Instrumental Intentionality
Baker (Lynne Rudder)
Source: Stich & Warfield - Mental Representation
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. Many physicalists are committed to an austere dichotomy: either beliefs, desires and intentions are scientifically respectable or attributions of such attitudes are all false. One physicalist, Daniel Dennett offers a third alternative, which seems to permit a kind of instrumentalism concerning attitudes.
  2. I argue that Dennett's attempt to reconcile an instrumentalistic account of attributions of attitudes with a thoroughgoing physicalism founders on unresolvable conflicts between his official theory and his actual treatment of key concepts. As a result, instrumentalism concerning attitudes is exposed as inadequate to be a genuine alternative to the physicalist's dichotomy.


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