A Kantian stance on the intentional stance

Biology and Philosophy 16 (1):29-52 (2001)
I examine the way in which Daniel Dennett (1987, 1995) uses his 'intentional' and 'design' stances to make the claim that intentionality is derived from design. I suggest that Dennett is best understood as attempting to supply an objective, nonintentional, naturalistic rationale for our use of intentional concepts. However, I demonstrate that his overall picture presupposes prior application of the intentional stance in a preconditional, ineliminable,'sense-giving' role. Construed as such, Dennett's account is almost identical to the account of biological teleology offered by Kant in The Critique of Judgement, with the consequence that Dennett's naturalism is untenable. My conclusions lead to doubts concerning the legitimacy of any account attempting to naturalise intentionality by extracting normativity from biology and also point to a novel account of biological function.
Keywords Intention  Kantianism  Naturalism  Science  Dennett, D
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1023/A:1006710821443
 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: 16,667
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Phillip R. Sloan (2012). How Was Teleology Eliminated in Early Molecular Biology? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):140-151.
Matthew Ratcliffe (2002). Evolution and Belief: The Missing Question. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 33 (1):133-150.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

54 ( #63,378 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #231,316 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

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