Intentionality as a constituting condition for the own self—and other selves

Consciousness and Cognition 12 (4):708-716 (2003)
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Abstract

Introspectively, the awareness of actions includes the awareness of the intentions accompanying them. Therefore, the awareness of self-generated actions might be expected to differ from the awareness of other-generated actions to the extent that access to one's own and to other's intentions differs. However, we recently showed that the perceived onset times of self- vs. other-generated actions are similar, yet both are different from comparable events that are conceived as being generated by a machine. This similarity raises two interesting possibilities. First we could infer the intentions of others from their actions. Second and more radically, we could equally infer our own intentions from the actions we perform rather than sense them. We present two new experiments which investigate the role of action effects in the awareness of self- and other-generated actions by means of measuring the estimated onset time. The results show that the presence of action effects is necessary for the similarity of awareness of self- and other-generated actions

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