This paper compares and relates tracking and phenomenal theories of intentionality with respect to the issue of naturalism. Tracking theories explicitly aim to naturalize intentionality, while phenomenalintentionality theories do not. It might seem that considerations of naturalism count in favor of tracking theories. We survey key considerations relevant to this claim, including some motivations for and objections to the two kinds of theories. We conclude by suggesting that naturalistic considerations may in fact support (...) class='Hi'>phenomenal theories over tracking theories. (shrink)
We review some of the work already done around the notion of phenomenalintentionality and propose a way of turning this body of work into a self-conscious research program for understanding intentionality.
Perceptual experience has the phenomenal character of encountering a mind-independent objective world. What we encounter in perceptual experience is not presented to us as a state of our own mind. Rather, we seem to encounter facts, objects, and properties that are independent from our mind. In short, perceptual experience has phenomenal objectivity. This paper proposes and defends a Kantian account of phenomenal objectivity that grounds it in experiences of lawlike regularities. The paper offers a novel account of (...) the connection between phenomenology and intentionality. It also sheds some light on one of the central themes in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore one particular dimension of Brentano’s legacy, namely, his theory of mental analysis. This theory has received much less attention in recent literature than the intentionality thesis or the theory of inner perception. However, I argue that it provides us with substantive resources in order to conceptualize the unity of intentionality and phenomenality. My proposal is to think of the connection between intentionality and phenomenality as a certain combination of part/whole relations rather than (...) as a supervenience or identity relation. To begin, I discuss some reasons for being a (neo-)Brentanian about the mind and briefly introduce the main characteristics of Brentano’s internalist description program. Then, I turn to the current “inseparatist” way of dealing with intentionality and phenomenality, focusing on the demand for unity coming from advocates of phenomenalintentionality. I suggest that the unity of the mind may be put in a new light if we put aside metaphysical–epistemological questions, go back to Brentano’s description program, and endorse his thesis that the mental is something unified in which various parts must be distinguished. In the last section, I draw some lessons from this approach, holding that, for any representational content R, R is (in Brentano’s terms) an abstractive or “distinctional” part of the relevant state and that, for any qualitative aspect Q, Q is an abstractive or “distinctional” part of the relevant representational content R. (shrink)
I develop several new arguments against claims about "cognitive phenomenology" and its alleged role in grounding thought content. My arguments concern "absent cognitive qualia cases" (independently discussed by Horgan here), "altered cognitive qualia cases", and "disembodied cognitive qualia cases". However, at the end, I sketch a positive theory of the role of phenomenology in grounding content, drawing on David Lewis's work on intentionality. I suggest that within Lewis's theory the subject's total evidence (not natuarlness) plays the central role in (...) fixing mental content and ruling out deviant interpretations (such as that described by Robbie Williams). However I point out a huge unnoticed problem, the problem of evidence: Lewis really has no theory of sensory content and hence no theory of what fixes evidence. I suggest a way of plugging this hole in Lewis's theory. On the resulting theory, which I call "phenomenal functionalism", there is a sense in which sensory phenomenology is the source of all determinate intentionality. Phenomenal functionalism has similarities to the theories of Chalmers and Schwitzgebel. (shrink)
In recent years, several philosophers have defended the idea of phenomenalintentionality: the intrinsic directedness of certain conscious mental events which is inseparable from these events’ phenomenal character. On this conception, phenomenology is usually conceived as narrow, that is, as supervening on the internal states of subjects, and hence phenomenalintentionality is a form of narrow intentionality. However, defenders of this idea usually maintain that there is another kind of, externalistic intentionality, which depends (...) on factors external to the subject. We may ask whether this concession to content externalism is obligatory. In this paper, I shall argue that it isn’t. I shall suggest that if one is convinced that narrow phenomenalintentionality is legitimate, there is nothing stopping one from claiming that all intentionality is narrow. (shrink)
