The Intentional Stance

Tools For Thinking About Content

This simple theory of intentional systems is a theory about how and why we are able to make sense of the behaviors of so many complicated things by considering them as agents. It is not directly a theory of the internal mechanisms that somehow achieve the rational guidance thereby predicted. The intentional stance gives you the “specs,” the job description, of an intentional system—what it should discriminate, remember, and do, for instance—and leaves the implementation of those specs to the engineers (or evolution and development, in the case of an intentional system that is an organism).

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Philosopher Daniel Dennett's Book Intuition Pumps