|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.|
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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.
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.
Intentionality/Millikan: thinking-of (thinking-about) requires an identification of the value.
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?
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).
R. G. Millikan
Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories: New Foundations for Realism Cambridge 1987