A Generative System for Intentional Action?

Topoi 33 (1):77-85 (2014)
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Abstract

It has been proposed that intentional actions are supplied by a generative system of the sort described by Chomsky for language. In this paper I aim to provide a closer analysis of this claim for the sake of conceptual clarification. To this end, I will first clarify what is involved in the thesis of a structural analogy between language and action, and then I will consider what kind of evidence there seems to be in favour of the thesis of a neurobiological identity. On this basis, I will subsequently focus on two definitional issues. The first is whether, as the claim of a generative system for intentional action suggests, humans may perform an infinite number of possible actions. The second is whether, as the claim of a generative system for intentional action suggests, what is at issue is conscious planning of action and therefore controlled processing

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