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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Rational agency Campbell, Peter G. 1988

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RATIONAL AGENCY By PETER G. CAMPBELL B.A., The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, 1983 A THESIS SUBMITED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department o f Philosophy)  We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the required  standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April, ©  1988  P e t e r G. Campbell,  1988  In  presenting  degree at  this  the  thesis in  University of  partial  fulfilment  of  British Columbia, I agree  freely available for reference and study. I further copying  of  this  department publication  or of  thesis for by  his  or  her  DE-6(3/81)  April  that the  for  an advanced  Library shall make it  It  is  granted  by the  understood  that  head of copying  my or  this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written  Philosophy  The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date  representatives.  requirements  agree that permission for extensive  scholarly purposes may be  permission.  Department of  the  15,  1988  ABSTRACT  It  i s claimed  criterion  action  discourse provides  of adequacy f o r a t h e o r y of a c t i o n ;  d i s c o u r s e we must  that  have a f a m i l y  accommodate.  "Agency",  i t  is  argued  with  a  with  action  of concepts which a t h e o r y of  action  After  an  exegesis  that  his  of  that  us  Davidson's  semantics  of  essay  action  is  i n c o m p a t i b l e w i t h our concepts of m o t i v a t i o n and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for  action  and o f a t t r i b u t i o n s of a c t i o n  therefore, presented coming  to  be within  of  agency.  The  action  the  involuntariness, passive  which  intend,  semantics  illuminate  rejected.  A  are  theory  t o be  intentional which  theory  of  concepts mistake,  of  found  rational trying,  the  ii  rational  and  is  compulsion, the  must,  agency  of  an  action  agency  a c c i d e n t , and  distinction.  agency, and  accounts  action,  connects  of  and  is  intention, alternative  e s s e n t i a l l y to then  used  autonomy  so-called  to and  active-  TABLE OF CONTENTS  ABSTRACT  i i  TABLE OF CONTENTS  i i i  LIST OF FIGURES . . .  v  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT  INTRODUCTION  vi  . . .  1  CHAPTER I THE SEMANTICS OF ACTION A.  DAVIDSON'S 1.  4  "AGENCY"  The C r i t e r i o n  5 of Action  and the E x p r e s s i o n  of  Agency  5  2.  Agency.  The Role o f Causation  3.  The Role o f Causation  4.  Summary  i n Action, Part I  i n Action, Part II  .  10 17 26  B.  DAVIDSON'S  SEMANTICS REJECTED  C.  SOME IMPLICATIONS FOR A SEMANTICS OF ACTION  26 39  CHAPTER I I RATIONAL AGENCY A.  43  PROPERTIES OF INTENTION  44  1.  Davidson on I n t e n t i o n  44  2.  Bratman on I n t e n t i o n  49  B.  A THEORY OF RATIONAL AGENCY  52  C.  INTENTIONAL ACTIONS  71  iii  CHAPTER I I I APPLICATIONS  77  A.  AGAINST THE SIMPLE VIEW  77  B.  TRYING  84  C.  NON-STANDARD ACTIONS AND EXCUSES  90  1.  Mistake  90  2.  Accident  93  3.  Compulsion  95  4.  Involuntariness  96  D.  THE ACTIVE - PASSIVE DISTINCTION 1. 2  Intentional  L e t t i n g Die  Negligent L e t t i n g Die  BIBLIOGRAPHY  98 100 102  106  i  iv  LIST OF FIGURES  Fig.  1  52  Fig.  2  53  Fig.  3  58  Fig.  4  58  Fig.  5  60  Fig.  6  60  Fig.  7.  61  Fig.  8  62  Fig.  9  64  F i g . 10  64  F i g . 11  65  F i g . 12. A MODEL OF RATIONAL AGENCY: RAAG  66  F i g . 13.  RAAG PLAYING THE VIDEO GAME  82  F i g . 14.  RAAG MAKES A MISTAKE  91  F i g . 15.  RAAG ACCIDENTALLY SHOOTS HIS NEIGHBOUR'S DONKEY  95  V  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT  I would l i k e t o thank P r o f e s s o r S.C. Coval f o r two years o f work i n a c t i o n t h e o r y . collaboration seminar the  which began w i t h  i n 1986, and which  problems  artificial Smith  T h i s t h e s i s i s the product o f our c l o s e  of action,  intelligence.  continues  with  We  theory  r e s e a r c h on  of our theory to  with  P r o f e s s o r J.C.  and Doug A r n o l d o f the U.B.C. Law School  to construct a  form  are working  action  further  and a p p l i c a t i o n s  computer model o f a r a t i o n a l will  P r o f e s s o r Coval's  agent.  p a r t o f a paper co-authored  Chapter  II of t h i s  thesis  by P r o f e s s o r Coval  and I  i n which we d i s c u s s our work on the computer model.  I would l i k e t o express my a p p r e c i a t i o n both t o t h e U.B.C. Philosophy teaching  Department  for financial  assistantships,  support  i n t h e form  and t o t h e U n i v e r s i t y  Columbia f o r a Graduate Summer F e l l o w s h i p , 1987.  vi  of  of  British  INTRODUCTION  T h i s essay  i s concerned  the p h i l o s o p h y of a c t i o n . the  nature  action  and  identity  explanations,  assessment of agents. causation.  with  some of the main problems i n  These i n c l u d e the semantic of  actions  both  causal  with  argue t h a t t h e r e  action  and  teleological,  nature  philosophy  of of  c o g n i t i v e content  and  causal e f f i c a c y .  i s a s e t of p r o p e r t i e s which the  mental mind,  and  accept the n o t i o n of mental  must have i n o r d e r f o r t h e r e t o be a c t i o n . the  descriptions,  I take i t as a g i v e n t h a t t h e r e i s mental  With mental c a u s a t i o n we  representation  and  i s s u e s of  states  and  agency  decides,  in  problems  i n the  philosophy  any  events  of  way,  is  a c t i o n which I p r e s e n t i n Chapter  a  concern  I have  any  mind.  agency state  However, even though  I claim that nothing  rational  I  of  That  to  the  say  the  about  traditional  i s , the  I I does not beg  of  theory  any  of  questions  f o r o r a g a i n s t d u a l i s t , m a t e r i a l i s t or f u n c t i o n a l i s t accounts  of  mind.  of  It  is  rather  that  with  action,  we  accept  a  set  concepts which any v i a b l e t h e o r y o f mind must accommodate.  Our  pre-theoretical  action  us  adequacy  theory  of  action.  discourse,  we  have a s e t o f concepts  and  d i s t i n c t i o n s which  complex  ways.  We 1  are  at  home  with  With  with  of  in  a  presents  criterion  employ  for  discourse  a  action  causal  we and  2  t e l e o l o g i c a l explanations of actions.  We assess agents i n order  t o determine degrees o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , and we w i e l d excuses and defenses.  I t i s a deep-seated  t h a t p u r p o s e f u l behaviour Therefore, these  fact  o f our c o n c e p t u a l  i s amenable t o t h i s k i n d o f s c r u t i n y .  a theory o f a c t i o n ought t o accommodate  concepts  which  without  good reason  extent  t o which  are the given  t o do otherwise,  the  scheme  shape  of  a  we  action ought  theory  theory.  And  t o minimize the  disrupts  our pre-  theoretical  concepts.  our concern  f o r c l a s s i f y i n g events and agents i n r e l a t i o n t o our  concern  What counts  of  and c l a r i f y  with r e s p o n s i b i l i t y  as an a c t i o n must pay o f f t o  and e x p l a n a t i o n o f a c t i o n .  not t o say t h a t we ought t o l e t pragmatic our  concern  determine  with  our  holding  scheme  a c t i o n s o r otherwise.  of  persons  c o n s i d e r a t i o n s such as  responsible  classifying  This i s  events  as  for  events  intentional  That i s , we ought not a l l o w the i n f e r e n c e  from the c l a i m t h a t you are r e s p o n s i b l e f o r some event A t o the c l a i m t h a t you intended A, nor t o the c l a i m t h a t you d e s i r e d A, and  t h e r e f o r e not t o the c l a i m  Nevertheless,  any  theory  t h a t you d i d A  o f a c t i o n whose  intentionally.  semantics  or  other  t h e o r e t i c a l aspects i s i n h o s p i t a b l e t o a c t i o n d i s c o u r s e v i o l a t e s the c r i t e r i o n o f adequacy.  Unless  t h e r e i s some good reason t o  the c o n t r a r y , such a theory ought, t h e r e f o r e , t o be r e j e c t e d .  In Chapter action  I, I argue t h a t Donald Davidson's semantics  i s actually  concepts.  After  incompatible  an exegesis  with  our  o f h i s theory,  family  of  of action  I argue  that i t  cannot accommodate the n o t i o n s o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and m o t i v a t i o n ,  3 nor  the  classifications  mentioned  above,  and  therefore  cannot  accommodate agency.  In Chapter which  are  to  intentionally, connects that  I I , I present a theory of r a t i o n a l agency w i t h i n be and  found an  accounts  alternative  of  intending  semantics  the a c t i o n e s s e n t i a l l y t o agency.  we  accept  intensional  such  o b j e c t s , but  "metaphysically this,  I argue,  apply  the  of  The  and action  which  theory requires  suspect"  we  acting  items  a l r e a d y accept  as with  action.  In first the  Chapter  III, I  theory  of  rational  t o an o b j e c t i o n of Michael Bratman's, and long-standing  compulsion,  problems  in  action  then t o some of  theory,  autonomy and i n v o l u n t a r i n e s s , mistake,  t o the s o - c a l l e d a c t i v e - p a s s i v e d i s t i n c t i o n .  agency,  namely  trying,  a c c i d e n t , and  CHAPTER I THE SEMANTICS OF ACTION  1 b e g i n w i t h an e x e g e s i s o f Davidson's he develops h i s semantics o f a c t i o n and agency.  A close  questions reveals  in  look at "Agency" w i l l  action  i n the  theory  positions  and  of  the  "Agency" , i n which 1  a n a l y s e s the n o t i o n o f reveal  some o f the main  problems  others.  which  Furthermore,  Davidson no  other  a c t i o n t h e o r i s t i s as powerful on, f o r example, the i s s u e o f the nature  and  principal  proponent  Davidson, respectable various events.  identity  of  actions.  are  events.  items  which,  like  2  objects,  is  I oppose.  between  For  are m e t a p h y s i c a l l y may  be  described  in  are e x t e n s i o n a l l y c o n c e i v e d  to work my way  that  a c t i o n s cannot  what i s done,  m o t i v a t i o n and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y .  and  support the  for  example,  F o l l o w i n g the e x e g e s i s , I begin  out o f the g r i p o f the D a v i d s o n i a n semantics with  arguments a g a i n s t h i s e x t e n s i o n a l i t y .  In Chapter I I , I  Donald Davidson, "Agency," i n Essays on Actions and Events, (New York, N.Y.: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1980), 43. 1  2  the  I f so, I argue, the semantics o f a c t i o n i s c u t o f f from  inferences  several  Events  Therefore, actions  i n t e n t i o n w i t h the consequence normal  Davidson  o f the view o f a c t i o n which  actions  ways.  However,  Ibid.,  105-203. 4  5  present  an a l t e r n a t i v e  rational  A.  semantics o f a c t i o n  within  a theory of  agency.  DAVIDSON'S  "AGENCY"  "Agency"  of  action.  Davidson's s t a t e d aim i s t o f i n d an a n a l y s i s o f agency.  T h i s he  takes  i s concerned  as the t a s k  of giving  with  the semantics  an a n a l y s i s  h o l d s between an agent and h i s a c t i o n s , relata  which stand i n t h i s r e l a t i o n .  sections  t o Davidson's  essay:  o f the r e l a t i o n and an a n a l y s i s  o f the  There a r e , roughly,  the f i r s t  addresses  that  three  the nature  and  i d e n t i t y o f the second term o f the r e l a t i o n - the a c t i o n .  The  second  itself.  and t h i r d  By h i s own  sections admission  deal 3  mainly  Davidson  with  does  the r e l a t i o n  not g i v e  us an  a n a l y s i s o f agency, but does show what i t cannot be by r e v e a l i n g some mistakes o f o t h e r a c t i o n t h e o r i s t s .  1.  The C r i t e r i o n o f A c t i o n and the E x p r e s s i o n o f Agency  The  first,  "Agency" assumes  and f o r our purposes most important  addresses the q u e s t i o n "What i s an a c t i o n ? "  4  that  "there  which are a c t i o n s . " are  events.  Ibid  4  Ibid  5  first  i s that  3  Ibid  5  is a  fairly  This gives  definite  subclass  43-47. 44.  f o r the d i s t i n g u i s h i n g  o f being i n t e n t i o n a l .  xiii. r  candidate  Davidson o f events  us the genus o f a c t i o n s :  The problem i s t o d i s t i n g u i s h the a c t i o n  Davidson's actions  section of  they  subclass. mark o f  Since t h e r e a r e a c t i o n s  6 which  cannot  cheating  be  and  anything  lying,  but  intentional,  intention  6  converse does not  hold:  not  did i t intentionally.  imply t h a t you  that  implies  what you  e.g.,  asserting,  agency.  d i d was  an  But,  the  action  does  I f . . . I i n t e n t i o n a l l y s p i l l the c o n t e n t s o f my cup, m i s t a k e n l y t h i n k i n g i t i s t e a when i t i s c o f f e e , then s p i l l i n g the c o f f e e i s something I do, i t i s an a c t i o n o f mine, though I do not do i t i n t e n t i o n a l l y . 7  Therefore,  since  agency  b e i n g i n t e n t i o n a l i s not  Davidson's cannot  be  failing  intention Mistakes are  do  are,  actions.  is  is  is  7  Davidson,  result  example,  an else  an  that  is  not  Yet  So,  intentionally:  1  says, with  f o r Davidson is  an  reading;  he  is the  forthcoming."  a  making  0  event's  Mistakes  something  misreading  interpreting.  intentional  telling.  "doing  a  And  a  8  they  reading,  a  mistake  is  unintentional  an  unintentional  is an i n t e n t i o n a l i n t e r p r e t i n g .  And,  mistakenly  not acting I  Ibid.,  45.  46.  T h i s w i l l be a p o i n t o f d i s p u t e  As w i l l be "something e l s e " . 1 0  intends,  an  action.  a mistake,  For  6  9  Making  unintentional.  misinterpreting  8  one  is  therefore, 9  intention,  mistakes  a  something  misreading  imply  achieving  misinterpreting doing  of  intentionally. what  of  not  s u f f i c i e n t as a mark o f  treatment  done  to  does  apparent,  between us.  Davidson  does  not  really  mean  7 spilling  the c o f f e e  i s intentionally  spilling  the c o n t e n t s o f  the cup.  the  What i s common t o a l l o f the above cases o f agency  i s that  agent  cancels  agency,  i s doing  f o r Davidson,  externally: spill  something  intentionally.  What  i s when the event i n q u e s t i o n was caused  "I am the agent  i f I spill  the c o f f e e meaning t o  the t e a , but not i f you j i g g l e my h a n d . "  In the former  11  case I am doing something  i n t e n t i o n a l l y , i n the l a t t e r I am not.  (Of  several  course,  latter  case,  contents.  I  am  doing  including  holding  What Davidson  things  the  means i s t h a t  intentional  On  the basis  of  the b o d i l y  event  which  cannot be d e s c r i b e d so  f o r me. )  c o n t e n t s o f the cup was i n t e n t i o n a l .  be redescrUbed as my s p i l l i n g  i n the  the cup so as not t o s p i l l i t s  causes the event o f the c o n t e n t s s p i l l i n g as t o make the s p i l l i n g  intentionally  So, my  spilling  T h i s very same act can  the c o f f e e .  this  analysis,  f o l l o w i n g c a u s a l c r i t e r i o n o f agency,  Davidson  offers  the  and so o f a c t i o n :  Criterion I A man i s the agent o f an a c t i f what he does can be d e s c r i b e d under an aspect t h a t makes i n i n t e n t i o n a l . 1 2  That i s , doing something that  which can be d e s c r i b e d under  makes i t i n t e n t i o n a l 1 1  1 2  Davidson, 46. Ibid..  i s sufficient  f o r agency  an aspect or action.  8 What makes t h i s p o s s i b l e intensional: one If  does  i s that  co-designating  intentionally  a t t r i b u t i o n s of i n t e n t i o n are  singular  cannot  be  terms which r e f e r t o what  substituted,  salva  veritate.  t h i s were not so, then from  and  1)  Hamlet i n t e n t i o n a l l y k i l l s the man behind the a r r a s ,  2)  The k i l l i n g  o f the man i s i d e n t i c a l t o the k i l l i n g  of  Polonius. we c o u l d  infer  3)  Hamlet i n t e n t i o n a l l y k i l l s  which i s f a l s e . depends on how cup.  This  Whether o r not a doing i s an i n t e n t i o n a l i t i s described.  action  Under the f i r s t the  second  Polonius.  I spill  can be r e d e s c r i b e d  description,  description,  the v e r y  the c o n t e n t s o f the  as my s p i l l i n g  my a c t i o n  the c o f f e e .  was i n t e n t i o n a l .  same  doing  a c t was  Under  unintentional.  T h i s doesn't mean, o f course, t h a t the event which i s the a c t i o n both  had  and  intentional. description  lacked  a  certain  I t means t h a t have  property  a r e l a t i o n that  does  not o b t a i n  description.  t h e r e i s a c l a s s o f events which are a c t i o n s , of  actions: and  intentional  actions,  what I did w i l l  that  of  being  the event, the agent, and a c e r t a i n  same event, the agent, and a different  class  -  nor a  class  between the 1 3  So, w h i l e  there i s neither a of  unintentional  be i n t e n t i o n a l under one d e s c r i p t i o n ,  not under another.  The  criterion  of  agency  sentences and d e s c r i p t i o n s  1 3  I b i d . , 195.  and  action,  of actions i s :  p u t i n terms  of  9  Criterion I I . A person i s the agent o f an event i f and o n l y i f t h e r e i s a d e s c r i p t i o n o f what he d i d t h a t makes t r u e a sentence t h a t says he d i d i t i n t e n t i o n a l l y . 1 4  That  i s , i t i s sufficient  that  there  be a single  and necessary  f o r agency  d e s c r i p t i o n o f what  and a c t i o n  a person  d i d that  makes t r u e a sentence t h a t says he d i d i t i n t e n t i o n a l l y .  While  attributions  attributions expression  intention  o f agency o r a c t i o n a r e p u r e l y  o f agency i s i t s e l f  terms which veritate.  of  purely  are  intensional,  extensional:  extensional."  "the  Singular  1 5  r e f e r t o what an agent did are s u b s t i t u t a b l e ,  As we  have  seen  from  Davidson's  examples,  salva  being  an  a c t i o n i s a t r a i t which p a r t i c u l a r events have i n d e p e n d e n t l y o f how they are d e s c r i b e d : identical behind  t o my  spilling  the arras  officer's  sinking  the T i r p i t z ,  my s p i l l i n g the c o f f e e ;  i s identical o f that  the c o n t e n t s o f the cup i s  ship,  Hamlet's k i l l i n g  to h i s k i l l i n g which  the man  Polonius;  he m i s t a k e n l y  thinks i s  i s i d e n t i c a l t o h i s s i n k i n g the Bismark.  "The r e l a t i o n t h a t h o l d s between a p e r s o n and an event, when the event i s an a c t i o n performed by the person, holds regardless o f how t h e t e r m s a r e described. 1 , 1 6  1 4  I b i d . , 46.  1 5  I b i d . , 47.  1 6  Ibid..  an  10 T h e r e f o r e , we can say t h a t he  a person does as agent whatever  does i n t e n t i o n a l l y under some d e s c r i p t i o n .  This  i s Davidson's  extensional  events  which  semantics  of action.  Actions  satisfy his criterion  are  o f agency and  action.  2.  Agency.  The Role o f C a u s a t i o n i n A c t i o n ,  The  second main s e c t i o n  o f "Agency"  17  Part I  i s a search  f o r an  a n a l y s i s o f agency t h a t does not appeal t o t h a t mysterious and, as y e t , an  unanalyzed n o t i o n  analysis  o f agency,  agent and h i s a c t i o n s . relation  i s through  which can stand term,  of intention.  o f the r e l a t i o n t h a t  an a n a l y s i s  We know now t h a t  i s an e x t e n s i o n a l  a c t i o n appeals t o the n o t i o n  analysis  of intention  agency) we c o u l d between  (a good  event.  The c r i t e r i o n o f agency  of intention. place  "Actions,  which an action beliefs  which  the second  So, i f we had an  t o begin  an a n a l y s i s  ask f o r an a n a l y s i s o f the r e l a t i o n t h a t  intentions  and t h e i r  Reasons  corresponding  and C a u s e s " ,  is done i s analyzed  18  actions.  Ibid.,  47-55.  1 8  I b i d . , 3-19.  where  of  holds But  the " o l d " one  the Intention  with  i n terms o f the d e s i r e s and  r a t i o n a l i z e the a c t i o n .  1 7  of a  Which events are  Davidson had no a n a l y s i s o f i n t e n t i o n , d i s c o u n t i n g from  between an  o f the r e l a t a - o f the t h i n g s  j u s t those which s a t i s f y the c r i t e r i o n . and  holds  One way t o a r r i v e a t an a n a l y s i s  i n the r e l a t i o n .  f o r Davidson,  What Davidson wants i s  Therefore,  the q u e s t i o n  11  Davidson  asks  i s "what  intentions,  about  that  elucidate  will  suggestion  i s that  can we  the r e l a t i o n doing,  we p i c k  say, w i t h o u t  an a n a l y s i s o f  between an agent acting,  and s o  and h i s a c t i o n agency?"  His  up the n o t i o n o f the e x p r e s s i o n o f  agency.  With t h e e x t e n s i o n a l i t y o f the e x p r e s s i o n o f agency we have the i d e a t h a t holds  i f an event  between the agent  i s an a c t i o n ,  and the event  the terms a r e d e s c r i b e d .  1 9  that  of intention.  Davidson,  a lot like  that  h o l d s r e g a r d l e s s o f how  Since i n t e n t i o n s are i n t e n s i o n a l and  agency not, i t l o o k s as though than  then t h e r e l a t i o n  t h e concept o f agency i s simpler  And, the r e l a t i o n  itself  o r d i n a r y event c a u s a l i t y .  looks, t o  T h i s b e i n g the  case, an examination o f the r o l e o f c a u s a t i o n i n a c t i o n ought t o clarify  t h e concept o f agency.  a.  There a r e P r i m i t i v e A c t i o n s  The  r e l a t i o n o f event c a u s a l i t y i s t h e r e l a t i o n t h a t h o l d s  between a c t i o n s and t h e i r upshots, and a c c o r d i n g t o Davidson, i t is  this  agent:  which  allows  the a t t r i b u t i o n  an agent  So some events which we a t t r i b u t e  are events r e l a t e d c a u s a l l y t o some o t h e r event o f  which he i s t h e agent.  However, not every a c t i o n a t t r i b u t e d t o  an agent i s so a t t r i b u t e d because the  agent.  1 9  t o the  i t i s Jbecause an a c t i o n causes an upshot t h a t t h e upshot  i s a t t r i b u t a b l e t o t h e agent. to  o f t h e upshots  Some a c t i o n s  I b i d . , 47.  must  i t i s caused by another a c t o f  be primitive  actions  - that i s ,  12  not  caused by some c a u s a l l y p r i o r a c t o f the agent.  agency  could  cannot  be  agent,  never  get started.  the r e l a t i o n  and  so  event  which  Otherwise,  T h e r e f o r e , event  primitive  causality  actions  cannot  causality  bear  support  t o the  the  first  a t t r i b u t i o n o f agency.  b.  What are P r i m i t i v e A c t i o n s ?  Davidson (or,  identifies  perhaps  better,  primitive bodily  actions  movings,  movements o f the body).  