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Two Objections to Bratman

‘Our shared intention to paint together involves your intention that we paint and my intention that we paint.’

Bratman (2015, p. 12)

‘the team intention ... is in part expressed by "We are executing a pass play." But ... no individual member of the team has this as the entire content of his intention, for no one can execute a pass play by himself.’

Searle (1990, pp.~92--3)


the own-action condition:

‘it is always true that the subject of an intention is the intended agent of the intended activity’

Bratman (2015, p. 13)

\citep[p.~13]{bratman:2014_book} [Note that Bratman *denies* this claim.]
Bratman rejects the own-action condition. He notes that there are cases in which it seems I can intend things which involve others’ actions (e.g. I can intend that my son tidy his room). In his 2015 book (chapter 3, section 1), Bratman considers two arguments for it which do not seem to succeed. I follow Bratman in thinking that there is no reason to accept the own-action condition.
Is the ‘own action’ condition a genuine requirement on intending.

Is it a genuine requirement?

So are we done with the objections? Not quite!
A further problem arises from Velleman’s observation about intentions ...

the settle condition:

‘intentions . . . are the attitudes that resolve deliberative questions, thereby settling issues’

Velleman (1997, p. 32)

If we accept the settle condition, then there is a challenge to Bratman: I can only rationally and knowingly intend that we paint if I can settle whether we paint; and likewise for you. But it seems that, in many ordinary cases, I can’t unilaterally settle whether we paint. So, it seems, I can’t intend that we paint without relevant irrationality or ignorance. \citep[pp.~64--5]{bratman:2014_book}
How can we meet this challenge?
Is the settle condition a genuine requirement on intending.

Does Bratmans’s view
violate the settle condition?

A solution?:

(a) if we both do as we intend, we will paint

(b) our intentions that we paint are interdependent*

Strictly speaking, what is required is persistence interdependence ...
Our intentions have \emph{persistence interdependence} just if (a) each of us ‘will continue so to intend if, but only if the other continues so to intend’ and (b) ‘there is this interdepen­dence because each will know whether or not the other continues so to intend, and each will adjust to this knowledge in a way that involves responsiveness to norms of individual plan-theoretic rationality.’ \citep[p.~65]{bratman:2014_book}

(The persistence of my intention is interdependent with the persistence of yours, and this is because ...)