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Grazer Philosophische Studien

Volume 30, 1987

Science and Ethics

Myles Brand
Pages 77-95

Interpersonal Practical Reasoning

According to one version of the Causal Theory, an action is a mental or bodily event caused by an intention to act. Deliberate action requires prior planning. The practical syllogism is interpreted as a summary description of the planning process, where the conclusion reports the agent's intention. Social action differs from individual action in that only the former requires coordination of one's action with members of a group. This difference is reflected in the intention with which we act, labeled 'we-intention' by Raimo Tuomela. Reports of we-intentions are the conclusions of interpersonal practical syllogisms. We-intentions differ from individual intentions both cognitively and conatively. The cognitive component of a we-intention includes a representation of the pattern of group activity into which one's action fits, as well as expectations of other's actions; the conative component includes at least one socially generated motive. These cognitive and conative components of we-intention find their explication in cognitive and motivational psychology and related fields.

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