Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Defending the Dangerous Idea II

My problem has to do with Carrier's use of terms. He uses terms such as belief, confidence, etc. to account for intentionality, yet when I think of belief I think of a belief that something is true, and when I think of confidence I think of it as confidence that something his true. Now Carrier's account of intentionality seems to be that when you have attention to an objects (this, he says, is well understood by brain science) and we also have motivational confidence, we are confident that the map of that object in our mind is accurate, then we have intentionality.

My objection to this is that in order for confidence to play the role it needs to play in Carrier's account of intentionality that confidence has to be a confidence that I have an accurate map, but confidence that P is true is a propositional attitude, which presupposes intentionality. In other words, Carrier, like Dretske, is trying to bake an intentional cake with physical yeast and flour. But when the ingredients are examined closely, we find that some intentional ingredients have been smuggled in through the back door.

It's my hypothesis that this is going to happen every time you try to bake an intentional cake with physical yeast and flour.