Conditional and Preparatory Intentions

John Finnis

in Intention and Identity

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199580064
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729386 | DOI:
Conditional and Preparatory Intentions

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This chapter provides an examination of English judicial doctrine, and then of existing philosophical accounts in English, in relation to conditional intention. The basic ambiguity of the term is resolved here, and the complexity of the relevant realities teased out. Alan Donagan's critique of Aquinas on imperium is refuted, as is Hobbes's account of deliberation. Preparatory intentions — to get into a position to form and specific kind of intention later — are identified. The moral significance of treating an option as morally acceptable (a kind of consensus in Aquinas's sense) is shown and applied to British doctrines and systems of nuclear deterrence.

Keywords: conditional intention; preparatory intention; Alan Donagan; Hobbes; Aquinas; imperium; consensus; nuclear deterrence

Chapter.  8011 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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