Consider that following plausible wide scope requirement, a requirement that many philosophers endorse (including, I believe, M. Bratman, G. Harman, J. H. Sobel, and J. D. Velleman):
(WSR) Subjective rationality demands that S be such that she does not intend to X if she believes that she will not X.
In order to move from this wide scope requirement to some corresponding narrow scope requirement, we might rely on the following principle:
(WSR->NSR) If there is a wide scope requirement to the effect that subjective rationality demands that S be such that she does not phi if she psi’s (e.g., does not believe not-Q if she believes both P and P entails Q), then it follows that there is a narrow scope requirement to the effect that S is objectively required [not to phi] if S is objectively required to psi.
Now, WSR and WSR->NSR together entail:
(NSR) S is objectively required [not to intend to X] if S is objectively required to believe that she will not X.
But suppose that we assume that agents are objectively required to believe what’s true—that is:
(ORBT) For all S and for all p, if p is true, then S is objectively required to believe that p.
NSR and ORBT imply something absurd:
(ABSRD) One can never be objectively obligated to intend to do what one won’t in fact do.
ABSRD is absurd, because sometimes the only reason why S won’t in fact do something is because S doesn’t in fact intend to do it. And S can’t get out of an obligation to intend to do something simply by not intending to do that something.
Clearly, something has gone wrong along the way to ABSRD. I suspect that WSR->NSR is false, although I’m also open to the possibility that ORBT is false. Unfortunately, though, I’m not well versed in the relevant literature. Can anyone suggest any literature on how we derive narrow scope requirements from wide scope requirements? And can anyone suggest any literature on what we objectively ought to believe? Has anyone explicitly endorsed ORBT? Jacob Ross has said, in conversation, that he’s inclined to endorse it.