more from Robert Kirk

Single Idea 4993

[catalogued under 15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 4. Intentionality / a. Nature of intentionality]

Full Idea

When a bird pulls a worm from the ground, then swallows it piece by piece, there is a sense in which its behaviour can be said to be about the worm.

Gist of Idea

If a bird captures a worm, we could say its behaviour is 'about' the worm


Robert Kirk (Mind and Body [2003], 5.4)

Book Reference

Kirk,Robert: 'Mind and Body' [Acumen 2003], p.104

A Reaction

This is preparing the ground for a possible behaviourist account of intentionality. Reply: you could say rain is about puddles, or you could say we have adopted Dennett's 'intentional stance' to birds, but it tells us nothing about their psychology.