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Approaches to Intentionality$
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William Lyons

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198752226

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198752226.001.0001

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The Information-Processing Approach

The Information-Processing Approach

(p.97) 4 The Information-Processing Approach
Approaches to Intentionality

William Lyons

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with the information-processing account of Fred Dretske, an account that combines the representational aspect of mental content and the teleological interpretation of its cognitive aspect. The core of his account of intentionality lies in his view of the human brain and its perceptual organs as an information-processing system, which in turn is based on ‘information theory’. His works Knowledge and the Flow of Information and Seeing and Knowing show that by using the information-processing input mechanism called the senses, and treating the brain as the information processor, one can build up an account of those paradigms' sophisticated intentional states, knowledge and belief. The chapter also discusses belief states, representational systems, and brain-level functional accounts and consciousness.

Keywords:   Dretske, information theory, information-processing system, Knowledge and the Flow of Information, Seeing and Knowing, belief states, brain-level functional account

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