Some Of Our Books

Categories

« Conceptual Role Semantics and Reference | Main | Monads announcement »

January 13, 2012

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Dear Doug,
I am but an occasional visitor to these pages, but there is one thing I wanted to ask you about the long story with the two kinds of pills.
You say, after introducing all the alternatives, that if you form the intention to refrain from acquiring the anesthesia and instead get the amputating pill, you will not obtain the anesthesia -- and that this is a fact. And it is a fact, therefore, I better believe it and this should play a crucial role in my deliberations about what reasons I have. Correct?
There is an awful lot going on in this story about the relation between intentions and future acts; about intentions and reasons; and about the relation between future-oriented intentions and beliefs. It is about this latter relation that you seem to take something for granted that I am unsure about. You assume that ceteris paribus you will do what you intend to do and that, therefore, if at t1 you intend to do A at t5, you should believe at t1 (or maybe t2, right after having formed the intention) that you will do A at t5. But surely, that is unclear at best? There are all kinds of situations and circumstances where intending to do A does not come with the requirement to believe that you will A?
It seems to me that this is one little building blick that needs to be firmly in place, before you can start pumping (at least my) intuitions about this scenario.

Hi Bruno,

Yes, there is an awful lot going on this example. I'm afraid that I'm not very good at constructing these sorts of examples.

"You say, after introducing all the alternatives, that if you form the intention to refrain from acquiring the anesthesia and instead get the amputating pill, you will not obtain the anesthesia -- and that this is a fact. And it is a fact, therefore, I better believe it and this should play a crucial role in my deliberations about what reasons I have. Correct?"

Whether I (qua subject of the example) should believe it and have it play a crucial role in my deliberations depends on my evidence. What I said was that *we* should not hold fixed the fact that I will not obtain the anesthetizing pill when deciding (I should have said 'figuring out') what my present reasons and obligations are.

You write: "You assume that ceteris paribus you will do what you intend to do and that, therefore, if at t1 you intend to do A at t5, you should believe at t1 (or maybe t2, right after having formed the intention) that you will do A at t5. But surely, that is unclear at best? There are all kinds of situations and circumstances where intending to do A does not come with the requirement to believe that you will A?"

I don't assume that I (qua subject of the example) will do what I will intend to do. It's just a stipulation of the case.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Ethics at PEA Soup

PPE at PEA Soup

Like PEA Soup

Search PEA Soup


Recent Comments

Disclaimer

  • Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in any given post reflect the opinion of only that individual who posted the particular entry or comment.