dan everett dan_everett at SIL.ORG
Wed Mar 21 13:10:42 UTC 2001

     The point of the quote is well-taken. It is an issue that I didn't
     bring up because it is slightly more complex, i.e. the notion of
     'potentially conscious'. But I think that when John wrote this (I was
     taking a class from him while he was writing this and sharing an
     office with him) he was in particular concerned about some linguists'
     claims about 'tacit knowledge'.

     In any case, one example he gave was that of skiing. When one begins,
     every move is conscious and intentional. "put this foot here, that
     foot there, bend the knee so, etc." As one becomes better at the
     sport, one just has the intention of skiing, the others becoming
     subconscious subroutines. But, and this is crucial, all these
     subroutines can in principle be brought back to consciousness.

     Talk of intentionality which canNOT be made conscious is what he
     argues to be incoherent. (Such as many of Chomsky's proposals on
     constraints of UG. Chomsky has answered Searle in lectures, though I
     am not aware that he has in print. Perhaps his new book.)


______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: intent
Author:  <dparvaz at UNM.EDU> at Internet
Date:    3/20/01 10:46 PM

> For example, Searle argues very convincingly that the notion of
> 'unconcious intention' is incoherent.

"Nonetheless, though not all conscious states are intentional, and not all
intentional states are conscious, there is an essential connection: we only
understand intentionality in terms of consciouness. There are many
intentional states that are not conscious, but they are the sort of thing
that could potentially be conscious." (Searle, _Mind, Language, and
Society_, p.65).

This seems to be an important clarification of your point, namely that the
NOTION of `unconscious intention' may be incoherent, even though
unconscious intention does in fact exist. This speaks to our
understanding, not the world of facts.



. .   D A N  P A R V A Z  --  Geek-in-Residence
 U    University of New Mexico Linguistics Dept
 -    dparvaz@{,}   505.480.9638

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