This paper argues that there is no such thing as ?phenomenalintentionality?. The arguments used by its advocates rely upon an appeal to ?what it is like? (WIL) to attend on some occasion to one?s intentional state. I argue that there is an important asymmetry in the application of the WIL phenomenon to sensory and intentional states. Advocates of ?phenomenalintentionality? fail to recognize this, but this asymmetry undermines their arguments for phenomenalintentionality. The (...) broader issue driving the advocacy of phenomenalintentionality is the belief that consciousness must somehow be implicated in intentionality. With this I agree. But because of the asymmetry of application of WIL, the path chosen by advocates of phenomenalintentionality to secure this conclusion cannot succeed. A brief overview of recent philosophy of mind explains the temptation to take this wrong path. Fortunately, there are other routes that implicate consciousness in intentionality. In consequence, though there is no phenomenalintentionality, there is a phenomenology of intentionality. (shrink)
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 phenomenalintentionality). 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. (shrink)
Phenomenalintentionality and the evidential role of perceptual experience: comments on Jack Lyons, Perception and Basic Beliefs Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9604-2 Authors Terry Horgan, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
Since the seventies and until relatively recently, it has been customary to assume that intentionality is independent of phenomenal consciousness. Recently, a number of philosophers have rejected this assumption, claiming that intentionality is closely tied to phenomenal consciousness, inasmuch as non-phenomenalintentionality in some sense depends upon phenomenalintentionality. Within this alternative framework, the question arises of how to account for non-phenomenalintentionality, and different authors have offered different accounts. In (...) this paper, I compare and contrast four possible accounts of non-phenomenalintentionality, which I call potentialism , inferentialism , eliminativism , and interpretivism . The first three are the leading accounts in the existing literature, while the fourth is my own proposal, which I argue to be superior. (shrink)
One of the most enduring elements of Davidson’s legacy is the idea that intentionality is inherently normative. The normativity of intentionality means different things to different people and in different contexts, however. A subsidiary goal of this paper is to get clear on the sense in which Davidson means the thesis that intentionality is inherently normative. The central goal of the paper is to consider whether the thesis is true, in light of recent work on intentionality (...) that insists on an intimate connection between intentionality and phenomenal consciousness. According to several recent authors, there is a kind of intentionality – “phenomenalintentionality” – that is fully constituted by the phenomenal character of conscious experiences. I will argue that although Davidson’s thesis, when correctly understood, is compelling for most intentionality, it is false of phenomenalintentionality. I start, in §1, with an explication of the notion of phenomenalintentionality; in §2, I elucidate Davidson’s thesis and his case for it; in §3, I argue that the case does not extend to phenomenalintentionality; I close, in §4, with some objections and replies. (shrink)
We argue that the letter of the Extended Mind hypothesis can be accommodated by a strongly internalist, broadly Cartesian conception of mind. The argument turns centrally on an unusual but (we argue) highly plausible view on the mark of the mental.
Phenomenalintentionality is irreducible. Empirical investigation shows it is internally-dependent. So our usual externalist (causal, etc.) theories do not apply here. Internalist views of phenomenalintentionality (e. g. interpretationism) also fail. The resulting primitivist view avoids Papineau's worry that terms for consciousness are highly indeterminate: since conscious properties are extremely natural (despite having unnatural supervenience bases) they are 'reference magnets'.
