Intentionality: Transparent, translucent, and opaque

Exploring intentionality from an externalist perspective, I distinguish three kinds of intentionality in the case of seeing, which I call transparent, translucent, and opaque respectively. I then extend the distinction from seeing to knowing, and then to believing. Having explicated the three-fold distinction, I then critically explore some important consequences that follow from granting that there are transparent and translucent intentional states and these intentional states are mental states. These consequences include: first, that existential opacity is neither the mark of intentionality nor of the mental; second, that Sellars has not shown that all intentionality is non-relational; third, that a key Quinean argument for semantic indeterminacy rests on a false premise; fourth, that perceptual experience is intentional on Alston’s Theory of Appearing; fifth, that either some mental causation is more than internal physiological causation or some mental states are epiphenomenal
Keywords Externalism  Intentionality  Mental States  Metaphysics  Mind  Sellars, Wilfrid
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DOI 10.5840/jpr20053039
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