Sep 052006

The theory of Intentional Stance was invented by a devout Darwinist Daniel Dennett. Not surprisingly he applied the theory to buttress Darwinism.

In Darwin’s Dangerous Idea and Kinds of Minds, Dennett has focused on the idea that the intentionality characteristic of humans and other animals is a result of evolutionary processes. As such, the intentional stance is really a special case of the design stance, except here the object has been ‘designed’ by evolutionary processes. In this way Dennett hopes to account for the origin of the ‘patterns of intentionality’ within a framework that is consonant with natural science. (emphasis added)

In my previous post, Evolutionary Psychology, I promised to post a critique of this emerging field. Dr. Allen MacNeill, is an evolutionary psychologist who echoes Dennett’s view. Continue reading »

Sep 032006

Prof. Allen MacNeill has been arguing on his blog, that Intelligent Design Theorists (IDT) have fallen into the fallacy of inferring design to objects that in actuality, have no teleology at all. He hypothesizes the vertebrate mind is composed of modules. One of these modules is a highly effective intentionality detector.

In support of this argument, he uses an example from his student’s paper in the Cornell ID class. Allen writes,

As Broaddus points out, one of the side-effects of such an “agency detector” would be the detection of intentionality in entities that clearly had no such intentions. If, for example, one of the most important functions of such a detector in humans is to quickly “read” and assess the intentions betrayed in human facial expressions, then it would almost certainly detect human facial expressions in objects in the environment that clearly do not have such expressions, such as rocks, foliage, water stains, etc

Allen continues his argument with this example. Continue reading »