presentation given at 14:30 on 021022
intentionality - the fact that mental states are 'about' or represent things
semantics - the relation of signs to the things they represent
Cantwell Smith site
for the most part, such minute disturbances don�t amplify in this way
even when they do, their effects take time
tend to be chaotic (i.e. more disconnected)
Given this flexy, sloppy world, we can sharpen what interests us about causality.
�Because of the dissipative nature of the playing field, an enduring entity cannot, at any given moment, be affected by things that, at that same moment, are beyond what I will call effective reach�.
�flex and slop underwrite the very notion of connection, disconnection and the limits of effective reach � otherwise, there�d probably be no warrant for saying the world had parts at all�
As soon as effective reach limits which parts of the physical world can immediately affect an agent, we can start to talk about strategies for dealing with those parts of the world which are beyond effective reach, but still matter because of �past connections, present interests, future possibilities�. The most basic of these is illustrated by the �super-sunflower�, which continues to move in the direction of the sun�s trajectory, even when the sun is occluded, to be ready for it when it pops back out. We can see that this is a much more valuable skill for a rabbit that has lost track of a coyote, but makes an educated guess as to where the coyote will reappear.
�An internal mechanism has to compensate for what can no longer be relied on to be effectively provided by the environment�,
��this shouldering of effective responsibility by the s-region, to compensate for the break in effective coupling � is no less than the origin of reasoning, representation and syntax�
Because intentionality is based on non-effective tracking, intentionality is not an effective phenomenon, and will not have an effective explanation. Neither will objects, although Smith withholds complete explanation of why this must be so until later. He does mention that:
�being an object cannot be a physically effective property, since there is no way in which a temporally extended object could have a physical effect distinct from that of a non-temporally-extended instantaneous time-slice of that object�
and also that:
�abstraction, essential to the notion of an object, is like semantic reach in being physically transcendent�
He finally considers how we might individuate the subject and object. By individuate, he means �what allows us to say of one object that it is one; or two that they are two�. He discusses this in terms of abstraction, which �requires separation, in order that the s-region not be buffeted by irrelevant details�, and �[deconvolving] the deixis�, which is the means by which the self gathers together as a stable unity as a �long-term integral or aggregate of that which it must compensate for, in order to stabilise the rest of the world�. This is the
�precursor to the later process of shifting the registration of the object from egocentric to allocentric coordinates. This helps it to begin the long and tough process of triangulating on the object, and washing out the contribution of everything else�.
consider why Prof. Roy has asked us to look at the Brooks and the Smith at the same time