By Alessandro Duranti

How and to what volume do humans consider the intentions of others? Alessandro Duranti units out to respond to this query, exhibiting that the function of intentions in human interplay is variable throughout cultures and contexts. via cautious research of knowledge amassed over 3 many years in US and Pacific societies, Duranti demonstrates that, in a few groups, social actors steer clear of intentional discourse, concentrating on the implications of activities instead of on their alleged unique targets. In different situations, he argues, humans do speculate approximately their very own intentions or wager the intentions of others, together with in a few societies the place it used to be formerly assumed they stay away from doing so. To account for such edition, Duranti proposes an 'intentional continuum', an idea that attracts from phenomenology and the designated research of face-to-face interplay. a mix of latest essays and vintage re-evaluations, the booklet attracts jointly findings from anthropology, linguistics and philosophy to provide a penetrating account of the function of intentions in defining human motion.

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Extra info for The Anthropology of Intentions: Language in a World of Others

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Do these observations about the lack of a close translation of the English terms intention or intend imply that Samoans do not have the notion of intention in the specific English sense? This is a question that should be approached empirically. For one thing, we know that individuals or groups of speakers can and do adopt new words with new meanings that eventually make it into the repertoire of the larger speech community (Morgan 2014). For The meaning of intention and intending 37 example, Samoan borrowed words like time (Samoan taimi) and duty (Samoan tiute) from English and natura ‘nature’ from Latin36 (see Chapter 4 for a brief discussion of loanwords and lexical innovations introduced in the Samoan translation of the Bible).

As I will show in Chapter 9, such a theoretical attitude is typically realized by adults as well as children through the faculty of language. From an early age, language gives us the ability to have a “theoretical stance” toward our experiences as well as toward the institutions within which we operate. But does reflexivity give us control of our own intentions and, thus, of the meaning of actions? Not for authors like Bourdieu. The fact that individuals can “stop and think” about their actions does not mean that they have control of their destiny.

4 Searle’s notions of Network and Background: capturing implicit cultural knowledge Both the “Background” and the “Network” – as in “a Network of Intentional states” – were introduced by Searle in his book on intentionality to account for all kinds of “capacities and social processes” (1983: 147) that are necessary 18 Intentions in speaking and acting for human action to occur at all. ” He points out that this “intention” is related (or “refers”) to other intentions, which, in turn, have other conditions of satisfaction, each with its own set of beliefs and desires.

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