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
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1006710821443
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How Was Teleology Eliminated in Early Molecular Biology?Phillip R. Sloan - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):140-151.
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Evolution and Belief: The Missing Question.Matthew Ratcliffe - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 33 (1):133-150.

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