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2.1b. The Intentional Stance (The Intentional Stance on PhilPapers)

See also:
Andrews, Kristin (2000). Our understanding of other minds: Theory of mind and the intentional stance. Journal of Consciousness Studies 7 (7):12-24.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Psychologists distinguish between intentional systems which have beliefs and those which are also able to attribute beliefs to others. The ability to do the latter is called having a `theory of mind', and many cognitive ethologists are hoping to find evidence for this ability in animal behaviour. I argue that Dennett's theory entails that any intentional system that interacts with another intentional system (such as vervet monkeys and chess-playing computers) has a theory of mind, which would make the distinction all but meaningless. This entailment should not be accepted; instead, Dennett's position that intentional behaviour is best predictable via the intentional stance should be rejected in favour of a pluralistic view of behaviour prediction. I introduce an additional method which humans often use to predict intentional and non-intentional behaviour, which could be called the inductive stance.
Bechtel, William P. (1985). Realism, instrumentalism, and the intentional stance. Cognitive Science 9:265-92.   (Cited by 16 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Beisecker, David (2002). Dennett and the Quest for real meaning: In defense of a myth. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 9 (1):11-18.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Bortolotti, Lisa (2003). Inconsistency and interpretation. Philosophical Explorations 6 (2):109-123.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In this paper my purpose is to examine whether the case of inconsistent believers can offer a reason to object to theories of belief ascription that rely on a rationality constraint. I shall first illustrate how the possibility of inconsistent believers might be a challenge for the rationality constraint and then assess Davidson's influential reply to that challenge.
Bradshaw, Denny E. (1998). Patterns and descriptions. Philosophical Papers 27 (3):181-202.   (Google)
Cam, Philip (1984). Dennett on intelligent storage. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 45 (December):247-62.   (Google | More links)
Clark, Andy (1990). Belief, opinion and consciousness. Philosophical Psychology 3 (1):139-154.   (Cited by 2 | Annotation | Google)
Cohen, B. (1995). Patterns lost: Indeterminism and Dennett's realism about beliefs. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 76 (1):17-31.   (Google)
Cummins, Robert E. (1981). What can be learned from brainstorms? Philosophical Topics 12:83-92.   (Cited by 3 | Annotation | Google)
Davies, David (1995). Dennett's stance on intentional realism. Southern Journal of Philosophy 33 (3):299-312.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
Dennett, Daniel C. (1978). Brainstorms. MIT Press.   (Cited by 873 | Google | More links)
Dennett, Daniel C. (1971). Intentional systems. Journal of Philosophy 68 (February):87-106.   (Cited by 233 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Dennett, Daniel C. (1981). Making sense of ourselves. Philosophical Topics 12 (1):63-81.   (Cited by 19 | Annotation | Google)
Dennett, Daniel C. (1988). Precis of the intentional stance. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 9:13-25.   (Annotation | Google)
Dennett, Daniel C. (1991). Real patterns. Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):27-51.   (Cited by 189 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract: Are there really beliefs? Or are we learning (from neuroscience and psychology, presumably) that, strictly speaking, beliefs are figments of our imagination, items in a superceded ontology? Philosophers generally regard such ontological questions as admitting just two possible answers: either beliefs exist or they don't. There is no such state as quasi-existence; there are no stable doctrines of semi-realism. Beliefs must either be vindicated along with the viruses or banished along with the banshees. A bracing conviction prevails, then, to the effect that when it comes to beliefs (and other mental items) one must be either a realist or an eliminative materialist
Dennett, Daniel C. (1990). The interpretation of texts, people and other artifacts. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (Supplement) 50:177-194.   (Cited by 41 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract: I want to explore four different exercises of interpretation: (1) the interpretation of texts (or hermeneutics), (2) the interpretation of people (otherwise known as "attribution" psychology, or cognitive or intentional psychology), (3) the interpretation of other artifacts (which I shall call artifact hermeneutics), (4) the interpretation of organism design in evolutionary biology--the controversial interpretive activity known as adaptationism
Dennett, Daniel C. (1987). The Intentional Stance. MIT Press.   (Cited by 1920 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract: Through the use of such "folk" concepts as belief, desire, intention, and expectation, Daniel Dennett asserts in this first full scale presentation of...
