Volume 14, 2000
Folk Psychology, Mental Concepts and the Ascription of Attitudes
Brian P. McLaughlin
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.