intentional explanation

dan everett dan_everett at SIL.ORG
Tue Mar 6 22:24:26 UTC 2001

     To Esa and Tom,

     First, Esa's posting still leaves me thinking that there is a lot of
     literature out there which handles intentionality much better than
     linguists. For us to discuss it without doing our homework and placing
     our discoveries in the context of what is already known would be
     unfortunate. And as Scott pointed out, even the notion 'intentional
     agent' comes from philosophy (although linguists have paid back their
     debt on that one with considerable empirical work. Unfortunately, few
     philosophers really read the linguistics literature well, as we often
     neglect their literature. Rick Grush, John Searle, Jerry Fodor, and a
     couple of others stand out as exceptions, but there are not many).

     As to Tom's posting, well, I just don't think that the brain is quite
     so neatly partioned as Tom seems to suggest. 'Press here for
     rationality' 'Press here for intentionality', etc. I am seriously
     skeptical about that understanding of the neurological research.

     Perhaps an LSA institute course on 'intentionality', offered by Searle
     or other philosopher with a strong publication record in this area.


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