I intend that we J, but I don’t intend to play my own part in our J-ing
Some people think that we should understand an intention (of mine) that we do something (“that we J”) as really an intention (of mine) to play my own part in our doing that thing (“our J-ing”). Here, I argue against this idea. I do so by showing that I can intend that we J when I do not even intend to play my own part in our J-ing (where by “play my own part in our J-ing” I understand “do something that I conceive of as somehow causally contributing to, or partly constitutive of, our J-ing”).
I argue for this idea in a positive and a negative way. Positively, I present examples where, intuitively, I intend that we J and not intend to do anything that I conceive of as causally contributing to, or partly constitutive of, our J-ing.
Negatively, present some reasons to doubt an argument recently presented by Kirk Ludwig (From Individual to Plural Agency: Collective Action I. Oxford University Press. 2016), according to which intentions with sentential complements should be understood as intentions with infinitival complements. Since the intention that we J takes a sentential complement, this argument could be used (I do not claim Ludwig himself uses it) to support the idea that an intention that we J should be understood as an intention to play my own part in our J-ing.
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