Single Idea 3481

[catalogued under 15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 4. Intentionality / b. Intentionality theories]

Full Idea

I claim that only a being that could have conscious intentional states could have intentional states at all, and every unconscious intentional state is at least potentially conscious.


Intentional states are those which have content, which are 'about' something

Gist of Idea

Consciousness is essential and basic to intentionality


John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 6.I.5)

Book Reference

Searle,John R.: 'The Rediscovery of the Mind' [MIT 1999], p.132

A Reaction

The alternative to this is that robots and lower animals might have non-conscious states which are about something, because they process useful information but are unaware of it. If so, parts of the human mind might do the same, as in blindsight.

Related Idea

Idea 2978 Consciousness no longer seems essential to intentionality [Lyons]