He c o n s i d e r s  first  that  of  which  argues  as bodily movements.  as  opposed  t o mere  two main o b j e c t i o n s , the  bodily  movements  are  neither  p r i m i t i v e nor a c t i o n s , the second o f which argues t h a t p r i m i t i v e a c t i o n s i n v o l v e more than body movement.  It first  may do  contract  be argued  something  that  that  the a p p r o p r i a t e  i n o r d e r t o move my causes  muscles,  my  finger  finger  t o move,  and, doing t h i s  I f i r s t make c e r t a i n b r a i n events o c c u r .  I must namely,  requires  that  S i n c e n e i t h e r o f these  c a u s a l l y p r i o r events are b o d i l y movements, b o d i l y movements are not p r i m i t i v e a c t i o n s .  Accepting contractions  that  movements  o f c e r t a i n muscles,  of  t h e body  which  are caused  i n turn  are caused by  c e r t a i n b r a i n events, Davidson's response i s :  "Doing  that  finger".  causes  trick  my  finger  i s turned,  2 0  t o move...is moving my  here,  I b i d . , 49-50.  by  distinguishing  by  something  t h e event  2 0  The  o f the  13 movement moving doing  o f the f i n g e r  the f i n g e r whatever  from  the action  o f moving  the f i n g e r : movement is  - that  primitive  action/bodily  i t takes  t o cause  t h e event  of the f i n g e r  movement.  Chisholm  has two o b j e c t i o n s ,  21  p a r t i c u l a r point  here, the other  both based on the c l a i m necessary condition events are  and muscle  not a c t i o n s .  unknown,  there  does  contractions  are e f f e c t s  occur,  one i s doing A i s a  I f so, making when  these  of actions  has a counter  not know  which  cerebral  are unknown, are o f t e n  are not  actions  22  example  or believe  I f he  does,  intentionally,  and w i t h o u t  knowing t h a t one i s A-ing  23  t o the n e c e s s i t y  t o make 10 carbon c o p i e s  succeeding.  A-ing.  e x t e n s i o n a l i t y , and  knowing t h a t  f o r one's doing A.  Suppose t h a t a man i n t e n d s but  addressing  Davidson's  And, s i n c e consequences o f a c t i o n s  (contra Davidson).  Davidson  that  one a d d r e s s i n g  with  any c o n f i d e n c e  Davidson knowing  claims,  that  he  is.  claim:  as he w r i t e s that he  he i s  does  so  Therefore,  i s not a necessary c o n d i t i o n o f one's  2 4  Roderick Chisholm, "Freedom and A c t i o n , " i n Freedom and Determinism, ed. K. Lehrer (New York: Random House, 1966), 28-44. 2 1  My arguments a g a i n s t support Chisholm's c l a i m . 2 2  2 3  III,  extensionality  will  Davidson, 50, 92.  For a d e t a i l e d Trying.  2 4  Davidson's  discussion  of t h i s  matter,  see Chapter  14 Knowing t h a t one i s A - i n g A-ing, must  f o r Davidson. be s a t i s f i e d  doing  under  finger  i s not a necessary c o n d i t i o n f o r  Nevertheless,  e n t a i l s that  some description  intentionally.  one must  know  or other.  I f so, 0  whatever i s needed i n order  that h i s c r i t e r i o n of action whatever  Suppose  intends  0  one i s  moves h i s  t o do w i t h  h i s body  t o produce the event o f the f i n g e r  movement, where the "whatever needed" i s the c e r e b r a l events and muscle c o n t r a c t i o n s . needed, 0 i n t e n d s under  Therefore,  i n intending  t o do whatever i s  and knows about the c e r e b r a l and mental events  the description  "whatever  i t is I  do  when  I move  my  finger".  The primitive  second  main  actions  are b o d i l y movements i s the c l a i m  primitive  actions  objection  include  more  t o Davidson's  than  bodily  claim  that  that  some  movements.  For  example, t y i n g one's shoes i n c l u d e s the f i n g e r movement and the movement o f the l a c e s . into  two events,  Since the  events  of  i s , can these be  o f which  separated  i s the p r i m i t i v e  by t h e i r  here i s not the problem.  space-time  action?  locations,  The problem i s whether  i s a d e s c r i p t i o n o f what i s done t h a t r e f e r s t o the event  t h e body  response  shoelaces" refers  moving  i s the same  description  with  the f i r s t  are d i s t i n g u i s h e d  separation  there  The q u e s t i o n  and not  to the shoelaces.  as he made t o the l a s t  objection.  "I move my body i n j u s t the way r e q u i r e d satisfies  t o the b o d i l y  the c r i t e r i o n , event.  Davidson's The  t o t i e my  i s known t o the agent, and  I t i s a d e s c r i p t i o n o f an event  the r i g h t e f f e c t s , but no l e s s a d e s c r i p t i o n o f a b o d i l y  event which i s a p r i m i t i v e a c t i o n .  15  c.  Agent  Causality  R e t u r n i n g t o the q u e s t i o n o f the r e l a t i o n between an agent and h i s a c t i o n ,  we  actions.  have seen, Davidson argues t h a t  As we  can now  take, as the second term,  c a u s a t i o n can e x p l a i n  how  to  i n further  actions  relation  between  question which  described  now  agents  explicate  primitive  agent  actions.  and the  while ordinary  agency spreads from p r i m i t i v e ways,  and  i s whether t h e r e  relates  therefore,  the  primitive  i t cannot  actions  explicate  his primitive  actions.  i s a s u i generis agent  their  actions,  relation  between  Another p o s s i b i l i t y  and an  which  the The  causality  25  which  agent  will,  and  his  Davidson doesn't  c o n s i d e r i s t h a t t h e r e i s a term which, b e i n g unique as a c a u s a l term ( d e s i r e ) , h e l p s e x p l i c a t e t h a t r e l a t i o n .  Davidson's treatment o f agent c a u s a l i t y i s important f o r my thesis since i t reveals fought. agents  Agent to  actions.  the ground upon which our b a t t l e w i l l  causality  events  and  by  Davidson poses  agent c a u s a l i t y .  i s supposed virtue the  t o be  of  which  following  that  which  these  dilemma  relates  events  for friends  and  horn, prior  to,  contrary  25  of  On the  agent c a u s a l i t y i n t r o d u c e s an event s e p a r a t e from,  possibilities. then  are  E i t h e r the c a u s i n g o f a p r i m i t i v e a c t i o n i s an  event d i s c r e t e from the p r i m i t i v e a c t i o n , o r i t i s not. first  be  the First,  to  the  From T h a l b e r g .  primitive  action.  t h i s p r i o r event assumption,  the  There  are  i s an action.  primitive  action  two  I f so, i s not  16 primitive. then  And,  this  i f agent  prior  another event, regress.  event  causality  which  i s an  separate from  T h e r e f o r e , agent  i s to serve i t s function,  and  action  prior  causality  must  to  be  it.  could  related  And  never  we  do  to  have  a  i t s work,  and agents c o u l d never a c t .  The second p o s s i b i l i t y f o r the f i r s t horn o f the dilemma i s t h a t the s e p a r a t e and p r i o r event i s not an a c t i o n . it  i s an event which,  because  o f agent c a u s a l i t y ,  c a u s i n g which i s not a doing. doing not  the j o b i t was actions.  i s an  agent-  T h e r e f o r e , agent c a u s a l i t y i s not  introduced  Davidson  But i f so,  for, since  concludes  that  agent-causings are  agent  causality  is  therefore superfluous.  It one  i s important t o n o t i c e  i n which  related  to  primitive separate  that  actions  and  Davidson's own  are  prior  events which  brain  events  position i s are  which  causally are  not and  actions.  S i n c e the c a u s a l l y p r i o r  events are not a c t i o n s ,  given  nature o f b r a i n  f o r Davidson,  with  the  good o l d o r d i n a r y  they bear t o p r i m i t i v e  events,  event  causality,  he  can  stick  as the r e l a t i o n  which  actions.  On the second horn o f the dilemma, agent c a u s a l i t y does not introduce action.  an  event  I f so, the agent  causality  to h i s primitive  c a u s a l i t y would related  separate  by  causality  and  prior  i s not r e l a t e d actions.  p l a y no r o l e  agent  from  by  to  the  an event o f agent  Thus the n o t i o n  i n agency,  primitive  of  agent  and s a y i n g t h a t one i s  to h i s actions  would  be  saying  no  17 more, and be nor more e x p l a n a t o r y , than s a y i n g he a c t e d .  Again,  agent c a u s a l i t y i s s u p e r f l u o u s .  The problem related  by  we  without  are  actions. actions,  Davidson must f a c e i s t h a t i f the agent  some n o t i o n o f agent  If and  grounds the  to  agent  since  we  as  causality  support  the  i s merely agents  i s not  to h i s actions, claim  that  then  they  are  causally  related  to  his  related  causally  to  any  are  number of events which are not a c t i o n s , then t h e r e would seem t o be n o t h i n g t o support the d i s t i n c t i o n between a c t i o n s and which are not  3.  The A c c o r d i o n E f f e c t  So  f a r , Davidson  concept  causality, causes. effect  actions.  The Role o f C a u s a t i o n i n A c t i o n , P a r t I I  a.  the  events  and The  2 6  of  has  argued  that  that  i t is  agency,  i t concerns  the effect  feature of action  demonstrates  causation i s central  of actions  discourse c a l l e d  and  1.  0 moves h i s f i n g e r  intentionally.  2.  0 causes the s w i t c h t o be  3.  0 causes the l i g h t t o come on.  4.  0 causes the room t o be  5.  0 causes the prowler t o be  flipped.  illuminated. alerted.  event  not  their  the a c c o r d i o n  t h i s r o l e of causation i n action.  the f o l l o w i n g :  From F e i n b e r g .  garden-variety  to  Suppose  18  Since an  O's  moving o f h i s f i n g e r i s i n t e n t i o n a l , i t q u a l i f i e s  action  intends  any  by of  Davidson's the  criterion.  consequences  But,  2-5,  whether  Davidson  says  as  or not  0  that  1-5  d e s c r i p t i o n s , and  are  entail:  6.  0 f l i p p e d the s w i t c h .  7.  0 turned on the l i g h t .  8.  0 i l l u m i n a t e d the room.  9.  0 a l e r t e d the prowler.  All  of  6 - 9,  as w e l l  as  1,  are action  a t t r i b u t a b l e t o 0 because o f the a c c o r d i o n e f f e c t , which r e v e a l s that  causation  transfers  agency  from  actions  t o the e f f e c t s of  a c t i o n s , whether o r not the agent i n t e n d s those e f f e c t s :  ...once he has done one t h i n g (move a f i n g e r ) , each consequence p r e s e n t s us with a deed; an agent causes what h i s a c t i o n s c a u s e . 2 7  The  accordion  transports  effect  agency,  i r r e l e v a n t as t o how  demonstrates  though  not  the a c c o r d i o n  that  intention,  causation and  i s what  intention i s  i s played.  Davidson, 53. Except f o r the d i f f i c u l t i e s which Davidson footnotes, he would l i k e t o be able t o say t h a t an agent does what h i s a c t i o n s c a u s e . I t i s t h i s s o r t of feature of D a v i d s o n ' s t h e o r y t h a t I o b j e c t t o when I o b j e c t t o h i s extensionality. 2 7  19 The  accordion  events.  But  effect  i t is a  the r e l a t i o n  causality.  Causation  C.  because  feature  Therefore,  if  works  of  action  i t reveals  i s a transitive  of causation discourse  i s not ordinary relation  between  between only. event events:  event A causes event B, and B causes event C, then A causes But i t i s not t h i s  property  of causation  that  powers the  which  broke t h e  accordion:  (i)  Suppose window. bat  the bat struck  the b a l l  I f so, we can say t h a t the movement o f the  broke the window, but not t h a t the bat broke the  window.  (ii)  Suppose the cue s t r u c k 8-ball.  We  the cue b a l l  can say t h a t  which moved the  the movement  caused the movement o f the 8 - b a l l ,  o f the cue  but not t h a t the  cue moved the 8 - b a l l .  ( i i i ) Suppose  that  0 flipped  l i g h t t o go on. his  finger  turned  The  relation  causality.  which  caused the  We can say Jboth t h a t the movement o f  caused  the l i g h t  t o go on  and, t h a t  0  on the l i g h t .  between  events  i n ( i ) , ( i i ) and  ( i i i ) i s event  The r e l a t i o n between 0 and h i s a c t i o n o f t u r n i n g on  the  light  and  h i s non-primitive  on  the s w i t c h  i s not.  "Agency".  Just  what the r e l a t i o n  actions  i s between an agent  i s addressed i n the next  section  20  b.  Doing With and Bo±ng By  The  t h i r d main s e c t i o n o f "Agency"  relation  between an agent  i s concerned w i t h the  28  and h i s n o n - p r i m i t i v e a c t i o n s ,  which  i s the r e l a t i o n o f "doing w i t h " and "doing by" i n the f o l l o w i n g :  A.  Brutus k i l l e d Caesar by s t a b b i n g him. (2 n o n - p r i m i t i v e a c t i o n s )  B.  Jones  killed  Smith  by s t a r t l i n g  Smith  by opening the  door by t u r n i n g the key. ( A l l non-primitive actions)  C.  With  one movement o f h i s hand,  things  i n B.  primitive  Davidson  has  consequences,  (A p r i m i t i v e  Jones  action  d i d a l l o f the  and s e v e r a l non-  actions)  argued  that  primitive  and t h a t  this  i s ordinary  actions event  cause  their  causality.  If  some event A i s a p r i m i t i v e a c t i o n ( t h a t i s , an event caused i n the  right  effects, effects. their  way) then  and i f events  primitive  are r e l a t e d  causally  to their  causally, to their  S i m i l a r l y , we can see t h a t n o n - p r i m i t i v e a c t i o n s cause  consequences  stabbing  actions  are r e l a t e d  of Caesar  Davidson,  where by  55-61.  again t h i s Brutus  i s event  caused  causality:  the death  of  the  Caesar.  However, we  as y e t  between and  among p r i m i t i v e  F i r s t , we  hands  one's  shoes.  the  analysis  want t o know how,  one's  actions  have no  is  related  actions e.g.,  to we  and  r e l a t i o n that  non-primitive  non-primitive  event o f  action  want  one's l a c e s  of  actions.  to  action  know  how  tying  one's  being t i e d ?  Or,  shoes  how  of  e.g.,  i s the  Finally,  is  primitive  actions:  non-primitive killing  to  e.g.,  actions  Caesar?  The  Davidson shows why  c.  of  down  so  effect.  and  that  obvious  But,  and  as  relation  action  the  Caesar?  between  non-  r e l a t i o n between the  stabbing  candidate  Caesar is  and  two  Brutus  causation.  But  be.  of out  can  Davidson  to  Danto.  version puffing  an  the  Brutus  t h i s cannot  Feinberg's  squeezing  what  what i s the  Feinberg, A u s t i n  On  events,  know  is  non-primitive  death of  need  how  related  a c t i o n o f Brutus k i l l i n g Caesar r e l a t e d t o the we  tying  non-primitive  are r e l a t e d t o c e r t a i n c o r r e l a t i v e events:  non-primitive  holds  the p r i m i t i v e a c t i o n of moving  the  Secondly,  of the  the of  an  be  accordion accordion  stretched  notes,  effect,  out  i f the  is  done  to  include  squeezing  the over  and  s t r e t c h i n g changes the time span o f the event, then i t cannot the this  same event, is  not  Feinberg complex  and  a  also acts.  cannot be  correct has A  nothing e l s e .  so  a  analysis  door  I  simple  act  A causally  must  first  of  same a c t i o n . the  d i s t i n c t i o n between is  do  one  complex act  t o do something f i r s t as a means. the  the  which i s one  the be  Therefore,  accordion simple  an  effect.  and  requires  causally us  to  do  which r e q u i r e s  us  For example, i n o r d e r t o open  something else  which  will  cause  the  22 door t o open.  Therefore,  on F e i n b e r g ' s view, t h e r e  a r e causally  connected sequences o f acts.  J.L. A u s t i n and Danto have s i m i l a r views.  For A u s t i n  ... a s i n g l e term d e s c r i p t i v e o f what he d i d may be made t o cover e i t h e r a s m a l l e r o r a l a r g e r s t r e t c h o f e v e n t s , t h o s e e x c l u d e d by t h e narrower d e s c r i p t i o n being t h e n c a l l e d "consequences" o r " r e s u l t s " o r " e f f e c t s " o r the l i k e o f h i s a c t . 2 9  Therefore, the  actions  distinction  can cause a c t i o n s ,  between basic  f o r Austin.  and non-jbasic  d i s t i n c t i o n i s marked c a u s a l l y :  Danto makes  actions,  where the  A b a s i c a c t i o n , such as moving  a hand, causes the non-basic a c t i o n o f moving the s t o n e .  3 0  Davidson argues t h a t these views a r e mistaken; t h a t are  not c a u s a l l y  actions  related.  cause t h e i r  While  consequences,  i t i s true  so t h a t  that  actions  primitive  when I, f o r example,  c l o s e the door, some a c t i o n o f mine causes the event o f the door closing,  i t i s false  o f c l o s i n g the door. door  - that  action  that  some action  I f not f a l s e , - I would  have  o f mine causes my  then i n o r d e r  action  t o c l o s e the  t o do two t h i n g s .  But i t  seems c l e a r l y f a l s e t h a t when I c l o s e the door by moving my hand I  do two t h i n g s .  And, i f t h e r e  a r e not two t h i n g s ,  then  they  cannot be r e l a t e d , c a u s a l l y o r otherwise. J.L. A u s t i n , "A P l e a f o r Excuses," ed. J.O. Urmson and G.J. Warnock (Oxford: 1961), 145. 2 9  A . Danto, (1965): 141-8. 3 0  "Basic  Actions,"  American  Philosophical Papers, Oxford Univ. Press, Phil.  Quarterly,  2  23  The h e a r t o f Davidson's p o s i t i o n action  i s not n u m e r i c a l l y  primitive  action.  moving the the  t o say t h a t ,  We  sufficient  still  want  Here, the k i l l i n g  i n just  are not two events t o be  f o r example,  caused the queen's k i l l i n g  queen caused the queen t o k i l l case.  non-  Otherwise, i f t h e r e were two a c t i o n s c a u s a l l y  would have  her hand  killing. hand  we  a primitive  from i t s c o r r e p o n d i n g  I f so, then t h e r e  causally related. related,  distinct  here i s t h a t  that  way  i n those  an  the k i n g .  analysis  of  the queen's  the k i n g ,  and  that  Suppose t h i s were the  action  o f the  i s the queen's a c t i o n o f moving her  i n those  circumstances.  circumstances,  to k i l l  But, t h i s  the k i n g .  was  I f so,  t h e r e was no room f o r any f u r t h e r a c t i o n o f the queen:  Is i t not absurd t o suppose t h a t , a f t e r the queen has moved her hand i n such a way as t o cause the k i n g ' s death, any deed remains f o r her t o do o r t o complete? She has done her work; i t o n l y remains f o r the p o i s o n to do i t s . 3 1  The a c t i o n o f the queen's k i l l i n g  the k i n g cannot be analyzed as  the  a c t i o n o f the queen's moving her hand causing  the  queen's k i l l i n g  the k i n g .  the a c t i o n o f  A c t i o n s are not r e l a t e d  causally.  Davidson has argued t h a t i t i s a mistake t o suppose t h a t an a c t i o n begins w i t h a p r i m i t i v e killing  o f the k i n g  a c t i o n but ends l a t e r .  does not b e g i n w i t h  the queen's  So, the primitive  a c t i o n o f moving her hand and end w i t h one o f i t s consequences,  3 1  Davidson,  57-58.  24 the  k i n g ' s death.  death,  I t i s true that  but "the queen  circumstances"  moving  the hand moving caused the  her hand  and "the queen  doing  i n that  something  way,  that  i n those  caused the  death o f the k i n g " are two d e s c r i p t i o n s o f the same event. doing something  t h a t causes a death i s c a u s i n g a death.  a death i s , f o r Davidson, the  king  with  event  effects.  effect.  d i a g n o s i s o f the d i f f i c u l t y  action  description An  i s the tendency  o f an event  with  can be d e s c r i b e d  which  t o mistake  features  i n terms  and  o t h e r s have  features  of a  o f the event d e s c r i b e d . o f i t s causes  or of  its  Here a r e two d e f i n i t e d e s c r i p t i o n s o f some event E : 2  (1)  the event caused by event E  (2)  the event which caused the event E  1  3  I t i s a mistake t o suppose t h a t the consequence, in  way, i n those  Davidson's A c c o r d i o n  Davidson's had  Causing  T h e r e f o r e the k i l l i n g o f  i s the queen's moving her hand i n t h a t  c i r c u m s t a n c e s , with t h a t  d.  a killing.  And  the d e f i n i t e  description  (2) i s the d e s c r i p t i o n ,  (2) a r e c o - r e f e r e n t i a l  i n (2).  3  What changes between (1)  not the event  definite  E , i s included  described:  descriptions  o f one event, E . 2  As  a p p l i e d t o a c t i o n d i s c o u r s e , we can d e s c r i b e a single  in  terms o f i t s causes o r o f i t s e f f e c t s .  if  we do, i s an event which  i s the a c t i o n .  (1) and  action  What g e t s d e s c r i b e d , So, f o r Davidson,  the  a c c o r d i o n which  endures the squeezing and t h e s t r e t c h i n g o f  the  a c c o r d i o n e f f e c t i s a s i n g l e event which i s an a c t i o n .  What  25 changes i s the d e s c r i p t i o n o f the a c t i o n . following  correspond  to  a  single  T h e r e f o r e , a l l o f the  descriptum,  which  i s the  action:  (i)  "The queen moved her hand."  (ii)  "...thus  causing  the v i a l  of poison  t o empty  i n t o the  king's ear." (iii)  "...thus  causing  the p o i s o n  to enter  the body  o f the  king." (iv)  "...thus  (v)  "The queen moved her hand thus c a u s i n g the k i n g t o d i e . "  (vi)  "The queen k i l l e d the k i n g . "  (vii)  "The queen emptied the v i a l  (viii)  "The queen k i l l e d the k i n g by p o u r i n g p o i s o n i n h i s e a r . "  (ix)  "The queen poured p o i s o n his  c a u s i n g the k i n g t o d i e . "  death."  i n t o the k i n g ' s e a r . "  i n the k i n g ' s e a r thus  causing  32  The s i n g l e descriptum  i s the b o d i l y event which i s the p r i m i t i v e  a c t i o n - the queen's moving her hand.  T h e r e f o r e , Davidson says,  somewhat p a r a d o x i c a l l y , t h a t t h e r e are only p r i m i t i v e a c t i o n s :  We never do more than move our bodies; to n a t u r e .  the r e s t i s up  3 3  On t h e account o f a c t i o n which I develop (Chap. I I ) , neither ( i ) , ( i ) + ( i i ) , ( i ) + ( i i i ) , n o r ( v i i ) count as d e s c r i p t i o n s o f the queen's a c t i o n . 3 2  3 3  Davidson,  59.  26 The  concept  o f being  primitive  intentional,  intensional:  above,  the queen  (vi), is  what  i t was n o t .  intensional:  i s , like  under  d i d was  the concept  some d e s c r i p t i o n , primitive;  o f being  namely ( i )  under  another, say  Likewise, the concept o f being  non-primitive  under some d e s c r i p t i o n ,  queen d i d was n o n - p r i m i t i v e ;  under  e.g., ( v i i ) ,  another,  what the  e.g., ( i ) , i t was  not.  4.  Summary  The  p o s i t i v e parts  o f Davidson's t h e o r y o f a c t i o n which he  develops i n "Agency" a r e , then, as f o l l o w s :  1.  The C r i t e r i o n : A c t i o n s are events under a t l e a s t one d e s c r i p t i o n .  which  are i n t e n t i o n a l  2.  