You Can Only Follow the Intentions for Which You Have Artefacts to Act

Kasper Munk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


This paper extracts and assesses a general idea which emerged from a four-year study of in-the-moment professional decision-making. Focusing on the artefacts that five schoolteachers used in dealing with challenging situations, the study drew attention to in-the-moment availability of practically useful artefacts and how this availability was a condition for the teachers’ pursuit of their intentions. The idea deserves scrutiny beyond the applied setting and the data of that specific study because of the noticeable lack of considerations about availability of artefacts in dominant research perspectives on decision-making. This paper discusses the idea in its own right with the purpose of cornering propositions that are controversial in the light of current understandings of decisionmaking, and which can be subjected to empirical examination. The paper seeks to put the initial statement clearly, conjecturing that a person can only decide to follow the intentions for which the person has the appropriate artefacts to act. From this starting point, the paper seeks to nuance different versions of this view of decision-making, trying to steer a balance between outward enactment and internal psychological processing; and between motivating intentions and externally producible means for action. The paper will therefore address questions such as: To what extent do certain artefacts become necessary conditions for certain decisions in a given situation? Does a wider range of available artefacts offer broader possibilities for action? And, does the availability of artefacts shape the intentions that emerge in the first place?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAbstract book : ISTP Conference 2019, Copenhagen, Denmark
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationCopenhagen
PublisherDanmarks Pædagogiske Universitet
Publication date2019
Article numberID132
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventThe 18th Biennial Conference of International Society for Theoretical Psychology. ISTP 2019 - Danish School of Education, Copenhagen , Denmark
Duration: 19 Aug 201923 Aug 2019
Conference number: 18


ConferenceThe 18th Biennial Conference of International Society for Theoretical Psychology. ISTP 2019
LocationDanish School of Education
Internet address

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