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Agents as Intentional Systems

  • The philosopher Daniel Dennett coined the term intentional system to describe entities ‘whose behavior can be predicted by the method of attributing belief, desires and rational acumen’
  • Dennett identifies different ‘grades’ of intentional system:‘A first-order intentional system has beliefs and desires (etc.) but no beliefs and desires about beliefs and desires. …A second-order intentional system is more sophisticated; it has beliefs and desires (and no doubt other intentional states) about beliefs and desires (and other intentional states) — both those of others and its own’

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