[hist-analytic] Mele on Effective Intentions Pt. 1

Baynesr at comcast.net Baynesr at comcast.net
Fri Feb 4 14:25:39 EST 2011


Danny, 

I had no idea who you had in mind. Kant is essential reading and provides a common basis. I would dispute the claims you make on behalf of the neurologists. I doubt they have their own experimental facts right, let alone the philosophy. But let's give them a chance and maybe we can wade through their vanities and exaggerated claims. 

I am familiar with the points you raise. Some we will discuss in some detail, so stick around. 

Best wishes 

Steve 



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Danny Frederick" <danny.frederick at btinternet.com> 
To: "hist-analytic" <hist-analytic at simplelists.co.uk> 
Sent: Friday, February 4, 2011 1:02:07 PM 
Subject: RE: Mele on Effective Intentions Pt. 1 




Hi Steve, 



Actually, I was not thinking of Kant but of work in empirical psychology/neurophysiology, which shows that our perceptions are a creative product of the brain which struggles to make sense of stimuli and tests different hypotheses in trying to produce a percept that makes sense. Admittedly the agent is not consciously aware of this groping and experimenting in most cases, though conscious effort seems to come into play in cases which are particularly difficult to construe. 



Further, perception is only one part of cognition. The conscious testing of alternative hypotheses, which we all do to some extent, though scientists make point of it, is plainly an active process, requiring individual initiative and decisions. 



Cheers. 



Danny 








From: hist-analytic-manager at simplelists.com [mailto:hist-analytic-manager at simplelists.com] On Behalf Of Baynesr at comcast.net 
Sent: 04 February 2011 16:55 
To: hist-analytic 
Subject: Re: Mele on Effective Intentions Pt. 1 




Danny, 

Sensations for Kant, just to take one example, are material effects. The mind for Kant,, e.g., becomes active only in *working up perceptions* or empirical intuitions from those sensations according to rules determined by the categories of the pure understanding. The active mind becomes involved only at the level of judgment and concepts. Sensations, for Kant, are not empirical intuitions. The distinction is subtle but depends on the difference between the active and the passive mind. Also, if you restrict sense data to qualia in a realist ontology, similarly, sense data become the effects of material or other causes. Being the "effects" the subject is passive in relation to them. The causes "active" by contrast. This is the traditional view. I think you can find this in Aristotle who places sensations at the "bottom" of the cognitive "line." 

'Volition' is a term of art. It rarely, if ever, receives the same definition among action theorists. However, for Mele an "occurrent intention" may be considered something like a volition, but we'll have to see what he does with "volition." Answering the second half of your question would require a few dozen pages even if we restrict ourselves to a single philosopher. I recommend in this regard a close look at the relevant section on the Will in James's Psychology vol. II. The best thing ever written on the subject after Aristotle'; then Bradley (who is the unrecognized genius in such matters). 

Regards 

Steve 



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Danny Frederick" <danny.frederick at btinternet.com> 
To: "hist-analytic" <hist-analytic at simplelists.co.uk> 
Sent: Friday, February 4, 2011 8:43:13 AM 
Subject: RE: Mele on Effective Intentions Pt. 1 

Hi Steve, 



Just a couple of comments. 



How can cognitive properties be passive? Understanding anything requires an effort. Even interpreting our perceptions is an active process. 



Is an ‘executive intention’ another name for an act of volition? If so, why not just say so? If not, then how is it different? 



Danny 

45000
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://rbjones.com/pipermail/hist-analytic_rbjones.com/attachments/20110204/8296df01/attachment-0002.html>


More information about the hist-analytic mailing list