I'm trying to write a logical/philosophical essay about the topics of interests and actions, and more precisely, of logical fallacies that arise from equating interests and actions.[1]

After 30 years, I think I have good mastery of the language. However, I am stomped at trying to differentiate between "intention" and "objective."


A common dictionary suggests that an "objective" is "a thing aimed at or sought; a goal."

On the other hand, "intention" has this definition (bold for emphasis on the second definition): "a thing intended; an aim or plan."

Here are the questions.

Can I say the following, that an "objective" is synonymous to an "intention" when it is understood as "a thing intended"?

Can I also say that an "objective" is the goal (or a goal) of an "intention", when "intention" is understood to be as "an aim or plan"?

Reference (Just FYI)

[1] For the curious, I'm writing about the logical fallacy of assuming concrete actions from interests.

For example, a person A might have an interest (Y) in person B foreclosing her property, since person A could buy the property at a bargain.

The fallacy I want to write about is to assume that because person A has that interest (Y), she takes concrete actions detrimental to B to accelerate the foreclosure.

Another form of this fallacy is to deny the possibility that person A might want to help person B avoid foreclosure, even if person A has an interest in purchasing the property at a bargain if the foreclosure unavoidably occurs.

This is where I really need to nail down precise definitions and usages for the words "intention" and "objective."

  • 2
    [Corrections: You are stumped, not stomped. The topic of interests and actions].
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 18:52

1 Answer 1


As esteemed forum member Anton said in a comment, there are gaps in the dictionary world, and we have to live with it. For your purpose, it may help to think in this way, "objective is a set thing, to achieve the objective a person would carry out definite actions.". On the other hand, "intention is a frame of mind, actions may result from it, but is not necessary."

Objective is the more active kind and intention is the more passive kind.

"To have a chitchat with a person". If this is the objective, the person with the objective would say "hi" to this person. If this the intention, the person with the intention would be in the proximity of this person.

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    If my objective is to get a job, my intention will be to sell myself for it. Intention comes first with the objective in mind as final goal. Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 22:19
  • Thank you, that makes sense! Commented Oct 22, 2022 at 19:06

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