Intentional inexistence and phenomenal intentionality

Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):307-340 (2007)
How come we can represent Bigfoot even though Bigfoot does not exist, given that representing something involves bearing a relation to it and we cannot bear relations to what does not exist?This is the problem of intentional inexistence. This paper develops a two-step solution to this problem, involving (first) an adverbial account of conscious representation, or phenomenal inten- tionality, and (second) the thesis that all representation derives from conscious representation (all intentionality derives from phenomenal intentionality). The solution is correspondingly two-part: we can consciously represent Bigfoot because consciously representing Bigfoot does not involve bearing a relation to Bigfoot, but rather instantiating a certain non-relational (“adverbial”) property of representing Bigfoot-wise; and we can non-consciously represent Bigfoot because non-consciously representing Bigfoot does not involve bearing a relation to Bigfoot, but rather bearing a relation to conscious representations of Bigfoot.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1520-8583.2007.00129.x
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References found in this work BETA
Thomas Nagel (1974). What is It Like to Be a Bat? Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.

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Citations of this work BETA
Uriah Kriegel (2010). Intentionality and Normativity. Philosophical Issues 20 (1):185-208.
Uriah Kriegel (2008). Real Narrow Content. Mind and Language 23 (3):304–328.

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