Hall on Intention and Decision

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Hall on Intention and Decision

Bruce Aune The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 75, No. 10, Seventy-Fifth Annual Meeting of the American Philosophical Assoc

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Hall on Intention and Decision Bruce Aune The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 75, No. 10, Seventy-Fifth Annual Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division. (Oct., 1978), p. 564. Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0022-362X%28197810%2975%3A10%3C564%3AHOIAD%3E2.0.CO%3B2-Z The Journal of Philosophy is currently published by Journal of Philosophy, Inc..

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deciding, we now can see good reasons for having confidence both in the view that deciding is a special case of intending and in our ability to make decisions even when we are embroiled in a conflict between our previously formed intentions. JAMES W. HALL

Kutztown State College




ALL objects to the received view of deciding and defends an alternative. T h e received view, in rough and ready terms, is that deciding is a process of forming an intention. Arguing that we can decide to carry out an intention we have already formed and that one who decides to do A is more firmly committed to doing A than one who merely intends to do A, Hall concludes that deciding should be viewed as a special case of intending, one in which the agent not only intends to do something A but also intends to maintain his intention to do A against "unwarranted deliberation." Hall also suggests that deciding is a mental act formally analogous to saying "I have decided." I shall defend the received view against Hall's objections and also develop objections to Hall's alternative. Among other things, I shall contend (a) that deciding is a process of decision-making, not a special kind (or state) of intending; (b) that people who decide to carry out a decision they have already formed have inevitably reconsidered the question of what they are going to do and thus have formed an intention anew; (c) that those who have decided to do something A are no more firmly committed to doing A than those who merely intend to do A ; (d) that deciding is in no way analogous to saying "I have decided'; and (e) that a person could easily decide to do something without forming any intention about maintaining the intention of doing it against unwarranted deliberation. BRCCE AUNE

University of Massachusetts at Amherst

* Abstract of a paper to be presented in an AFA synlposiurn on the Philosophy of Mind, December 28, 1978, commenting on James W. Hall, "Deciding as a Way of Intending," this JOURNAL, this issue, 553-564. 0022-362X/78/7510/0564$00.50

0 1978 T h e Journal of Philosophy, Inc.