Chapter

Practical Reasoning

Gilbert Harman

in Reasoning, Meaning, and Mind

Published in print July 1999 | ISBN: 9780198238027
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597633 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198238029.003.0003
 Practical Reasoning

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Intentions are distinct real psychological states, not mere constructs out of beliefs and desires. One intends to do something only if one believes one will do it. Positive intentions are to be distinguished from negative and conditional intentions. All intentions are self‐referential and are to be distinguished from beliefs by means of differences between theoretical reasoning, which directly modifies beliefs, and practical reasoning, which directly modifies intentions. One can sometimes adopt intrinsic desires at will and one may pursue a plan in order to give significance to earlier acts.

Keywords: beliefs; desires; intentions; plans; practical reasoning; reasoning; self‐reference

Chapter.  13896 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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