The r o l e which c a u s a t i o n p l a y s i n a c t i o n i s the r o l e i t p l a y s everywhere; namely, i t i s the r e l a t i o n between causes and e f f e c t s , and i t i s the r e l a t i o n o f c a u s a t i o n which p e r m i t s r e - d e s c r i p t i o n o f a c t i o n s i n terms o f t h e i r causes and e f f e c t s .  3.  P r i m i t i v e a c t i o n s are a l l the a c t i o n s t h e r e a r e : "There are no f u r t h e r a c t i o n s , o n l y f u r t h e r d e s c r i p t i o n s . And, n o n - p r i m i t i v e a c t i o n s are a l l the a c t i o n s t h e r e a r e . 1 , 3 4  4.  B.  Agency: The r e l a t i o n which holds between a person and an event which i s h i s a c t i o n i s independent o f how the terms o f the r e l a t i o n are d e s c r i b e d .  DAVIDSON'S SEMANTICS REJECTED In t h i s s e c t i o n I argue t h a t Davidson's c r i t e r i o n o f a c t i o n  and  agency  theory  3 4  cannot  work  of action.  Davidson, 61.  together  I then suggest  with  h i s semantics  an a l t e r n a t i v e ,  within  a  leaving i t s  27 full  development  t o the next  r e s t a t e h i s notions  Davidson's  chapter.  o f criterion  criterion  First,  i t will  pay t o  and expression.  of action,  which  tells  us whether  something was done, and so whether agency i s on hand, i s t h a t an event i s an a c t i o n i f and o n l y i f i t i s e f f e c t e d through agency. This i s a causal entity  criterion,  o r an agent.  from a r m - r i s i n g s , be  causally  the c a u s a l term b e i n g an i n t e n t i o n a l  Since we want t o d i s t i n g u i s h arm r a i s i n g s  i t i s necessary t h a t events which a r e a c t i o n s  related  i n the right  way t o an agent,  r i g h t way" i s cashed i n terms o f i n t e n t i o n :  where "the  the agent must have  i n t e n d e d the event under one t r u e d e s c r i p t i o n .  In o t h e r words,  an event i s an a c t i o n i f and o n l y i f i t i s i n the r i g h t r e l a t i o n t o the r i g h t s t a t e s o f an agent.  Davidson's  expression  of  agency,  on  the other  hand,  addresses another aspect o f the r e l a t i o n between a c t i o n and the agent:  i t tells  caused  by  semantics  us what was done, and so i d e n t i f i e s  agency.  The  of action.  expression  Davidson  reigns  among  actions,  action  under  any o f i t s t r u e  contents then  o f your  you s p i l l  mistaking sinks  what  the c o f f e e .  i t f o r the T i r p i t z  that  addresses the extensionality  you do when you a c t i s your I f you s p i l l the  i t f o r t e a when i t i s c o f f e e , I f the o f f i c e r  sinks  when i t i s the Bismark,  Because the e x p r e s s i o n  descriptions  extensionally.  believes  descriptions.  cup m i s t a k i n g  the Bismark.  extensional,  that  o f agency  what was  of  the s h i p then he  o f agency i s purely  what  was  A l l non-equivalent  but  done  function  co-designative  28 d e s c r i p t i o n s o f an event which s a t i s f i e s the  same a c t i o n .  Therefore,  the c r i t e r i o n  as long as an event i s an  so  long, t h a t i s , as i t meets the c r i t e r i o n  to  the agent  The  as h i s a c t i o n  concept o f an  action  p i c k out  under  any  action-  - i t can be a s c r i b e d  description  true  i s an event e x t e n s i o n a l l y  of i t .  conceived,  f o r Davidson.  We  can b e g i n t o see t h a t the c r i t e r i o n  cannot  work t o g e t h e r  First,  we  will at  consider  work, from those cases i n which partial This d i s t i n c t i o n  discourse.  between  full  accommodates full/partial  and the  agency  recognize  I t i s that partial workings  distinction,  ( i s the  and  recognition?)  d i f f e r s from a c t i n g n o n - s t a n d a r d l y . agency ought, criterion ordinary treated  therefore,  cannot. event  t o mark t h i s  Indeed,  causality  extensional l y  above d i s t i n c t i o n .  35  any where  the  distinction  which  and  in  turn  defenses.  The  so excuses, r e q u i r e s that  acting  that  standardly  A c r i t e r i o n o f a c t i o n and distinction.  criterion the terms  i s , f o r this  agency  i n a r i c h way i n  grounds  excuses  which  agency has been  responsibility, of  points.  o r diminished  i s employed which  two  and so o f agency,  a l l o w us t o d i s t i n g u i s h cases i n which full  action  the  the f o l l o w i n g  need a c o n c e p t i o n o f a c t i o n ,  has f u n c t i o n e d .  we  i f we  and the e x p r e s s i o n  reason,  based, of  Davidson's  as h i s i s , on  the  relation  incapable  are  o f marking  For Davidson, the a c t i n g which occurs i n  s t a n d a r d a c t i o n s does not d i f f e r from the a c t i n g i n non-standard  S . C . C o v a l and J.C. Smith, Law and Its Presuppositions (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1986), Chap. I . 3 5  29 actions,  nor would  his criterion  allow  the d i s t i n c t i o n .  The  f a c t o f i t being an a c t i o n i s based only on t h e c a u s a l r e l a t i o n .  Secondly, implies  a  actions: those  the d i s t i n c t i o n  corresponding there  distinction  and  accidents.  type  i s what  "unintentional" actions  distinction  are standard  of the l a t t e r  between f u l l  among  being  deviants  i s marked  by  cannot  like  make  a theory o f t h e s t a n d a r d .  of  expression  of  and  There a r e i n t e n t i o n a l  s t a n d a r d without Davidson's  This  "intentional"  actions,  we  of  actions;  o f t h e former.  i n action attributions.  Conceptually  agency  attributions  a c t i o n s and non-standard  unintentional  3 6  and p a r t i a l  agency  3 7  will  mistakes,  sense  and  o f t h e non-  The e x t e n s i o n a l i t y not permit  the  d i s t i n c t i o n s i n c e what gets a t t r i b u t e d t o an agent as h i s a c t i o n is,  i n standard  conceived  I  and n o n - s t a n d a r d  cases,  the extensionally  event.  have  three  arguments  t o support  these  claims  against  extensionality.  1i An normal  The Argument from M o t i v a t i o n adequate theory inferences  o f a c t i o n should  between  action  -  leave u n d i s t u r b e d the what  was  done  - and  The term " u n i n t e n t i o n a l a c t i o n " i s h i g h l y m i s l e a d i n g . I f a c t i o n s are n e c e s s a r i l y i n t e n t i o n a l , then with f a i l u r e of i n t e n t i o n a l i t y we have something o t h e r than an a c t i o n : we have an u n i n t e n t i o n a l event. 3 6  See Sam Coval and D.D. Todd, " A d j u s t e r s and Sense-Data, "American Phil. Quarterly 9 ( J a n . 1972): 107. I p r o v i d e an account o f standard a c t i o n and a c t i n g i n the s e q u e l . 3 7  30 motivation.  To d e s c r i b e  an event as an a c t i o n o f an agent i s t o  impute a motive t o t h a t agent, the content o f which i s embedded in  t h e d e s c r i p t i o n o f the a c t i o n  a t t r i b u t e d t o him.  a c t i o n was a standard  action implies,  it  To be  was  satisfy that  successful. the m o t i v a t i o n  the m o t i v a t i o n  among o t h e r  successful  which  prompted  That an  things,  i s f o r the action t o  i t - where t h i s  was the cause o f t h a t  which  implies  satisfied i t .  What s a t i s f i e s  the d e s i r e s which c o n s t i t u t e the m o t i v a t i o n  tell  the desires  us  standard  what cases,  f o r and w i l l  i f some  i s an i n t e n s i o n a l n o t i o n ,  event  i s cognized,  and  d e s c r i p t i o n under which i t was d e s i r e d .  will  therefore,  be a t r u t h - c o n d i t i o n on what was  Satisfaction only  were  that  in  intended.  and so w i l l  cognized  under  occur the  For example, the d e s i r e  t h a t the government be embarrassed w i l l be s a t i s f i e d by an event cognized  under  that  cognized  under  description,  the d e s c r i p t i o n  and not by  t h e same  "the government  event  voluntarily  changing i t s p o l i c y " o r "the government r e c e s s i n g f o r h o l i d a y s " . Therefore,  what you d e s i r e  embarrassment descriptions. government,  are  n o r all of  desire,  to satisfy  you d e s i r e  event  under  the government's  any  of  an event  i t s true  under  any o f i t s t r u e  descriptions.  a unitary  i s an aspect o f an event.  the desideratum  theory  What you  t o produce t h a t which w i l l  that  of intending  s a t i s f y the  I f so, and i f we  what you i n t e n d  what you do i n t e n t i o n a l l y are t i g h t l y l i n k e d ( i . e . , have  i t s true  What you i n t e n d , when you i n t e n d t o embarrass the  when you i n t e n d  motivating  an  i s not t o produce  descriptions, intend,  i s not  when  and doing  t o do and  i f we are t o  intentionally),  then  what  produce  you do as the r e s u l t o f a s u c c e s s f u l  an aspect  description,  i s t o produce  content  of the d e s i r e ( s )  semantics  of  inadequate  i n not p r o v i d i n g  ingredient  of action.  notion,  t h e normal  action,  Since  inferences  expression does  o f agency  between  i s what he i n t e n d s ,  connection  i n the c a u s a l  o f what  motivation  i s purely  under the d e s c r i p t i o n c o n t a i n e d the  motivated the  i s done, i s  f o r the e s s e n t i a l  cannot be supported by an e x t e n s i o n a l  agent  which  i n the  38  Davidson's  the  an event-under-a-  where t h e d e s c r i p t i o n i s the one embedded  propositional doing.  o f an event  intention to  motivational  i s an  action  intensional  and  motivation  semantics o f a c t i o n . extensional,  whether  then  If  what an  o r not he i n t e n d s i t  i n the a s c r i p t i o n .  Therefore,  between the content o f the d e s i r e s and i n t e n t i o n ancestry  o f the a c t i o n and the a c t i o n , i s severed.  Thus even Davidson's c r i t e r i o n o f a c t i o n i s so severed from the semantics limits  that  i t cannot p l a y  o f a merely  causal  a motivational  criterion  of action,  Davidson's becomes, s i n c e i t i s separated agency, t h e r e  event was intended.  when they  e s s e n t i a l l y implicate  d i d you i n t e n d ? "  answered  Under the  which  i s what  from the e x p r e s s i o n o f  are no means t o e x p l a i n why o r t o t e s t whether the  resultant  "What  role.  extensionally.  These q u e s t i o n s  make sense  only  some d e s c r i p t i o n o f the event.  and "Why  d i d you do t h a t ? "  I f the r i g h t  inferential  cannot be relations  B r a t m a n has an o b j e c t i o n t o " t i g h t - f i t " which I address i n t h e s e q u e l , where t h e r e l a t i o n o f d e s i r e and b e l i e f t o i n t e n t i o n i s developed. 38  32 implied  by  question  "What was done?" be answered e x t e n s i o n a l l y .  2.  motivation  a r e t o be  retained,  neither  c a n the  The Argument from R e s p o n s i b i l i t y  To d e s c r i b e an event as an a c t i o n o f an agent i s t o a s c r i b e responsibility right We  f o r t h a t event t o the agent.  answer t o the q u e s t i o n  can a l s o  actions. agent  be  held  The charge  responsibility  when the consequence have caused care with foreseen and  responsible  f o r events  o f negligent  commission  i s negative,  Where one f a i l s  Negligence  reason,  outcome,  t h e r e would be n e g a t i v e  t o the  a standard o f  or acts  have  outcome o f an a c t i o n ,  o f care  from  so a c t i n g .  and thus f a i l s t o  despite  the b e l i e f  that  consequences, you a r e s a i d t o have acted  negligently  and  consequence.  The charge o f n e g l i g e n t  counterfactually,  implies  refrained  t o meet the standard  responsibility  ascribes  t o which one should  o f the n e g a t i v e  f o r this  the n e g a t i v e  are not  and only when one should not  t o a c t i o n according  have,  which  f o r a consequence o f an a c t i o n , t y p i c a l l y  the l i k e l i h o o d  should  foresee  about what we are r e s p o n s i b l e f o r .  the consequence.  respect  T h i s g i v e s us one  are held  f o r an  responsible  event  t o prevent  when  f o r the  omission one  a s c r i b e s t o one  should  have  some, t y p i c a l l y n e g a t i v e ,  Where the charge o f n e g l i g e n t omission  negative  acted, outcome.  i s warranted, one i s h e l d  r e s p o n s i b l e f o r a consequence, not o f one's a c t i o n , but o f some event which you f a i l e d t o prevent,  and should have  prevented.  39  F o r a d e t a i l e d d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e r e l a t i o n between n e g l i g e n c e and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , see Chap. I l l , The A c t i v e - P a s s i v e Distinction. 3 9  33  Therefore, held  we are r e s p o n s i b l e  responsible  inactions.  f o r our a c t i o n s ,  f o r the consequences  and can be  of our actions  and  T h i s i s t o say t h a t r e s p o n s i b i l i t y can c a r r y f u r t h e r  down t h e c a u s a l c h a i n o f events than does agency.  The  degree t o which one i s h e l d r e s p o n s i b l e  v a r i e s with only  the conditions o f a c t i n g .  partially  between f u l l  responsible  and p a r t i a l  for  an event d i m i n i s h e s  One can be h e l d f u l l y o r  f o r some  event.  responsibility  the d i s t i n c t i o n between f u l l  f o r an a c t i o n  The  distinction  goes hand i n hand  and p a r t i a l agency.  with  Responsibility  as agency o f t h e event d i m i n i s h e s .  It  i s t h e j o b o f excuses and l e g a l defenses t o reduce t h e degree t o which one i s h e l d r e s p o n s i b l e f o r some event, and t h e r e d u c t i o n , where j u s t i f i e d , causal genesis  An normal also  i s justified  o f t h e event i n some d i m i n i s h e d  adequate theory inferences  between  Clearly,  one  because agency i s a t work i n the  o f a c t i o n should  not o n l y  action  between  and what  i s held  leave  u n d i s t u r b e d the  motivation  and a c t i o n but  one i s h e l d  responsible  way.  responsible f o r .  f o r one's  actions.  Davidson's e x t e n s i o n a l  account o f a c t i o n I am h e l d  for  what  cause however d e s c r i b e d  is  a  I, as agent,  true  intentional  description f o r me.  defence a g a i n s t  of  But t h i s  the event  which  as there i t was  p r e v e n t s me from employing  the a s c r i p t i o n o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t y ,  I d i d not intend  responsible  so long  under  On  the f a c t  as a that  t h a t event under the d e s c r i p t i o n c o n t a i n e d i n  34 the  ascription.  I  4 0  am  so p r e v e n t e d  extensional  event, however  therefore,  Davidson i s r i g h t , and a c t i o n s  we cause as agents,  described,  because  which  i s my  t o how  and i f we a r e r e s p o n s i b l e  irrelevant  to  responsibility  we  gauge  events  f o r our a c t i o n s ,  The  But, i t i s not  significance for which  figure i n  one's i n t e n t i o n i s t h a t i t i s j u s t t h i s which allows  excuses t o  work  of the d e s c r i p t i o n  If,  the event should be  responsibility.  responsibility.  action.  a r e the sheer  then t h e d e s c r i p t i o n under which I intended irrelevant  i t i s that  i n determining  degrees  o f events  of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y .  Whenever an  event which i s caused through my agency i s a s c r i b e d t o me under some d e s c r i p t i o n other figured  i n my  responsible this  Just  manager, then  t o me,  such  actions.  applies  i s blocked  shaking  have  and I am not  i f actions  are  r o b b e r ' s hand.  We  are not r e s p o n s i b l e  I truly  and i n t e n t i o n a l l y ,  believe  t o be  t h e bank  h i s hand i s an a c t i o n o f mine, and I am  responsible  hand  argument.  I f I knowingly  o f t h e man  for i t .  the bank robber.  manager' s  an excuse  a move  the f o l l o w i n g  t h e hand  therefore,  f i g u r e d o r should  of extensionally.  our mistaken  shake  which  f o r t h a t event under t h a t d e s c r i p t i o n p r e c i s e l y f o r  Consider for  i n t e n t i o n , then  reason.  conceived  than t h a t  Suppose t h a t he i s , unbeknownst  On Davidson's view,  i s the very  same action  I f we a r e r e s p o n s i b l e  ought t o be r e s p o n s i b l e  f o r t h a t very  shaking  as s h a k i n g  the bank t h e bank  f o r our a c t i o n s , same a c t i o n ,  then I  shaking the  The d i f f e r e n c e between i n t e n d i n g and not i n t e n d i n g i s l i k e t h e d i f f e r e n c e between d e s i r i n g and n o t d e s i r i n g . 4 0  35 hand o f t h e bank robber. responsible not  But I am n o t .  Therefore,  I am not  f o r an event under a d e s c r i p t i o n under which i t was  intended.  That we employ excuses and defenses as we do suggests one  i s responsible,  under  the description  successful actions,  intention. then,  essentially To  not f o r sheer  call  by  under  And,  which i f we  an a c t i o n  but o n l y  f o r events  i t occurred  i n one's  are responsible  substitution,  the description  an event  appear t h a t  under  events,  an  which  action figured  is t o so d e s c r i b e  Davidson i s without  that  f o r our  i s an  event  i n i t s cause. it.  I t would  a t h e o r y o f excuses and so o f  how r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s gauged, and i s without an account o f how d e s i r e s and b e l i e f s f u n c t i o n i n agency so long as he h o l d s on t o his  purely  extensional  account  onto h i s p u r e l y e x t e n s i o n a l  3.  t h e agent.  separated nature  so long  as he holds  account o f what was done.  The Argument from A t t r i b u t i o n  To d e s c r i b e to  o f agency;  an event as an a c t i o n i s t o make an a t t r i b u t i o n But j u s t what t h e a t t r i b u t i o n c o n s i s t s  action  theorists.  of action  a c t i o n and agency:  And not s u r p r i s i n g l y ,  attribution will  depend  i n has  s i n c e the  on t h e natures o f  they d e f i n e what we a t t r i b u t e and to what i t  i s attributed.  According attribute  t o Davidson's  expression  o f agency,  what  we  t o an agent when we a t t r i b u t e an a c t i o n t o him i s an  event under a l l t r u e d e s c r i p t i o n s o f i t . A c t i o n s ,  f o r Davidson,  36 are  extensionally  attribute  t o an agent  Davidson's right  conceived  as h i s a c t i o n s  criterion.  relation  events.  Only  those  t o the agent  Which are those  events  qualify  events  which  we  which  satisfy  stand  as h i s a c t i o n s :  can  i n the  that i s ,  o n l y those events which are caused by an agent's i n t e n t i o n count as  actions  of h i s .  attributes  Therefore, while  an e x t e n s i o n a l  truth  o f the c l a i m  which  i n turn  action  event t o an agent  entails  entails  an  that  that  as h i s a c t i o n , the  the c r i t e r i o n  the event was  attribution  caused  was  satisfied,  by an  agent's  intention.  Davidson's actions  be  specifies  events  with  something  the cause. the  criterion  event  This was  about  causing satisfy  -  a  intentional  the cause  i s just under  sort  but  at l e a s t  also  one d e s c r i p t i o n .  This  makes the c a u s i n g an  An  a purpose  -  that  purpose  intentional being to  the desire which motivated the a c t i o n .  i s satisfiable  content  cause,  that  what a l l o w s us t o say t h a t  That  i m p l i e s t h a t i t has a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of  i t s o b j e c t - t h a t which would s a t i s f y i t . cognitive  of  requires  a d e s c r i p t i o n i f i t was caused by an  causing with  the cause,  not o n l y  the nature o f the c a u s i n g and so o f  something  o f an agent.  action  the r i g h t  event i s i n t e n t i o n a l under intention  of  and c a u s a l  efficacy,  I n t e n t i o n s have both  and what they  cause i s  what would s a t i s f y them.  In action,  specifying an a c t i o n  this  about  attribution  n a t u r e o f the cause.  the nature clearly  o f the cause  specifies  a limit  o f an t o the  We a t t r i b u t e c e r t a i n d e s i r e s and b e l i e f s -  37 those which cause content. desires That  and e x p l a i n the a c t i o n - w i t h t h e i r  Just and  as  clearly,  we  beliefs  causally  relevant  i s , we  do  not  attribute  d e s c r i p t i o n o f the event. we  attribute  cognitive  a  not  an  attribute  a l l possible  t o an e x t e n s i o n a l event.  intention  for  every  In a t t r i b u t i n g an a c t i o n t o an  specific  content, and  do  cognitive  mental  event,  and  so  a  c a u s a l e f f i c a c y which causes  true agent,  specific that  which  will satisfy i t .  Therefore, as  the  thing  t o take, as Davidson  attributed  does,  i n action  an e x t e n s i o n a l event  attribution  without  taking  i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n the nature and the l i m i t s o f the agency, i s , I will of  argue,  this  both an over and  difficulty  for  an under attribution.  Davidson  is  the  s e p a r a t i o n which  event,  and  which  allows  prevents  him  him  the  from  source  s e p a r a t i o n of  c r i t e r i o n o f a c t i o n from the e x p r e s s i o n of a g e n c y . this  The  It i s just  41  extensionality  accommodating  the  of  theories  the of  m o t i v a t i o n and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y w i t h i n h i s t h e o r y o f a c t i o n .  That the s e p a r a t i o n of the c r i t e r i o n from the e x p r e s s i o n i s artificial criterion.  will  be  apparent  I t s j o b was  i f we  distinguish  behaviour behaviour  4 1  from with  Davidson,  arm-raisings  function  of  the  The c r i t e r i o n i s what a l l o w s us from  mere b o d i l y movements. a  the  t o get i n t e n t i o n , and so p u r p o s e f u l n e s s ,  and so agency i n t o the p i c t u r e . to  recall  p u r p o s e f u l cause,  46-47, 120-121, 147,  arm-risings, purposeful P u r p o s e f u l behaviour i s and  195.  a  causing  which,  in  38 standard what  cases, produces  will  satisfy  descriptions.  a  that  desire  which  satisfies  the cause.  i s n o t an event  under  But  a l l true  What w i l l s a t i s f y a d e s i r e i s what f i g u r e s i n i t s  representational  content.  That w i l l  be something  l i k e aspects  o f events - the e x t r a - l i n g u i s t i c c o r r e l a t e s o f the d e s c r i p t i o n s which  o c c u r i n the mental  To c l a i m  that  actions  events which  are events under  constitute a l l true  intentions.  description i s  t o a t t r i b u t e t o o much t o an agent.  Davidson's e x t e n s i o n a l i t y It  i s an o v e r - a t t r i b u t i o n  agent.  i s one k i n d  of over-attribution.  