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Rational Powers in ActionInstrumental Rationality and Extended Agency$
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Sergio Tenenbaum

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198851486

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198851486.001.0001

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Future-Directed Intentions and the Theory of Instrumental Rationality

Future-Directed Intentions and the Theory of Instrumental Rationality

(p.111) 5 Future-Directed Intentions and the Theory of Instrumental Rationality
Rational Powers in Action

Sergio Tenenbaum

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers a major alternative to the extended theory of instrumental rationality (ETR): the view, pioneered by Michael Bratman, that future-directed intentions (FDIs) have a fundamental role to play in our understanding of the rationality of extended agency. FDIs come in many flavours; they can be specific intentions, plans, policies, or projects. I argue in this chapter that ETR naturally classifies some of these “flavours” as instances of extended actions, and therefore they are structurally identical and subject to the exact same basic instrumental requirements as other instances of extended actions. Once we see this point, it turns out that purported norms and principles governing FDIs are either superfluous or invalid.

Keywords:   Bratman, future-directed intentions, policies, extended action, plans, instrumental requirements

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