Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 385–401 | Cite as

On projecting and willing: a contribution to the phenomenology of intentions

  • Erol Copelj


This work is best described as an endeavour to contribute to the phenomenology of intentions, the experiences of intending to do something. It finds its point of departure in the discussion of two ‘analytic philosophers’, John Searle and John McDowell, where two contrasting accounts of intentions are offered. The first task is to derive a hybrid account, according to which there are different kinds of intentions, each having the property of being a potential continuant with prior- and in-action phases. The remainder of the discussion is a phenomenological justification of the hybrid account. Through a critical engagement with work of the classical phenomenologists, descriptions are advanced towards the end of demonstrating that the genus intention splits into the species projecting and willing and that each instantiates the property of being a potential continuant with prior- and in-action phases. This work does not offer a complete justification of the hybrid account; rather, the discussion culminates with the articulation of a concrete phenomenological problem, the answer to which is a condition for the evaluation of the phenomenological merit of the hybrid account. This problem functions as an invitation for other phenomenologists to return to thing themselves and engage in concrete phenomenological work.


Phenomenology Intentions Projecting Willing Husserl Sartre Schutz 



For both her unwavering support in my periods of intense self-doubt and her invaluable comments on earlier version of this manuscript, I am deeply grateful to Yuko Ishihara.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies, Arts FacultyMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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