Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Intentionality: intentionality is the ability of people and higher animals to relate to and react to circumstances such as things and states. Concepts, words, and sentences also refer to something but have no intentionality. This linguistic relating-to is called reference instead.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Jean Buridan on Intentionality - Dictionary of Arguments

Geach I 129
Intentionality/Buridan/Geach: (14th century). It is meant to be about intentional verbs between two proper names. E.g. "search for", "fire at",...
I 130
..."hope, ___ will be a better man than his father", "believes ___ is a scoundrel".
Definition salva congruitate: Replacing where the sentence structure is preserved. In the sentence structure here it is about whether "any A", "every A", "the only A", is preserved or whether "A" still represents a simple or complex term.
Possibility/possible/modality/modal logic/Buridan/Geach: there are obscure passages in Buridan, in which is quantified via possibilities: e.g. possible horses.
A general term is "stretched" so that it stands simultaneously for real and possible objects.
E.g. "Someone is necessarily condemned": a real or possible man is condemned.
Intentionality/Buridan/Geach: E.g. "owe": "I owe you a horse".
Problem: is there a specific horse I owe you?
Here, no "possible horses" are mobilized.
Intentional objects/Geach: do not have to be introduced here as a "sense" of expressions, as if their possessions could satisfy somebody instead of the real horse.
However, the meaning (Buridan: "ratio") is somehow important in intentional verbs.
Buridan: the expression, "appeal to" (appellat)
I 131
Its own "ratio". (Evokes them).
That is, the truth value could change if the "ratio", the "meaning" of the intentional expression changes. ((s) While the expression literally remains the same).
Even if the expression still refers to the same thing in the world.
E.g. Buridan: If something is white and sweet, I can say truthfully, "I have seen something white" but not "I have seen something sweet".
Geach: I can say, "there is something sweet, which I have perceived with the sense of sight." (Or, "there is something sweet that I have seen").
I differentiate something with "ratio" that...
Difference: "b f't an A" ("B sees an A") or
"There is an A, the b f't". (In Latin, this does not correspond to anything).
Reference/Intentionality/Austin/Geach: Difference: E.g.: "I saw a man born in Jerusalem" "I saw a man who passed through Oxford".
I 132
Intentionality/Buridan: from "there is an A that "b F't A", one cannot conclude: ""b F't A", since one cannot be sure that it is under this aspect (ratio) that b perceives A (thinks of it, etc.)
However, from "b F't A" to
There is something that b F't".
GeachVs: Buridan accepts even more, but even this is doubtful.
Intentionality/Geach: must be assumed as a three-digit relation: between a person, a verb, and an object.
For a z, b F't z under the ratio: A
For a z, and for a w: z is an A and b F't z under the ratio w.
For the example of Austin:
For a z, z is a man and I saw z in Oxford under the aspect: "ran past".
For a z, z is a man and z is born in Jerusalem, and for a w, I saw z under the aspect w.
GeachVsBuridan: Problem: with him one has to quantify via rationes (aspects)!
I'm not at all impressed when there is talk about mysterious entities, but what are they?
It is all right to quantify via anything if one can provide identification criteria (an individuation principle).
But for rationes, we do not get any evidence of such criteria in Buridan.
I 133
This gap makes Buridan's approach at best schematic.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Gea I
P.T. Geach
Logic Matters Oxford 1972

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