Daniel C. Dennett

The Free Floating Rationales of Evolution

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Evolution and mind are tightly connected, and a way to point out such a connection is to notice two senses of the word «why». In this paper I describe Darwin's contribution in disentangling the two species of «why» questions showing how we can pass from «how come» to «what for». In so showing, I will argue that we, Homo sapiens, are the only reason-representers, and the practice we adopt to look for telic answers is what I call the «intentional stance». The intentional stance is in play both in the manifest image of everyday life and in the scientific image we build up as researchers.


  • Mind
  • Evolution
  • Representation
  • Intentional Stance


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