of descriptions  o f what one does as  Each new consequence  o f an a c t i o n  new d e s c r i p t i o n 'of what was done. effect. is  This  i s Davidson's  us w i t h a accordion  Another way f o r an a c t i o n a s c r i p t i o n t o o v e r - a t t r i b u t e  f o r i t to attribute  t o o many  actions.  which Davidson r i g h t l y l e v e l s a t F e i n b e r g . stretches action  It i s this  charge  Feinberg's accordion  over events, and each new event c a u s a l l y r e l a t e d t o an  p r e s e n t s us w i t h  actions; the  furnishes  a new  deed.  His s i n i s to multiply  h i s a t t r i b u t i o n s , then, a t t r i b u t e t o o many a c t i o n s t o  agent.  Davidson's attribution cause  extensionality  t o the agent  of  by l e a v i n g  out o f the a c t i o n  action  forces  an  under  the i n t e n t i o n a l i t y o f the  attribution.  Remember,  i t i s the  e x p r e s s i o n and not the c r i t e r i o n which i s a t t r i b u t e d t o an agent when we  ascribe  an a c t i o n  t o him.  Once  the event which  was  caused by agency has been severed from the n a t u r e o f i t s cause, and t r e a t e d  extensionally,  t h e r e i s no way t o re-connect such a  39 thing  with  attribute  agency,  and so w i t h  extensional  events  under a t t r i b u t i o n s i n c e could an  figure,  under  intention.  t o agents  To c l a i m  as t h e i r  actions  i t i s not such a t h i n g t h a t  i n intentions.  Davidson's  s p e c i f i c a t i o n o f the i n t e n t i o n  that  i s an  figures, or  extensionality entailed  we  forces  by an  action  attribution.  Just  what  the c r i t e r i o n  f r u s t r a t e d by i t s s e p a r a t i o n separation intension, we  face  i s what  a dilemma:  case  Davidson  either  what  we  and  the  causation;  My have  The  and so  t o the  arguments  to  the  agent  i s both  and  therefore  not  the mere  o f what we  i n which case a c t i o n i s supernumerary t o  himself  IMPLICATIONS  positive  for i s  separation,  the c r i t e r i o n  o r , the c r i t e r i o n i s not p a r t  connections of a c t i o n  FOR  against  discourse.  on the l a t t e r horn, but, as I have  argued, t h e o r e t i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s  SOME  But, w i t h the  causality,  o r most o f t h e c o n c e p t u a l  Davidson would f i n d  C.  to get i n t e n t i o n ,  connect  i s attributed  a t t r i b u t e with action, all  introduced  i t i s part o f what i s a t t r i b u t e d w i t h a c t i o n , i n  intentionality extensional  was  from the e x p r e s s i o n o f agency.  back out o f the p i c t u r e .  a c t i o n so t h a t which  allows  of action  A  favour the former.  SEMANTICS  Davidson's  implications  for a  OF  ACTION  extensionality,  theory  i f sound,  of action.  I  here  s k e t c h t h e a l t e r n a t i v e semantics o f a c t i o n suggested above, and which,  I argue,  meet  the requirements  These b r i e f remarks w i l l  on a t h e o r y  be developed more f u l l y  of  action.  as I develop a  40 theory  of  intending,  intention  and  acting  intentionally in  the  sequel.  Davidson, thing  as the  supposed  i t would seem, has  action.  to  be  An  the  i d e n t i f i e d the  event i s , a c c o r d i n g t o the  sort  of  thing  restrictions:  extensionality  descriptions.  I have argued t h a t  action.  4 2  Unless we  implies  a  action,  i t will  assume t h a t  representational be  devoid  supports  the  over and  We  need,  therefore,  non-equivalence  ineliminable  content  some a d d i t i o n a l  i s evident of  intention  state  of  the  T h e r e f o r e , we  4 2  from the we  who  agent  to  without  ordinary  event  have found t o  of the  semantics o f engage which  in is  a t t r i b u t e an  c a u s a l i t y , he  i t i s mere c a u s a l  i n h i s separation  intention,  With  that  the  be  discourse.  agent e n t a i l s a t t r i b u t i o n o f  argued, t o t h i n k  on  semantic room  events and  While Davidson i s r i g h t i n t h a t an  for  a t t r i b u t i o n are  i n t e n t i o n a l content which we  from a c t i o n  of  intention  restriction  intentional  above a world o f e x t e n s i o n a l  c a u s a l i t y f o r the  descriptive  i n t e n s i o n a l i t y of  intensional  of  no  of  literature,  t h i s semantics won't do  the  or  under  which t h e o r i e s of m o t i v a t i o n , r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and unworkable.  wrong s o r t  action  i s wrong, I have  efficacy.  That he  c r i t e r i o n of action, action,  action both  to  or  of  discourse cognitive  and  what we accept and  does so do. some  causal.  need a n o t i o n o f c o g n i t i v e e f f i c a c y o r e f f i c a c i o u s  Davidson, 105-203.  41 cognitivity. our  ordinary  explanatory explain  I claim,  i s j u s t the r o l e d e s i r e p l a y s  b e l i e f - d e s i r e psychology.  Desires  concept, both c o g n i t i v e and  action.  attribute along  This,  4 3  And  this  with  i t , the  e f f i c a c y to  effect  of  just  c a u s a l , which we  action i s j u s t that  cognitive  are  an  notion  that  that  need to  w i t h which  agent,  and  in  we  therefore,  attribution,  since  a t t r i b u t i o n s of a c t i o n are a t t r i b u t i o n s of agency.  Next, we cognitive will  be  need a n o t i o n which i s the o b j e c t i v e c o r r e l a t e of  e f f i c a c y - that whatever  is  the  d e s c r i p t i o n s which occur and  which p r o v i d e  i s , what such a cause causes.  the  extra-linguistic  i n the  correlate  i n t e n t i o n s which cause  e s s e n t i a l i n t e n t i o n a l content o f  D e s c r i p t i o n s correspond t o p r o p e r t i e s or a t t r i b u t e s . the  concept  we  need  description,  but  intensional  item.  embeds  will  be  an  for  action  is  not  an  Which  just  that  description one  which  the  an  of  the  action, actions.  Therefore,  event  event-under-a-description,  That  under  a  essentially  action essentially  occurs  in  the  causally  successful intention.  Finally, intensional e f f i c a c y or we  the r e l a t i o n which h o l d s between these e s s e n t i a l l y items,  be  i n t e n t i o n a l causation:  efficacious cognitivity  accept when we  4 3  must  T h i s may  cognitive  functioning causally.  accept t h a t reasons are causes o f  be Dretske ' s n o t i o n o f  information.  actions.  This  42 We trying  saw, to f i n d  i n the  exegesis  of  "Agency",  an a n a l y s i s of agency and  an account o f i n t e n t i o n .  But,  that  Davidson  a c t i o n without  was  having  i t seems c l e a r t h a t once we  take  i n t e n t i o n s as the cause of a c t i o n s , then the r e l a t i o n between an agent  and  h i s actions w i l l  intention  and h i s a c t i o n s .  be  the r e l a t i o n between the  The  nature o f the r e l a t i o n w i l l  e x p l i c a t e d by one o f i t s terms - desire. o f an agent by which h i s e p i s t e m i c , s t a t e s produce  behaviour.  intention, intending,  agent's be  Agency i s t h a t f a c u l t y  t e l e o l o g i c a l and i n t e n t i o n a l  I turn therefore  t o the problems of  and a c t i n g i n t e n t i o n a l l y .  CHAPTER I I RATIONAL AGENCY  In t h i s which  will  chapter be  found  coming t o  intend.  both  from  the  with  Anscombe  which  to  an  Taking  middle  forming  o f an  rational  t a k i n g what an  or  of  I  argue  necessary attend  both  requirements  of  i s , their  i f we  both  are  to  notions.  the  and  which basic  begins case  by  Bratman's  intentions". with  and  I diverge  from  future-directed roads,  basic,  action  agent does as 1  intending  agency  2  -  I the  I c l a i m t h a t we action  and  essential maintain I  begin  of  are l e s s s u s c e p t i b l e  intention  i f we  connections, the with  normal  and  maintain, which  are  i n f e r e n c e s which  the  common  (Oxford:  Basil  ground  for  on a t h e o r y o f i n t e n t i o n .  G.E.M. Anscombe, 1957), esp. 9. 1  of  agency i n  i n t e n t i o n which i s e f f i c a c i o u s of an a c t i o n - as  distortions  what  agency as  r a t h e r both  the c e n t r e o f a t t e n t i o n . to  rational  intention,  intention,  priority road,  of  i n philosophy  understand  a  a t h e o r y of  account  tradition  "methodological take  I present  Intention  M i c h a e l Bratman, "Two Faces Philosophical Review 93 (1984): 379. 2  43  of  Intention,"  Blackwell, The  44  A.  PROPERTIES OF INTENTION There  is  intention Among  and  them  action  actions.  family  which  we  and  addition,  a  of  a  concepts  theory  of  various  there  is  modes  the  is  intention  include motivation,  the  which  connected  must  rationality,  of  practical  relation  which  accommodate. commitment  reasoning.  intentions  thesis  t h a t reasons are causes  3  to In  bear  In t h i s regard, t h e r e i s some common ground.  accept Davidson's  with  to  A l l who  and who  accept  common-sense b e l i e f - d e s i r e p s y c h o l o g i c a l e x p l a n a t i o n accept t h a t desires But  how  and  beliefs  they  figure  figure,  i n the  and  their  intentional  a c t i o n s i s a matter  accept  concept  actions.  the  of  a  What more we  considering  what  w r i t t e n on the s u b j e c t .  1.  Davidson  In  h i s paper  properties  of  relation  of dispute.  state  of  accept and  Donald  causal ancestry of actions.  agency  to  and  and  With i n t e n t i o n , which  need I w i l l  Davidson  intentions  i s causal  d i s c u s s by  Michael  we of  first  Bratman  have  4  on I n t e n t i o n "Intending"  intentions.  Davidson's Among  these  concern is  the  i s with  the  conceptual  c o n n e c t i o n between i n t e n d i n g t o A and being committed t o A - i n g .  D o n a l d D a v i d s o n , " A c t i o n s , Reasons andCauses,"in Essays on Actions and Events (New York, N.Y. : Oxford U n i v e r s i t y 3  1980),  Davidson, " I n t e n d i n g , " Essays on Actions 102; M i c h a e l Bratman, " I n t e n t i o n and Means-end Philosophical Review 90 (1981): 252-265; S e r i o u s l y , " Social Theory and Practice 9 ( 1 9 8 3 ) : Faces o f I n t e n t i o n , " The Phil. Review 93 ( 1 9 8 4 ) : 4  Press,  3-19.  and Events, 83Reasoning," The "Taking Plans 271-287; "Two 375-405.  45  Commitment  i s a necessary  to A  if 0  only  ingredient of i n t e n t i o n s :  i s committed  to A-ing.  It i s this  0 intends aspect,  at  l e a s t , o f i n t e n t i o n s which d i s t i n g u i s h e s them from mere d e s i r e s , which  lack t h i s  property.  Since i n t e n t i o n s  and d e s i r e s do not, Davidson reduced his  to desires.  earlier  Causes", stand  in  beliefs. has  a  an  of  intentional  f o r the  non-reductive  desires,  in  intentions  intention  appropriate  But  6  that  are  concludes t h a t i n t e n t i o n s cannot  T h i s marks a departure  account  where  5  relation  to  of are  in  seen  the  the  Davidson,  we  may  call  c o n c e p t u a l l y from we  i n "Intending",  v a l u e judgments.  purity.  can a b s t r a c t i n t e n t i o n s from Davidson,  any  And,  antecedent  like but  7  Purity may  deals  i s that  separate them  the o t h e r components of agency and o f  can i n t e n d t o A without A - i n g .  and  judgments, whereas  p r o p e r t y o f i n t e n t i o n s by v i r t u e o f which we  5  desires  pro-attitude,  a l l out or unconditional v a l u e  i s what  and  those -which  I n t e n t i o n s are  genus  be  from  Reasons,  o t h e r p r o p e r t y of i n t e n t i o n s w i t h which Davidson  "Intending"  First,  as  agent's  intentions. of  f o r Davidson  "Actions,  a c t i o n s were  above reason,  view both  in  d e s i r e s and wants are o n l y prima facie  The  c o n t a i n commitment  action.  f o r Davidson,  or consequent  we  event  3-19.  O t h e r s who h o l d a r e d u c t i v e view of i n t e n t i o n i n c l u d e Robert Audi, "Intending," Journal of Philosophy 70 ( 1 9 7 3 ) : 387403; Monroe Beardsley, "Intending," i n Values and Morals, ed. A. Goldman and J . Kim, (Dordrecht: R e i d e l , 1978); Paul Churchland, "The L o g i c a l C h a r a c t e r of A c t i o n - E x p l a n a t i o n s , " The Phil. Review 6  79  (1970):  214-236.  See below, p. 69 f . , where I argue t h a t commitment i s not an a l l o r n o t h i n g concept. 7  46 such as  deciding,  d e l i b e r a t i n g , choosing,  coming t o i n t e n d . components are  of  This separation  agency,  together  or  any  other  form  of i n t e n t i o n s from the  with  the  claim  that  i r r e d u c i b l e , i s a view of i n t e n t i o n s which we  of  other  intentions  may  call  the  s u i generis view.  One  way  to  appreciate  the  i r r e d u c i b i l i t y claim i s to appreciate in  the  attempt  causation.  to  According  analyzable  as  are  which  those  desires  explain  and  does not,  to  actions the  force  beliefs.  in  by  some  reductive  The  apparently,  the  view, and  why  we  irregularity  account an  of  mental  intention i s  intentional  appropriate  relation  actions  to  these  d i f f i c u l t y w i t h t h i s view i s t h a t i t  explain  why  i t i s that  agent's d e s i r e s are e f f i c a c i o u s of a c t i o n s . explain  Davidson's  the f o l l o w i n g  a d e s i r e - b e l i e f complex, stand  of  have mental c a u s a t i o n  only  some o f  an  That i s , i t doesn't  when we  do.  Davidson i s  r i g h t t o f i n d t h i s view of i n t e n t i o n incomplete s i n c e i t leaves out  the  notion  intentions.  With  commitment,  explanation  other  such  is  intentions  constitutive can  do  of  mere  c l e a r t h a t w i t h the n o t i o n o f commitment we  have  of we  agency t h a t we have  commitments don't cause that  which  cause a c t i o n s .  I t i s not  particular,  commitment  what  d e s i r e s can't:  an  of  cases  component  may of  be  as  yet  didn't no  actions. explained  agency,  such  have w i t h d e s i r e s .  explanation  of  why  Davidson's response by as  the  intervention  belief.  But  this  In some  could of  be  some  move i s  47 open t o the  reductive  d e s i r e - b e l i e f theory  Davidson's p o i n t does not t e l l  Commitment account  of  and  intending.  insurmountable. Davidson's  purity  accept  respect  the  to  commitment can  wax  wane.  not  they  entailment  between  are.  the  one's  of  they  purity.  and  essential,  noted  thing  of  a  which  theory  of  However,  i . e . , impure  relations  of  the  there  commitment  r e s t r i c t i o n s on  with  work.  above,  and  on  It i s  change  s o r t of  might  consequents  As  not  This i s only  can  strength  this  are  t h a t one's degree of  i s the a  how  mind be  reductive  f o r disagreement  property  be  intentions  one  should  will,  intentions  r e s t of  rationality.  the  is to  system a  whose  conceptual  action.  e f f i c a c y of  be  any,  paribus,  are  A.  held  That  competing  i n check,  Therefore,  i n t e n t i o n s a r a t i o n a l system can  are  agency. What  there  ceteris  r e s t r i c t which other such,  a  To i n t e n d t o A i s t o be i n a s t a t e o f agency such t h a t  competing d e s i r e s , that  would  without  intentions entail  such  that  explicit  antecedents  intentions  desires.  the  commitment  It  made  are  for  can i n t e n d t o A without A - i n g .  change:  that  intentions  is,  i s room  some a c t i o n , where t h i s may  and  to  problems  show however t h a t  there  commonplace  can  intending  both  pose  c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of  undeniable t h a t one to  do  first,  so  a g a i n s t such a view.  I will  But  of i n t e n t i o n , and  intimately, One  I  of  suggest  the  and  i s that  intentions have.  i n e x t r i c a b l y connected  strongest  As to  c o n n e c t i o n s i s with  when we  pick  up  a l l the  r e l a t i o n s between a l l the other concepts e s s e n t i a l t o agency, w i l l have i n t e n t i o n .  and  we  48 If  purity,  essentially  f o r Davidson,  related  means  t o the other  that  intentions  components  o f agency,  presumably, one c o u l d i n t e n d t o A without having via  some  rational  process  between  b e l i e f s and o t h e r i n t e n t i o n s a state of intending  from  the r e s t  essential  o f agency  ingredient  and among  i s , just  find  be compatible  i s incompatible  of intending.  intentions.  with  the agent's  Therefore,  what  with  Therefore, this  connections  desires,  intending  an  important  I t must be rational  desires,  desires,  to the other  f o r an  i s f o r the i n t e n t i o n beliefs  beliefs  I f so, i n t e n t i o n s a r e , a t the v e r y  inextricable  one's  oneself  i n t e n t i o n s an agent has r e s t r i c t which further form.  come t o i n t e n d  But such a s e p a r a t i o n o f i n t e n t i o n  agent t o i n t e n d t o A, where t o be r a t i o n a l to  then,  I f so, one c o u l d "parachute i n t o "  t o A; t h a t  t o A, w i t h a l l t h a t e n t a i l s .  a r e not  and and  other other  i n t e n t i o n s he can least,  components  n o t without o f agency.  one c o u l d not j u s t f i n d o n e s e l f i n t e n d i n g t o A, where  means t h a t  agency has been circumvented.  I n t e n t i o n s are  not pure i n t h i s sense.  So f a r , then, we have found t h a t a theory o f i n t e n t i o n must accommodate unconditional  the following  properties  value-judgement,  of  rationality,  s e p a r a t i o n o f the i n t e n t i o n t o A, from  A-ing.  intention:  the  and the p o s s i b l e  49 2.  Bratman on I n t e n t i o n  Michael with  Bratman  s e v e r a l of  rationality w i t h one This  by  virtue  on  o r d i n a t i o n of  of  project. to  them  what  full  sketch  certain  and  chapter,  when we  of  to desires.  called  the  co-  Bratman a l s o d e a l s  with  does i n t e n t i o n a l l y .  raise  h i s views which  In the next  has  8  consistent  j u s t i c e t o Bratman's work on  his position  of  he  property  be  extend  i n t e n d s t o what one  do  intention,  i s the  i n t e n t i o n s must  i n t e n t i o n s i n planning.  I will  about  which  i n t e n t i o n s allows  Though I cannot here  have  Among  work on  a p r o p e r t y which does not  the r e l a t i o n o f what one  issues,  i n h i s recent  i t s aspects.  another,  demand  deals,  have will  these  some concerns  relevance be b e t t e r  to  I  this  equipped  do so, I argue d i r e c t l y a g a i n s t one of h i s main p o i n t s .  One to  o f Bratman's s t r a t e g i e s i s t o take p l a n n i n g as  agency, and  are,  he  says,  so t o the concepts planning  of a c t i o n and  creatures.  The  central  intention.  co-ordinateability  We of  i n t e n t i o n s i n t o p l a n s i s a r e s u l t of the r a t i o n a l i t y c o n s t r a i n t on i n t e n t i o n s . not,  i n t e n t i o n s are, he  complexes.  Planning  Bratman argues, of  says, is  a  i r r e d u c i b l e t o mere d e s i r e - b e l i e f f u n c t i o n of  i n c o n s o r t w i t h Davidson,  agency be  which  analyzed  cannot, i n terms  b e l i e f s and d e s i r e s .  The content  8  Zi  S i n c e i n t e n t i o n s must be c o n s i s t e n t , and d e s i r e s  other of  main  issue  intentions.  Bratman, op. c i t . .  with  Bratman  which  Bratman  i s concerned  to  deals  is  the  preserve  the  50 conceptual  connections  intentions. implications intentions one  actions,  particular,  of ascriptions  he  responsibility  i s concerned  with  and the  o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the content o f  and the r e l a t i o n  does i n t e n t i o n a l l y .  fit" of  In  between  between what one i n t e n d s  A c c o r d i n g t o what he c a l l s  and what  the " t i g h t  theory, t h e r e i s an i n t i m a t e c o n n e c t i o n between the content  one's i n t e n t i o n  does  intentionally this  and what one does i n t e n t i o n a l l y , only  what  threatens  one  intends  t o do.  the c o n n e c t i o n s  one  But Bratman  finds  that  action  and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , s i n c e one can be h e l d r e s p o n s i b l e f o r  what one does not do i n t e n t i o n a l l y . examples,  9  employ between  Through a s e r i e s o f counter  the c o n n e c t i o n s between what one i n t e n d s and what one  does i n t e n t i o n a l l y are so weakened t h a t what one does not i n t e n d t o do. responsibility someone  we  so t h a t  are p r e s e r v e d  responsible  nevertheless  between i n t e n t i o n  Thus weakened, a s c r i p t i o n s  f o r cases  f o r what  caused.  To  fill  and i n t e n t i o n a l  n o t i o n o f the motivational  one can do i n t e n t i o n a l l y  they the gap action,  potential  o f an  where  we  d i d not left  want  to hold  intend,  i n the  of  but  relation  Bratman i n t r o d u c e s the intention:  A i s i n the m o t i v a t i o n a l p o t e n t i a l o f my i n t e n t i o n t o B, g i v e n my d e s i r e s and b e l i e f s , j u s t i n case i t i s p o s s i b l e f o r me i n t e n t i o n a l l y t o A i n the course o f e x e c u t i n g my i n t e n t i o n t o B . 10  Motivational potential  i s what connects agents t o t h e i r  9  See below Chapter I I I , s e c . A.  10  Bratman,  "Two Faces", 395.  actions.  We  notice  that  Bratman's  weakening  of the  connection  between what one i n t e n d s and what one does i n t e n t i o n a l l y i s l i k e Davidson's agency.  separation  of intention  s e p a r a t i o n , and w i l l  s e t out t h e t h e o r y o f r a t i o n a l  argue  against  agency.  attributing  i s responsible only  possible theory  t o agents f u l l  to recognize  of intention  I resisted  i t after  I have  F o r now, l e t us n o t i c e  once t h e s e p a r a t i o n i s made, we f i n d  agency  the expression of  I r e s i s t t h i s weakening f o r t h e same reasons  Davidson's  that  from  responsibility  o u r s e l v e s capable o f f o r events  i n a diminished  the diminution,  way.  f o r which And, i t  and important  and a c t i o n t o mark t h a t  for  difference.  i s s u e i s not whether we should c a l l such cases a c t i o n s . it  i s that  subtle  we  find  distinctions  ourselves  equipped  t o make  based on the r e l a t i o n s h i p  is the  The  Rather,  important  and  between the mind  o f t h e agent and those events which he e f f e c t s i n the world, and we  should  do so.  concerned  with  After  a l l , this  as w i e l d e r s  other  strategy.  criticism  Planning  when we can both  find.  be central  and t h e r e f o r e  t o a c t i o n and i n t e n t i o n planning.  i s not t o deny the importance o f the uses o f reason,  outcome.  See  s e c . C.  This  consistency  But, the s t r a t e g y d i s t o r t s the  The view o f i n t e n t i o n s which  below,  must be  i s a c r i t i c i s m of  a c t and i n t e n d t o a c t without  and p l a n n i n g f o r mature agents.  