Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Philosophy


Philosophy and Religion

First Advisor

Donovan Wishon

Second Advisor

Robert Barnard

Third Advisor

Deborah Mower

Relational Format



In mind, John R. Searle dismisses the deep-unconscious on the grounds that it neither satisfies the connection principle nor does it exhibit intentionality. I argue against Searle's account of the unconscious. My initial reason for rejecting Searle's account is that he sacrifices the theoretical virof explanatory power for the sake of ontological simplicity. The reason the unconscious mind gained theoretical sustenance in the first place was to understand and explain various aspects of human behavior that consciousness cannot account for, so any good theory of the unconscious ought to fill this explanatory gap. By oversimplifying the unconscious, Searle's account cannot explain such aspects of human behavior, e.g., the causes of our sexual preferences, the tendency to mirror body language of others, or how our environments can shape our judgements. As an alternative, I defend a teleosemantic theory of the unconscious as a causal explanation for consciously unintended human behaviors.

Included in

Philosophy Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.