Book Chapter

Rationality and Higher-Order Intentionality



Millar A (2001) Rationality and Higher-Order Intentionality. In: Walsh D (ed.) Naturalism, Evolution and Mind. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplements, 49. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 179-198.

The article endorses the rationality thesis--that the possession of propositional attitudes is inextricably tied to rationality--and argues that subjects of such attitudes must be capable of deliberative thinking. In the theoretical sphere that is thinking as to whether some proposition is true. In the practical sphere it is evaluating possible actions in the light of reasons for or against performing them. This marks a contrast with the mentality of nonhuman animals. The emerging perspective is illustrated by consideration of intention and autobiographical memory.

animal thinking; deliberative thinking; intentionality; propositional attitudes; reasons

Title of seriesRoyal Institute of Philosophy Supplements
Number in series49
Publication date31/08/2001
PublisherCambridge University Press
Place of publicationCambridge, UK
ISSN of series1358-2461

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Professor Alan Millar
Professor Alan Millar

Emeritus Professor, Philosophy