Fodor, Jerry A. & Lepore, Ernest (1993). Is intentional ascription intrinsically normative? In B. Dahlbom (ed.), Dennett and His Critics. Blackwell.   (Cited by 3 | Annotation | Google)
Fodor, Jerry A. (1981). Three cheers for propositional attitudes. In Jerry A. Fodor (ed.), RePresentations: Philosophical Essays on the Foundations of Cognitive Science. MIT Press.   (Cited by 15 | Annotation | Google)
Foss, Jeffrey E. (1994). On the evolution of intentionality as seen from the intentional stance. Inquiry 37 (3):287-310.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
Foxall, Gordon R. (1999). The contextual stance. Philosophical Psychology 12 (1):25-46.   (Cited by 14 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The contention that cognitive psychology and radical behaviorism yield equivalent accounts of decision making and problem solving is examined by contrasting a framework of cognitive interpretation, Dennett's intentional stance, with a corresponding interpretive stance derived from contextualism. The insistence of radical behaviorists that private events such as thoughts and feelings belong in a science of human behavior is indicted in view of their failure to provide a credible interpretation of complex human behavior. Dennett's interpretation of intentional systems is an exemplar of the interpretive stance radical behaviorism requires; a corresponding interpretive position can be based initially on a radical behaviorist view of human behavior and its determinants. This "contextual stance" is ontologically and methodologically distinct from the intentional stance over the range of explanations for which scientific psychology, cognitive or behaviorist, is responsible
Griffin, Richard (ms). The intentional stance: Developmental and neurocognitive perspectives.   (Google)
Abstract: Nowhere in the psychological sciences has the philosophy of mind had more influence than on the child development literature generally referred to as children’s ‘theory of mind.’ Developmental journals may seem to be an unlikely place to find Brentano, Frege, and Dennett alongside descriptions of referential opacity and the principle of substitutivity, but it is not at all uncommon in this literature. While the many problems and complexities of the propositional attitude literature are still hotly debated by philosophers, and often ill understood by scientists working in this area, a great deal of empirical progress has already been made. We have Dan Dennett to thank for this extraordinary dialogue between these disciplines
Haugeland, John (1993). Pattern and being. In B. Dahlbom (ed.), Dennett and His Critics. Blackwell.   (Cited by 14 | Google)
Heitner, Reese M. (2000). Is design relative or real? Dennett on intentional relativism and physical realism. Minds and Machines 10 (2):267-83.   (Google | More links)
Hornsby, Jennifer (1992). Physics, biology, and common-sense psychology. In David Charles & Kathleen Lennon (eds.), Reduction, Explanation and Realism. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Joslin, David (2006). Real realization: Dennett's real patterns versus Putnam's ubiquitous automata. Minds and Machines 16 (1):29-41.   (Google | More links)
Kenyon, Timothy A. (2000). Indeterminacy and realism. In Andrew Brook, Don Ross & David L. Thompson (eds.), Dennett's Philosophy: A Comprehensive Assessment. MIT Press.   (Google)
Kirk, Robert E. (1993). Indeterminacy of interpretation, idealization, and norms. Philosophical Studies 70 (2):213-223.   (Google | More links)
Lyons, William E. (1990). Intentionality and modern philosophical psychology I: The modern reduction of intentionality. Philosophical Psychology 3 (2 & 3):247-69.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Abstract: In rounded terms and modem dress a theory of intentionality is a theory about how humans take in information via the senses and in the very process of taking it in understand it and, most often, make subsequent use of it in guiding human behaviour. The problem of intentionality in this century has been the problem of providing an adequate explanation of how a purely physical causal system, the brain, can both receive information and at the same time understand it, that is, to put it even more briefly, how a brain can have semantic content. In these two articles, one in this issue of the journal and one in the next, I engage in a critical examination of the two most thoroughly canvassed approaches to the theory and problem of intentionality in philosophical psychology over the last hundred years. In the first article, entitled 'The modern reduction of intentionality, ' I examine the approach pioneered by Carnap and reaching its apotheosis in the work of Daniel Dennett. In the second article, entitled 'The return to representation, 'I examine the approach which can be traced back to the work of Noam Chomsky but which has been given its canonical treatment in the work of Jerry Fodor
