About Aboutness: Thoughts on Intentional Behaviorism

Behavior and Philosophy 35:65 - 76 (2007)
Abstract
The rationale, scientific necessity, and character of intentionality ascriptions (assertions that attribute beliefs, expectations, wishes and such to certain systems) remain unresolved issues in the philosophy of mind and psychology. Foxall's proposed resolution (2007), which he calls "Intentional Behaviorism" (IB), is that intentionality ascriptions should be tied to the experimental analysis of behavior, nervous systems, and evolutionary considerations. Foxall's tone of scientific pluralism and attention to academic philosophy and psychology are steps in the right direction. However, I remain skeptical about IB's adequacy as a philosophical underpinning of psychology. My skepticism stems from IB's a-ontological character (which ignores the nature of intentionality, a major issue in psychology), pragmatist inclination (which invites relativism), and adoption of the linguistic view of intentionality, where intensionality is the defining criterion of intentionality. The linguistic view forces us either to restrict intentionality to humans, a deal-breaker for animal cognition psychologists, of to talk of mental language, a deal-breaker for operant psychologists. Also, an emphasis on extensionality, which is about logical validity and not soundness, fails to capture the emphasis of scientific psychology on evidence as a rationality criterion. Finally, if IB presupposes or entails linguistic anti-nativism, it is unlikely to appeal to evolutionary psychologists. IB would thus be better off by abandoning the linguistic view of intentionality.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,351
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Gordon R. Foxall (2007). Intentional Behaviorism. Behavior and Philosophy 35:1 - 55.
    Gordon R. Foxall (1999). The Contextual Stance. Philosophical Psychology 12 (1):25-46.
    Tim Crane (2007). Intentionalism. In Ansgar Beckermann & Brian P. McLaughlin (eds.), Oxford Handbook to the Philosophy of Mind. Oxford University Press. 474--493.
    Todd D. Janke (2008). Making Room for Bodily Intentionality. Polish Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):51-68.
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

    Added to index

    2011-05-29

    Total downloads

    1 ( #306,128 of 1,088,389 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    0

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.