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Intentionality and non-mental representation – Michael Tye’s Ten Problems of Consciousness

William Lycan‘s (2008) introductory statement on intentionality for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy begins as follows:

Intentionality is the power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand for, properties and states of affairs” (Representational Theories of Consciousness, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).

It is generally the assumption that the defining attribution of intentionality is its relation to mental phenomena. Michael Tye’s position on intentionality is consistent with this assumption. But Tye qualifies his stance as ‘unorthodox’, distinguishing it from that of Colin McGinn (1982 – The Character of Mind), John Searle (1983 – Intentionality), and Ned Block Read on. . .

Intentional States – John Searle vs Mother Nature

John Searle’s book entitled ‘Intentionality’ could otherwise be entitled ‘The principles and conditional characteristics of conceptual representation’. I say this because his irreducible stance on Intentionality is tightly restricted to and fixated on conceptually confined modes of analysis of mental representation expressible as a function within a “circle of Intentional concepts”.

there is no nonintentional standpoint from which we can survey the relations between Intentional states and their conditions of satisfaction. Any analysis must take place from within the circle of Intentional concepts. p.79

Outside of this “circle of Intentional concepts” which he calls “the Network”, all other components of Read on. . .

Intentional Stance: Dennett’s 1 vital error is Searle’s 1 critical omission

Through impartial analysis of Daniel Dennett’s ‘The Intentional Stance’ (1987), I identify several inconsistencies in his position on intentionality. Then, I reveal a fatal flaw in the stance, but rather than throw the baby out with the bath water, make some suggestions as to how failings can be redressed. For ease of referencing, quotations have been colour coded to help identify their source. There are 3 main parts to this article. Sections 1 to 6 are a series of detailed analyses with figurative illustrations that are intended to identify, what might be called, a creeping augmentation of meaning. Sections 7 Read on. . .

Terrence Deacon’s Incomplete Nature – Identifying the thermodynamic homunculus

1. Intro – Incomplete Nature is Deacon’s Hierarchical Systems Model

Although not explicitly expressed as such, Terrence Deacon’s ‘Incomplete Nature’ is a hierarchical model for explaining, through emergent process, how mind arises from matter. Deacon states,

Our ultimate scientific challenge is to precisely characterize this geometry of dynamical forms which leads from thermodynamic processes to living and mental processes, and to explain their dependency relationships with respect to one another. p.44 [in other words to identify forms of dynamic processes and show how they relate hierarchically]

At some point in this hierarchy, the causal dynamics of teleological processes do indeed Read on. . .