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December 15, 2009


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If anyone is still reading, here's the more-or-less final formulation of D3:

A set of actions, αj, beginning at tj (ti ≤ tj) is securable by S at ti if and only if there is a set of actions, αi (αi is a subset of αj), such that all of the following hold: (1) S would perform αj if S were to perform αi, (2) S would perform αi if S were to intend, at ti, to perform αi, and (3) S is not, at ti, in a state that’s incompatible with S’s intending to perform αi, (Intentions should be understood broadly to include plans, policies, resolutions, and the like. And I’m assuming that counterfactual determinism is true.)

I think there is a problem with solely using intentions to determine what sets of actions are securable. Jaegwon Kim from Princeton argues for the Defeasibility of Mental-Behavioral Entailment. The result is that no finite set of intentions (belief, desire pairs) could entail an action.


The idea is not that the intention alone results in the performance of the act. The idea is that the intention (or more precisely the corresponding event in the agent's brain) along with all the other states of the world and the deterministic laws of nature causally determine that the act will be performed. Does Kim argue that this is not possible?

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