"Intent" and "Purpose" redirect here. For other uses, see Intent (disambiguation) and Purpose (disambiguation).
"Intentionally" redirects here. For the racehorse, see Intentionally (horse).
This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.
This article possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research may be removed. (March 2013)
This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2013)
Intention is an agent's specific purpose in performing an action or series of actions, the end or goal that is aimed at. Outcomes that are not anticipated and not foreseen are known as unintended consequences.
Intentional behavior can also be just thoughtful and deliberate goal-directedness. Recent research in experimental philosophy has shown that other factors may also matter for whether or not an action is counted as intentional.
1.2 Experimental research,
2 Related terms,
3 See also,
6 External links,
G.E.M. Anscombe made the topic of intentional action a major topic of analytic philosophy with her 1957 work Intention. She argued that intentional action was coextensive with action of which one could ask "why were you doing that?" In the sense that Anscombe meant her question, it was "refused application" by the answer "I was not aware that I was doing that", but not by "for no reason at all". Therefore Anscombe held that it was possible to act intentionally for no reason at all. She also claimed that intentional action was subject to "knowledge without observation", and that all intentional action involved acting under a description.
In deontological ethics the intent of an act is the way in which a maxim is supposed to be executed.
In recent years, there has been a large amount of work done on the concept of intentional action in experimental philosophy. This work has aimed at illuminating and understanding the factors which influence people's judgments of whether an action was done intentionally. For instance, research has shown that unintended side effects are often considered to be done intentionally if the side effect is considered bad and the person acting knew the side effect would occur before acting. Yet when the side effect is considered good, people generally don't think it was done intentionally, even if the person knew it would occur before acting. The best-known example involves a chairman who implements a new business program for the sole purpose of making money but ends up affecting the environment in the process. If he implements his business plan and in the process he ends up helping the environment, then people generally say he unintentionally helped the environment; if he implements his business plan and in the process he ends up harming the environment, then people generally say he intentionally harmed the environment. The important point is that in both cases his only goal was to make money. While there have been many explanations proposed for why the "side-effect effect" occurs, researchers on this topic have not yet reached a consensus.
In the philosophy of mind, intentionality is the property of being "about" something else, or to have some subject matter, in a certain way. Many states of mind, such as thinking about the pyramids, are characteristically about things (in this case, the pyramids). Other things, such as words and paintings, can also have kinds of intentionality. Rocks and tables, in general, do not have intentional states.