Sunday, May 02, 2010

If intentionality is irreducible, then materialism is false

"If intentionality is irreducible, then materialism is false. For such an irreducible characteristic has no place in physics as we now perceive physics. The materialist is committed to giving some reductive account of intentionality of the mental. Such an account is not all that easy to give.”

David Armstrong, "Naturalism, Materialism, and First Philosophy," in

Contemporary Materialism: A Reader, ed . Paul K. Moser and J. D. Trout (New York:

Routledge, 1995), p. 57.

HT: Pat Parks


AMC said...

Victor, I am not sure whether this description will ring any bells but I thought I'd give it a go since I have been looking for the paper. You once - probably about three years ago - posted a link to a paper on intentionality. I believe it was to a pdf document written by someone criticising Daniel Dennett's attempt to account for intentionality. If that rings any bells, could you please repost the link as I cannot find it.

Blue Devil Knight said...

That's old school reductive materialism. Modern materialists tend to be nonreductive (e.g., digestion is not reducible to biochemistry because the crazy diversity of digestive systems from humans to coral to paramecia) doesn't admit of reduction to any particular reductive base.