Philosophy 465 First paper One popular view on intentions and instrumental reasoning is that the formation of an intention

creates reason for the agent to bring about the intended state. A problem with this view is that it seems to allow one by forming an intention to make it the case that one ought to do something that before one had no reasons for it or even reasons not to do it. This is because, according to this view, one gains a reason by having an intention and, thus, this reason could possibly outweigh other reasons against it. However, it is absurd to suppose that simply deciding a course of action can make it the case one ought to do it if before the decision the balance of reasons was against it. Therefore, intentions cannot bring about reasons. Michael Bratman and John Broome have explored this objection and have named it the bootstrapping problem.