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THE BODY IN ACTION: INTENTION, ACTION-CONSCIOUSNESS, & COMPULSION

THE BODY IN ACTION: INTENTION, ACTION-CONSCIOUSNESS, & COMPULSION

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Published by philoscience
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts of the University of Hertfordshire.

Intention and action are perhaps the most prevalent, interesting, and troublesome topics in all of philosophy. Generating research in metaphysics, ethics, epistemology, psychology and more, the question of how precisely we manage to effective deliberate and act refuse to go away.

Recently these issues have captivated the empirical sciences and philosophers alike, with brain cartographers and computer engineers weighing in on human action and intentionality and working across disciplines to perhaps mark the dawn of a new paradigm.

Although this new era of research is not likely to solve the deepest questions of the philosophy of mind, we can be sure that the advent of new technologies will bring with it the same force of ideas that was originally introduced with the advent of the press, television, or digital computer. At the same time, we will be faced with an ongoing struggle to redefine our most intimate concepts, as new tools and the perspectives brought with them redefine our worlds.

Compulsion and freedom are two such concepts, and the present is but an attempt to traverse a few key issues within them. With that being said, it’s worth noting that I started this project with the original intention of doing something purely ‘methodological’. Originally, I wanted to investigate the question of how one goes about doing something like ‘neurophenomenology’.

I quickly discovered that philosophy is much like the empirical sciences; one cannot always sit from the sidelines speculating. You’ve got to dig in and really try it out.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts of the University of Hertfordshire.

Intention and action are perhaps the most prevalent, interesting, and troublesome topics in all of philosophy. Generating research in metaphysics, ethics, epistemology, psychology and more, the question of how precisely we manage to effective deliberate and act refuse to go away.

Recently these issues have captivated the empirical sciences and philosophers alike, with brain cartographers and computer engineers weighing in on human action and intentionality and working across disciplines to perhaps mark the dawn of a new paradigm.

Although this new era of research is not likely to solve the deepest questions of the philosophy of mind, we can be sure that the advent of new technologies will bring with it the same force of ideas that was originally introduced with the advent of the press, television, or digital computer. At the same time, we will be faced with an ongoing struggle to redefine our most intimate concepts, as new tools and the perspectives brought with them redefine our worlds.

Compulsion and freedom are two such concepts, and the present is but an attempt to traverse a few key issues within them. With that being said, it’s worth noting that I started this project with the original intention of doing something purely ‘methodological’. Originally, I wanted to investigate the question of how one goes about doing something like ‘neurophenomenology’.

I quickly discovered that philosophy is much like the empirical sciences; one cannot always sit from the sidelines speculating. You’ve got to dig in and really try it out.

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Published by: philoscience on Feb 12, 2010
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07/10/2013

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i
THE
 
BODY
 
IN
 
ACTION:INTENTION,
 
ACTION-CONSCIOUSNESS,
 
&
 
COMPULSION
By M. Allen, B.Sc.
 
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts of the University of Hertfordshire.Submitted July 1
st
, 2009.The University of Hertfordshire.Faculty of Humanities, Languages and Education.De Havilland Campus.Hertfordshire.Copyright: no part of this dissertation may be quoted or reproduced without the author’s permission and due acknowledgement.
 
ii
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSI would like to thank Professors Shaun Gallagher and Daniel Hutto for their dedicatedmentoring, philosophical discussions, and ongoing encouragement. I also sincerely thank the UH and UCF Philosophy Societies for many great nights of debate which contributedheavily to this project. I would also like to thank Andreas Roepstorff and all of InteractingMinds for their ongoing support of all off my research. Finally, many thanks to my partner Julie for putting up with the existential and psychological repercussions intrinsic to thesesort of endeavors, and for teaching me how to use shift-F7.
 
iii
PREFACEIntention and action are perhaps the most prevalent, interesting, and troublesome topics inall of philosophy. Generating research in metaphysics, ethics, epistemology, psychologyand more, the question of how precisely we manage to effective deliberate and act refuse togo away. Recently these issues have captivated the empirical sciences and philosophersalike, with brain cartographers and computer engineers weighing in on human action andintentionality and working across disciplines to perhaps mark the dawn of a new paradigm.Although this new era of research is not likely to solve the deepest questions of the philosophy of mind, we can be sure that the advent of new technologies will bring with itthe same force of ideas that was originally introduced with the advent of the press,television, or digital computer. At the same time, we will be faced with an ongoingstruggle to redefine our most intimate concepts, as new tools and the perspectives broughtwith them redefine our worlds.Compulsion and freedom are two such concepts, and the present is but an attempt totraverse a few key issues within them. With that being said, it’s worth noting that I startedthis project with the original intention of doing something purely ‘methodological’.Originally, I wanted to investigate the question of 
how
one goes about doing somethinglike ‘neurophenomenology’. I quickly discovered that philosophy is much like theempirical sciences; one cannot always sit from the sidelines speculating. You’ve got to digin and really try it out.

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