Knowledge, practical knowledge, and intentional action

Shepherd, J. and Carter, J. A. (2021) Knowledge, practical knowledge, and intentional action. Ergo, (Accepted for Publication)

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Abstract

We argue that any strong version of a knowledge condition on intentional action, the practical knowledge principle, on which knowledge of what I am doing (under some description: call it A-ing) is necessary for that A-ing to qualify as an intentional action, is false. Our argument involves a new kind of case, one that centers the agent’s control appropriately and thus improves upon Davidson’s well-known carbon copier case. After discussing this case, offering an initial argument against the knowledge condition, and discussing recent treatments that cover nearby ground, we consider several objections. One we consider at some length maintains that although contemplative knowledge may be disconnected from intentional action, specifically practical knowledge of the sort Anscombe elucidated escapes our argument. We demonstrate that this is not so. Our argument illuminates an important truth, often overlooked in discussions of the knowledge-intentional action relationship: intentional action and knowledge have different levels of permissiveness regarding failure in similar circumstances.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Accepted for Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Carter, Dr J Adam
Authors: Shepherd, J., and Carter, J. A.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Ergo
Publisher:Michigan Publishing
ISSN:2330-4014
ISSN (Online):2330-4014
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
306621A Virtue Epistemology of TrustJoseph CarterLeverhulme Trust (LEVERHUL)RPG-2019-302Arts - Philosophy