Intentionality, Information and Consciousness: A Naturalistic Perspective

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In this thesis, I offer a new interpretation of the principles of Naturalistic philosophy that are relevant to the philosophy of mind. In doing so, I attempt to accomplish the broader task of showing how we can make significant progress in our thinking about consciousness by first offering new conceptual foundations that can ground our theorizing, and then applying these new ideas to specific problems in the field. The thesis first articulates the advantages of Naturalism, properly understood, as a valuable methodological alternative to traditional approaches to problems in the field. Next, I explore what we can distill from work in Situated Cognition Research (understood as an extension of my interpretation of Naturalism) which will be useful in truly appreciating the Naturalist’s theoretical starting point, our conceptual foundation for work in the philosophy of mind. The thesis proceeds to show how the phenomenon of intentionality is to be understood given the principles of Naturalism, and a naturalistic account of intentionality emerges. I conclude with a consideration of the implications that a naturalistic account of intentionality has for our understanding of the nature of consciousness in general.
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Archival date: 2013-06-12
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