Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Intention: the will to commit an act, as opposed to a random occurrence of such an event. See also motives, causation, will.

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.

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I 61
Intention/Grice/Millikan: there is an argument that even infinite intricate intentions are subject to the normal language usage. E.g. Imperative. "Do A!":
E.g. listener: if the listener thought the speaker did not intend it, he would not do A. Therefore, if the listener H agrees with speaker S, he must believe that S intends that H should do A.
Speaker: If S expected that H believes that S did not intend that he was supposed to do A, then he could not rationally intend that H should do A.
MillikanVs: the argument is wrong. It does not follow from the fact that a belief P would be incompatible with an action, so that if one were to perform the action, then one would have to believe that non-P.
For example, if I thought that Jack the Ripper would be under my bed, I would not fall into my bed and immediately fall asleep. But from the fact that I fall in and fall asleep immediately does not follow that I believe Jack is not under my bed.
Solution: it may be that I have never heard of Jack The Ripper.
Normality/Millikan: I cannot conclude that agreement is intended from the fact that there is agreement in normal cases.
I 62
But that an argument is wrong does not show that its conclusion is wrong!
Belief/Millikan: we have to distinguish here between having and using.
There is also a distinction between the
A) Having beliefs and
B) The mere having of eigenfunctions or normal conditions for an action.
I 148
A) Definition explicit Intension/Millikan: an expression has an explicit intension when it is repeated, according to a rule derived from earlier sentences in which the expression itself did not occur. This often takes the form of certain descriptions. E.g. "the current President of the USA".
B) Definition implicit Intension/Millikan: corresponds to methods in which the application of a term depends directly on perceptual data. But they are no stimulus meanings!
1. Perception/Millikan: perception is not passive, but an active activity.
2. Implicit intensions: unlike stimulus meanings, implicit intensions are not sets of stimulus patterns that elicit an utterance, but implicit intensions are certain abilities.
For example, the ability to identify an object by one sense alone, e.g. by smell or touch. ( > Observation).
Intension/Sense/Millikan: if so, there is no reason to assume that intensions (implicitly or explicitly) determine the meaning.
Meaning: is a question of the mapping rules,
Intension: is a normal method of repetition of expressions...
I 149
...if the repeat programs may be different in different people as well.
Intension/Millikan: it is unlikely that there is always only one intension (a repetition method) for a unique term.
Nevertheless, the term would have a clear Fregean sense. For example, a chemist may have different methods of determining a substance.
Meaning: to make it unambigous, it is not necessary that the intension (method of repetition) is infallible. "Bill's oldest brother" has an unambigous meaning for me, although I do not know that Bill still has an older brother than the one I think of. The intension does not help me.

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.

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 2017-10-23