Naturalizing Motor Intentionality

Abstract

This research argues that the processing of motor activities is content-bearing, and that the motor content is to be understood in a pragmatic sense, a novel sense of content different from the semantic sense of content that visual processing bears. The semantic sense of content is based on Brentano’s notion of intentionality, made possible by a standing-for relation. By contrast, the pragmatic sense of content is based on Merleau-Ponty’s (1962) notion of motor intentionality, according to which motor skills are pre-predicative. This research maintains a philosophical discussion on the basis of Jeannerod’s (2006) psychological theory of motor cognition and Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological notion of motor intentionality. This research argues that motor activities are made available under the purposeful processing with a pre-determined goal. This way of maneuvering motor resources in the light of accomplishing a given goal, is the pragmatic sense in which motor actions are understood as content-bearing.


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