Philosophical Psychology 20 (3):309 – 327 (2007)

Cara Spencer
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Since we explain behavior by ascribing intentional states to the agent, many philosophers have assumed that some guiding principle of folk psychology like [Intentional States and Actions] must be true. [Intentional States and Actions]: If A and B are different actions, then the agents performing them must differ in their intentional states at the time they are performed. Recent results in the physiology of vision present a prima facie problem for this principle. These results show that some visual information that guides spatial manipulation and fine motor control is unavailable for verbal report. Plausibly, this information is not consciously available to the agent, and as such, not available to inform the content of intentional states. Thus, it is hard to see how every difference in action is subject to intentional explanation, as [Intentional States and Actions] requires. I articulate the prima facie problem and argue that the most plausible solution requires us to reject [Intentional States and Actions].
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DOI 10.1080/09515080701250228
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References found in this work BETA

Phenomenology of Perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1962 - Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: The Humanities Press.
Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
Consciousness in Action.Susan L. Hurley - 1998 - Harvard University Press.
Radical Interpretation.Donald Davidson - 1973 - Dialectica 27 (1):314-328.

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