we  1 1  I have o f Bratman,  cannot  what  of action discourse,  j u s t what an a c t i o n theory should  The  i s just  I offer  is  a reductive  52 one,  but  i s nevertheless,  acceptable  B.  requirements on a theory  which s a t i s f i e s  a l l the  of i n t e n t i o n .  A THEORY OF RATIONAL AGENCY I  shall  intend  develop  - to  begin with  have a  acted.  To  an  a  theory  of  what  i n t e n t i o n - and  simple  p r o p e r t i e s , and  of  I argue, one  case of  action,  i t is  agent  to I  to  act  intentionally.  and  ask  what p a r t i c u l a r s ,  t h i s end, and  i t i s h e l p f u l t o c o n s t r u e the constructing  a  system,  t e l e o l o g i c a l , which i s capable o f a c t i o n . an  an  r e l a t i o n s are necessary f o r the agent t o have so  describing  call  for  agent.  In order  to  facilitate  task  both  as  that  rational  and  Such a system we  may  the  task  I introduce  a c t i o n schema, which w i l l be developed as the d e s c r i p t i o n o f  an the  system develops.  Consider order  to  desires, the  the  0,  who  government.  i s a means t o things,  that  Aristotle's practical  schema we  Fig.  This  the  d  that and  x  end. b  x  secret  I t i s true  x  t o r e l e a s e the s e c r e t papers.  2  releases  d , t o embarrass the government and  among o t h e r  of  man,  embarrass  release  d ,  the  That  papers  of  0,  believes, b he  so  caused,  In  x  he  , that  acted  means,  the  desire,  >,  T h i s i s the c a u s a l  syllogism.  that  in  terms  of  f o r 0.  Add  compliment an  action  have:  1.  d  represents  representation,  x  & b  the by  > d  x  2  mental s i d e of t h i n g s 0,  of  the  world of  events which he  to t h i s  a  effected  53  through  his  embarrassment,  agency:  the  E ,  by  s e c r e t papers, E ,  which was  2  moving.  We  Thus  now  2.  Fig.  we  caused  x  event the  1  x  have,  on  the  O's  representation  of  the  2  ...  left  mentality, world.  have  to  content o f  a  > E  B  side on  of  the  b's  .  x  the  O's  bring  in  s i n c e the  events i n the  of  the  of  schema,  in  the  Fig.  E's,  causal  action,  belief  the  a a  as  they  nexus.  occur Before  r i g h t side  will  essential intentional  of O's  and  schema represent  content,  different  With d e s i r e we  agency which i s c o g n i t i v e  and  mental l i f e  desire. states  such  First,  a  state  i t must  the  the  subscripts  agent  to  the with  represent  have a r i c h n o t i o n of a s t a t e motivational,  must have have  are  Therefore,  of  s u f f i c i e n t t o i n i t i a t e the processes of agency.  does.  > E  2  we  schema of  attitudes  d i f f e r e n t content.  properties  hand  r i g h t hand s i d e ,  ellipsis  have so f a r represented  propositional  of  the  actions.  propositional and  of  I t i s important t o note t h a t as y e t  a r t i c u l a t e d to  What we  d's  release  be  extensional  called  be  the  2 will  a c t i o n represented  here, r e p r e s e n t  and  The  do  have an  E  hand  proceed.  be  government's  the event o f O's  B  f i l l e d i n as we  can  of  caused by E ,  > d  & b  A  of  it  event  the  have:  representation  not  of  causal  i n order power  to to  and We  meant t o  can ask what  function move  be  the  as i t system  54  through  the  p r o c e s s e s of  agency,  and  12  to  e f f e c t basic  movements by which agents a f f e c t the world i n o r d e r states  of  their  affairs  desires.  That  desires  that  the  content  implies  by  cognition  the  described  that  self-extinguishing  in  this  which w i l l  void  i t s causal  satisfaction  o f a d e s i r e by and  a s t a t e of  a  with  property  way.  has  of  of  have the  the  notion  of  a t t r a c t i v e n e s s of,  basis  of  agency  value. which  And the  being the  affairs  the  finally,  agent  may  with report  their  i s voided  of  are  an  item  which i s i t s o b j e c t have both  the  the  to  the  With p r o - a t t i t u d e  we  upon.  of  o c c u r r e n c e of  or  cognizant  desire.  desire,  and  notions  integral  a t t r a c t e d toward, of  to  Desires  notion  pre-satisfaction  object  of  a desire  "pro-ness" o f the p r o - a t t i t u d e of the d e s i r e . we  content  respect  the r e c o g n i t i o n o f the  state  the  occurred.  With  power, we  t o cause  propositional  causal  i t s object  of  object,  the  are  causal  which i s c a u s a l  its  in  bodily  This  have So  we  a  of  is  the  state  of  have,  with  state  with  d e s i r e , these p r o p e r t i e s :  1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.  cognitive efficacy v o i d a b i l i t y of c a u s a l power satisfiability pre-satisfaction "pro-ness", or v a l u e , or a t t r a c t i v e n e s s reportability  With b e l i e f content, to  and  the  e f f e c t other  Beliefs 1 2  can  we  have the  capacity desires  channel  the  to and  concept of  affect desires, states  cognitive  T h i s w i l l be e l a b o r a t e d  a cognitive  of  and  affairs  e f f i c a c y of  upon s h o r t l y .  through in a  the  this, world.  desire  by  55  providing release  the  the  means  to  s e c r e t papers, and  t h a t would cause the the  function  influence  of  of  both  idea  of  beliefs  physical  on  is  points  states  and  of  only  desired  Jbecause he  of  With b e l i e f , then, we  causal,  beyond  the  That i s t o say i s our  agency.  This  so f a r have the  Although  agency,  affairs  that  cognitive idea  the  body  is  desire,  representation  i s our  to  believed  within  i n t e r f a c e between the  at hoth ends of  1. 2.  d i d so,  wide-ranging  through d e s i r e .  cognitive  the  only  0  embarrassment of the government.  beliefs  always t r a n s m i t t e d being  i t s satisfaction.  of  the  and  the  of  agency.  following:  capacity to affect desires capacity, i n conjunction with d e s i r e s , to e f f e c t other d e s i r e s , other s t a t e s of agency, and through them, s t a t e s of a f f a i r s . 1 3  We and  can  now  ask  r e l a t i o n s of  cause h i s a c t i o n . have t o that  be  and  identify  O's  they  are  means-end  a desire  state  have on hand a s e t o f  of  agency  which  For i t to be s u f f i c i e n t ,  sufficient  as y e t  desire  whether we  as  d  motive f o r c e .  means-end b e l i e f action. of a d 1 3  1  But,  b  x  to  constitute motivation.  not.  I t i s widely held  belief  pairs  a s t a t e with c o g n i t i v e  And,  for a rational  i s necessary  to  serve  t  sufficient , and  d  But  that  constitute  committed t o the view t h a t d e s i r e s are the - the  is  properties  would  2  i t seems  desires,  motivation.  efficacy  source o f  i s to  motivation  desire  in  rational x  T h i s l i s t w i l l be added t o s h o r t l y .  be  system w i t h agency, a  the  w i t h a means-end b e l i e f ,  or To  from the occurrence of a prime motivant, a d ,  together  to  a ^,  nothing  or  follows  56 in  the  way  of  desired  state  Without  this  y e t be state only  of  affairs  belief,  of if  cognitive one  i s not  one  or  This  i s not goal,  not i m p o s s i b l e . one  say  that  only  that  not  effect yet  state  be  case.  w i l l be  state  affairs  of  is a  i t i s necessary  the  the  intend  what  to  c o g n i t i o n of the way  in a  possible  know how  to  have the means, i n order  to  believes  to  t h i n g s are and  be i s presupposed by m o t i v a t i o n :  not  affairs  agent b e l i e v e t h a t the  one  the  i.e., rationally,  object of  that  goal  T h i s requirement c o n s t i t u t e s p a r t o f the  cannot  Therefore,  the  an  o r t o b e l i e v e you  motivated, but  may  the  Furthermore, one  toward  that  to  to  would normally,  efficacy  believes  produce the  why  a belief  i n a state of motivation.  one.  be  a c t i o n without  agency, and  is  reason  be  impossible.  of how  they c o u l d  so  purposefulness,  presupposes c o g n i t i o n .  As  an  aside,  characterized because of one,  as  the  i s not  consider  having  l a c k of  yet  state  attitude, wish  or  but a  cease t o be may And,  be a  a  wish  lacking  hope  the  the  belief  could  but  state  properties  that  the  of  goal  efficacy.  or the  would lack a  state  cognitive  become  f a t h e r t o a d e s i r e , but may  causal  hope, a  a  which  is  desire,  but  is a  possible  T h i s would be  degenerate  only  power. of  efficacy  desire,  a mere wish o r hope.  desire  the  a  so have the p r o p e r t i e s o f p r e - s a t i s f a c t i o n and  "pro-ness" o r v a l u e , a  some o f  a state of desirous  p r o - a t t i t u d e , and  such  briefly  To  but  corrupt  the of  in  a so  may  call  genus  pro-  desire. doing  a phrase,  i f efficacy  i n t o a wish o r  We  i s the  hope,  A  would a wish  mother.  indeed  will  57 for  a rational  system, when the system a c q u i r e s  the b e l i e f  that  i t s o b j e c t i s not p o s s i b l e .  T h i s g i v e s us another f u n c t i o n o f b e l i e f . power  t o void  desired  the e f f i c a c y  state  of  of a desire.  affairs  Beliefs  The b e l i e f  i s impossible,  or  have the t h a t the  i s current,  is  s u f f i c i e n t t o cancel the c a u s a l power o f the d e s i r e .  With t h i s see  a n a l y s i s o f the p r i n c i p l e  what more we  need t o add t o the a c t i o n  pre-supposed n o n - a c t u a l i t y  0.  That i s , b e f o r e  question  of  satisfying a  behaviour.  the e f f i c a c y  from This  entails  two ways:  according  also entails  we must add  o r more powerful d e s i r e s o f  o f a d e s i r e may go through, the  f o r the  rationality,  than one d e s i r e )  rankings.  important  consequences  With the  system, the b e l i e f t h a t so a c t i n g  the d e s i r e i n q u e s t i o n  departure  more  more  schema.  we can  In a d d i t i o n , the f a c t t h a t 0 acted  for a rational  would not f r u s t r a t e  state,  and p o s s i b i l i t y b e l i e f s ,  a s e t o f background b e l i e f s . on dLj^ e n t a i l s ,  agency  that  agent's  other  desires  of  must be asked, and i f not, i s and  one  form  the mature agent  of  irrational  (a system  with  has a set o f d e s i r e s which are ranked i n to causal  a set of b e l i e f s  power,  and a t t r a c t i v e n e s s .  about the s e t o f d e s i r e s  It  and the  We can add t o the schema the s e t o f d e s i r e s <d>, and  a s e t o f b e l i e f s which i n c l u d e s the pre-supposed b e l i e f s and the b e l i e f s about d e s i r e s ,  We  <b>.  are now i n a p o s i t i o n t o d e s c r i b e  to intend.  The f i r s t  the p r o c e s s o f coming  step o f the p r o c e s s w i l l be t h a t p o i n t a t  58 d  which with  1  becomes  "active"  set  desires,  the  of  D e s i r e d.,^ w i l l  such  to s a t i s f y  a way  <d>,  agent.  We  the  set  and  begin, of  therefore  beliefs  <b>.  emerge from the s e t of d e s i r e s e i t h e r because of  some c o g n i t i v e cause, arisen  f o r the  such as the b e l i e f t h a t an o p p o r t u n i t y  i t - i . e . , t h a t the world  that s a t i s f a c t i o n  has  "lined  has  up"  in  i s p o s s i b l e - o r because o f d ' s x  c i r c u m s t a n t i a l or r e l a t i v e c a u s a l s t r e n g t h :  F i g . 3.  <d> I  This represents  s t e p 1,  where d±  "drops down" t o engage i n the  subsequent stages of the a c t i o n p r o c e s s . is  for  the  occurrence  system  to  evaluate  acting  so  as  requirement  F i g . 4.  the  of  the  activation  consequences  to s a t i s f y  d  x  .  To  Step 2 o f the of  f o r O's  repeat,  this  d  1  to  process  prompt the  other  d e s i r e s of  is a  rationality  on the system:  <d>  <b>  An answer t o t h i s q u e s t i o n e n t a i l s a c t i n g so as t o s a t i s f y d  ±  a r a n k i n g of O's  desires.  has more v a l u e f o r 0 than  If  satisfying  any o t h e r o f h i s d e s i r e s , or more v a l u e than those d e s i r e s which may  be  f r u s t r a t e d by so a c t i n g , then the answer t o the q u e s t i o n  59 about  compatibility  " + ",  and  d  will,  x  because o f t h i s stage. to  with  the  under the  first  members of  intend  validation,  proceed,  will  cease,  about the  i f rational.  s t e p 3,  This  consequences of ^  be  voided,  beliefs.  but  i f not,  T h i s i s t o say,  The  point w i l l  i t will  I will  prevent  i s to  proceeding  x  this  be  positive,  impetus of i t s c a u s a l e f f i c a c y  c o n s t i t u t e an o n / o f f s w i t c h f o r d .  at  will  t o the  and next  I f the answer were n e g a t i v e , then the p r o c e s s of coming  beliefs  not  <d>  say  that  i n the  process  c a u s a l power of d  be  held  i n check  argue, t h a t a n e g a t i v e  the  system  from  intending  O's  x  may  by  O's  answer  dj .  The  n e g a t i v e answer, i n the form of a b e l i e f i s a gate p r e v e n t i n g  d  x  from e n t e r i n g the f u r t h e r pathways o f the system.  S i n c e an a c t i o n schema i s a l s o a r a t i o n a l i t y d  x  proceeds  d e s p i t e an  called  compulsion.  to  efficacious  be  S i m i l a r l y , we prevent  In these because  we  have a  form of  terms, compulsion i t i s too  strong  irrationality  i s for a desire for  the  system.  c o u l d have a system whose b e l i e f s are too weak t o  desires  immature system constitute  "off",  schema, where  from  may  not  competition  being  efficacious  have s u f f i c i e n t  of  actions.  d e s i r e s and  Or,  an  beliefs  to  f o r some d e s i r e , which t h e r e f o r e  passes  t h i s stage unimpeded.  Returning this f i r s t  to  the  process,  stage i n the v e t t i n g  we  have  process:  dj  which  has  survived  60  The o c c u r r e n c e o f d ' s a r r i v a l here, x  "I-line",  prompts  the r a t i o n a l  implementation o f ^ . available  system  t o ask, s t e p  c a l l the 4, f o r  t o him, <b >, are q u e r i e d :  <b>  among  satisfying d  this x  set, a  set of b e l i e f s  about  t h e means t o  i s i d e n t i f i e d because they are b e l i e v e d by 0 t o be  the  best a v a i l a b l e ,  set  a r e themselves ranked by e f f e c t i v e n e s s .  of  I shall  That i s , O's b e l i e f s c o n c e r n i n g the means  F i g . 6,  From  on what  second-order  because most e f f e c t i v e .  beliefs  f o r 0.  e f f e c t i v e means, 0 s e l e c t s , b , t o be most e f f e c t i v e . x  s t e p 6, d e s i r e s ,  This e n t a i l s  among  a set  the s e t o f most  step 5, the means which he  believes,  Given t h a t he d e s i r e s the end, 0, at  d , the means. 2  From  The members o f t h i s  Next, he r e f e r s  this desire f o r  means t o h i s b e l i e f s about h i s d e s i r e s , s t e p 7, and asks as  i n s t e p 2, how the c o r r e l a t i v e  event  would a f f e c t  again,  h i s other  desires:  This process available,  r e q u i r e s t h a t f o r each member o f the s e t o f means  O's b e l i e f s  about h i s d e s i r e s are q u e r i e d as t o the  a c c e p t a b i l i t y o f the occurrence o f the s t a t e o f a f f a i r s which i t r e p r e s e n t s , t o g e t h e r w i t h the occurrence o f the s t a t e o f a f f a i r s r e p r e s e n t e d i n d^^ . and  compatibility  This w i l l  involve a ranking of e f f e c t i v e n e s s  or a c c e p t a b i l i t y  o f the events  envisaged,  by  summing the v a l u e s which each component has.  If means, desire,  the answer t o the query a t s t e p 7 i s p o s i t i v e then  0,  again  i f rational,  on the whole, t h a t means.  available  to  him  will  step  8, t o  For our agent 0, the means  i s the r e l e a s e  T h e r e f o r e , 0 i s caused  be caused,  f o r some  of  the secret  papers.  t o d e s i r e the r e l e a s e , d , because i t i s 2  the means t o s a t i s f y i n g d : x  I f the answer a t step 7 i s negative, means  available,  acceptable the  or  because  none  t o 0, then the c a u s a l  first  e i t h e r because t h e r e of  are no  those  a v a i l a b l e are  of  i s voided, i n  efficacy  case, o r h e l d i n check, i n the second, by O's v e t t i n g  beliefs.  In coming t o d e s i r e , d , t h e r e l e a s e o f t h e s e c r e t papers, 2  0 need not d e s i r e t h a t event under a l l o f i t s t r u e d e s c r i p t i o n s . What  i s required  o f 0,  i f he i s t o be r a t i o n a l ,  d e s i r e the means t o s a t i s f y i n g d . x  0  under  that  embarrassing release desired  minimal  description  the government,  o f the s e c r e t f o r other  descriptions.  of  Therefore, -  desiring  Of course  i t s properties, desire  t h e means  0 may b e l i e v e  the r e l e a s e  event other  may  h i s family.  of i t s properties.  o f the papers w i l l  But, t h e d e s i r e  government may be so s t r o n g ,  be  of i t s  be the same  as the cause o f the l o s s o f h i s j o b , o r t h a t which  stigmatize  to  the means-ness o f the event  i t would not have other  event  may occur f o r  this  under  while d e s i r i n g that that  2  he  o r d e s i r i n g the means-ness o f the  papers.  But, 0 may  d  i s that  f o r 0, t h a t  will  t o embarrass the  he d e s i r e s  the means  63 despite  these  rational,  undesired  is  description  desire  has  the  i s more  What he must do,  consequences. means  when  that  undesirable  than  the  i f rational,  yielded positive  as  the  system t o ask may  does  this  not  world,  the  there  one  behaviour we,  of  q u e s t i o n of  to  f o r any must  d  on  x  the  I-line  implementation.  that  desirable. process  So d  must  2  prompted  the  yet  the  which  the  question  That p o i n t , f o r our man  "knows",  background  at  the  as  system which i s capable o f a f f e c t i n g point  where  system  is  a  and  i t will  system  come  he  Indeed,  d e s i r e which the  implement,  does not a r i s e .  where  or  is  if  content.  occurrence  how  But  implementation be  goal  under  i s d e s i r e the means.  q u e s t i o n f o r any  know  rational.  event  do,  "How?", so the occurrence of any d e s i r e f o r means  o c c a s i o n the  occasion  cannot  and so long as the v e t t i n g  results,  have at l e a s t t h i s minimal  Just  What he  either  abilities,  by  how,  t o engage the world w i t h h i s body.  learned  0,  of will  patterns  of  f o r c r e a t u r e s such  as  I t i s the p o i n t i n the  p r o c e s s of coming t o a c t where further means do not e n t e r .  0  at  step  9  asks,  of  r e l e a s e the s e c r e t papers, to the  12.  his  beliefs  2  toward  caused t o d e s i r e t h a t , d , 3  means,  how  and r e p e a t s s t e p s 5 t o 7 at steps  I t t u r n s out t h a t he can, b ,  s e c r e t papers,  about  the  13:  10  move h i s hand, which holds  newspaper  at s t e p  to  reporter,  and  so  is  64 <d>  F i g . 9.  In  order  <b>  to satisfy  sufficient ford  3  <b >  d , 0 3  need  <b>  n o t ask f o r means.  t o be e f f i c a c i o u s o f some b o d i l y event t h a t i t  be v e t t e d as above i n the process o f agency. a l l o w s us t o c a l l  It i s  d  a basic desire,  3  That t h i s  or d .  i s so,  B a s i c d e s i r e s are  B  those which e f f e c t the world d i r e c t l y through our b o d i e s v i a the background o f a b i l i t i e s be  we have t o move our b o d i e s .  t r u e f o r some d e s i r e s  there  are p r i m i t i v e  other,  there  o r agency c o u l d not emerge.  a c t i o n s antecedent  are mental  o t h e r s b e f o r e we a c t .  T h i s must  events  after  J u s t as  t o which we perform which  occur  no  no r e l e v a n t  T h i s i s r e p r e s e n t e d i n the schema as:  F i g . 10.  where E  B  i s the b a s i c event i n the world o f , i n our example, O's  hand moving.  Where an agent desires, process,  screened will  was s u c c e s s f u l through and c h a n n e l l e d  have caused  those  by b e l i e f s  events,  with  their  the r e l e v a n t  i n the v e t t i n g  states of a f f a i r s  which s a t i s f y the e f f i c a c i o u s d e s i r e s . mental  action,  i n the world  That i s , the e f f i c a c i o u s  representations of possible  events,  65 will  have  world.  caused  a corresponding  set of actual  events  i n the  Taking t h e bottom I - l i n e o f t h e l e f t s i d e o f t h e schema,  we may r e p r e s e n t t h i s as:  F i g . 11.  d  . . .  x  d  . . .  2  where,  i n our example,  secret  papers,  and E  E  2  d  >  B  E  i s the event  i s the event  1  >  B  E  >  2  E  1  of the release  o f the  o f t h e government  being  embarrassed.  We do not, as y e t ( f i g . ' s 9-11), have r e p r e s e n t e d an schema.  What we have y e t t o add i s the n o t i o n  Satisfaction, matter. but  I have  argued,  What s a t i s f i e s  some  state  represented  of  is a  a desire  affairs  or  i n the c o g n i t i v e  cognitive  of s a t i s f a c t i o n . and  intensional  i s not some e x t e n s i o n a l set of properties  content  action  o f the d e s i r e .  event  which i s I t i s an  e v e n t - u n d e r - a - d e s c r i p t i o n , an e s s e n t i a l l y i n t e n s i o n a l item which satisfies matching  a desire. of  Therefore,  the causally  corresponding objects our  schema  Furthermore, schema w i l l  as  the  what  we  efficacious  can r e p r e s e n t the  desires  with  their  i n the world, we must c o n s t r u e t h e E ' s o f intensional  "satisfies"  items  described  the i n s t r u m e n t a l  be t h e r e l a t i o n which holds,  between these E ' s . '<—S—'.  before  above.  beliefs  i n successful  o f the actions,  We r e p r e s e n t the s a t i s f a c t i o n r e l a t i o n with  A standard a c t i o n w i l l have t h e f o l l o w i n g  form:  66 F i g . 12.  A MODEL OF RATIONAL AGENCY: RAAG The Mental  jThe World o f External Events  <b >  <b>  m  -*2  <d>:  the d: the <b>: the I: the <b >: the m the the the the the the the the <-S—: the x  m  1 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9 10: 11 12: 13: 14:  U  s e t o f RAAG's d e s i r e s and i n t e n t i o n s d e s i r e which becomes c a u s a l l y a c t i v e s e t o f RAAG's b e l i e f s about <d> l i n e of intending s e t o f RAAG's b e l i e f s about means b e l i e f t h a t (such and so) i s the means t o d d e s i r e f o r the means t o d b e l i e f t h a t (such and so) i s the means t o d basic desire b a s i c event under the d e s c r i p t i o n i n d event under the d e s c r i p t i o n i n d event under the d e s c r i p t i o n i n d r e l a t i o n of intentional causation r e l a t i o n of s a t i s f a c t i o n  x  x  2  B  2  x  d becomes c a u s a l l y a c t i v e d i s v e t t e d by RAAG's b e l i e f s about h i s o t h e r d e s i r e s d becomes an i n t e n t i o n RAAG's b e l i e f s are searched f o r means t o s a t i s f y dj a b e l i e f , b , about means emerges RAAG i s caused t o d e s i r e the means the means i s e v a l u a t e d by RAAG's b e l i e f s about h i s d e s i r e s d becomes an i n t e n t i o n RAAG's b e l i e f s a r e searched f o r means t o s a t i s f y d a b e l i e f , b , about means emerges RAAG i s caused t o d e s i r e the means the means i s e v a l u a t e d by RAAG's b e l i e f s about h i s d e s i r e s d becomes an i n t e n t i o n RAAG's i n t e n t i o n i s e f f i c a c i o u s x x x  x  2  2  2  B  67 Thus we of  the  have a model o f r a t i o n a l agency.  