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Re: [ontolog-forum] Intentionality Best Practices

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 29 May 2014 02:26:11 -0400
Message-id: <5386D303.1080808@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Phil and Simon,    (01)

There are several distinct issues:  stating a general definition
of the word 'intention'; proposing a methodology for recognizing
statements that involve intentions; and using the definition and
methodology to solve problems in language analysis, knowledge
representation, and reasoning.    (02)

> There is more discussion related to this in my thesis,
> http://www.philjackson.prohosting.com/PCJacksonPhDThesis20140422.pdf    (03)

I used the Adobe search option to find all occurrences of the word
'intention' or 'intentionality'.  The only definition is a quotation
from Searle on p. 289:    (04)

PCJ quoting John Searle
> “Intentionality... is that property of the mind by which it is
> directed at or about or of objects and states of affairs in the
> world independent of itself.”    (05)

This is close to Brentano's definition.  But the thesis does not
explicitly use this or any other definition.  I'm not criticizing
the thesis, but merely observing that it doesn't explicitly define
or represent the concept of intention.    (06)

>> I don't disagree with Dennett.  But I would note that you would
>> get the same results just by asking "Why?"  Whenever you get
>> a partial answer, keep asking "Why?"    (07)

> If you *keep* asking "why?", unless you are committed to an
> irredentist irreducible intentional realism you will fall through
> into questions  involving natural selection, calcium channels,
> and particle physics.  The answers will eventually ground out
> with ENOMEM , FRIN, and "Handled in code".    (08)

That depends on whether you're doing science or engineering.
Science is a never-ending quest for digging deeper and deeper
into fundamental issues.   There is no stopping point for
science -- or philosophy, which is the parent field from which
modern sciences are an offshoot.    (09)

But engineers have a natural stopping point:  solve the client's
problem within the limits of budgets, deadlines, and available
resources.  KR and AO (applied ontology) are engineering disciplines
that stop asking "why?" when they have sufficient information to
solve the given problem.    (010)

> I do not believe that you believe this result to be what Dennett means.    (011)

The general question "why?" can be answered in different ways for
different problems.  The process of digging deeper can pursue any
of those ways to whatever depth is necessary to solve whatever problem
is being addressed.    (012)

I believe that Searle, Dennet, and many others were following
procedures related to the one I outlined in the previous note.
The differences between them are the result of pushing the
questioning in different directions for different purposes.    (013)

Following are the relevant excerpts from my previous note.    (014)

______________________________________________________________________    (015)

Intentionality is like an elephant.  Everybody latches onto some
part of it and gives a different description.  But all those issues
fall into place when you ask one simple question:  "Why?"    (016)

For any action that any human or animal does, just ask why.
In every case, the answer is the intention...    (017)

I don't disagree with Dennett.  But I would note that you would get
the same results just by asking "Why?"  Whenever you get a partial
answer, keep asking "Why?"    (018)

In Peirce's terms, intention is an example of Thirdness.  The question
why asks for the third member of a triad:  X does Y for the reason Z.    (019)

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