Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Purposes: purposes are imagined situations for the justification of actions which are intended to create these situations. See also goals, action, justification, means, cause, effect.

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 Item Summary Meta data
I 246
Purpose/means/thinking/animal/evolution/Fodor/Papineau: newer direction: Fodor: the adoption of purpose-built modules selected for certain tasks. Problem: this bypasses the actual thinking, especially the consideration of the means.
Papineau: nevertheless, pro module. But as a later addition in evolution, for the coordination of perception and action.
I 247
Purpose-Means-Thinking: is a very special mechanism, not a "universal pocket knife".
> Rationality/Papineau.
I 254
Thinking/Knowledge/Animal/Papineau: Levels:
Level 0: "Monomats": do V
Level 1: "Opportunists": If B, do V
I 248
Level 2: "people in need": If B and T, do V
Level 3: "Voter": If B1 and T1, do V1, IF T1 is the dominant need
A comparative mechanism is needed here.
Level 4: "Learners": AFTER experience has shown that B1, T1, and V1 result in a reward, then ... (like 3).
Level 0 - 4 apply to simple living beings. Nowhere is general information of the form "all A's or B's" or generic, causal information "A's cause B's".
I 255
Or even conditionals about present circumstances, "If A occurs, B will also occur."
I 259
Purpose-Means-Thinking/Papineau: requires explicit representation of general information so that it can be processed to provide new items of general information.
Thesis: this is a biological adaptation that specifically applies to human beings.
Vs: 1. Purpose-means-thinking is too simple, and therefore widespread in the animal kingdom.
2. Purpose-means-thinking is too difficult and therefore not an essential component...
I 261
... of our evolutionary heritage.
Then the purpose-means-thinking is a by-product.
Papineau: that does not mean that they cannot take over any function.
I 276
Purpose-means-thinking/Papineau: must also use non-egocentric causal facts. (> Map, Map-Example).
I 273
Cognition/space/spatial orientation/content/animal/Papineau: many birds and insects do not have egocentric maps of their environments. Nevertheless, this is not necessary purpose-means-thinking. It depends on how they use these maps!
For example, they might just simply draw a straight line from their respective position to the destination, which would be no purpose-means-thinking.
For example, it would be purpose-means-thinking if they were to use cognition to imagine a continuous path, which avoids all obstacles, from their initial position within the non-egocentric map, and then plan on taking the path. This would be a combination of causal individual information.

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.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Papineau I
David Papineau
"The Evolution of Means-End Reasoning" in: D. Papineau: The Roots of Reason, Oxford 2003, pp. 83-129
Der Geist der Tiere, D Perler/M. Wild, Frankfurt/M. 2005

Papineau II
David Papineau
The antipathetic fallacy and the boundaries of consciousness
Bewusstein, Thomas Metzinger, Paderborn/München/Wien/Zürich 1996

Papineau III
D. Papineau
Thinking about Consciousness Oxford 2004

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