David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Psychology 21 (6):779 – 797 (2008)
Dennett has argued that when people interpret artifacts and other designed objects ( such as biological items ) they rely on optimality considerations , rather than on designer's intentions. On his view , we infer an item's function by finding out what it is best at; and such functional attribution is more reliable than when we depend on the intention it was developed with. This paper examines research in cognitive psychology and archaeology , and argues that Dennett's account is implausible. We conclude that , quite in contrast to Dennett , intentional considerations play a crucial role in artifact hermeneutics , and even stronger , are necessary for the sake of simplicity and precision. Finally , we question Dennett's contention that the interpretation of artifacts is the same project as the interpretation of any other designed entity
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References found in this work BETA
Daniel C. Dennett (ed.) (1978). Brainstorms: Philosophical Essays on Mind and Psychology. Bradford Books.
Daniel C. Dennett & Jon Hodge (1997). Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (3):435-438.
Peter McLaughlin (2001). What Functions Explain: Functional Explanation and Self-Reproducing Systems. Cambridge University Press.
Deborah Kelemen (1999). The Scope of Teleological Thinking in Preschool Children. Cognition 70 (3):241-272.
Citations of this work BETA
Maarten Boudry & Massimo Pigliucci (2013). The Mismeasure of Machine: Synthetic Biology and the Trouble with Engineering Metaphors. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (4):660-668.
Sergio E. Chaigneau & Guillermo Puebla (2013). The Proper Function of Artifacts: Intentions, Conventions and Causal Inferences. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (3):391-406.
Pawel Garbacz (2013). Artefacts and Family Resemblance. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (3):419-447.
Hector MacIntyre (2013). Category Cognition and Dennett's Design Stance. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (3):483-495.
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