McCulloch, Gregory (1990). Dennett's little grains of salt. Philosophical Quarterly 40 (158):1-12.   (Cited by 2 | Annotation | Google | More links)
McLaughlin, Brian P. & O'Leary-Hawthorne, John (1995). Dennett's logical behaviorism. Philosophical Topics 22:189-258.   (Google)
McLaughlin, Brian P. (2000). Why intentional systems theory cannot reconcile physicalism with realism about belief and desire. Protosociology 14:145-157.   (Google)
Menuge, Angus (2003). A critique of Dennett's evolutionary account of intentionality. Pcid 2.   (Google)
Millikan, Ruth G. (2000). Reading mother nature's mind. In Don Ross, Andrew Brook & David L. Thompson (eds.), Dennett's Philosophy: A Comprehensive Assessment. MIT Press.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: I try to focus our differences by examining the relation between what Dennett has termed "the intentional stance" and "the design stance." Dennett takes the intentional stance to be more basic than the design stance. Ultimately it is through the eyes of the intentional stance that both human and natural design are interpreted, hence there is always a degree of interpretive freedom in reading the mind, the purposes, both of Nature and of her children. The reason, or at least a reason, is that intentional interpretation is holistic, hence indeterminate, for the kinds of reasons given by Davidson and Quine. In contrast, I take the design stance to be more basic than the intentional stance. Intentional attributions express our best guesses about the locations of effects of certain kinds of natural design. And although there is often indeterminacy, ambiguity, or vagueness concerning what it is that natural selection (or learning) has selected for, these indeterminacies and vaguenesses are local, not holistic. There is reason to suppose that the better portion of Nature's purposes and the intentional states of her children are determinate in content within quite closely defined limits. I propose to defend this position as well as I can, so as to call from Dennett his own views on precisely where our paths separate (if they really do)
Mirolli, Marco (2002). A naturalistic perspective on intentionality: Interview with Daniel Dennett. Mind and Society 3 (6):1-12.   (Google)
Narayanan, Ajit (1996). The intentional stance and the imitation game. In Peter Millican & A. Clark (eds.), Machines and Thought. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Nelkin, Norton (1994). Patterns. Mind and Language 9 (1):56-87.   (Annotation | Google)
Price, Huw (1995). Psychology in perspective. In M. Michael & John O'Leary-Hawthorne (eds.), Philosophy in Mind. Kluwer.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: [email:] If recent literature is to be our guide, the main place of philosophy in the study of the mind would seem to be to determine the place of psychology in the study of the world. One distinctive kind of answer to this question begins by noting the central role of intentionality in psychology, and goes on to argue that this sets psychology apart from the natural sciences. Sometimes to be thus set apart is to be exiled, or rejected, but more often it is a protective move, intended to show that psychology is properly insulated from the reductionist demands of natural science. I am interested here in the general issue as to how this move to insulate intentional psychology should best be characterised-how to make sense of the idea that there can be a legitimate enterprise of this kind. I shall concentrate on what is perhaps the best known version of such a view, that of Daniel Dennett. I think that my conclusions apply to other versions as well, but Dennett provides a particularly accessible example
Radner, Daisie M. & Radner, Michael (1995). Cognition, natural selection, and the intentional stance. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 9 (2):109-19.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Ratcliffe, Matthew (2001). A Kantian stance on the intentional stance. Biology and Philosophy 16 (1):29-52.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Richardson, Robert C. (1980). Intentional realism or intentional instrumentalism? Cognition and Brain Theory 3:125-35.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Richard, Mark E. (1995). What isn't a belief? Philosophical Topics 22:291-318.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Baker, Lynne Rudder (1987). Instrumentalism: Back from the Brink? In Lynne Rudder Baker (ed.), Saving Belief. Princeton University Press.   (Annotation | Google)
