Proximal Intentions, Non-executed Proximal Intentions and Change of Intentions

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This paper investigates the conceptual and empirical possibility of non-executed, non-conscious proximal intentions, i.e., non-conscious proximal intentions to act that do not turn into a final act, but perhaps are vetoed or overcome by an alternative action. It constructs a conceptual framework in which such cases are justifiably considered 'proximal intentions'. This is achieved by combining Alfred Mele's notion of non-conscious proximal intentions together with the notion of trying or striving taken from Brian O'Shaughnessy's model of action. With this framework in hand we analyze empirical electroencephalography (EEG) findings regarding 'change of intention' scenarios. Prior to EEG development (and other brain imaging techniques), one would never consider non-executed, non-conscious proximal intentions a case of intention at all. However, with technological and interpretable development of EEG, a whole group of so called 'intentions' appears, and the main aim of the paper is to justify this expanded usage.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)13-22
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Action
  • Consciousness
  • EEG
  • Intentions

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy


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