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Volume 14, 2000

Folk Psychology, Mental Concepts and the Ascription of Attitudes

Brian P. McLaughlin
Pages 145-157

Why Intentional Systems Theory Cannot Reconcile Physicalism With Realism about Belief and Desire

In this paper, I examine Daniel Dennett’s well-known intentional systems theory of belief and desire from the perspective of physicalism. I begin with a general discussion of physicalism. In the course of that discussion, I present familiar ways that one might attempt to reconcile physicalism with belief-desire realism. I then argue that intentional systems theory will not provide a reconciliation of physicalism and belief-desire realism.

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