxin Puzzle, sometimes thought to support the inadmissibility to practical deliberation of reasons for intention; conceptions of what sort of attitudes are required for means-end reasoning to make sense; and certain conceptions of the nature of intention that imply that it is answerable only to facts about the worthwhileness of the intended action - such as the conception of intention as itself a normative judgment on action, or as a regulator of action. In contrast, this thesis argues that intention is constitutively a state in which agents take a stand on their own activity, whether that happens through appetitively coming to perform an action in the normal way, or else through the kind of self-control the possibility of free formation of intention offers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available