Um Exame de Objeções a Ryle sobre o Funcionamento dos Termos Psicológicos Intencionais

Filipe Lazzeri, Jorge M. Oliveira-Castro


This paper briefly presents an account, partially based upon Ryle’s
approach, of the functions of intentional psychological terms as they are
used in ordinary language. According to this account, intentional
psychological terms describe known patterns of behavior that are determined
by selective mechanisms of causation. That is, these terms describe
relations between certain responses, selected on the basis of the
consequences they produce in the environment, and contexts of their
occurrence, to which they become associated. Intentional psychological
terms do not point to inner causes of a given behavior, but can explain it
only in the sense of stating that it could be expected to occur, if we can
identify its behavior pattern and the context in which it occurs. We
proceed then to examine three main objections that have been raised against
Ryle’s position, namely: (a) Davidson’s challenge to the non-causal accounts
of reason-explanations; (b) Armstrong’s worries about “leaving the
counterfactuals hanging in the air”; and (c) the holistic objection to the
(wrongly) presumed Ryle’s atomism. We aim at showing that none of these
objections pose serious problems to the proposed account.

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