Is design relative or real? Dennett on intentional relativism and physical realism

Minds and Machines 10 (2):267-83 (2000)
Dennett's intended rapprochement between physical realism and intentional relativism fails because it is premised upon conflicting arguments governing the status of design. Indeed, Dennett's remarks on design serve to highlight tensions buried deep within his theory. For inasmuch as Dennett succeeds in objectifying attributions of design, attributions of intentionality readily follow suit, leading to a form of intentional realism. But inasmuch as Dennett is successful in relativizing attributions of design, scientific realism at large is subject to renewed anti-realistic criticism. Dennettian-inspired considerations of adaptationism substantiate the former move towards intentional realism, while considerations of the relativity of artifactual design encourage the latter move towards physical relativism. The ambivalence intrinsic to Dennett's ``mild realism'' can be viewed as a function of these two conflicting positions on design, for Dennett can no more avoid objectifying intentionality when he is realistic about design than he can avoid relativizing physical causality when relativistic about design
Keywords Design  Intentionality  Realism  Relativism  Science  Dennett, D
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1023/A:1008356914711
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,807
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Dennett and the Quest for Real Meaning: In Defense of a Myth.David Beisecker - 2002 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 9 (1):11-18.
Dennett's Little Grains of Salt.Gregory McCulloch - 1990 - Philosophical Quarterly 40 (158):1-12.
Intentional Systems.Daniel C. Dennett - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (February):87-106.
Cognition, Natural Selection, and the Intentional Stance.Daisie M. Radner & Michael Radner - 1995 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 9 (2):109-19.
Patterns Lost: Indeterminism and Dennett's Realism About Beliefs.B. Cohen - 1995 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 76 (1):17-31.
Dennett on Intentional Systems.Stephen P. Stich - 1981 - Philosophical Topics 12 (1):39-62.
Dennett's Stance on Intentional Realism.David Davies - 1995 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 33 (3):299-312.
Reading Mother Nature's Mind.Ruth G. Millikan - 2000 - In Don Ross, Andrew Brook & David L. Thompson (eds.), Dennett's Philosophy: A Comprehensive Assessment. MIT Press.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
80 ( #72,134 of 2,214,511 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #239,296 of 2,214,511 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature