Searle intentionality an essay

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Are meaning in the head? Proper names and Intentionality. Epilogue Intentionality and the brain.

Subject Index. Name Index. The nature of Intentional states. The Background. In Rationality in Action , Searle argues that standard notions of rationality are badly flawed. According to what he calls the Classical Model, rationality is seen as something like a train track: you get on at one point with your beliefs and desires and the rules of rationality compel you all the way to a conclusion.

Searle doubts this picture of rationality holds generally. Searle briefly critiques one particular set of these rules: those of mathematical decision theory. He points out that its axioms require that anyone who valued a quarter and their life would, at some odds, bet their life for a quarter.

Searle insists he would never take such a bet and believes that this stance is perfectly rational. Most of his attack is directed against the common conception of rationality, which he believes is badly flawed. First, he argues that reasons don't cause you to do anything, because having sufficient reason wills but doesn't force you to do that thing.

So in any decision situation we experience a gap between our reasons and our actions. For example, when we decide to vote, we do not simply determine that we care most about economic policy and that we prefer candidate Jones's economic policy. We also have to make an effort to cast our vote. Similarly, every time a guilty smoker lights a cigarette they are aware of succumbing to their craving, not merely of acting automatically as they do when they exhale.

It is this gap that makes us think we have freedom of the will. Searle thinks whether we really have free will or not is an open question, but considers its absence highly unappealing because it makes the feeling of freedom of will an epiphenomenon, which is highly unlikely from the evolutionary point of view given its biological cost. He also says: "All rational activity presupposes free will". Second, Searle believes we can rationally do things that don't result from our own desires.

It is widely believed that one cannot derive an "ought" from an "is", i. By contrast, in so far as a fact is understood as relating to an institution marriage, promises, commitments, etc. For example, Searle believes the fact that you promised to do something means you should do it, because by making the promise you are participating in the constitutive rules that arrange the system of promise making itself, and therefore understand a "shouldness" as implicit in the mere factual action of promising.

Furthermore, he believes that this provides a desire-independent reason for an action—if you order a drink at a bar, you should pay for it even if you have no desire to. This argument, which he first made in his paper, "How to Derive 'Ought' from 'Is'" , [56] remains highly controversial, but even three decades later Searle continued to defend his view that ".. Third, Searle argues that much of rational deliberation involves adjusting our often inconsistent patterns of desires to decide between outcomes, not the other way around.

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While in the Classical Model, one would start from a desire to go to Paris greater than that of saving money and calculate the cheapest way to get there, in reality people balance the niceness of Paris against the costs of travel to decide which desire visiting Paris or saving money they value more. Hence, he believes rationality is not a system of rules, but more of an adverb.

We see certain behavior as rational, no matter what its source, and our system of rules derives from finding patterns in what we see as rational. In the early s, Searle had a brief exchange with Jacques Derrida regarding speech-act theory. The exchange was characterized by a degree of mutual hostility between the philosophers, each of whom accused the other of having misunderstood his basic points.

Searle did not consider Derrida's approach to be legitimate philosophy or even intelligible writing and argued that he did not want to legitimize the deconstructionist point of view by dedicating any attention to it. Consequently, some critics [59] have considered the exchange to be a series of elaborate misunderstandings rather than a debate, while others [60] have seen either Derrida or Searle gaining the upper hand.

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The level of hostility can be seen from Searle's statement that "It would be a mistake to regard Derrida's discussion of Austin as a confrontation between two prominent philosophical traditions", to which Derrida replied that that sentence was "the only sentence of the 'reply' to which I can subscribe". Austin 's theory of the illocutionary act. While sympathetic to Austin's departure from a purely denotational account of language to one that includes "force", Derrida was sceptical of the framework of normativity employed by Austin. He argued that Austin had missed the fact that any speech event is framed by a "structure of absence" the words that are left unsaid due to contextual constraints and by "iterability" the repeatability of linguistic elements outside of their context.

Derrida argued that the focus on intentionality in speech-act theory was misguided because intentionality is restricted to that which is already established as a possible intention.

He also took issue with the way Austin had excluded the study of fiction, non-serious or "parasitic" speech, wondering whether this exclusion was because Austin had considered these speech genres governed by different structures of meaning, or simply due to a lack of interest. In his brief reply to Derrida, "Reiterating the Differences: A Reply to Derrida", Searle argued that Derrida's critique was unwarranted because it assumed that Austin's theory attempted to give a full account of language and meaning when its aim was much narrower.

Searle considered the omission of parasitic discourse forms to be justified by the narrow scope of Austin's inquiry. Some critics [64] have suggested that Searle, by being so grounded in the analytical tradition, was unable to engage with Derrida's continental phenomenological tradition and was at fault for the unsuccessful nature of the exchange. Derrida, in his response to Searle "a b c Searle did not respond. Later in , Derrida tried to review his position and his critiques of Austin and Searle, reiterating that he found the constant appeal to "normality" in the analytical tradition to be problematic.

In the debate, Derrida praises Austin's work, but argues that he is wrong to banish what Austin calls "infelicities" from the "normal" operation of language. One "infelicity," for instance, occurs when it cannot be known whether a given speech act is "sincere" or "merely citational" and therefore possibly ironic, etc.

Derrida argues that every iteration is necessarily "citational", due to the graphematic nature of speech and writing, and that language could not work at all without the ever-present and ineradicable possibility of such alternate readings.

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Derrida takes Searle to task for his attempt to get around this issue by grounding final authority in the speaker's inaccessible "intention". Derrida argues that intention cannot possibly govern how an iteration signifies, once it becomes hearable or readable. All speech acts borrow a language whose significance is determined by historical-linguistic context, and by the alternate possibilities that this context makes possible.

This significance, Derrida argues, cannot be altered or governed by the whims of intention. He simply declares that there is nothing outside of texts Il n'y a pas de 'hors-texte'.

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He adds: " There is nothing outside of the text [there is no outside-text; il n'y a pas de hors-texte ]" brackets in the translation. However, whether Searle's objection is good against that contention is the point in debate. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. John Rogers Searle. Searle at Christ Church, Oxford , Denver , Colorado , U. See also: Chinese room and philosophy of artificial intelligence.

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2. The Interpretation of “Intentionality”

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