[ExI] intentionality

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Tue Dec 21 23:52:53 UTC 2010

On 12/21/2010 5:32 PM, Darren Greer wrote:

>>once said to me to be careful about intentionality<
> I'm not sure if this is how your thesis advisor meant it, but the
> brilliant (in my opinion) scientist and social activist Canadian David
> Suzuki was once talking about scientific research grants, and how the
> phenomenon of focussed intentionality based on predetermined objectives
> often required for preliminary funding can blind us to the
> serendipitous, which was once, and still should be, the heart and soul
> of scientific discovery.

Not really; not in a philosophical sense. Check out


<For reasons soon to be explained, in its philosophical usage, the 
meaning of the word ‘intentionality’ should not be confused with the 
ordinary meaning of the word ‘intention.’ As the Latin etymology of 
‘intentionality’ indicates, the relevant idea of directedness or tension 
(an English word which derives from the Latin verb tendere) arises from 
pointing towards or attending to some target. In medieval logic and 
philosophy, the Latin word intentio was used for what contemporary 
philosophers and logicians nowadays call a ‘concept’ or an ‘intension’: 
something that can be both true of non-mental things and 
properties—things and properties lying outside the mind—and present to 
the mind. On the assumption that a concept is itself something mental, 
an intentio may also be true of mental things. For example, the concept 
of a dog, which is a first-level intentio, applies to individual dogs or 
to the property of being a dog. It also falls under various higher-level 
concepts that apply to it, such as being a concept, being mental, etc. 
If so, then while the first-level concept is true of non-mental things, 
the higher-level concepts may be true of something mental. Notice that 
on this way of thinking, concepts that are true of mental things are 
presumably logically more complex than concepts that are true of 
non-mental things.>  etc etc

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