Intention vs. Intension

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Intention and Intension is that the Intention is a agent’s specific purpose in performing an action or series of actions, the end or goal that is aimed at and Intension is a property or quality connoted by a word, phrase, or another symbol.

  • Intention

    Intention is a mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action or actions in the future. Intention involves mental activities such as planning and forethought.

  • Intension

    In linguistics, logic, philosophy, and other fields, an intension is any property or quality connoted by a word, phrase, or another symbol. In the case of a word, the word’s definition often implies an intension. For instance, the intensions of the word plant include properties including “being composed of cellulose”, “alive”, and “organism”, among others. A comprehension is the collection of all such intensions.

    The meaning of a word can be thought of as the bond between the idea the word means and the physical form of the word. Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure (1857–1913) contrasts three concepts:

    the signifier – the “sound image” or the string of letters on a page that one recognizes as the form of a sign

    the signified – the meaning, the concept or idea that a sign expresses or evokes

    the referent – the actual thing or set of things a sign refers to. See Dyadic signs and Reference (semantics).Without intension of some sort, a word has no meaning. For instance, the terms rantans or brillig have no intension and hence no meaning. Such terms may be suggestive, but a term can be suggestive without being meaningful. For instance, ran tan is an archaic onomatopoeia for chaotic noise or din and may suggest to English speakers a din or meaningless noise, and brillig though made up by Lewis Carroll may be suggestive of ‘brilliant’ or ‘frigid’. Such terms, it may be argued, are always intensional since they connote the property ‘meaningless term’, but this is only an apparent paradox and does not constitute a counterexample to the claim that without intension a word has no meaning. Part of its intension is that it has no extension. Intension is analogous to the signified in the Saussurean system, extension to the referent.

    In philosophical arguments about dualism versus monism, it is noted that thoughts have intensionality and physical objects do not (S. E. Palmer, 1999), but rather have extension in space and time.

  • Intention (noun)

    The goal or purpose behind a specific action or set of actions.

    “The intention of this legislation is to boost the economy.”

    “My intention was to marry a wealthy widow.”

    “It’s easy to promise anything when you have no intention of fulfilling any of it.”

  • Intention (noun)

    Tension; straining, stretching.

  • Intention (noun)

    A stretching or bending of the mind toward an object; closeness of application; fixedness of attention; earnestness.

  • Intention (noun)

    The object toward which the thoughts are directed; end; aim.

  • Intention (noun)

    Any mental apprehension of an object.

  • Intention (noun)

    The process of the healing of a wound.

  • Intention (verb)


  • Intension (noun)

    intensity or the act of becoming intense .

  • Intension (noun)

    Any property or quality connoted by a word, phrase or other symbol, contrasted with actual instances in the real world to which the term applies.

  • Intension (noun)

    A straining, stretching, or bending; the state of being strained.

    “the intension of a musical string”

  • Intention (noun)

    a thing intended; an aim or plan

    “he announced his intention to stand for re-election”

    “she was full of good intentions”

  • Intention (noun)

    the action or fact of intending

    “intention is just one of the factors that will be considered”

  • Intention (noun)

    a person’s plans, especially a man’s, in respect to marriage

    “if his intentions aren’t honourable, I never want to see him again”

  • Intention (noun)

    the healing process of a wound.

  • Intention (noun)

    conceptions formed by directing the mind towards an object.

  • Intension (noun)

    the internal content of a concept.

  • Intension (noun)

    resolution or determination.

Oxford Dictionary

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