DO OUR INTENTIONS CAUSE OUR ACTIONS
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DO OUR INTENTIONS CAUSE OUR ACTIONS?
STUDENT: TRAVIS MAKONDE-TAFARI
Individuals sometimes seem to value having a choice among multiple options even when all the options on the choice menu are in some way sub optimal and when the additional options end up making no difference to the ultimate decision made.
I am at present writing this essay that you may in the future read. What I can gather from this supposed pursuit of excellence, is a feeling to - an evaluative need for completion of this paper. Why the need you may ask, or rather what is the purpose of my writing this particular essay? The reason being is that if I do not I will get no marks (well, superficially a necessary value that has no value - at first). My tutorial teacher may not look on my abstaining from this purpose positively. But even though I do the work, is it an intentional action? Is it of my will that I do so? Do I need to say of my will (for my present action of writing and being aware of it), to be of a conscious intention? That answer is yes and no. I will shortly explain.
In my paper, I will discuss on conscious response/s including acts that are not in the general sense, an action. Secondly, I will discuss about three forms of 'conscious' intentions. These intentions are of the conscious free, non-free willed and duty bounded variety . Throughout the paper, I will interject examples primarily centred on intentions. Finally, I will discuss my 'belief' in that not all our intentions do cause our actions as well as the sometimes 'influential' inverse function of action on intention.
Actions are a part of doings. Doings such as, bleeding, snoring, trembling are things that we may do, but none are an action. Or rather an action that is not related to conscious action - action willed. An agent may give the observer an account of why he or she does such an action. And what we may ascertain within the description of an agent's action are two things, namely desire and belief. The meaning of desire and belief are not used in unrestricted terms here.
I can write an essay without any issued order from an academic - that is an intention culminating into an appropriate action to complete the task. Or as I am doing now, writing an essay when I do not wish to. Still this is intentional, as I am aware in both models of what I am doing. What I have written previously illustrate an awareness of my actions and intentions. The examples show that free will can at times have nothing to do with intentions. Which are that, not all intentions are governed by free desire, in the sense of a need. I will make myself clearer. So to repeat, I did not wish to write the essay, but I had to do so . This example is what Davis would call not an intentional but an intending. Meanwhile Davidson believes that every action is intentional, i.e. the agent must be aware of every action he/she produces. And in order for the agent to be aware of an intentional action, it must be preceded by desire. This example through Davis' eyes is described as an ought to. Namely that desire should logically follow on towards an action. But Davis I feel is wrong in that assumption, albeit partly wrong. Yes, I agree with Davis concerning the second example up to an extent, but what if there are additional factors? One of those factors could be a particular time that the essay had to get in by. Could that (need) circumstance be transformed into a necessity (I-do-not-want-to-do-it-but-I-have-to-do-it kind of thing)? Could it be possible, that my frustration of having to wait to print work within a deadline accentuate my actions? Such a situation could generate any variety of actions within individuals. And possible actions that one would not do in normal circumstances. What does Davis say about that condition whereby an intending becomes an intention? The intentional action of writing my essay is fuelled by a strong need to complete the work. So being aware of the intention is what matters as far as Davidson is concerned. For
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Philosophy of life, Free will, Analytic philosophers, Action, Causality, Intention, Donald Davidson, Philosophy of desire, Reason, Ethics, Collective intentionality, Action theory
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