I’m still working on my series of posts answering the eight questions posed to atheists by Michael Egnor and some of the ones coming up have me a little baffled. I’m digging up my notes from Directed Studies freshman year to be able to tackle the question about Aristotle’s four causes, but when it comes to question six, I don’t even know where to begin. Here’s the prompt:
Why is the human mind intentional, in the technical philosophical sense of aboutness, which is the referral to something besides itself? How can mental states be about something?
I’ve got bupkis.
I have no idea what the technical philosophical sense of ‘aboutness’ is, and unless someone can link me to a few helpful papers or just give me a better sense of what the question is asking, I’m going to take a I haven’t the foggiest idea pass on this one.
Egnor is asking what explanations atheists have for his questions, and the truthful answer is I don’t understand this well enough to take a swing. Luckily, since Egnor says he posed the challenge to find out what atheists believe, he stated in the rules that participants are free to duck a question that goes over their head, is incomprehensible, or is irrelevant.
So, I’m punting, unless one of you all can lend me a hand.
P.S. Am I correct in assuming no one wants to see me answer the Why is there Evil? question (#8) until after I tackle Does Moral Law Exist? (#7). I know I can write #8 more easily and sooner than #7, but I understand it may not be particularly informative without an explanation of my position on moral law. I’ll hold one back until I’ve done the other, if it’s preferable.