The Need for an Intention

Gideon Yaffe

in Attempts

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199590667
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595530 | DOI:
The Need for an Intention

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In almost all jurisdictions, a defendant has committed an attempt only if he intends to complete the crime. Intention is an element of attempt even when the crime can be completed without intent. This chapter offers the following rationale for this dominant approach: a person has not attempted to act a certain way unless he intends to act that way. This claim is denied by most philosophers of action. The chapter shows that their arguments against it are flawed, and offers a positive argument for the claim. Trying is governed by the same norms of rationality that govern intention, and this fact, when coupled with a view of intention as distinctive in virtue of the norms that govern it, strongly supports the claim that trying necessarily involves intent.

Keywords: attempt; intention; trying; norms; rationality

Chapter.  14093 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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