Saturday, November 19, 2005

Vallicella on intentionality

Because of some of the interest in the issue of intentionality, I have redated this post to today.

Vallicella has been talking about intentionality in several posts, here, here, and here.


Ahab said...
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Ahab said...

I've not yet had a chance to read through all of Mr. Vallicella's comments on this subject.
I was somewhat puzzled when I read this comment:

Mr. Vallicella wrote:
But note that emergentism is a kind of dualism: what emerges (intentionality) is radically different from its emergence base, mindless matter. Since emergentism is a form of dualism, albeit not a form of substance dualism, it cannot be used to make sense of Dennett's position which eschews as unscientific every sort of dualism, not just substance dualism.

Living things are radically different from inanimate matter. That is one reason dualistic notions like vitalism persisted for so long in the biological sciences. Yet now it is recognized that living matter or life is what emerges with certain combinations of inanimate matter.
In fact, with emergence wouldn't the assumption be that one is going to find properties that are 'radically' different from those exhibited by the constituent parts? I guess radicallity, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. The more I read up on the latest findings in neuroscience, the less 'radical' the notion of mind emerging from brain activity seems.
It's looking more and more to me like this is one controversy that is ultimately going to be solved in the lab.