Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

M.A. in Philosophy

Department

Philosophy and Religion

First Advisor

Donovan Wishon

Second Advisor

Robert Barnard

Third Advisor

Deborah Mower

Abstract

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 virtue of 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

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