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Approaches to Intentionality$
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William Lyons

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198752226

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198752226.001.0001

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An Infant's-Eye View of Intentionality

An Infant's-Eye View of Intentionality

(p.183) 7 An Infant's-Eye View of Intentionality
Approaches to Intentionality

William Lyons

Oxford University Press

This chapter is concerned with the intentionality of sensory experiences and uses early infancy as the main source of examples. It reflects on the ‘bogey of consciousnesses’ for recent debates on intentionality that have treated consciousness as if it were a bad philosophical smell. The first section points out that it is uncontroversial to consider consciousness as a product of the evolution of species. The second section tries to remove the ‘bogey’ out of consciousness by suggesting a mode of dualism in which consciousness and brain states are two distinct ‘higher-level’ modes of the physical. The third section offers two traditional answers to explain how one comes to know that sensory experiences are of the world outside: the nativist solution, and the empiricist solution. The last sections investigate the possibility that it is the ability of the subject of sensory experiences to associate, in a single tranche of awareness, a sensory experience, first with behaviour, then with other sensory experiences, that produces new layers of intentionality.

Keywords:   early infancy, nativist solution, empiricist solution, bogey of consciousness, dualism, consciousness

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