Intentional systems in cognitive ethology: The 'panglossian paradigm' defended

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 6 (3):343-90 (1983)

Authors
Daniel C. Dennett
Tufts University
Abstract
Ethologists and others studying animal behavior in a spirit are in need of a descriptive language and method that are neither anachronistically bound by behaviorist scruples nor prematurely committed to particular Just such an interim descriptive method can be found in intentional system theory. The use of intentional system theory is illustrated with the case of the apparently communicative behavior of vervet monkeys. A way of using the theory to generate data - including usable, testable data - is sketched. The underlying assumptions of this approach can be seen to ally it directly with theorizing in evolutionary biology, which has recently come under attack from Stephen Gould and Richard Lewontin, who castigate it as the Their arguments, which are strongly analogous to B. F, Skinner's arguments against point to certain pitfalls that attend the careless exercise of such thinking (and rival varieties of thinking as well), but do not constitute a fundamental objection to either adaptationist theorizing or its cousin, intentional system theory
Keywords adaptation   animal cognition   behaviorism   cognitive ethology   communication   comparative psychology   consciousness   evolution   intentionality   language   mind   sociobiology
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DOI 10.1017/S0140525X00016393
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References found in this work BETA

The Language of Thought.Jerry A. Fodor - 1975 - Harvard University Press.
Brainstorms.Daniel C. Dennett - 1978 - MIT Press.
Word and Object.W. QUINE - 1960 - MIT Press.
Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Natural Language and Natural Selection.Steven Pinker & Paul Bloom - 1990 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (4):707-27.
Cultural Learning.Michael Tomasello, Ann Cale Kruger & Hilary Horn Ratner - 1993 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16 (3):495-511.
The Cognitive Functions of Language.Peter Carruthers - 2002 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (6):657-674.
Pain and Behavior.Howard Rachlin - 1985 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 8 (1):43-83.
Tactical Deception in Primates.A. Whiten & R. W. Byrne - 1988 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (2):233-244.

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