James, intentionality and analysis

James was always interested in the problem of how our thoughts come to be about the world. Nevertheless, if one takes James to be trying to provide necessary and sufficient conditions for a thought's being about an object, counterexamples to his account will be embarrassingly easy to find. James, however, was not aiming for this sort of analysis of intentionality. Rather than trying to provide necessary and sufficient conditions for every case of a thought's being about an object, James focused his analysis on the prototypical/paradigm cases. This analysis of the core could then be supplemented with additional remarks about how the less prototypical cases could be understood in terms of their relations to (and similarities with) the paradigm. It is argued that this type of analysis is psychologically well motivated, and makes James account surprisingly plausible.
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