schema  Rationality  we  can  i s what  schema.  The  see  comes  or  rationality,  plus  description  to  after  rationality  satisfaction  how  of  E .  It  B  according  to  agency  the  first  x  efficacy process  with,  these  concepts.  which  in  serves  Agency i s d , of  an  event  the the  plus  x  described  and  w i t h the a i d  appearance  i s that  desires.  is  Autonomy i s n o n - i n t e r f e r e n c e  separate  d 's  i t s motivating  And  under  above.  non-aberration  a And  of,  the  p r o c e s s and i t s c o n s t i t u e n t s .  Of course It  can be  the form of RAAG i n 12 i s not meant t o be  as simple  as an occurrence  of a d  rigid.  c a u s i n g an E ,  B  B  c o m p l i c a t e d by i t e r a t i o n s of the module t h a t i s s t e p s 4 - 8 , "means-module".  This  would  be  the  case  f o r complex  or the  rational  agency.  In  the  f u l l - b l o w n schema 12,  d , d ,  d ,  i s the l i n e which r e p r e s e n t s t h a t the c a u s a l power,  x  2  B  the  bottom  line  of desires,  as w e l l as the o t h e r r e l e v a n t p r o p e r t i e s of d e s i r e , are by  virtue  desires. has had at  of  the  vetting  process  agent's  beliefs  its first  v e t t i n g at s t e p 2.  whole  That  reaches the I - l i n e . x  desirable.  i s , i n t e n d i n g begins  T h i s marks the f a c t f o r  i s , according to h i s b e l i e f s ,  Before  the  process  of  rationality  begins, the agent merely d e s i r e s but does not i n t e n d . is  the  desires.  and 1  s t e p 3, where ^  the  the  T h e r e f o r e , i n t e n d i n g begins o n l y a f t e r the d e s i r e , d ,  the agent t h a t s a t i s f a c t i o n of d on  of  intact,  result  of  this  first  stage  in  the  Intending  rationalization  The t e s t f o r whether a s t a t e of agency i s an  of  intention  68 is  whether the  claim  that  at  agent step  at those p o i n t s  can  be  i n that  3 above, he  at which d  cannot.  and  2  state  d  and  The  intend.  agent a l s o  reach the  B  not  I-line  intends  - that i s ,  wherever the v e t t i n g process y i e l d s a p o s i t i v e r e s u l t . may  say  desire  that  intending  functioning process.  To  on  that  one' s  only  positive  process,  the  desire  of  having  causally  the v e t t i n g  report  -  fact  to  A  vetting  course,  and  an  one  i s i n the  a  events under c o n s i d e r a t i o n may  intends  is  the  to A  far.  as  to  we  having  a  beliefs  report had  in  the  a c c e p t a b i l i t y of  the  any  y i e l d a negative  and  in  has  At  the  Thus  i s to  v e t t i n g process  so  query  -  p o s i t i v e l y via  that  results  intention  I  point  answer, i n which  case the c a u s a l e f f i c a c y of the d e s i r e , and  so of the i n t e n t i o n ,  is  a  either  voided  Therefore,  one  or  may  It  further  i n t e n t i o n s and on  plain  how  sets  of  intending elucidates  the  intentions,  intentions,  check,  t o A may the  the the  rationality  plans  and  planning  intentions  may  opportunity satisfaction.  a  rational  for  may  future  be  "stacked" other  be  must  in  aspects  <d> of  for  requirements of  I t a l s o makes  since  will they  consistent.  pending  A-  between  since plans  and,  be  schema  constitutive  intentions.  actions  The  relations  is  function,  system.  sufficient  consistency  which  of  r a t i o n a l system,  and  not  intimate  commitment  and  of  in  r e s t o f agency, the  intentions  intentions  in  indeed i n t e n d t o A without A - i n g .  thus e l u c i d a t e s how ing.  held  beliefs  planning  for  be are  Future about their  69 The  I-line  o f schema  12 r e p r e s e n t s  which, i n our example, 0 acted. the  government,  committed merely, the  and so, by  t o so a c t i n g .  to release  secret  content  0  2  papers,  And so we  represents see t h a t  t o embarrass  so s a t i s f y  his  hand.  it.  was  not simply, or  but intended  to release  t h e government.  t h e content the content  The  o f t h e agent's  o f O's i n t e n t i o n  a c c r e t e s as he l e a r n s how t o s a t i s f y h i s d e s i r e and then to  with  of intentions,  intended,  so as to embarrass  o f the I - l i n e  intention.  0 intended  the nature  At d ,  the s e c r e t  papers  A t ^,  the i n t e n t i o n  intends  A t d , O's i n t e n t i o n i s n o t merely t o move B  I t i s t o move h i s hand  i n just  the way which he  b e l i e v e s w i l l be t o r e l e a s e the s e c r e t papers so as t o embarrass the government.  Committment the  content  right  along  accordingly.  This i s the i n t e n t i o n w i t h which 0 a c t s .  i s a concept which admits o f degree.  o f O's i n t e n t i o n a c c r e t e s the I - l i n e ,  so  may  fewer u n d e s i r a b l e  committment decrease effects just  evolve  may  increase.  o f t h e envisaged  a function  that  properties,  p r o p e r t i e s than he may have suspected, h i s Conversely,  as he d i s c o v e r s  undesirable action.  of desire.  vetting of a desire.  the  t h e fewer  h i s commitment  consequences  However,  I t i s rather  processional process,  l e f t to  I f , as 0 comes t o i n t e n d t o a c t , he d i s c o v e r s  the event he w i l l cause w i l l have f u r t h e r d e s i r e a b l e or  J u s t as  as we move from  h i s committment  1 4  impediments  stand  and s i d e -  commitment a function  The f u r t h e r along  may  is  not  o f the  one i s , in  i n t h e way  of the  T h i s a c c r e t i o n o f d e s c r i p t i o n s i s the mental s i d e o f the accordion e f f e c t . 1 4  70 vetted  desire,  vetting  and e f f i c a c y  beliefs.  Therefore,  though d e s i r e d e c r e a s e s .  With  which  form,  will  Deliberating  is  occur  at  2,  7,  schema,  we  have  even  represented,  the various  nodes  of  in  reasoning,  the  schema.  a d e s i r e i s the  D e l i b e r a t i n g about whether o r not t o  amounts t o an e v a l u a t i o n o f competing etc. .  o f the  can i n c r e a s e ,  about how t o a c t so as t o s a t i s f y  where t h i s  step  commitment  a l l the v a r i o u s modes o f p r a c t i c a l  means-module, s t e p s 4 - 8 . act,  "on" i n l i g h t  15  the f u l l - b l o w n  schematic  is still  Choosing  t o a c t may  be where no  r a n k i n g o f d e s i r e s emerges, and some p r i o r motivant, d e s i r e t o a c t i n some way, o r t h i s ,  desires, clear  such as the  together with a b e l i e f that  o p p o r t u n i t y w i l l be l o s t i f one does not a c t soon, causes a d t o "drop down" t o engage i n the p r o c e s s . that  no  already  clear  i n the process  equally  acceptable  interesting of d e s i r e s . the  claim  motivants through  case.  emerges, cause  means  a means suggests  and, as above,  the system  available.  I identify will  the  motivants  t o d e s i r e one o f the Willing  t o a c t i s an  power w i t h t h e c a u s a l power  T h e r e f o r e , one always a c t s out o f w i l l power. that  one a c t e d  f o r the action  the system,  coming t o a c t .  5  ranking  Choosing  out of will itself  power  were  and some antecedent  Doing  Yet  suggests  t h a t the  insufficient  t o move  d e s i r e was i n v o l v e d i n  one's duty may be such a case, where the  See p. 44 f . above, f o r Davidson's  account o f commitment.  71 d e s i r e t o do one's duty i s the motivant, and the a c t i o n  itself.  This, process  then,  of  i s the  vetting  sketched  of  the  theory a  i s intending  of  desire  intends  above,  t h e i r r e l a t i o n s , has agent  the d e s i r e f o r  1 6  a s s e r t t r u l y t h a t one process  not  r a t i o n a l agency,  with  cognitive  which  involves  i s true  v e t t i n g p r o c e s s f o r the  efficacy.  To  t o A i s t o a s s e r t t h a t the mental desires,  taken, or i s t a k i n g p l a c e . t o A"  a rational  i f and  only  d e s i r e t o A has  beliefs  and  phrase  "the  The  i f the  r e s u l t of  been "go",  and  not  "stop" .  C.  INTENTIONAL ACTIONS We  can  i n t e n d are  see  that  the  concepts  of  intending  concepts which q u a l i f y mental events.  and  coming  to  I t u r n now  to  an a n a l y s i s o f i n t e n t i o n a l a c t i o n s - where i n t e n t i o n i s used to q u a l i f y a c t i o n s - and and  the r e l a t i o n which h o l d s between  intending  intentional action.  First, standard  there  i s the  actions.  standardly  caused  and  between standard  I c l a i m t h a t a standard by  agent's i n t e n t i o n was above,  distinction  an  agent,  where  a c t i o n i s one  this  That  i s , where  such  and  so  be  the  case,  and  where t h i s  such  and  so  i s the  case,  then the  an  agent  acted  the  described  intends  i n t e n t i o n causes  agent has  non-  that i s  e n t a i l s that  c a u s a l l y e f f i c a c i o u s , i n the way  successful.  and  that that  standardly.  1 b e l i e v e we have the means here t o s o r t out the problems o f weakness of w i l l . I leave t h a t task t o a f u t u r e paper. 1 6  72 Standard a c t i o n s by  an  agent's  actions, causal  and  are  a c t i o n s which are  intention.  caused, in the right  Intentional  actions  are  way,  standard  a c t i n g i n t e n t i o n a l l y i s f o r one's i n t e n t i o n t o  and  successful.  difference  between  This  acting,  is  to  acting  say  that  there  is  i n t e n t i o n a l l y and  be no  acting  standardly.  We  may  put  this  i n terms o f  the  a c t i o n schema.  For  some  event t o be an a c t i o n of an agent i s f o r t h a t event t o be  caused  by  place:  an  the  agent's  content  i n t e n t i o n where of  the  that is  the  an  by  the  causal  instrumental  beliefs  beliefs  -  efficacious we  that the  which  cognition  a t t r i b u t e to  the  f o r the agent.  We  - and agent  find  by  the  beliefs  are  This  Therefore,  entails  an  action way  T h i s i s the a n a l y s i s of  his  action attribution  efficacious desires  represented  which the  in  the  agent caused.  mental  causation  which e n t a i l s t h a t  the  of  and  agent's Secondly,  the  schema i s i n  eventorder  A l l non-standard a c t i o n s w i l l be those f o r which  p r o c e s s I have schematized has will  matched  these.  agent i n an  item  the  in  which i s caused i n the right  satisfies  intensional  under-a-description,  the  were true.  t o an  are  instrumental  true b e l i e f s .  What i s a s c r i b e d  first,  the  r e l a t i o n s between  by an agent's d e s i r e s and  is,  and  event-under-a-description  action.  matchings are  efficacious desires  events-under-a-description, matched  a l l the  that  we  have,  or  failed  could  i n i d e n t i f i a b l e ways.  have,  type o f a b e r r a t i o n o f the p r o c e s s of a c t i o n .  concepts  for  every  73 In order  to give  an account o f i n t e n t i o n a l a c t i o n , we  found i t n e c e s s a r y t o appeal, agent.  This  concept:  is,  action  I  is a  at every p o i n t , t o the mens of  claim,  because  concept  which  agent - namely, h i s mental  have  action  is  entails a  a  the  diagnostic  diagnosis  of  an  causation.  I have argued t h a t a c t i o n s are i n e l u c t a b l y i n t e n t i o n a l , and therefore  intensional.  reference  to  an  This  action  is  that  to  say  is  not  that a  there  can  reference  be to  no the  i n e l i m i n a b l e i n t e n s i o n a l i t y o f the content of the agent's mental causation.  Therefore,  a t t r i b u t i o n s of  intensional,  contra Davidson.  Since  i n t e n t i o n a l i t y are  action i s tied essentially  t o the d e s c r i p t i o n ( s ) under which i t was t o the a c t i o n i s a r e f e r e n c e desired.  Thus  intensional. are to  Describe  describing bring  what  essentially  and the  of  the  agent  action,  way  and  any  reference  you  action like,  then i t i s what the  believed...,  intensional,  descriptions  intention  a c t i o n any  i s the action,  about,  therefore,  the  intended,  t o those p r o p e r t i e s which the  a t t r i b u t i o n s of  etc.  intended.  Action  action  of  agent  are  i f what  agent  not you  desired  essentially i s ,  Because  substitution in  not  actions  are  non-equivalent  a t t r i b u t i o n s , is  truth-  preserving.  T h i s may the  wrong sort  e x p l a i n how of  thing  discourse  reveals  Davidson's  conclusion  i t was as  that is  an  t h a t Davidson came t o action.  there that  is  actions  An  analysis  identify of  extensionality are  extensional.  action there. His  74 s t r a t e g y i s the same i n "Causal R e l a t i o n s " , 3  of  e x t e n s i o n a l i t y i n causal  claim  that  causation  extensional and  events.  causal discourse  discourse  i s an  7  i s enough t o j u s t i f y the  extensional  But, t h a t there  where the presence  relation  between  i s extensionality i n action  does not s e t t l e the matter as t o the nature  o f the items i n v o l v e d .  I  return  action.  at last  0  0 and the i d e n t i t y o f h i s  As I argued above, the i n t e n t i o n w i t h which 0 acted was  the c o n j u n c t i o n is,  t o our agent  intended  o f the content o f O's e f f i c a c i o u s d e s i r e s . t o embarrass  the government  That  by r e l e a s i n g the  s e c r e t papers by moving h i s hand i n j u s t the way needed i n h i s circumstances.  Or, 0 intended  t o move h i s hand i n j u s t the way  needed so as t o r e l e a s e the s e c r e t papers so as t o embarrass the government. bodily  Now we can ask, w i t h Davidson,  event  was  the a c t i o n .  "moving the hand" i t i s not. simpliciter, intends he  Well,  treated  the d e s c r i p t i o n  0 does not i n t e n d t o move h i s hand  i . e . , not under t h a t l i m i t e d d e s c r i p t i o n .  the release  o f the s e c r e t  extensionally.  He intends  misleading actions.  Davidson's  claim  i s that  C l e a r l y , f o r creatures  world o n l y w i t h our bodies, b o d i l y event.  What he Nor does  where  this i s so as t o  T h i s b r i n g s out j u s t how there  are only  primitive  such as we, who can engage the  actions w i l l ,  But t h i s  Davidson, 149-162.  papers,  t o move h i s hand  r e l e a s e the s e c r e t papers so as t o . . . .  1 7  under  i s a b o d i l y event w i t h the r i g h t consequences.  intend  a basic  whether the b a s i c  of necessity,  i s not the a c t i o n .  require  Where the  75 agent  merely  i n t e n d s t o move h i s body, the a c t i o n w i l l  be the  b o d i l y movement under the d e s c r i p t i o n i n h i s i n t e n t i o n .  For 0,  Jbecause  the event  o f the  paper's  release  embarrassment, government. occurred that  o f h i s hand which  we We  moving  caused  caused  t h e event  o f t h e government's  can d e s c r i b e h i s a c t i o n can do t h i s  i n the right  because  the event  as embarrassing the  the c o r r e s p o n d i n g  way, which i s t o say, among o t h e r  the embarrassing  was  i n the content  o f O's  event things,  successful  intention.  Now  suppose  embarrassment policy. to  that  caused  the  t h e event  What makes i t false  0 as h i s a c t i o n a  event  does  desire  attribute  t o O's agency  nowhere  occur  the  far  into  concept  that  i n h i s intention,  f o r that 1  event.  our agency  We  cannot  While  policy  intentions  the world o f events, j u s t takes  us, j u s t  how  how  f a r the  o f a c t i o n goes down the c a u s a l c h a i n , i s determined by  the c o n t e n t o f our s u c c e s s f u l  intentions.  the c a u s a l c h a i n o f events j u s t course,  l e t us  the change i n the government's  a "way i n t o "  world  changing  the change i n p o l i c y  although we can a t t r i b u t e i t t o him c a u s a l l y . g i v e us, as agents,  government's  o f t h e government's  to attribute  i s that  suppose,  of  responsibility,  as f a r as i n t e n t i o n  does.  down Of  sometimes b e i n g a matter o f n e g l i g e n c e ,  may t r a v e l  further,  but t h i s  Therefore,  c o n t r a Davidson,  not p r e s e n t us w i t h a d e e d .  See above, p. 18.  Agency t r a v e l s  does not e n t a i l each  18  that  agency  consequence o f an a c t i o n  does. does  76  With action  we  this are  account  of  rational  equipped  to  deal  problems of a c t i o n t h e o r y .  and  to a challenge  i  with  and  some of  the  therefore  the  active-passive  t o t h i s account from the  of  traditional  I t u r n , then, t o a p p l i c a t i o n s of  t h e o r y t o non-standard a c t i o n s , trying,  agency  the  distinction, literature.  CHAPTER I I I APPLICATIONS  A.  AGAINST THE SIMPLE VIEW As  was  noted  above,  Bratman  has a view  of  intentional  a c t i o n which s e p a r a t e s the content o f the i n t e n t i o n w i t h which an a c t i o n  i s done  from what  i s done  intentionally  so t h a t one  can A i n t e n t i o n a l l y without having intended t o A so long as one intended  t o B f o r some a p p r o p r i a t e B.  the c o n n e c t i o n between runs c o n t r a r y intentional  t o RAAG.  action  intention  This  i s a weakening of  and i n t e n t i o n a l  Bratman defends t h i s  by an argument  against  action  separatist what  he  and so view o f  c a l l s the  "Simple-View", which s t a t e s t h a t :  f o r me i n t e n t i o n a l l y t o A I must i n t e n d t o A; my mental s t a t e s a t the time o f a c t i o n must be such t h a t A i s among those t h i n g s I i n t e n d . 1  I  have  been  intentional I will  arguing action  against  this  o f i n t e n t i o n and  and so have been defending the Simple View.  g i v e Bratman's argument a g a i n s t the Simple View and show  why I f i n d i t u n c o n v i n c i n g .  1  separation  Bratman,  "Two-Faces," 377. 77  78 The is  argument c o n s i s t s o f t h r e e examples t h e t h i r d o f which  meant t o do t h e t r i c k .  someone, l e t ' s c a l l requires f i r i n g  In case  him M, p l a y i n g a d i f f i c u l t  a "missile"  at a target.  it  but n e v e r t h e l e s s i s doubtful  As  i t happens, he "succeeds",  was  t o imagine  v i d e o game which  M i s quite s k i l l e d at  of success.  He aims and f i r e s .  says Bratman, i n j u s t  t h e way he  t r y i n g , which means: 1. 2.  h i t t i n g t h e t a r g e t was what he wanted t o do t h e h i t t i n g depended on h i s s k i l l s and so was not a matter o f l u c k h i s p e r c e p t i o n o f the h i t t i n g t e r m i n a t e d h i s attempt (and so i t was not i n a d v e r t e n c e )  3. It  1 we are asked  i s clear  success,  t o Bratman  that  even  and i s t r y i n g ,  that  i f he  intentionally. intended  I f so, then  t o h i t the target  though  i s doubtful of  "succeeds",  on t h e Simple which,  M  View  he does so he must  f o r the Simple  View,  have is a  thoroughly acceptable r e s u l t .  Now suppose t h a t , i n case 2, a second game o f t h i s type i s added, and our ambidextrous because either  M p l a y s them s i m u l t a n e o u s l y .  they are e q u a l l y d i f f i c u l t , game, and e q u a l l y  w i t h e i t h e r hand. hitting  doubtful since  symmetrical  h i t T2  successful. target.  he i s e q u a l l y  t a r g e t T I , where c o n d i t i o n s 1 - 3 TI i n t e n t i o n a l l y .  must have i n t e n d e d t o h i t T I .  to  he i s d o u b t f u l o f success at  as  skilled  Suppose he misses t a r g e t T2 but "succeeds" i n  says Bratman, he h i t s  entirely  Again  above o b t a i n .  I f so,  On t h e Simple View, M  I f so, then because  t h e case i s  w i t h r e s p e c t t o T2, he must have intended  well,  even  though  So, on the Simple  that  View,  intention  M intended  was n o t  t o h i t each  79  Finally, games  have  targets; and  i n case 3, we are asked t o imagine t h a t these two  been  that  looses,  i s a reward  difficult  to  target.  i t i s impossible  and a l l o f t h i s  for hitting  h i t either,  simultaneously: machines  so t h a t  M  target  decides  to  the r i s k  i s outweighed by the i n c r e a s e d  Still,  and s i n c e play  both  of shutting chance  i t  is  games  down the  of h i t t i n g  a  So he t r i e s t o h i t t a r g e t 1, and t r i e s t o h i t t a r g e t 2. that  apply.  Therefore,  M  "hits"  target  1, where  have intended  to h i t target  M must  1.  have a l s o intended  both t a r g e t s , i f he intended to  irrational, rationality  t h e Simple  since  1 - 3  above  he h i t s the  On the Simple View, he must  But g i v e n  the symmetry  to h i t target  the problem f o r the Simple View.  according  conditions  j u s t as i n the f i r s t two cases,  t a r g e t i n t e n t i o n a l l y , says Bratman.  hit  i s known t o M.  either  he reasons t h a t  Suppose  case,  t o h i t both  i f both a r e about t o be h i t , the game shuts down  the p l a y e r  there  linked  2.  o f the  And here i s  Since M knew t h a t he c o u l d not t o h i t both, which he must have  View,  he  his intentions  would  c o n s t r a i n t s on i n t e n t i o n s .  r a t i o n a l i t y t h a t i n t e n t i o n s be strongly  would  be fail  criticizably one  of the  I t i s a requirement o f consistent:  My i n t e n t i o n s a r e strongly consistent relative to my beliefs i f a l l my i n t e n t i o n s c o u l d be put t o g e t h e r i n t o an o v e r a l l p l a n t h a t i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h those beliefs. 2  Since M f a i l s t h i s strong consistency  requirement, i f the Simple  View i s r i g h t , he i s g u i l t y o f i r r a t i o n a l i t y . 2  I b i d . , 380.  But Bratman sees  80 no  reason  t o so charge  maximized h i s chances either target.  the p l a y e r .  The s t r a t e g y  he employed  o f winning given the d i f f i c u l t y o f h i t t i n g  Therefore,  the Simple View i s f a l s e :  M d i d not  have both the i n t e n t i o n t o h i t TI and the i n t e n t i o n t o h i t T2. But  i f so, then  since  the case  i s symmetrical  with respect to  both t a r g e t s , M had neither i n t e n t i o n , and so the Simple View i s false:  The Simple View imposes t o o s t r o n g a l i n k between i n t e n t i o n and i n t e n t i o n a l a c t i o n , a l i n k t h a t i s i n s e n s i t i v e t o d i f f e r e n c e s i n the demands o f p r a c t i c a l reason. 