David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 64 (1):115-35 (1985)
1. When we attribute beliefs, desires, and other states of common sense psychology to a person, or for that matter to an animal or an artifact, we are assuming or presupposing that the person or object can be treated as an intentional system. 2. An intentional system is one which is rational through and through; its beliefs are those it ought to have, given its perceptual capacities, its epistemic needs, and its biography…. Its desires are those it ought to have, given its biological needs and the most practicable means of satisfying them…. And its behavior will consist of those acts that it would be rational for an agent with those beliefs and desires to perform. [beliefs + desires action] 3. If rationality is absent, we cannot coherently ascribe beliefs at all. 4. Therefore, no experiment could demonstrate that people systematically invoke invalid or irrational inferential strategies.
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