, Volume 67, Issue 2, pp 321-336,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 11 Aug 2007

Intentional Systems Theory, Mental Causation and Empathic Resonance

Abstract

In the first section of this paper I argue that the main reason why Daniel Dennett’s Intentional Systems Theory (IST) has been perceived as behaviourist or antirealist is its inability to account for the causal efficacy of the mental. The rest of the paper is devoted to the claim that by emending the theory with a phenomenon called ‘empathic resonance’ (ER), it can account for the various explananda in the mental causation debate. Thus, IST + ER is a much more viable option than IST, even though IST + ER assigns a crucial role to the phenomenology of agency, a role that is incompatible with Dennett’s writings on consciousness.