Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

Author Item Excerpt Meta data
Millikan, Ruth
Books on Amazon
Intentionality I 13
Intentionality/about/aboutness/MillikanVsTradition: Intentionality is not transparent: many processes that are "about" something are not aware for their users.
E.g. von Frisch knew what a bee dance is about, the bees do not know. Bees react only appropriately to bee dances.
Thought: requires that the referent is identified.
I 93
Intentionality/Millikan: Thesis: Intentionality is based on external natural relations.
Relation: these relations are normal relations or eigenrelations.
Normality: is explained by evolution.
"In the head": nothing that is in the head, shows "by itself" consciousness or intentionality.
1. Nothing which can be observed in a single person (dispositions or neural patterns) will contain the intentional nature, let alone representational content.
2. Therefore we have no a priori knowledge of what we mean.
I 244
Intentionality/Millikan: thinking-of (thinking-about) requires an identification of the value.
I 245
Intentionality/Millikan: three questions must be separated:
1. What is it for a thought to be about an object?
2. What is it for a person to grasp the object of the thought?
3. What kind of test is there to determine whether an object is the one for which it is held?
I 250
Intentionality/MillikanVsRealism/Millikan: Solution: There can be simple thoughts of complex objects. Furthermore, my theory allows you to know what you think while you discover the complexity of your thinking.
Intension/Millikan: my theory does not confuse intentionality with having distinctive intensions. That is, a concept can change with time without losing the trace of the thing it is about. (> Conceptual change > meaning change).

Millk I
R. G. Millikan
Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories: New Foundations for Realism Cambridge 1987

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-04-28