Date of Award

August 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Luca Ferrero

Committee Members

Joshua Spencer, Edward S. Hinchman


In this paper, I develop a novel account of the role of intentions in diachronic intentional agency that I call the advisorial model. §I begins by offering an analysis of advice based on agents' first and second-order reasons coupled with trust and deliberative authority. I then proceed to argue (§§I.iii-II) that the individual components of the analysis can be leveraged against executive agential states such as intentions. This provides a course-grained analysis of future-directed intentions that is refined by noting pertinent differences from advice. Along the way I detail two, which hinge on what I call the accessibility and sustenance provisions. I then use the resulting advisorial model of intentions supplemented by the provisions to develop a more robust picture of human agency that includes higher-order executive states such as commitments (§II.iii). The impetus for employing a comparative methodology that proceeds from simpler to more complex notions is twofold. I do so first, in order to characterize an anomalous phenomenon and second, in an effort to account for the temporal unity and self-governance that Michael Bratman claims is distinctive of human agency (§II.iv). Finally, §III levels one specific criticism against his planning theory of action based on a pair of intuition pumps in §III.ii.

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