Chuck and all,

Breathing new life into older concepts Dept.:

I take the fact of awareness, and especially the wide bandwidth of
self-conscious  awareness in human life, as leading in the direction of an
expanded mind-body conceived whole of feeling, conation and cognition.  On
this view, we cognize, share and shape a less pasteurized version of
desires, hopes and fears through symbols and symbolisms like language as
they emerge, interact and mature in our awareness.

A expanded concept of "mind" that integrates and cognizes thinking, feeling,
and "purposing" appeals to me as a better model for explaining what I
personally experience and mean by "design thinking."  And it points to some
useful vocabularies that enable the socializing of interests, hopes, fears,
needs, goals, preferences, choices, judgments... all common to the social
process of designing.

So, I'd just offer that an alternate strategy  to abandoning the concept of
mind or trivializing it by shrinking it - or cartooning it as a Cartesian
Theater - is to widen and enrich it.  This was Gregory Bateson's strategy in
Mind and Nature and Steps to an Ecology of Mind,  and Suzanne K. Langer's in
her three volumes of Mind: An Essay on Human Feeling.

Probably much too mentalist for some...

But best to all,  Jerry

On 8/17/09 7:27 PM, "Charles Burnette" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> On Aug 16, 2009, at 10:51 AM, jeremy hunsinger wrote:
>> What we mean when we say x intends, is merely to say that person
>> will act or person will not act according to what he knows and
>> desires, there is no special faculty of intention that separates
>> persons from non-persons, etc.  In short, i don't think intention or
>> intentionality exists as anything other than shorthand for knowing
>> our own desires and realizing them in the world.  And really, that
>> is all we need, we don't need 'intend' anymore than we need 'will',
>> except as literary constructs.  To design then, does not require to
>> intend, it merely requires knowledge/thought/desire+action which is
>> equivalent to planning+action.
> Jeremy: I think Ken got it right. There is a faculty that separates
> persons from non-persons, animals from objects. It is the executive
> function of the frontal cortex in humans. You can't dismiss it with
> sophistries like "knowledge/thought/desire+action which is equivalent
> to planning+action." It is the mind/brain that implements such
> things.  Intention is a single word that encompasses and integrates
> the cognition involved in desire/knowledge/attentional selection/
> conceptual thought/interpretation/potential actions/evaluation of
> results/ adaptive assimilation and  reuse. Purposeful thought and
> design is "intentionally" guided based on needs and desires perceived
> within the situations we confront. We dismiss intentionality and the
> cognition it directs at our peril.
> Chuck

Jerry Diethelm
Architect - Landscape Architect
Planning & Urban Design Consultant

    Prof. Emeritus of Landscape Architecture
           and Community Service  University of Oregon
    2652 Agate St., Eugene, OR 97403
       e-mail: [log in to unmask]

       541-686-0585 home/work 541-346-1441 UO
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