3  I his  think  that  conclusions  are f a l s e .  accept t h e s t r o n g rational  some o f Bratman's premises  items,  are t r u e  In a r g u i n g a g a i n s t  consistency  and I w i l l  requirement,  agree  that  Bratman  I will  s i n c e i n t e n t i o n s are  the game p l a y e r  third  case was not g u i l t y o f a form o f i r r a t i o n a l i t y .  same,  I defend  t h e Simple  but t h a t  View, which i n consequence  i n this A l l the I rename  the Unified View.  The  force  o f Bratman's  argument  against  the U n i f i e d View  t u r n s on h i s c l a i m t h a t M h i t s TI i n t e n t i o n a l l y i n case 3. doesn't challenge  do  i t i n t e n t i o n a l l y , then  t o the U n i f i e d View.  of  course  there  If M i s no  I s h a l l argue t h a t we have some  good reason t o deny i n t e n t i o n a l i t y t o the h i t t i n g o f TI i n case 3, and t h a t the consequences  o f such a d e n i a l are not as s e r i o u s  (or as c o u n t e r i n t u i t i v e ) as a t f i r s t 3  I b i d . , 383.  they may seem.  According  81 to  RAAG,  M  did  not  no  be  h e l p f u l , and  longer  one  cast  playing  game, the  case 3 i n terms o f I think  two  He  not both, and  prompts M t o  search  such  a h i t , step  must  hit  either  the  either  arrival  4. Tl  Now, or  M  T2  believes not  he  3  that  both.  assume  i s to h i t T l not  Since M i s a  - the  intentionto  i n order But, of  win  achieve  t o win  he  since  hitting  hitting  either.  t o b e l i e v e t h a t the b e s t means  i s t o try t o h i t both T l and  T2.  Furthermore, he b e l i e v e s , t h a t t o t r y t o h i t T l and T2 i s t o  aim  and so  x  f i r e the guns at the t a r g e t s and i s the  fire. strong  means.  At  far,  there  So  consistency  incompatible he  to s a t i s f y d  that M i s  We  , s t e p 3.  i s doubtful  i t i s r a t i o n a l f o r him  a v a i l a b l e t o him  provided.  step  may  2.  t r y i n g to  about means f o r how  but  f o r M,  at  x  his beliefs  is difficult  Therefore,  d  of  we  t o h i t T l o r T2 but  x  x  system,  and  and b e l i e v e s t h a t t o win  so d e s i r e s , d ,  how  t o say  i s playing  M comes t o i n t e n d t o do t h i s at d  rational  and  And,  a c t i o n schema i t  unobjectionable,  games.  t o win  Q  both.  the  r u l e s of which Bratman has  that M desires, d , o r T2 but  show why  3.  the a s c r i p t i o n o f i n t e n t i o n a l i t y t o cases 1 and  begin  schema w i l l  case  withhold  To  the  intentionally in  the  to  and  Tl  applying  will  theory  hit  can  on  step  8,  he  is  no  violation  to  comes t o  intentions,  a c t i o n s , and  intend  so b e l i e v e s , b intend  of  s i n c e he  the  certain  in his  way,  so  aim  requirement  does not  without  s i n c e i n t e n d i n g t o t r y i s not t o i n t e n d t o do. and  to  intend  do and of two  does not have i n c o n s i s t e n t i n t e n t i o n s :  t r y t o h i t both t a r g e t s  means again,  , t h a t to  x  believes,  b , 2  that  circumstances,  to will  Next, M asks f o r  move h i s cause  inconsistency  body  the  i n some  guns  to  be  82 aimed intend,  and f i r e d  at the targets,  d , t o do so. B  and comes,  and  13, t o  The b a s i c d e s i r e , d , causes a c h a i n o f B  events under t h e f o l l o w i n g d e s c r i p t i o n s : j u s t t h e way d e s c r i b e d  at step  M's body moves, E , i n B  i n d , which causes t h e guns t o be aimed B  f i r e d , E , which causes a m i s s i l e t o h i t T I , and another t o 2  miss T2.  The schema o f t h i s i s as f o l l o w s :  F i g . 13.  RAAG PLAYING THE VIDEO GAME The Mental  The World o f External Events  •S  d : b : x  t  d : 2  b : 2  d E E E  B B 2 x  : : : :  t h e d e s i r e t o h i t TI o r T2 but not both t h e b e l i e f t h a t t o aim and f i r e the guns a t the t a r g e t s i s a means t o s a t i s f y i n g d t h e d e s i r e t o t r y t o h i t TI and T2, i . e . , t o aim and f i r e at both t h e b e l i e f t h a t t o move h i s body i n j u s t t h e r i g h t way w i l l aim and f i r e the guns a t t h e t a r g e t s t h e d e s i r e t o do so (as i n b ) move h i s body M's body moving i n the way he d e s i r e d d t h e guns being f i r e d a t both t a r g e t s t h e event o f TI being h i t and T2 not x  2  B  83 Now, only  according  i f he i n t e n d s  t o the U n i f i e d View M h i t s TI i n t e n t i o n a l l y t o h i t T I , which causes the h i t t i n g .  does not so i n t e n d .  He i n t e n d s ,  d , t o h i t TI o r T2 but not x  both which i s not t o i n t e n d t o h i t T I . hit  both  TI and T2, which  Therefore, Nor  i s not t o i n t e n d  does M h i t T l i n t e n t i o n a l l y a c c o r d i n g i s what  efficacious intention.  t o RAAG.  i s caused  i n the r i g h t  At d , step  13, M i n t e n d s  B  t o try t o  to h i t  TI.  What M does way  by h i s  to h i t T l or  and not both by t r y i n g t o h i t both T l and T2 by moving h i s  body i n j u s t the way he b e l i e v e s w i l l d , and d 2  for  And, M i n t e n d s  on the U n i f i e d View, M does not h i t TI i n t e n t i o n a l l y .  intentionally  T2  again  But M  b  B  a r e matched by E's which satisfy  and b .  x  do the t r i c k .  2  Therefore,  A l l of d , x  them, and s i m i l a r l y  we can say o f M t h a t he  intentionally  hit Tl or T2 but not both.  To deny t h a t M h i t T l i n t e n t i o n a l l y i s not t o deny t h a t the hitting Nor  does i t e n t a i l  Tl. has  was the r e s u l t o f M employing h i s c o n s i d e r a b l e that  skills.  M does not deserve c r e d i t f o r h i t t i n g  The c l a i m o f u n i n t e n t i o n a l i t y i s the c l a i m t h a t the a c t i o n deviated  would  from the standard.  be where t h e agent  The standard  intends  case o f h i t t i n g T l  t o h i t i t and b e l i e v e s  that  such and so i s the means t o h i t t i n g i t , where these comprise an i n t e n t i o n which i s s u c c e s s f u l l y e f f i c a c i o u s o f an event o f the missile two  hitting  respects:  instrumental  Tl. first  Case 3 i s a d e v i a t i o n o f the standard i n M  has no  such  intention;  b e l i e f s are not f u n c t i o n i n g s t a n d a r d l y ,  d o u b t f u l o f success.  second,  M's  s i n c e he i s  I t u r n t o t h i s i s s u e i n the next s e c t i o n .  84 It sharp  will  be  apparent  contrast  agency as  to  basic,  Bratman's  as  i s c l a r i f y i n g and  B.  the  the  strategy.  place  so h e l p s  method  w h i l e he not  was  The  both, we can  can  report  say  a l s o say  of  And  h i t T l and  t o begin s o r t i n g out  s o r t out c o n f l i c t i n g  he  is in  of  taking  hard  cases,  intuitions.  him  that  he  hitting  we  have  an  was  trying  T l , s i n c e he was  distinctions. doing.  Where  efficacy  is  an  proceeds  comes, at This  First,  step a  instrumental coming  there  of  11,  that  trying  the  to  a  tentative  lack  may  yield  i s not  desires  be  instrumental  a  doing,  where t o  efficacious belief.  o f success.  admits  t r y i s to the  by  agent means. an  process  where  the  i s a trying having  impairment  When someone i n t e n d s  be yet  where  causation,  fail  and  the  the  Secondly, t h e r e  Thus  not  f o r the  on  To  "going  or may  Furthermore,  i t s influence  to  several  tentative  desire"  tentative  under  trying  confidence,  cognition.  agent engages the world h a l t i n g l y . that  is  of  "doubtful  trying  efficacy i s  which  but  both.  i n one's means.  belief  i s tentative,  intend  time he was  i s a t r y i n g which may  despite  belief to  a  instrumental  6 or  case  of  not  t o h i t T l and  doubtful  i s t r y i n g i s to report  analysis  say of M  T l or T2 but  M would agree t h a t at the  one  we  i n t e n t i o n a l l y h i t T l or T2  t h a t he was  not hitting  that  Since  through" d e s p i t e one's l a c k of confidence  of  here  strategy  above a n a l y s i s of case 3 what should en acte?  t o h i t T2.  a  employed  TRYING Given the  We  that  t o A but  of  a  one's false  mistakenly  85 B's  because o f a f a l s e i n s t r u m e n t a l  say  of  him  what we B-ed.  neither  can say o f him  say  share  a  A-ing,  i s t h a t he was  t h a t he  but  be  "on"  e f f i c a c y may  nor  t o A but  M was  but  say o f him  t o A.  He  or  Therefore,  intuitions,  in  but  count  cases 1 and  not  for  1  so  efficacy: be  "on"  Therefore,  we  i s not t r y i n g ; he i s doing.  2,  Assuming t h a t  we M's  i t i s a d e v i a t i o n from  have reason t o deny t h a t M h i t T l  and  2.  c l e a r to  much),  but  i s i n t e n t i o n a l l y A-  t r y i n g to h i t T l .  we  we  that  M  It mine  is (and  does h i t  clear I Tl  to  don't  Bratman's think  this  intentionally in  But  i t i s not enough t o guarantee i n t e n t i o n a l i t y  t h a t the t a r g e t was  h i t , s i n c e t h i s f a c t does not guarantee t h a t  the  2.  cases  of  impaired.  i s a case o f t e n t a t i v e c o g n i t i o n ,  intentionally  mistakenly  of success i n both cases 1 and  t h a t he was  standard.  B-ing;  These cases of t r y i n g  cognition  "on"  was  can  true b e l i e f ,  t e n t a t i v e ; e f f i c a c y may  be  doubtful  he  we  a c c i d e n t a l l y B's  lack of relevant  of  belief,  that  r e l u c t a n t t o say of someone who  Since  4  t r y i n g t o A but  t r y i n g t o A.  may  i n g t h a t he i s trying  should  was  either  ought t o be  trying  or  diminution  tentative;  the  was  a false belief,  of him  cognition  can  he  S i m i l a r l y , when someone intends  because o f can  that  or i d e n t i t y  hitting  was  Where i t t u r n s therefore envisaged, attribute  4  See  due out  to that  e f f i c a c y was  agency. the  We  cannot j u s t assume  agent's b e l i e f s were t r u e  successful  in  just  i . e . , where Bratman's c o n d i t i o n intentionality.  below, sec. C ( l ) .  the  way  2 obtains,  Such a case would be  success. and  that  the  agent  we  would  a t r y i n g which  86 was  a doing.  to  achieve  But where a l l we a  result  intentionality trying  we  is  can  which  know i s t h a t the agent was  was  forthcoming,  inconclusive.  attribute  With  not  the  the  trying  question  of  inconclusivity  of  u n i n t e n t i o n a l i t y , but  non-  intentional ity .  On report  this on  the  attribute  a  analysis, to inconclusivity trying  inconclusivity to  due  order  to  a  for  an  action  that  causal genesis  another  is  are  trying  to  be  intentional,  functioned  i n an  i t i s sufficient appropriate  way  i s f o r the agent's d e s i r e s and  true  things,  f u n c t i o n i n g i n t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r way.  enough, he  But,  chooses the  his  considerable  the  instrumental  since  where  beliefs  his  process beliefs  What Bratman has  described  2 i s something less than t h i s .  means.  the  instrumental  the p l a y e r does not b e l i e v e t h a t he w i l l his  and  o f v e t t i n g and a d j u d i c a t i o n  other  among  in  a p p r o p r i a t e event,  will  doubts  due  presenting, i n  In standard cases of a c t i o n , the  1 and  To  either  which I have o u t l i n e d .  i n cases  to  beliefs.  attribute  agency which I am  f u n c t i o n c a u s a l l y i n the process  include,  is  belief.  of some c o r r e s p o n d i n g l y  the a p p r o p r i a t e way  you  "doubtful d e s i r e " , or non-efficacy  to  agency  that  of your i n s t r u m e n t a l  the t h e o r y of r a t i o n a l  necessary  to  to  a f a l s e instrumental  On  report  be  In cases  1 and  2  s u c c e s s f u l since he  desire  to  win  is  strong  best means a v a i l a b l e which i s t o employ  skills: beliefs  he  intends  which  a c t i o n schema do not enjoy M's  to t r y .  would  full  In o t h e r  otherwise  confidence:  appear  words, in  an  t h e r e f o r e , the  87 diagnosis not  we must make o f M's c o g n i t i v e e f f i c a c y i s t h a t i t has  functioned  standardly.  while h i s instrumental efficacious satisfy  a r e matched by  and h i s b e l i e f s  between these s t a t e s o f a f f a i r s , long  as doubt  which  remains,  accompanies  states  a r e matched  tryings.  of a f f a i r s  by the r e l a t i o n s  o f the i n c o n c l u s i v i t y  The importance  o f marking  the agent i s o f c e n t r a l importance.  comes from the f a c t try  t o h i t T l and  requirement not  view  that T2  o f the mind o f  5  of t r y i n g  as a c o g n i t i v e  concept  i n Bratman's case 3, M can i n t e n d t o without  on i n t e n t i o n s .  incompatible  this  be r e i n f o r c e d when we come t o d i s c u s s  excuses and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , where the d i a g n o s i s  for this  which  we may deny i n t e n t i o n a l i t y , so  as a r e c o g n i t i o n  a l t e r a t i o n o f agency w i l l  Support  t o h i t T l , and  b e l i e f s t u r n out t o be t r u e , so t h a t h i s  desires  them,  So, w h i l e M i n t e n d s  violating  the  consistency  The i n t e n t i o n t o t r y t o h i t T l i s  w i t h the i n t e n t i o n t o t r y t o h i t T2, g i v e n  M's  b e l i e f s about the i m p o s s i b i l i t y o f h i t t i n g both T l and T2, s i n c e t o i n t e n d t o t r y t o do both i s not t o i n t e n d t o do both, nor i s it  t o d e s i r e t o do both, nor t o b e l i e v e t h a t you w i l l  Trying  i s the f i r s t  o f the ways I w i l l  examine  do both.  i n which the  l e f t - h a n d s i d e o f the schema - the agent's mens - can be out o f order.  The  above  analysis  o f Bratman's  case  applies,  mutatis  mutandis, t o Davidson's c l a i m t h a t one can do i n t e n t i o n a l l y what This t o Analysis 5  a n a l y s i s o f t r y i n g can be a p p l i e d w i t h some success "Problem" No. 16. See Analysis 38, 113.  88 he  doubts  he i s d o i n g .  In h i s example,  6  h e a v i l y on h i s page, i s i n t e n d i n g does  not  know  succeeding.  or  believe  intentionally. again,  result  i n writing  t o make 10 carbon c o p i e s .  with  any  confidence  that  He  he i s  But, s i n c e t h i s i s what he wants t o do, then, i f he  does "produce" 10 c o p i e s ,  and  a man,  On my a n a l y s i s , he i s t r y i n g t o make 10 c o p i e s ,  the question  we  he does so, say Davidson and Bratman,  may  call  of i n t e n t i o n a l i t y i s inconclusive. good  fortune,  and h i s a c t i o n  The  a non-  i n t e n t i o n a l making o f 10 c o p i e s .  Part  o f the purpose  t o which  Davidson  puts  t h e above  example i s t o show t h a t one can do i n t e n t i o n a l l y what one does not  believe  one i s doing.  requirement  on  acting  Therefore,  there  intentionally.  i s no such  belief  B u t i f one c a n a c t  i n t e n t i o n a l l y without b e l i e v i n g t h a t one i s , then, say Davidson and Bratman, one can i n t e n d t o A without b e l i e v i n g t h a t one w i l l A.  This  7  belief  i s t o argue  requirement  version  of this  against  on i n t e n d i n g  what t o A.  Bratman  calls  According  i f one i n t e n d s  t o A,  b e l i e v e t h a t one w i l l A.  On the s t r o n g e r  version,  the  oddness o f remarks l i k e  the  concert,  then  one must  to intend to  The t h e s i s i s meant t o e x p l a i n  the following:  but I may not go."  8  "I i n t e n d  Davidson  6  Davidson, 50, 60, 91 f f .  7  I b i d . , 90 f f . ; Bratman, 383 - 385.  t o go t o  and Bratman  H.P. G r i c e , " I n t e n t i o n and U n c e r t a i n t y , " Proceedings of the British Academy 57 (1971): 263 - 279. 8  strong  t o t h e weaker  thesis,  A is t o b e l i e v e t h a t one w i l l .  the  take  89 examples  like  the  above t o  defeat  b e l i e f requirement on i n t e n d i n g  The strong  view  in  order  to  be  true  and  entails goal.  requirement, but act  function  that  the  for  agent  In a standard  belief  that  belief  will  is  in  that  the  a  he  h i t the  weaker  than  has  the  beliefs  must  way.  This  means t o  his  game t a r g e t ,  the  target.  the  way  he  But  this  i s not  although  this  latter  Therefore,  either  the  I have argued t h a t  standard  target,  former.  strong  include  moves h i s body i n j u s t  h i t the  the  my  version  requirement of  the  on  strong  requirement.  The agency.  entailment  of  mind,  successful. behaviour,  he  led  he  might  Therefore, would  oddness of one  intending  r e l a t i o n i s important  I f someone i n t e n d i n g s t a n d a r d l y  state  which  i f he  i s e n t a i l e d by  intentionality  his  he  seem t o  case of h i t t i n g the v i d e o  m i s s i l e will  believe  agent  believe  has  i n mind, the  f o r may  one's i n s t r u m e n t a l  the  that  of  doing.  i t does not.  intentionally,  shooter b e l i e v e s  to  and  I have been arguing  belief  both v e r s i o n s  say  saying  i f he that  he  of  t o A were t o r e f l e c t  on  believe  Since  the  intending  that  were  to  predict  will  A.  This  "I i n t e n d t o A but  some t h e o r i s t s t o t o A.  come t o  f o r another p u z z l e  strong  I may belief  he his  will  future  explains  not",  requirement  implies confidence  in  one  will  t h a t you  say  may  not  be  cannot, o r are not  t h a t you  intend  t o A when you  s u c c e s s f u l , e i t h e r because you  able, i s t o mislead  the  hearer.  also  on  success,  commitment t o a c t i o n , i n t e n d i n g t o A e n t a i l s the b e l i e f To  the  an oddness  and  A.  be  that  believe  believe  you  90  C.  NON-STANDARD ACTIONS AND EXCUSES I  have j u s t  g i v e n an account o f one form o f a b e r r a t i o n i n  r a t i o n a l agency which we c a l l a t r y i n g which i s not a doing. I t will  be a f u r t h e r t e s t o f the t h e o r y o f r a t i o n a l agency  facilitates  the l e g a l  and non-standard in  which  and moral  actions.  excuses,  distinctions  Non-standard  and so defenses,  that i t  between standard  a c t i o n s are those cases  apply.  9  Here  I deal  with  o n l y some o f these d i s t i n c t i o n s .  1.  Mistake  As I noted above, a mistaken a c t i o n i s a case o f c o g n i t i v e efficacy  "going  instrumental  through"  belief.  unintentional.  under  t h e impairment  S i n c e i t i s an impairment,  of a  false  mistakes are  I t w i l l be h e l p f u l t o show how t h i s comes out i n  terms o f the a c t i o n schema.  So we take t h e f o l l o w i n g  example:  10  Suppose t h a t I d e s i r e d , t o meet Groucho Marx and come, a t step x  3, t o i n t e n d t o do so.  I b e l i e v e t h a t Groucho i s next door and  so b e l i e v e , b , t h a t going t h e r e i s a means t o meeting him, x  and  therefore desire,  d , t o go next door,  i n t e n d t o do so.  I b e l i e v e , b , t h a t i f I perform t h e f a m i l i a r  2  and come, a t s t e p 8, t o  2  movements I w i l l  go next door and come, a t s t e p 13, t o i n t e n d ,  d , t o so move.  At d , I i n t e n d t o meet Groucho by going next  B  door  B  by moving i n the o l d f a m i l i a r  efficacious  o f the f o l l o w i n g  events  ways. under  This these  "intention" i s descriptions:  S.C. C o v a l and J.C. Smith, Law and Its Presuppositions (London: Routledge and Kegan P a u l , 1986), Chaps. 1 and 2. 9  1 0  T h i s i s an example o f P r o f e s s o r C o v a l ' s .  E , B  t h e event o f my moving i n the way I have i n mind i n d  B  which  causes t h e event, E , o f my a r r i v i n g next door which causes the 2  event, E , o f my meeting my neighbour. x  F i g . 14.  RAAG MAKES A MISTAKE The  Mental  <b > •  <b>  The World o f External Events  m  V  14  E  B  —>E —yE 2  1  the d e s i r e t o meet Groucho the b e l i e f t h a t going next door i s a means t o meeting Groucho The d e s i r e t o go next door the b e l i e f t h a t walking next door i s a means t o going next door the d e s i r e t o move i n t h a t way n e c e s s a r y t o walk next door the event o f my walking t h a t way the event o f my a r r i v i n g next door the event o f my meeting my neighbour  In t h i s case b  x  is  i s false.  t h e i n t e n t i o n t o move i n j u s t  door i n o r d e r t o meet Groucho. is  The i n t e n t i o n w i t h which I a c t  not forthcoming.  t h a t way i n o r d e r t o go next  But because b  x  i s false,  my g o a l  That  i s , not o n l y do I not meet Groucho,  but I do not move i n j u s t  t h a t way i n o r d e r t o go next door i n  92 order  t o meet  Groucho.  s a t i s f i e d , nor are b  Therefore, neither  and b  x  satisfied.  2  d , d x  belief,  b± , t h a t ,  nor d  t o g e t h e r w i t h d , caused me t o d e s i r e , x  2  a  "false  intention.  On  desire".  I f so, then  d  2  at step  Davidson's  8 i s not an  a n a l y s i s o f mistakes, making a mistake i s  else i n t e n t i o n a l l y .  description  of  intentional.  F o r RAAG t h i s  what  t h e agent  That i s , t h e r e w i l l  1 1  does  i s false.  under  which  I desired  t o move i n t h a t  not  way s i m p l i c i t e r .  But t o move the way I do i s  t o move so as t o come t o meet Groucho. i n mistakes  described i s u n i n t e n t i o n a l .  The since  standardly. 1 1  the basic  Therefore i t  bodily  a mistake  is  movement so  1 2  reason we r e c o g n i z e mistake as an excuse  making  t o move  I t i s t o move i n some way so as t o a r r i v e  so as t o meet Groucho.  unintentional:  i s not f o r agency  t o have  i s obvious, functioned  I f not, one ought not be h e l d r e s p o n s i b l e f o r one's  Davidson, 45.  T h i s a n a l y s i s o f mistake a p p l i e s t o Davidson's examples, which i n c l u d e s p i l l i n g t h e c o f f e e , t h e o f f i c e r s i n k i n g t h e Bismark, and Hamlet k i l l i n g P o l o n i u s . Davidson, 44 - 45. 1 2  B  But I do n o t .  B  next door  i ti s  I t would be  c o n t e n t o f my i n t e n t i o n a t d , s t e p 13 i s not j u s t  my body i n some way.  be a  Now i t may seem t h a t E  the event o f my moving i n some way, i s i n t e n t i o n a l .  The  It  I t i s a mistntention.  doing something  if  is  S i n c e i t was the  d , t o go next door, I do not t r u l y d e s i r e t o go next door. is  B  Consequently, what I do  i n t h i s case i s m i s t a k e n l y meet my neighbour. false  2  93 mistakes t o the degree t o which we how  agency  different care you  functions  than  in  i n the  the  non-standard  standard  a p p l i e s which you  do  not  case.  allowed  you  have, and,  where  the  one  To  way  fail  of  of  of  i n that  with  about which b e l i e f s  you  d e s i r e s i n a c t i o n , then  you  is typically  out  of  acting  negligent.  