This Independent Study thesis is divided into four chapters. Chapter 1 provides contextualization for and an interpretation of Anscombe’s claim—dubbed the “cognition condition”—that agents know what intentional actions they are performing without observation. I criticize several interpretations of Anscombe’s conceptions of observation, observational knowledge, and non-observational knowledge, provided by Pickard (2004), Harcourt (2008), and McDowell (2011), and provide a more charitable and better textually supported interpretation. Chapter 2 evaluates several arguments that can be used to target a strong, unrestricted formulation of the cognition condition, which include arguments issued by Davidson (1971, 1978), Setiya (2008), Velleman (1989), and Paul (2009). I conclude that only Davidson’s argument clearly forces a qualification of the cognition condition. Chapter 3 introduces what I call the “Paradox of Intentional Action Theory,” which threatens the truth of the cognition condition. I argue for a resolution of the Paradox that preserves it, drawing heavily on Setiya (2007, 2008, 2009). Chapter 4 provides a retrospect and commentary on the epistemological significance of the conclusions reached.
Fiander, Alex, "Knowledge of Intentional Action as Essential for It: An Epistemological and Action-Theoretical Investigation" (2021). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 9479.
Epistemology | Other Philosophy | Philosophy | Philosophy of Mind
action, intentional action, intention, agency, practical knowledge, knowledge of action, epistemology of action, G.E.M Anscombe, Donald Davidson
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
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