David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal for General Philosophy of Science 25 (2):241 - 259 (1994)
One of the main problems of current theory of intentionality concerns the possibility of ahistorical intentional content, that is, content in the absence of any developmental history of the respective item. Biosemanticists like Millikan (1984) argue that content is essentially historical, while computationalists like Cummins (1989) hold that a system's current ahistorical state alone determines content. In the present paper, this problem is discussed in terms of some popular 'cosmic accident' thought experiments, and the conceptual framework of these experiments is enriched by some new versions like accidental 'duplicates' without any preexisting original. As a result of these evaluations, it is argued that for an item to bear intentional content it is necessary to have a 'function' in the forward-looking sense introduced by Bigelow & Pargetter (1987). Since historicity is not necessary for functionality, ahistorical states can be intentional as long as they have functions. This result does not support computationalism, since functionality cannot be determined in terms of current ashistorical state alone, but only with reference to the present and future environmental context of the cognitive system that harbours these states
|Keywords||Intentionality history biosemantics teleology function cosmic accident computationalism|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Carolyn S. Price (2006). Affect Without Object: Moods and Objectless Emotions. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 2 (1):49-68.
R. Takenaga (2002). Inverting Intentional Content. Philosophical Studies 110 (3):197-229.
J. T. Whyte (1990). The Psycho-Physical Laws of Intentionality. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 4 (3):295 – 304.
York H. Gunther (2001). Content, Illusion, Partition. Philosophical Studies 102 (2):185-202.
Lynne Rudder Baker (1989). On a Causal Theory of Content. Philosophical Perspectives 3:165-186.
Robert D. Rupert (1999). Mental Representations and Millikan's Theory of Intentional Content: Does Biology Chase Causality? Southern Journal of Philosophy 37 (1):113-140.
Daniel Kelly, Kelby Mason & Dennis Whitcomb (2008). Intentionality - Naturalization Of. Encyclopedia of Neuroscience.
Pat A. Manfredi (1993). Two Routes to Narrow Content: Both Dead Ends. Philosophical Psychology 6 (1):3-22.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads5 ( #265,083 of 1,692,590 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #108,479 of 1,692,590 )
How can I increase my downloads?