Argument: A subject is an object that actualizes in an action. The self is a preliminary phase in a subject that corresponds with choice. When this phase actualizes in a behavior directed to a goal, the subject is in a basic (purposeful) intentional state. Awareness of the goal of a purposeful action requires a self and an intentional ideation. An object is selected out of a context or potential of unactualized choices. A self that is conscious of the choice implicit in the selection of a goal is in a volitional state. The progression from simple (purposeful) to complex (conscious) intentions to volitions (choices) involves a growth of perceptual awareness realized in action.
KeywordsIntentional Action Intentional State External Object Intentional Relation Body Schema
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- 1.J. Searle, Intentionality (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1983), distinguishes the (propositional) content of a concept from an object. I take the object (e.g., speech) to be a later stage in the derivation of a concept (mental sentence or proposition). A concept and an object, or statement, are segments in a common process.Google Scholar
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- 4.See also Self and Process, 113–126; Life of the Mind, 316–321.Google Scholar
- 5.Wittgenstein argued that the description of an intention is a description of an intended action, so that intention and intentional action are not logically distinct events. Moreover, the argument that an intention is not an entity like an image or a thought is consistent with the intention being in the relation between such entities; see N. Malcolm, Wittgenstein: A Religious Point of View (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1994).Google Scholar
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- 10.In this respect, the inability to perform a morally reprehensible act is a weak example of free will, since inhibitions (values) overpower choice. See P. van Inwagen, “When Is the Will Free?” in Philosophical Perspectives vol. 3, ed. J. Tomberlin (Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, 1989).Google Scholar
- 11.For Hume, reason determines what is true and what is false but is dumb on the question of what to do: G. Watson, “Free Agency,” in Free Will (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982).Google Scholar