Approaches to Intentionality by William Lyons

By William Lyons

Methods to Intentionality is an authoritative and obtainable account of an issue imperative to modern philosophy of brain. Lyons first provides a serious survey of the present debate concerning the nature of intentionality, then strikes directly to provide an unique new conception. The ebook is written all through in a transparent, direct, and full of life kind.

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Moreover, the discussion of the tragic in the Lectures on Fine Art provides points of resistance to a conception whereby dialectic would be primarily linked to tragedy. This is not to imply in the least that Hegel simply valorises comedy over tragedy as an art form, even in the light of his confession that in modern drama, where fate depends more often than not on mere misfortune, ‘for [his] part a happy denouement is to be preferred’. This preference is merely a result of the fact that modern dramas are rarely in a position to muster the ‘higher outlook’ that is required in order to stage conflicts and their resolution in a tragic manner.

The typically tragic idea according to which Spirit lives only by elevating itself to the height of death reappears, now on a properly ethical (sittlich) level, in the Elements of the Philosophy of Right, §§ 321–9 of which, devoted to war, make this tragic moment perfectly clear. The sacrifice of the warrior which occupied so central a place in the organisation of the State in the article on natural law and the System of Ethical Life37 is reinscribed towards the end of the Philosophy of Right when ethicality is posed as the State.

But the life of Spirit is not the life that shrinks from death and keeps itself untouched by devastation, but the life that endures it and maintains itself in it. It is this power, not as something positive, which closes its eyes to the negative, as when we say of something that it is nothing or is false, and then, having done with it, turn away and pass on to something else; on the contrary, Spirit is this power only by looking the negative in the face, and tarrying with it. This tarrying [dieses Verweilen] is the magical power [die Zauberkraft] that converts it into being.

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