Husserl and the Representational Theory of Mind

Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 194)


So writes Dreyfus in his introduction to Husserl, Intentionality and Cognitive Science. [1] These provocative comments launch a most interesting discussion of Husserl’s relationship to important recent work in philosophy of mind, especially that of Fodor and Searle. If Dreyfus is right, Husserl himself is the author of a proto-Fodorian theory of mental representations, and the tasks he conceived for transcendental phenomenology anticipate modern-day research projects in artificial intelligence and cognitive science. But Dreyfus is a critic of such efforts: indeed, he believes that Heidegger’s reasons for rejecting the very possibility of transcendental phenomenology are basically right. Thus, his ultimate goal in comparing Husserl with “modern mentalists” such as Fodor is to show that both can be tarred with the same brush.


Mental State Mental Representation Phenomenal Quality Mental Causation Transcendental Phenomenology 
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© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1988

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