, Volume 118, Issue 1, pp 89–104 | Cite as

Representation and self-awareness in intentional agents

  • Ingar Brinck
  • Peter Gärdenfors


Several conditions for being an intrinsically intentional agent are put forward. On a first level of intentionality the agent has representations. Two kinds are described: cued and detached. An agent with both kinds is able to represent both what is prompted by the context and what is absent from it. An intermediate level of intentionality is achieved by having an inner world, that is, a coherent system of detached representations that model the world. The inner world is used, e.g., for conditional and counterfactual thinking. Contextual or indexical representations are necessary in order that the inner world relates to the actual external world and thus can be used as a basis for action. To have full-blown intentionality, the agent should also have a detached self-awareness, that is, be able to entertain self-representations that are independent of the context.


Intermediate Level External World Indexical Representation Coherent System Intentional Agent 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ingar Brinck
    • 1
  • Peter Gärdenfors
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyLund UniversityLundSweden

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