and may  This  t o meet a standard  being  entirely  about your epistemology, about  consequences.  consequences  negative. is  f o r the  since  some standard  are c r i t i c i z a b l e f o r the breach of the standard, responsible  is  should have met  therefore,  t o f u n c t i o n i n consort  cases,  case  Where  meet and  should have been more c a r e f u l  which b e l i e f s  are i n standard  false  of care  It  i s to  held  the  case  beliefs  i n the  be  be  are  above  negligent  way with  r e s p e c t t o your b e l i e f s .  2.  accident  With  mistake,  instrumental the  i n t e r v e n t i o n of  spill  In  either false  13  The  a lack of true  foresee  believe that, won't get o f the  that e.g.,  spilled.  spilling,  3  you  will  is  the  false  cancelling i s  Davidson says  "...if  hand, I cannot be  called  beliefs,  o r the  presence  In the above example, I may jiggle  i f I h o l d my  my  cup  hand,  or  I  away from you,  may  intend i t :  falsely  the  t h e r e i s no  of  either  In e i t h e r case I cannot be c a l l e d the  45.  I  of agency i n v o l v e d i n a c c i d e n t s i s  s i n c e I d i d not  Davidson, p.  As  j i g g l e d my  instrumental  beliefs.  agency  what does the  another cause.  diminution  instrumental  cancels  accident,  the c o f f e e because you  the a g e n t . "  not  belief.  what  coffee agent desire  94 to  spill  the c o f f e e ,  illustrate,  I will  t o shoot my  the  a t him  shooting,  that  i t will  spill.  shoot  him.  But,  To  Suppose  14  aiming and  at the moment  firing o f the  my neighbour's donkey s t e p s i n t o the l i n e o f f i r e and i s shot.  neighbour's  donkey,  the f i r e  from mistakenly for  belief  donkey and b e l i e v e t h a t  will  tragically  intercept  no  schematize the f o l l o w i n g example.  I intend gun  and  example,  In since  case  I lack  and the d e s i r e  shooting  that  this  that  I  both  accidentally the b e l i e f  t o shoot him.  that This  him, which would be t o f a l s e l y donkey i s mine,  and not my  shoot he  my will  differs believe,  neighbour's.  But as w i t h mistake, i n a c c i d e n t none o f the e f f i c a c i o u s d e s i r e s and b e l i e f s are s a t i s f i e d .  T h i s i s an example o f J.L. A u s t i n ' s .  Fig.  15.  RAAG ACCIDENTALLY SHOOTS HIS NEIGHBOUR'S DONKEY The  Mental  <b>  The World of External Events  <b>  71 i E  14  d —> R  the the him the the and the the the the  3.  d e s i r e t o k i l l my donkey b e l i e f t h a t t o aim and f i r e the gun  E —>E' B  at him w i l l  kill  d e s i r e t o aim and f i r e the gun a t him b e l i e f t h a t t o do such and so w i t h my body w i l l f i r e the gun d e s i r e t o move my body event o f my body moving event o f the gun f i r i n g event o f my neighbour's donkey b e i n g shot  aim  Compulsion  A compulsion i s a d e s i r e whose e f f i c a c y i s so powerful t h a t it the  can o v e r r i d e point  desires  the r a t i o n a l p r o c e s s e s o f agency.  i n the  are v e t t e d  r a t i o n a l process by b e l i e f s ,  of  coming  a compulsive  to  That i s , at intend  where  d e s i r e can proceed  i n t o the f u r t h e r channels o f agency d e s p i t e an " o f f " i n the form o f a b e l i e f t h a t a c t i n g so as t o s a t i s f y the d e s i r e w i l l the  whole,  important  damaging t o the system, desires  of  the  system  where t h i s will  be  be,  means t h a t frustrated.  on  more A  compulsive  action  i n the system.  i s what r e s u l t s  from t h i s  sort of aberration  S i n c e agency has broken down i n t h i s way a t t h a t  p o i n t i n the p r o c e s s where d e s i r e s are r a t i o n a l i z e d , do not a c q u i r e t h e s t a t u s o f i n t e n t i o n s , are  not i n t e n t i o n a l a c t i o n s .  compulsions  and compulsive a c t i o n s  The schema f o r RAAG e x p l i c a t e s the  phenomenon o f compulsion.  There  are two  related  phenomena  which  can o c c u r  p o i n t i n the p r o c e s s where compulsions v i o l a t e RAAG. is  the case  process  i n which  at step  a desire  2 not because  makes i t s way  past  a t the  The  first  the v e t t i n g  i t i s t o o powerful t o h o l d i n  check but because the o t h e r d e s i r e s and/or b e l i e f s o f the system are  t o o weak.  efficacious,  The second case i s one i n which a d e s i r e becomes not through  rationality,  but because  l a c k s f u r t h e r d e s i r e s w i t h which the f i r s t be two ways i n which both  aberrations  competes.  a system can be immature.  of  RAAG,  they  may  the  system  These  may  S i n c e they are  justify  the denial  of  i n t e n t i o n a l i t y and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y .  4.  Involuntariness  As  I  rational  agency  Autonomy without. d.  where  remarked  y  i s also  i s f o r RAAG  "drops  to  down"  either  1 5  the theory of  a t h e o r y o f autonomous r a t i o n a l  In p a r t i c u l a r ,  interference,  1 5  i n the previous c h a p t e r  standardly  i t i s f o r the f i r s t  t o engage  from  See above, p. 67.  function  the r e s t  the environment  agency.  unimpeded  from  stage t o occur,  o f agency, i n which  without  the system  97 finds i t s e l f ,  o r from another agent.  With such i n t e r f e r e n c e we  have a case o f i n v o l u n t a r i n e s s , o f which we may d i s t i n g u i s h two types.  The defense o f n e c e s s i t y  environment  i s such  that  a p p l i e s t o cases i n which the  i t forces  a  desire  e f f i c a c i o u s which would otherwise not have been.  to  become  Given the s e t  o f d e s i r e s and b e l i e f s you have, the world may l i n e up i n such a way t h a t you are f o r c e d t o do something  you would otherwise not  have done, i n o r d e r t o p r e s e r v e some g r e a t e r good, f o r example your l i f e o r t h a t o f another.  Throwing  the cargo overboard i n a  storm i n o r d e r t o keep from s i n k i n g i s a case o f n e c e s s i t y , and would be excused as such.  The force  you t o do  done. case  second type o f i n v o l u n t a r i n e s s i s f o r another agent t o  We may  necessity  i s t o be  g i v e n the r e s t  t h e gunman  forces  and you do d e s i r e  not have  by c a l l i n g forced  o f your  to live,  and your  you t o d e s i r e  this,  i f you do not comply,  desire  from  otherwise  but o n l y  d e s i r e s and  you w i l l  to give because  i ta  t o have a  which would otherwise not have been e f f i c a c i o u s .  example, wallet,  you would  To be coerced  become e f f i c a c i o u s ,  beliefs,  that  distinguish this  of coercion.  desire  that  something  him  For your  you b e l i e v e  be harmed.  Given  your  d e s i r e not t o be harmed, you come t o  d e s i r e t o hand him your w a l l e t s i n c e you b e l i e v e t h a t t h a t i s a means t o s a t i s f y i n g those more important o f your d e s i r e s .  It  i s important  necessary  actions  to notice  and coerced  despite being involuntary.  that  i n contrast  actions  t o compulsion,  are intentional  actions,  They count as i n t e n t i o n a l ,  f o r RAAG,  98 since the  the  system  functions  cargo overboard,  Given the rational  and  as  i t should.  you  intend  s i t u a t i o n s i n which you t h i n g s t o do.  to  so  severely  particular  find yourself,  There i s no d i m i n u t i o n  acted  limited,  ways.  had  the  Your  that  you  defense  probable  are  consequences  dire.  D.  ACTIVE - PASSIVE DISTINCTION  So  far,  agency state  to  RAAG  has  function  of  provided  standardly  affairs:  we  have  only  of  an in  wallet.  t h a t your to  act  the  not  not  doing  so  of  what  to  options in  would  causal  standard  throw  these are  you  account the  to  o f agency due  forced  i s that  been so  THE  intend  hand over your  f a l s e b e l i e f s o r compulsive d e s i r e s , but are  You  these  have not  i t is  so  have  for  genesis  of  some  RAAG  has  also  actions.  demonstrated some o f the ways i n which agency can  function  standardly  have t r y i n g s ,  i n the  mistaken a c t i o n s , been  involved  an a c t i o n but  ways  of  which do  different  being  cases  are In  passive.  i s misleading. not  There  i n the  distinction.  "passive"  ways  are  ancestry  sometimes this As  others  i n question.  will The  i n which  several of  agency  other  ways  will  I will  become  Some o f  the  by  analyze  several  apparent,  cases  t o some active-  I  the  will  s e v e r a l of the  the  for  the  analysis  term  describe components  agency, although not  purpose o f  has  an event which i s not  identified  section  include  we  be h e l d r e s p o n s i b l e  count as a c t i o n s i n c l u d e  agency, and  events  the  event:  These cases have themselves  f o r which an agent may  These  passive  by  of an  etc..  non-standardly.  agency t o be  degree.  origin  accidents,  distinguished  functioned  of  causal  non-  of  i s that  the with  99 RAAG we can d i s t i n g u i s h s e v e r a l ways o f b e i n g " p a s s i v e " .  Since  we can d i s t i n g u i s h s e v e r a l ways i n which agency can f u n c t i o n i n the a n c e s t r y o f an event which i s not an a c t i o n , we have a way of  assigning  varying  c o r r e s p o n d i n g event. mens we  degrees  of  culpability  We should expect t h a t f o r every  can diagnose,  we  could  assign a different  r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , and do so w i t h good reason. i s the f a m i l i a r k i l l i n g  According both  and necessary  and b e l i e v e t h a t death, and  the death. shall  that  as a k i l l i n g ,  t h e agent  doing such and so w i l l  i s efficacious,  i n the r i g h t  desire  i t is  t h e death  cause the event o f the o f these  desires  way, o f the event o f  To b e g i n t o s e t up t h e c o n t r a s t w i t h l e t t i n g d i e , we  call  sufficiency,  It  degree o f  The case I w i l l use  where t h e i n t e n t i o n which i s comprised  beliefs  different  - letting die distinction.  t o RAAG, i n o r d e r t o count  sufficient  f o r the  killing  the d e l i b e r a t e  provision  of  causal  i n the circumstances, f o r t h e death.  i s n e c e s s a r y i n o r d e r t o count as a case o f l e t t i n g d i e  t h a t t h e agent be a b l e t o prevent the death and t h a t he b e l i e v e this  o r s h o u l d have b e l i e v e d  have  prevented  evidence,  that  a death  it.  Suppose t h a t  but b e l i e v e d ,  an agent  could  on t h e b e s t  available  he c o u l d not, having met t h e r e q u i r e d  standards  of  care with respect t o h i s b e l i e f s .  he  should have b e l i e v e d  i t possible  I f i t i s not t h e case t h a t t o prevent  we would not c a l l t h i s a case o f l e t t i n g d i e .  the death,  then  100 A case o f  letting  d i e may  be  called  an act of omission.  To  a s c r i b e t o an agent an act of o m i s s i o n i s t o d e s c r i b e h i s agency i n terms o f a r e l a t i o n t h a t i t should  have had  is,  i t i s t o say of the agent t h a t he  way  which  he  appropriate  We according and  not  and  should  have  have a c t e d  done  so  d e s i r e s and b e l i e f s which he should  can  d i s t i n g u i s h two  to  the  presence  broad  and  because have  categories  absence o f  didn't.  the  of  That  i n some of  the  letting  die  had.  following  desire  belief:  (1) (2)  To  did  should  and  count  the d e s i r e f o r the death the t r u e b e l i e f t h a t there a dying and so a death  as  a case of  Intentional  i s , or w i l l  letting  die,  Without the d e s i r e f o r the death, a l l other are cases o f negligent  Within based on pair,  these two  the  (1) and  letting  (1)  or c o u l d  be  i s necessary.  cases o f l e t t i n g  die  die.  c a t e g o r i e s , we  can d i s t i n g u i s h d i f f e r e n c e s  f o u r p o s s i b l e combinations o f t h i s d e s i r e - b e l i e f (2).  1.  I n t e n t i o n a l L e t t i n g Die  a.  The (1) (2)  be  straightforward  case  d e s i r e f o r the death b e l i e f t h a t death i s imminent  T h i s i s the  case we  may  call  i n t e n t i o n a l l e t t i n g d i e where  101 the agent it  desires  the death  i s i s sufficient  and b e l i e v e s  f o r the death.  that  the s i t u a t i o n as  S i n c e he d e s i r e s the death,  the agent does n o t h i n g t o i n t e r f e r e w i t h the c a u s a l s u f f i c i e n c y , either by  by standing  doing  something  fast  w i t h the purpose  else.  I n such  criticized  f o r having bad d e s i r e s ,  to  the death.  prevent  To take  o f not i n t e r f e r i n g o r  cases,  t h e agent  or f o r f a i l i n g  an e x a m p l e , 16  suppose t h a t you  canoeing downstream toward  him  d i e in this way i f e i t h e r o f the f o l l o w i n g i s t r u e :  within  and you b e l i e v e  grasp  and so, s i n c e  w i t h your body which w i l l sufficiency.  that  man.  You would l e t  one more s t r o k e w i l l  you d e s i r e  be  t o intervene  are  paddling  the drowning  may  h i s death,  you are  b r i n g you  you do t h a t  not i n t e r f e r e w i t h the p r e s e n t c a u s a l  Or the above i s t r u e ,  and you paddle  i n some way  o t h e r than the way which would have l e t him save h i m s e l f .  This  case o f l e t t i n g d i e i s d i s t i n g u i s h e d from the next by the b e l i e f here t h a t n o n - i n t e r f e r e n c e i s n e c e s s a r y i n the c i r c u m s t a n c e s f o r the death.  b.  In causal  The hard case (1)  d e s i r e f o r the death  (2)  b e l i e f t h a t death i s not q u i t e imminent  t h i s case, the agent d e s i r e s the death but b e l i e v e s t h a t sufficiency  does not y e t e x i s t  f o r the death,  and t h a t  agency i s r e q u i r e d i n o r d e r t o achieve the s u f f i c i e n c y .  In our  example, such a case would be where you b e l i e v e t h a t s h o u l d you not paddle, o r a c t i n some o t h e r r e l e v a n t way, the drowning will  come w i t h i n r e a c h o f your canoe and so save h i m s e l f . 1 6  T h i s may be Dick S i k o r a ' s example.  man  Since  102 you d e s i r e the death, you would l e t him d i e i n t h i s way i f you, for  example,  take  one more paddle  s t r o k e which you b e l i e v e i s  n e c e s s a r y i n the circumstance i n o r d e r f o r t h e r e t o be a c a u s a l sufficiency differs  f o r the man's death.  from  the former  i n that  Thus, t h i s type o f l e t t i n g d i e i n the former n o n - i n t e r f e r e n c e  i s necessary, w h i l e i n the l a t t e r i n t e r f e r e n c e i s necessary. this  case,  acting  the agent  i s c r i t i c i z a b l e f o r bad d e s i r e s ,  so as t o c o n t r i b u t e t o the cause  o f t h e event.  In  and f o r To be  g u i l t y o f t h i s i s t o be g u i l t y o f a more s e r i o u s o f f e n c e than i n the  former  case,  since  agency  i s employed  here  in a  way  pure  Indifference  n e c e s s a r y f o r the death.  2  Negligent L e t t i n g Die  a.  The  Pure I n d i f f e r e n c e (1)  no d e s i r e f o r the death  (2)  b e l i e f t h a t death i s imminent  type o f l e t t i n g d i e which we may c a l l  i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by the b e l i e f t h a t , e.g., the death w i l l where such  a belief  does not " c a l l  prevent the death by employing not  function  indifference for  agency.  One g u i l t y  i s c r i t i c i z a b l e , not f o r having the r i g h t  desires,  a desire to  That i s , the b e l i e f does  i n s t r u m e n t a l l y f o r the agent.  not having  therefore  up" o r a c t i v a t e  given  i s c r i t i c i z a b l e f o r not a c t i n g  (1) (2)  o f pure  bad d e s i r e s , but his beliefs,  and  so as t o prevent the  death. b.  occur,  no d e s i r e f o r the death f a l s e b e l i e f t h a t death i s not imminent  103 It die,  may  seem t h a t  i n o r d e r t o count  i t i s necessary that  imminent.  the agent  as a case  believe  that  of l e t t i n g  the death i s  But an agent can be g u i l t y o f a n e g l i g e n t  l e t t i n g die  when he does not meet some standard o f care w i t h r e s p e c t b e l i e f s which that  death  because  i s imminent  an  criticizable  drowning,  In respect that  and should  inattentive  have  lifeguard  so b e l i e v e d ,  the assumption  perhaps  responsibility.  or river-keeper  f o r the s t a t e o f h i s c o g n i t i o n ,  beliefs,  c.  That i s , he does not b e l i e v e  he has been charged w i t h t h a t  example,  right  i s r e q u i r e d o f him.  to h i s  being t h a t ,  In our would  be  f o r not having the  had he known o f the  he would o r s h o u l d have a c t e d so as t o prevent i t .  (1)  d e s i r e the death  (2)  f a l s e b e l i e f t h a t death i s not imminent  this  case o f l e t t i n g  d i e , the agent  i s negligent  t o the s t a t e o f h i s c o g n i t i o n s i n c e he f a l s e l y  death i s not imminent  and s h o u l d have known.  with  believes  In c o n t r a s t  t o t h e p r e v i o u s case, the agent d e s i r e s t h e death and so had he truly and  believed  not a c t e d  criticizable  that  death was imminent  so as t o prevent  the death.  f o r not having the r i g h t  wrong d e s i r e s .  he would  belief  The presence o f the d e s i r e  cases o f type 3 prima facie  have  He  approved  i s therefore  and f o r having the f o r the death makes  more m o r a l l y repugnant  than those o f  type 1 and 2. We may i d e n t i f y a v a r i a n t o f type-a n e g l i g e n c e which as a defence a g a i n s t does  not desire  the charge o f l e t t i n g d i e .  the death  and  does  believe  counts  Where an agent that  death i s  104 imminent  but does  depending  on h i s reasons, he may be excused.  the  agent  not a c t so as t o prevent  would be so g r e a t t h a t  i n t e r v e n e t o save the drowning charge of  of l e t t i n g  die.  the death,  then  Where t h e c o s t t o  he c o u l d not be expected t o  man, he may be excused  Where the agent  fails  from the  t o i n t e r v e n e out  f e a r , c u l p a b i l i t y may be reduced.  In  a l l cases o f l e t t i n g d i e the r o l e which agency p l a y s i n  the a n c e s t r y o f the death i s l e s s c o n t r i b u t o r y t o the death than is  a case o f k i l l i n g .  repugnant the  Therefore, l e t t i n g  than i s k i l l i n g .  agent  acts  prevented  the agent's  than a case o f k i l l i n g between  Even i n the p r o b l e m a t i c case, where  so as t o p r e v e n t  the death,  the cases,  d i e i s l e s s morally  an event behaviour  not because  but because  which  would  have  i s less  repugnant  o f any d i f f e r e n c e  i n desire  he employed  agency  i n a very  d i f f e r e n t way.  To k i l l  for  the death.  To l e t d i e i n the p r o b l e m a t i c case i s t o do what  is  necessary  i n the circumstances  sufficiency  exists.  imagine  two  harmful  events,  imminent  interfered  The d i f f e r e n c e  people,  harmful with  i s t o c o n t r i b u t e the c a u s a l s u f f i c i e n c y  the f i r s t  and t h e o t h e r events  which  that  that  can be brought  o f which  and e i t h e r  o r ensures  i n order  goes  goes  ensures they  that  occur  out i f we  about  about  by  causal  producing  looking f o r they  are not  removing  an  impediment.  The  central  n o t i o n o f RAAG,  d i a g n o s t i c concept, of  letting  action  is a  has allowed us t o d i s t i n g u i s h s e v e r a l  types  d i e with  their  which  accompanying  i s that  differences  i n moral  105 repugnancy.  In a l l o f the above  been able t o make and m a i n t a i n mental  causation  involved.  non-standard  cases,  have  f i n e - g r a i n e d d i s t i n c t i o n s i n the Since  actions  are  efficacious  mental  causation,  with  distinctions  we  a  f o r inferences  have  we  foundation  these  cases  of  fine-grained  done, and t h e r e f o r e t o what one i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r .  t o what  was  BIBLIOGRAPHY Anscombe, G.E.M..  Intention.  Oxford:  B a s i l Blackwell,  1957.  A u s t i n , J.L.. "A P l e a f o r Excuses." Philosophical e d i t e d by J.O. Urmson and G.J. Warnock. Oxford: U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1961. Bratman, M i c h a e l . Phil. Review 90 . "Taking 9 (1983): 271 . "Two (1984) : 375  " I n t e n t i o n and Means-end (1981): 252 - 265. Plans S e r i o u s l y . " - 287.  Faces of - 405.  Social  Intention."  The  Reasoning." Theory and Phil.  . "Davidson's Theory of I n t e n t i o n . " Davidson, ed. B r u c e Vermazen and M e r r i l l Oxford: Carendon Press, 1985. B u t l e r , Ronald Analysis 38  J. . "Report (1978): 113 -  on Analysis 118.  Papers, Oxford The Practice  Review  In B.  93  Essays on Hintikka.  'Problem'  No.  16."  Chisholm, Roderick M. . "The S t r u c t u r e o f S t a t e s of A f f a i r s . " In Essays on Davidson, ed. Bruce Vermazen and M e r r i l l B. H i n t i k k a . Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985. Churchland, Paul. "The Logical Character of A c t i o n Explanations." The Phil. Review 79 (1980): 214 - 236. Coval, Sam and D.D. Todd. " A d j u s t e r s and Phil. Quarterly 9 (1972): 107 - 112. Coval, S.C. London:  and J.C. Smith. Law and Its Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1986.  Danto, A r t h u r C. . "Basic Actions." (1965): 141 - 8. Davidson, Donald. Essays on Actions Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1980. Fodor, J.A.. (1985) :  Sense-Data."  Presuppositions.  American Phil. and  Quarterly  Events.  "Fodor's Guide t o Mental R e p r e s e n t a t i o n . 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Review of  Extent of 123 - 141.  . " W i l l i n g and I n t e n d i n g . " Rationality, e d i t e d by R i c h a r d Warner. Oxford: Clarendon Press,  Hornsby, J e n n i f e r . 1980.  Proceedings  and 251-  Mind.  Bodily  Action."  Oxford:  Oxford  Movements."  Analysis  P r i c h a r d , H.A.. "Acting, W i l l i n g , D e s i r i n g . " Chap, i n Moral Obligation: Essays and Lectures. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1949. S e a r l e , John R.. "The Inquiry 22 (1979): . Press,  I n t e n t i o n a l i t y of I n t e n t i o n and 253-80.  Intentionality. 1983.  Cambridge:  . Minds, Brains and Science. U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1984. Smith, M i c h a e l . "The (1987): 36 - 61.  Reasons  University  Cambridge Mass.:  Humean Theory  Smith, P e t e r . "Hess on (1981): 206 - 209.  Cambridge  of  and  Motivation." Causes."  Action."  Harvard Mind  96  Analysis  41  108 Smith, Peter, Cambridge:  and O.R. Jones. The Philosophy Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1986.  of  Mind.  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