Intention is an agent’s specific purpose in performing an action or series of actions, the end or goal that is aimed at. Outcomes that are unanticipated or unforeseen are known as unintended consequences.
Intentional behavior can also be just thoughtful and deliberate goal-directedness. Recent research in experimental philosophy has shown that other factors may also matter for whether or not an action is counted as intentional.
G.E.M. Anscombe made the topic of intentional action a major topic of analytic philosophy with her 1957 work Intention. She argued that intentional action was coextensive with action of which one could ask “why were you doing that?” In the sense that Anscombe meant her question, it was “refused application” by the answer “I was not aware that I was doing that”, but not by “for no reason at all”. Therefore Anscombe held that it was possible to act intentionally for no reason at all. She also claimed that intentional action was subject to “knowledge without…