Précis of The Intentional Stance

  title={Pr{\'e}cis of The Intentional Stance},
  author={Daniel C. Dennett},
  journal={Behavioral and Brain Sciences},
  pages={495 - 505}
  • D. Dennett
  • Published 1 September 1988
  • Philosophy, Psychology
  • Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Abstract The intentional stance is the strategy of prediction and explanation that attributes beliefs, desires, and other “intentional” states to systems – living and nonliving – and predicts future behavior from what it would be rational for an agent to do, given those beliefs and desires. Any system whose performance can be thus predicted and explained is an intentional system, whatever its innards. The strategy of treating parts of the world as intentional systems is the foundation of “folk… 
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This work defends the thesis that approaching artificial agents ‘as if’ they had intentions and forms of social, goal-oriented rationality is the only way to deal with their complexity on a daily base and proposes design guidelines inspired by the debate over the adoption of the intentional stance.
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It is concluded that the contingent responses are capable of maintaining the intentional stance during the main task from the behavior analysis and suggested that only the participants who actively joined the icebreaker with the contingent agent be induced into taking an intentional stance.
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A behavior-analytic account of attributing intention is provided that identifies the establishing conditions for speaking of intention and the extent to which the authors speak of intentions when the observed individual’s behavior is contingency shaped or under instructional control.
Behavioral explanations and intentional explanations in psychology.
The philosopher Dennett justifies intentional explanations on the grounds that they are provisional and can be cashed out in principle so that when Dennett's argument is applied to evolutionary biology, it becomes a justification of creationism.


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