Attempt, Success and Action Generation: A Logical Study of Intentional Action [chapter]

Daniel Vanderveken
2002 Logic, Thought and Action  
Contemporary philosophers have broadly studied intentional actions that agents attempt to perform in the world. However, logicians of action have tended to neglect the intentionality proper to human action. I will present here the basic principles and laws of a logic of individual action where intentional actions are primary as in contemporary philosophy of action. In my view, any action that an agent performs unintentionally could in principle have been attempted. Moreover any unintentional
more » ... ny unintentional action of an agent is an effect of intentional actions of that agent. So my logic of action contains a theory of attempt and of action generation. As Belnap pointed out, action, branching time and historic modalities are logically related. There is the liberty of voluntary action. I will then work out a logic of action that is compatible with indeterminism. Propositions with the same truth conditions are not the contents of the same attitudes of human agents. For that reason I will exploit the resources of a non classical modal and temporal predicative propositional logic capable of distinguishing the contents of intentional actions which are different. My primary purpose is enrich the logic of agency so as to adequately characterize attempts, intentional actions and the different kinds of action generation. * A first draft of this paper has been published in the special issue on Mental Causation of Manuscrito Vol XXV, 2002 pp 323-356). I thank Manuscrito for granting permission to republish the paper here. I am also grateful to
doi:10.1007/1-4020-3167-x_15 dblp:series/leus/Vanderveken05b fatcat:livmbvr6uzcfxf6hkeddmnpa4a