[Wittrs] Re: Who beat Kasparov?

  • From: "SWM" <SWMirsky@xxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2010 14:27:17 -0000

--- In Wittrs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Gordon Swobe <wittrsamr@...> wrote:
> Yes, Searle introduced the idea of "as-if" intentionality but he did not 
> introduce the idea of intentionality itself. As-if intentionality seems an 
> easy enough concept to grasp.

I asked what you meant and you answered previously and I think we are in 
agreement about "intentionality". We are probably even in agreement about what 
Searle meant by the "as-if" kind but I needed to be sure. As of now I think we 
are on the same page as to the meaning.

> Kasparov has intrinsic (as opposed to as-if) intentionality: he has a 
> conscious mind that contains contents about the state of affairs on the chess 
> board, and about his chess strategy.

Dennett's point about "intentionality" strikes me as pretty sharp. There is 
nothing there in an important sense. What is there are certain behaviors and 
certain subjective experiences. And we are in agreement that Big Blue and 
Kasparov don't share these. What we aren't in agreement about is what it means 
to have these, how these are brought about and whether we have to say that only 
an intentional entity like Kasparov could beat Kasparov in a chess game.

On these latter points we seem to be in substantial disagreement.

> Deep Blue has only as-if intentionality: although we might say there exists a 
> sense in which Deep Blue "thinks about chess strategy", we cannot say Deep 
> Blue has conscious mental contents. Deep Blue has no subjective life 
> whatsoever. It acts *as if* it has intentionality when fact it does not have 
> it. Agree so far?

Yes except that I don't think the "as if" designation is as signficant as you 
seem to think it is (and as Searle does).

> Dennett gets it wrong I believe when he in effect denies Kasparov's intrinsic 
> intentionality.

He doesn't deny Kasparov's intentionality but he does deny "intrinsic 
intentionality" since he thinks there is no such thing, i.e., it's just an 
amalgam of certain behaviors, dispositions and subjective experiences, all of 
which can be produced, he thinks, in a computational way.

> On his view, as I understand it, he takes what he calls "the intentional 
> stance" toward both Kasparov and Deep Blue. He implies, wrongly, that 
> Kasparov has nothing that Deep Blue does not have.
> - gts

No, he does not. You have misread him here.


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