Optimality vs. intent: Limitations of Dennett's artifact hermeneutics

Philosophical Psychology 21 (6):779 – 797 (2008)
Abstract
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
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09515080802516204
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,173
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life.Daniel C. Dennett & Jon Hodge - 1995 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (3):435-438.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
The Mismeasure of Machine: Synthetic Biology and the Trouble with Engineering Metaphors.Maarten Boudry & Massimo Pigliucci - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (4):660-668.
The Mismeasure of Machine: Synthetic Biology and the Trouble with Engineering Metaphors.Maarten Boudry & Massimo Pigliucci - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):660-668.
Artefacts and Family Resemblance.Pawel Garbacz - 2013 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (3):419-447.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Dennett on Intentional Systems.Stephen P. Stich - 1981 - Philosophical Topics 12 (1):39-62.
Reflections on Dennett and Consciousness. [REVIEW]Michael Tye - 1993 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (4):891-6.
Dennett on Free Will.Craig Ross - 2011 - Metaphysica 12 (2):137-149.
Determinism and Inevitability.Helen Steward - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 130 (3):535-563.
Dennett's Mind.Michael Lockwood - 1993 - Inquiry 36 (1-2):59-72.
The Interpretation of Texts, People and Other Artifacts.Daniel C. Dennett - 1990 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 50:177-194.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-05-07

Total downloads

28 ( #178,766 of 2,152,482 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #399,782 of 2,152,482 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums