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In Scholastic logic and psychology, a concept used to describe a mode of being or relation between a mind and an object. In knowing, the mind is said to intend or tend toward its object, and a thing as known, or in the knowing mind, has intentional being, as with squaring the circle, which, though impossible, can be an object of intention. In action theory, intention is taken in a different but related sense, as in acting with the intention of accomplishing a specific purpose. An important question in action theory is that of the relation between having a specific intention in doing something and doing the same thing intentionally. Is an intention necessary for intentional action and, if so, is it a cause of such action or some other kind of ground of it?
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on intention, visit Britannica.com.