Acta Analytica

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 397–417 | Cite as

Physical Intentionality, Extrinsicness, and the Direction of Causation

Article

Abstract

The Physical Intentionality Thesis claims that dispositions share the marks of psychological intentionality; therefore, intentionality is not exclusively a mental phenomenon. Beyond the standard five marks, Alexander Bird introduces two additional marks of intentionality that he argues dispositions do not satisfy: first, thoughts are extrinsic; second, the direction of causation is that objects cause thoughts, not vice versa. In response, this paper identifies two relevant conceptions of extrinsicness, arguing that dispositions show deep parallels to thoughts on both conceptions. Then, it shows that Bird’s discussion of direction of causation overlooks complexities of dispositionality and intentionality that problematize apparent differences between thoughts and dispositions. The paper ends with a discussion of why we find these parallels between thoughts and dispositions.

Keywords

Intentionality Physical intentionality Dispositions Extrinsicness Grounding Direction of causation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Thanks to an anonymous reviewer for extremely helpful, detailed comments and suggestions concerning multiple aspects of this paper. Thanks also to participants at a meeting of the Alabama Philosophical Society (October 2, 2015) for discussion of ideas in section 4.

References

  1. Anscombe, G.E.M. (1965). The intentionality of sensation: a grammatical feature. In Ronald J. Butler (Ed.), Analytical Philosophy: Second Series, Blackwell: 158–180.Google Scholar
  2. Armstrong, D. (2004). Truth and truthmakers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bauer, W. (2011). An argument for the extrinsic grounding of mass. Erkenntnis: An International Journal of Scientific Philosophy, 74(1), 81–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bird, A. (2007). Nature’s metaphysics: laws and properties. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bird, A. (2013). Limitations of power. In J. Greco and R. Groff (Eds.), Powers and Capacities in Philosophy: The New Aristotelianism (pp. 15–47). Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Bourget, D., & Chalmers, D. J. (2014). What do philosophers believe? Philosophical Studies, 170(3), 465–500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brentano, F. (1874). In L. L. McAllister (Ed.), Psychology from an empirical standpoint. Atlantic Highlands: Humanities Press. 1973.Google Scholar
  8. Chisholm, R. (1957). Perceiving: a philosophical study. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Clark, A. and Chalmers, D. J. (1998). The extended mind. Analysis, 58(1), 7–19.Google Scholar
  10. Davidson, D. (1987). Knowing one’s own mind. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, 60, 441–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ellis, B. (2001). Scientific essentialism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Ellis, B. (2002). The philosophy of nature: a guide to the new essentialism. Chesham: Acumen.Google Scholar
  13. Ellis, B., & Lierse, C. (1994). Dispositional essentialism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 72(1), 27–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fitch, W. T. (2008). Nano-intentionality: a defense of intrinsic intentionality. Biology and Philosophy, 23(2), 157–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gross, D. J. (1996). The role of symmetry in fundamental physics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 93, 14256–14259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Heil, J. (2003). From an ontological point of view. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Heil, J. (2012). The universe as we find it. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Horgan, T., & Potrč, M. (2008). Austere realism: contextual semantics meets minimal ontology. Cambridge: MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hume, D. (1748). An enquiry concerning human understanding. In E. A. Burtt (Ed.), The English philosophers: from bacon to mill (pp. 611–721). New York: Modern Library.Google Scholar
  20. Isaacs, A. (2000). Oxford dictionary of physics (4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Langton, R., & Lewis, D. (1998). Defining ‘intrinsic’. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 58(2), 333–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lewis, D. (1986a). On the plurality of worlds. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  23. Lewis, D. (1986b). Introduction. Philosophical Papers, vol. II. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Reprinted in Lange 2007: 322–4. All citations refer to the reprinted version.)Google Scholar
  24. Lewis, D. (1989). Dispositional theories of value. The Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 63, 113–137.Google Scholar
  25. Lewis, D. (1997). Finkish dispositions. Philosophical Quarterly, 47, 143–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Martin, C. B., & Pfeifer, K. (1986). Intentionality and the non-psychological. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 46, 531–554.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Martin, C. B. (1993). Power for realists. Ontology, causality, and mind: essays in honour of D. M. Armstrong. J. Bacon, K. Campbell and L. Reinhardt (Eds.), Dordrecht: Kluwer: 175–186.Google Scholar
  28. Martin, C. B. (2008). The mind in nature. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  29. McKitrick, J. (2003). A case for extrinsic dispositions. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 81(2), 155–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. McKitrick, J. (2005). Are dispositions causally relevant? Synthese, 144, 357–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mendola, J. (2009). Anti-externalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Molnar, G. (2003). Powers: a study in metaphysics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Mumford, S. (1999). Intentionality and the physical: a new theory of disposition ascription. The Philosophical Quarterly, 49(195), 215–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mumford, S. (2006). The ungrounded argument. Synthese, 149, 471–489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mumford, S., & Anjum, R. L. (2011). Getting causes from powers. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Place, U. T. (1996). Intentionality as the mark of the dispositional. Dialectica, 50(2), 91–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Priest, G. (2005). Towards non-being: the logic and metaphysics of intentionality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Putnam, H. (1975). The Meaning of ‘Meaning’. In Philosophical Papers, Vol. 2: Mind, Language and Reality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Putnam, H. (1973). Meaning and reference. Journal of Philosophy, 70, 699–711.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Quine, W. V. O. (1953). Reference and modality. In From a Logical Point of View. Second Edition, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press: 139–159.Google Scholar
  41. Quiroga, R. Q., Reddy, L., Kreiman, G., Koch, C., & Fried, I. (2005). Invariant visual representation by single neurons in the human brain. Nature, 435, 1102–1107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Randall, L. (2005). Warped passages: unravelling the mysteries of the universe’s hidden dimensions. New York: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  43. Ryle, G. (1963). The concept of mind. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
  44. Schaffer, J. (2010a). The internal relatedness of all things. Mind, 119(474), 341–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Schaffer, J. (2010b). Monism: the priority of the whole. Philosophical Review, 119(1), 31–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Schaffer, J. (2016). Grounding in the image of causation. Philosophical Studies, 173(1), 49–100.Google Scholar
  47. Schwitzgebel, E. (2001). In-between believing. The Philosophical Quarterly, 51(202), 76–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Schwitzgebel, E. (2002). A phenomenal, dispositional account of belief. Noûs, 36(2), 249–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Searle, J. (1979). What is an intentional state? Mind, 88, 74–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Searle, J. (1983). Intentionality: an essay in the philosophy of mind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Searle, J. (2004). Mind: a brief introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Skrbina, D. (2005). Panpsychism in the West. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  53. Strawson, G. (2006). Consciousness and its place in nature: does physicalism entail panpsychism? A. Freeman (Ed.) Exeter: Imprint Academic.Google Scholar
  54. Yablo, S. (1999). Intrinsicness. Philosophical Topics, 26, 590–627.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.North Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

Personalised recommendations