Intentionality of Cheng(誠): Toward an Organic View

In Korean Philosophical Association (ed.), Philosophy and Culture: Metaphysics. pp. 33-40 (2008)
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The notion of intentionality has been in the center of the debate between dualism and physicalism quite some time. Dualism insists that intentionality is the mark of mental phenomena which separates humans from other animals whereas physicalism roughly claims that whatever there is either reducible to some physical states or explainable in terms of some physical language. But both of them are deeply troubled. Is there any other alternative? Where can we look for one? We know that Asian tradition is full of organic world views. I am inclined to think that one alternative world view may come from this background. This paper tries to show that the notion of cheng(誠) intentionality is such a candidate. I will advance a thesis in this paper that cheng(誠) intentionality is holistic. The notion is not only applicable to humans but also to all other phenomena. This may seem indistinguishable from physicalism in its monistic settings. Since I believe that the notion of cheng(誠) is more persuasive in explaining mental phenomena in evolutionary terms, I would argue here that the thesis can also be supported by some notions like that an information is a syntactical structure which reflects physical states and that the physicalisitic view of the world is not sufficient.

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