Cognitivism and practical intentionality: A critique of Dreyfus's critique of Husserl

Abstract
Hubert L. Dreyfus has worked out a critique of what he calls “representationalism” and “cognitivism,” one proponent of which, according to Dreyfus, is Husserl. But I think that Dreyfus misunderstands the Husserlian conception of practical intentionality and that his characterization of Husserl as a “representationalist” or as a “cognitivist” is thereby wrongheaded. In this paper I examine Dreyfus’s interpretation by offering a Husserlian critique of Dreyfus’s objections to Husserl, and then by outlining Husserl’s account of practical intentionality and the practical lived Body. I sketch the critique and the approach of Dreyfus in three steps. First, I deal with his objections against Husserl’s theory by arguing that Dreyfus understands neither the role of the reduction nor the function of background-awareness in Husserl’s phenomenology. Second, I elucidate the central role that the “practical lived Body” plays in practical intentionality for Husserl, and, third, I highlight the consequences that follow from the analyses offered in the previous sections
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