Representation and Self-Awareness in Intentional Agents

Synthese 118 (1):89 - 104 (1999)
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Abstract

Several conditions for being an intrinsically intentional agent are put forward. On a first level of intentionality the agent has representations. Two kinds are described: cued and detached. An agent with both kinds is able to represent both what is prompted by the context and what is absent from it. An intermediate level of intentionality is achieved by having an inner world, that is, a coherent system of detached representations that model the world. The inner world is used, e.g., for conditional and counterfactual thinking. Contextual or indexical representations are necessary in order that the inner world relates to the actual external world and thus can be used as a basis for action. To have full-blown intentionality, the agent should also have a detached self-awareness, that is, be able to entertain self-representations that are independent of the context

Author Profiles

Ingar Brinck
Lund University
Peter Gärdenfors
Lund University

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