Baker, Lynne Rudder (1989). Instrumental intentionality. Philosophy of Science 56 (June):303-16.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Seager, William E. (2000). Real patterns and surface metaphysics. In Andrew Brook, Don Ross & David L. Thompson (eds.), Dennett's Philosophy: A Comprehensive Assessment. MIT Press.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Naturalism is supposed to be a Good Thing. So good in fact that everybody wants to be a naturalist, no matter what their views might be1. Thus there is some confusion about what, exactly, naturalism is. In what follows, I am going to be pretty much, though not exclusively, concerned with the topics of intentionality and consciousness, which only deepens the confusion for these are two areas
Sharpe, R. A. (1989). Dennett's journey towards panpsychism. Inquiry 32 (2):233-40.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Shoham, Yoav (1991). Implementing the intentional stance. In Philosophy and AI. Cambridge: MIT Press.   (Cited by 10 | Google)
Slors, Marc V. P. (2007). Intentional systems theory, mental causation and empathic resonance. Erkenntnis 67 (2):321-336.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In the first section of this paper I argue that the main reason why Daniel Dennett’s Intentional Systems Theory (IST) has been perceived as behaviourist or antirealist is its inability to account for the causal efficacy of the mental. The rest of the paper is devoted to the claim that by emending the theory with a phenomenon called ‘empathic resonance’ (ER), it can account for the various explananda in the mental causation debate. Thus, IST + ER is a much more viable option than IST, even though IST + ER assigns a crucial role to the phenomenology of agency, a role that is incompatible with Dennett’s writings on consciousness
Slors, Marc (1996). Why Dennett cannot explain what it is to adopt the intentional stance. Philosophical Quarterly 46 (182):93-98.   (Google | More links)
Stich, Stephen P. (1981). Dennett on intentional systems. Philosophical Topics 12 (1):39-62.   (Cited by 22 | Annotation | Google)
Stich, Stephen P. (1980). Headaches. Philosophical Books 21:65-73.   (Annotation | Google)
Talvitie, Vesa (2003). Repressed contents reconsidered: Repressed contents and Dennett's intentional stance approach. Theoria Et Historia Scientiarum 7 (2):19-30.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Viger, Christopher D. (2000). Where do Dennett's stances stand? Explaining our kinds of minds. In Andrew Brook, Don Ross & David L. Thompson (eds.), Dennett's Philosophy: A Comprehensive Assessment. MIT Press.   (Google)
Weber, Marcel, Behavioral traits, the intentional stance, and biological functions.   (Google)
Abstract: It has been claimed that the intentional stance is necessary to individuate behavioral traits. This thesis, while clearly false, points to two interesting sets of problems concerning biological explanations of behavior: The first is a general in the philosophy of science: the theory-ladenness of observation. The second problem concerns the principles of trait individuation, which is a general problem in philosophy of biology. After discussing some alternatives, I show that one way of individuating the behavioral traits of an organism is by a special use of the concept of biological function, as understood in an enriched causal role (not selected effect) sense. On this view, a behavioral trait is essentially a special kind of regularity, namely a regularity that is produced by some regulatory mechanism. Regulatory mechanisms always require goal states, which can only be provided by functional considerations. As an example from actual (as opposed to folk) science, I examine the case of social behavior in nematodes. I show that the attempt to explain this phenomenon actually transformed it. This supports the view that scientific explanation does not explain an explanandum phenomenon that is given prior to the explanation; rather, the explanandum is changed by the explanation. This means that there could be a plurality of stances that have some heuristic value initially, but which will be abandoned in favor of a functional characterization eventually
Webb, Sherisse (1994). Witnessed behavior and Dennett's intentional stance. Philosophical Topics 22:457-70.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
Wilkerson, William S. (1997). Real patterns and real problems: Making Dennett respectable on patterns and beliefs. Southern Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):557-70.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Yu, Paul & Fuller, Gary (1986). A critique of Dennett. Synthese 66 (March):453-76.   (Cited by 1 | Annotation | Google | More links)