The Intention of Intention

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doi: 10.6084/m9.figshare.7928240


This is the paper where I explain the philosophical foundations of my evolutionary subjectivism modeled as problem solving by computing.


I started writing this paper as an extension to Putnam's Rocks Are Clocks, where I had investigated the realization theorem by Putnam (1988). However, in the end, perhaps because "Representation and Reality" by Putnam (1988) is the best critique on the foundations of cognitive science, the paper goes deep into its philosophical foundations and, by the way, it explains the basis of the evolutionary subjectivism modeled as problem solving by computing that I am proposing, for example, in On Turing Completeness.

Cognition figure


For Putnam in Representation and Reality, there cannot be any intentional science, thus dooming cognitive science. His argument is that intentional concepts are functional, and that functionalism cannot explain anything because "everything has every functional organization", providing a proof. Analyzing his proof, we find that Putnam is assuming an ideal interpreting subject who can compute effortlessly and who is not intentional. But the subject doing science is a human being, and we are not that way. Therefore, in order to save cognitive science, we propose to replace the ideal subject with a real and intentional human subject, and we propose to model intentionality by using a problem theory which is an intuitionist set theory where the resolving subject is a computing device. We are intentional because we are living beings, where life is the intention of not to die, so we are embodied intentions designed by evolution. We are real and then we have to compute our resolutions to the survival problem, and fortuitously we are computationally Turing complete, so our language is complete and then full and self referable. In summary, evolutionary subjectivism modeled as problem solving by computing should save cognitive science. Or, in other words, we are proposing to update Kant with Darwin and Turing.

Last paragraph

Lastly, I do not know what is the intention of intention. In the theory presented in this paper, intention is an undefined primitive concept on which other concepts are built. However, the final intention is to not die. It is certain that, for all us living beings, death is absolute. Therefore, I cannot say why there is intentionality instead of no intentionality, but I can say why there is something instead of nothing. There is something instead of nothing because we perceive things in order to survive, but I do not know why we want to survive. To me, the intention of intention is where every explanation finally breaks and fails.


Link to the page of my paper on the philosophical foundations of cognitive science in figshare, and direct link to the pdf file.

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Última actualización: 2019-08-11.

© Ramón Casares 2019