David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement. Cambridge University Press 229-251 (1998)
‘It is of the very nature of consciousness to be intentional’ said Jean-Paul Sartre, ‘and a consciousness that ceases to be a consciousness of something would ipso facto cease to exist’.1 Sartre here endorses the central doctrine of Husserl’s phenomenology, itself inspired by a famous idea of Brentano’s: that intentionality, the mind’s ‘direction upon its objects’, is what is distinctive of mental phenomena. Brentano’s originality does not lie in pointing out the existence of intentionality, or in inventing the terminology, which derives from scholastic discussions of concepts or intentiones.2 Rather, his originality consists in his claim that the concept of intentionality marks out the subject matter of psychology: the mental. His view was that intentionality ‘is characteristic exclusively of mental phenomena. No physical phenomenon manifests anything like it’.3 This is Brentano’s thesis that intentionality is the mark of the mental. Despite the centrality of the concept of intentionality in contemporary philosophy of mind, and despite the customary homage paid to Brentano as the one who revived the terminology and placed the concept at the centre of philosophy, Brentano’s thesis is widely rejected by contemporary philosophers of mind. What is more, its rejection is not something which is thought to require substantial philosophical argument. Rather, the falsity of the thesis is taken as a starting-point in many contemporary discussions of intentionality, something so obvious that it only needs to be stated to be recognised as true. Consider, for instance, these remarks from the opening pages of Searle’s Intentionality: Some, not all, mental states and events have Intentionality. Beliefs, fears, hopes and desires are Intentional; but there are forms of nervousness, elation and undirected anxiety that are not Intentional.... My beliefs and desires must always be about something. But my nervousness and undirected anxiety need not in that way be about anything.4 Searle takes this as obvious, so obvious that it is not in need of further argument or elucidation
|Keywords||Intentionality Mental Brentano Sartre|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Nicholas S. Thompson & Patrick G. Derr (1993). The Intentionality of Some Ethological Terms. Behavior and Philosophy 2 (21):15-24.
Dermot Moran (2000). Heidegger's Critique of Husserl's and Brentano's Accounts of Intentionality. Inquiry 43 (1):39 – 65.
Tim Crane (2006). Brentano's Concept of Intentional Inexistence. In Mark Textor (ed.), The Austrian Contribution to Analytic Philosophy. Routledge 1--20.
Edmund Runggaldier (1989). On the Scholastic or Aristotelian Roots of “Intentionality” in Brentano. Topoi 8 (2):97-103.
Gyula Klima (2013). Three Myths of Intentionality Versus Some Medieval Philosophers. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 21 (3):359-376.
Tim Crane (2009). Intentionalism. In Ansgar Beckermann & Brian P. McLaughlin (eds.), Oxford Handbook to the Philosophy of Mind. Oxford University Press 474--493.
Stephen F. Barker (1982). Intensionality and Intentionality. Philosophy Research Archives 8:95-109.
Anders Nes (2008). Are Only Mental Phenomena Intentional? Analysis 68 (299):205–215.
Tim Crane (forthcoming). Intentionality. Philosophical Explorations.
Philip J. Bartok (2005). Brentano's Intentionality Thesis: Beyond the Analytic and Phenomenological Readings. Journal of the History of Philosophy 43 (4):437-460.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads3,557 ( #41 of 1,796,424 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1,044 ( #41 of 1,796,424 )
How can I increase my downloads?