Ratio 15 (4):376–391 (2002)

Sean Kelly
Harvard University
The French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty claims that there are two distinct ways in which we can understand the place of an object when we are visually apprehending it. The first involves an intentional relation to the object that is essentially cognitive or can serve as the input to cognitive processes; the second irreducibly involves a bodily set or preparation to deal with the object. Because of its essential bodily component, Merleau-Ponty calls this second kind of understanding ‘motor intentional’. In this paper I consider some phenomenological, conceptual, and cognitive neuro-scientific results that help to elucidate and defend the distinction between intentional and motor intentional activity. I go on to argue that motor intentional activity has a logical structure that is essentially distinct from that of the more canonical kinds of intentional states. In particular, the characteristic logical distinction between the content and the attitude of an intentional state does not carry over to the motor intentional case.
Keywords Body  Intentionality  Metaphysics  Phenomenology  Merleau-ponty
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DOI 10.1111/1467-9329.00198
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Know-How as Competence. A Rylean Responsibilist Account.David Lowenstein - 2017 - Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann.
Kantian Themes in Merleau-Ponty’s Theory of Perception.Samantha Matherne - 2016 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 98 (2):193-230.
Motor Intentionality and the Case of Schneider.Rasmus Thybo Jensen - 2009 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (3):371-388.
The Kantian Roots of Merleau-Ponty's Account of Pathology.Samantha Matherne - 2014 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22 (1):124-149.

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Similar books and articles

Body‐Intentionality.Corbin Collins - 1988 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 31 (December):495-518.
Motor Intentionality and the Case of Schneider.Rasmus Thybo Jensen - 2009 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (3):371-388.
Body.David Morris - 2008 - In Rosalyn Diprose & Jack Reynolds (eds.), Merleau-ponty: Key Concepts. Acumen Publishing. pp. 111-120.


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