Purely Physical Systems

Purely Physical Systems - Purely Physical Systems: The Case...

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Purely Physical Systems: The Case of the Heat-Seeking Missile Regardless of which is more fundamental - the intentionality of language, or the intentionality of the mental - one is still left with the question of whether intentionality has to be treated as a brute fact, or whether, on the contrary, some explanation of it can be offered. And if the latter is the case, if intentionality has, so to speak, some non-intentional source , what is that source? A possible answer to this question is suggested by certain purely physical systems - namely, ones whose physical movement is, metaphorically-speaking, "goal-directed". Consider, for example, the case of a heat-seeking missile - a device that "looks" for objects in its environment whose temperature exceeds a certain amount, and then which, if it "finds" any such object, moves toward the hottest such object, and, when sufficiently close, "engages" in explosive behavior. Compare the "behavior" of such a device with the behavior of someone searching for a
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This note was uploaded on 11/09/2011 for the course PHI PHI2010 taught by Professor Jorgerigol during the Fall '09 term at Broward College.

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Purely Physical Systems - Purely Physical Systems: The Case...

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