What Happens to Intentional Concepts in Requirements Engineering If Intentional States Cannot Be Known?

Ivan J. Jureta

I assume in this paper that the proposition "I cannot know your intentional states" is true. I consider its consequences on the use of so-called "intentional concepts" for Requirements Engineering. I argue that if you take this proposition to be true, then intentional concepts (e.g., goal, belief, desire, intention, etc.) start to look less relevant (though not irrelevant), despite being the focus of significant research attention over the past three decades. I identify substantial problems that arise if you use instances of intentional concepts to reflect intentional states. I sketch an approach to address these problems. In it, intentional concepts have a less prominent role, while notions of time, uncertainty, prediction, observability, evidence, and learning are at the forefront.

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