Thanks for your observations - I don't disagree, but will add a few comments by way of clarification (hopefully) for readers of this thread...
When I wrote "There is more discussion related to this in my thesis", I was referring only to the topic of asking and answering "why" questions, causal and purposive reasoning, etc., not to philosophical definitions of "intentionality". In retrospect, I should perhaps have made the reference of "this" more clear, or just avoided saying "this".
Throughout the thesis I typically use the word "intention" informally and synonymously with "purpose", in ways hopefully clear in context, and consistent with common usage.
The thesis uses the term "intentionality" in only two places. On page 57 it refers to "original intentionality" as an alternative to the term "semantic originality", discussing arguments that computers can in principle attribute meaning to symbols independently of human observation (contrary to one of Searle's arguments). On page 267, it quotes Searle's definition of "intentionality-with-a-t" as part of an explanation why the thesis uses the term "purposive reasoning" rather than "intentional reasoning". However, you are correct in noting the thesis does not explicitly use a particular philosophical definition of intentionality.
Rather, the thesis is broadly consistent with your observation that intentionality is like an elephant, something people can define in different ways, depending on how they approach it. The thesis proposes we should try to develop a framework that can support many different ways that concepts can be represented, processed, and used to represent meanings, with natural language syntax being a primary way.
> Date: Thu, 29 May 2014 02:26:11 -0400
> From: sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx
> To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Intentionality Best Practices
> Phil and Simon,
> 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.
> > There is more discussion related to this in my thesis,
> > http://www.philjackson.prohosting.com/PCJacksonPhDThesis20140422.pdf
> 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:
> 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.”
> 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.
> >> 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?"
> > 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".
> 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.
> 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.
> > I do not believe that you believe this result to be what Dennett means.
> 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.
> 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.
> Following are the relevant excerpts from my previous note.
> 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?"
> For any action that any human or animal does, just ask why.
> In every case, the answer is the intention...
> 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?"
> 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.
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