Single Idea 7054

[catalogued under 15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 4. Intentionality / b. Intentionality theories]

Full Idea

Nowadays philosophers concerned with intentionality divide into two camps. Internalists epitomise a traditional approach to thought, as intrinsic features of thinkers; externalists say it depends on contextual factors (environment or community).

Gist of Idea

Intentionality now has internalist (intrinsic to thinkers) and externalist (environment or community) views


John Heil (From an Ontological Point of View [2003], 18.2)

Book Reference

Heil,John: 'From an Ontological Point of View' [OUP 2005], p.208

A Reaction

This is basic to understanding modern debates (those that grow out of Putnam's Twin Earth). Externalism is fashionable, but I am reluctant to shake off my quaint internalism. Start by separating strict and literal meaning from speaker's meaning.