Intention and Practical Thought
  • Intention and Practical Thought

Intention and Practical Thought (Print)

Gerhard Preyer
Intention and Practical Thought

128 pages, paperback
Frankfurt am Main 2011
ISBN 978-3-941743-09-0

Paperback 16,80 
E-Book (PDF) 11,80

16,80 €

The philosophical questions about action concern it’s nature, it’s description and it’s explanation. The leading questions are "What a theory of action is possible?", "Are reasons causes?", "What are practical thoughts?" and "What is the formal logic of practical inference?" Gerhard Preyer offers new answers of some old question about the description and the explanation of action and the logical structure of deliberation or practical reasoning which results from the theory of action since the 1950s years. It is argued that a theory of agent can provide an alternative to any theory postulating actions as irreducible entities metaphysically. The author’s account presents intention as states irreducible to beliefs and desires. The analysis places also a requirement on a fruitful description of the mind-body problem.

Teachers and students (graduate and advanced undergraduate) in philosophy, particularly in the field of philosophy of action, mind and moral philosophy. Also of interest to sociologists and psychologists. Can be used as a textbook for graduate and undergraduate courses in philosophy of action.

The Author
Gerhard Preyer is Professor of Sociology at the Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Among his publications are Donald Davidson?s Philosophy. From Radical Interpretation to Radical Contextualism and Interpretation, Language and the Social. Philosophical Articles. He edits ProtoSociology. An International Journal of Interdisciplinary Research (



Geographical Overview
Analytical Philosophy of Action 9

Part I
Enigmas of Agency

1. The Reference of Action Description 33
    (a) Attributing and Ascribing Action 34
    (b) On Critique of the Identity Theory 40
    (c) Actions and Body Movement 43
    (d) What Sort of Theory of Action is possible? 46
2. Explaining Action 52
    (a) Theoretical and Practical Thinking 52
    (b) Belief and Intention 58
    (c) Practical Thought 65
        (i) Situation 65
        (ii) Intention 73
        (iii) Practical Thought 80
    (d) An Intentional Explanation 82

Part II
Practical Reasoning

1. Decision and the Execution of Intention 91
2. Practical Inference 95
3. The Humean Theory of Motivation 104
4. Evaluative Attitude 108
    (i) The Extent of the Unified Theory 108
    (ii) Cognitive and Evaluative Attitudes 112

References 117
Name Index 125
Subject Index 126