Intentionality and self-awareness

Ratio 16 (3):222-235 (2003)
In this essay I defend both the individual plausibility and conjoint consistency of two theses. One is the Intentionality Thesis: that all mental states are intentional (object-directed, exhibit ‘aboutness’). The other is the Self-Awareness Thesis: that if a subject is aware of an object, then the subject is also aware of being aware of that object. I begin by arguing for the individual prima facie plausibility of both theses. I then go on to consider a regress argument to the effect that the two theses are incompatible. I discuss three responses to that argument, and defend one of them.
Keywords Intentionality  Mental States  Metaphysics  Regress  Self-awareness
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