"Action, Acorns, and Awareness"
Alison Springle (Dickinson College)

April 28, 2021, 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Rice University

United States

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Rice University

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When: April 28, 12 noon in Houston/19h in Tübingen 

Where: https://riceuniversity.zoom.us/j/99395498497?pwd=Q3dHcy9KS25OVVVUZjR5dXhmT2hLUT09 (passcode: "Premise1")

What: Alison Springle, "Action, Acorns, and Awareness"  


This talk introduces a new account of representations in terms of which a novel representationalist theory of sensory consciousness might be articulated. The novelty of my account stems from the way it understands the intentionality of action and how that relates to representational intentionality. On the view I propose, intentional actions are processes with intrinsic (rather than derived) intentionality that develop in stages, akin to the way an individual oak tree develops. Where an oak tree begins its life as an acorn, an intentional action begins its life as an “intentional action acorn.” I introduce and motivate (1) a “problem-solving” analysis of intentional action and (2) a “practical epistemic access” analysis of representation. I argue that identifying mental representations with intentional action acorns is a parsimonious way of unifying these two analyses and explain how the acorn metaphor can be cashed-out naturalistically. Finally, I discuss some potential advantages of accounting for sensory consciousness in terms of representations understood as intentional action acorns and I gesture at how such a view might begin to address some potential challenges. 

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April 28, 2021, 12:00pm CST

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