In On the Content and Object of Presentations, Kasimir Twardowski presents an interesting line of thought concerning the content of a presentation and its relation to the object of that presentation. This way of thinking about content is valuable for understanding phenomenalintentionality, and it should also be important for the project of “naturalizing” the mental (or at least for discovering the neural correlates of the phenomenal). According to this view, content is that by virtue of which (...) a presentation of an object presents a certain object and no other. In the cases in which an object is presented as simple, there is nothing more that can be said about the relation of content and object. It is sui generis: the relation of content to an object by virtue of which it presents that object. Further, the content of a presentation is never itself directly presented. The content can only be gotten at indirectly, as the content by which such and such object is presented. Where the presented object is complex—as is of course the normal case—a lot that is useful can be said about the structure of the content. In this paper, I lay out Twardowski's theory of the content of presentations. Since the business of content is to present its object, I briefly present the basics of Twardowski's mereology of objects. (shrink)
Siewert identifies a special kind of conscious experience, phenomenal consciousness, that is the sort of consciousness missing in a variety of cases of blindsight. He then argues that phenomenal consciousness has been neglected by students of consciousness when it should not be. According to Siewert, the neglect is based at least in part on two false assumptions: (i) phenomenal features are not intentional and (ii) phenomenal character is restricted to sensory experience. By identifying an essential tension (...) in Siewert's characterization of phenomenal consciousness, I argue that his case for denying (i) and (ii) is at best incomplete. (shrink)
_The Significance of Consciousness_ . Princeton: Princeton University Press. $42.50 hbk. x + 374pp. ISBN: 0691027242. ABSTRACT: I discuss three issues about the relation of phenomenal consciousness, in the sense Siewert isolates, to.
There is now a considerable literature that goes under the heading of “phenomenalintentionality.” But it features a number of distinct issues. What they have in common is the claim that intentionality bears a closer relation to phenomenology than had previously been recognized. There is a basic thesis, which is controversial, and there are further arguments attempting to draw more exciting morals from the basic thesis. My purpose in this paper is to survey these issues, see what (...) may be at stake, and adjudicate. (shrink)
According to the discontinuity view, people recognize a deep discontinuity between phenomenal and intentional states, such that they refrain from attributing feelings and experiences to entities that do not have the right kind of body, though they may attribute thoughts to entities that lack a biological body, like corporations, robots, and disembodied souls. We examine some of the research that has been used to motivate the discontinuity view. Specifically, we focus on experiments that examine people's aptness judgments for various (...) mental state ascriptions to groups. These studies seem to reveal that people are more inclined to think of groups as having intentionality than as having phenomenology. Combined with the fact that groups obviously lack a single biological body, this has been taken as evidence that people operate according to the relevant discontinuity. However, these studies support discontinuity only on the assumption that the experimental participants are interpreting the relevant group mental state ascriptions in a specific way. We present evidence that people are not interpreting these ascriptions in a way that supports discontinuity. Instead, we argue that people generally interpret group mental state ascriptions distributively, as attributions of mental states to various group members. (shrink)
In the Logical Investigations, Ideas I and many other texts, Husserl maintains that perceptual consciousness involves the intentional “animation” or interpretation of sensory data or hyle, e.g., “color-data,” “tone-data,” and algedonic data. These data are not intrinsically representational nor are they normally themselves objects of representation, though we can attend to them in reflection. These data are “immanent” in consciousness; they survive the phenomenological reduction. They partly ground the intuitive or “in-the-flesh” aspect of perception, and they have a determinacy of (...) character that we do not create but can only discover. This determinate, non-representational stratum of perceptual consciousness also serves as a bridge between consciousness and the world beyond it. I articulate and defend this conception of perceptual consciousness. I locate the view in the space of contemporary positions on phenomenal character and argue for its superiority. I close by briefly arguing that the Husserlian account is perfectly compatible with physicalism (this involves disarming the Grain Problem). (shrink)
The empirical literature on phenomenal causality (i.e., the notion that causality can be perceived) is reviewed. In Part I of this two-part series, different potential types of phenomenal causality (launching, triggering, reaction, tool, entraining, traction, braking, enforced disintegration and bursting, coordinated movement, penetration, expulsion) are described. Stimulus variables (temporal gap, spatial gap, spatial overlap, direction, absolute velocity, velocity ratio, trajectory length, radius of action, size, motion type, modality, animacy) and observer variables (attention, eye movements and fixation, prior experience, (...) intelligence, age, culture, psychopathology) that influence phenomenal causality are reviewed. This provides the necessary background for consideration in Part II (Hubbard, in press) of broader questions regarding properties of phenomenal causality, empirical and theoretical connections of phenomenal causality to other perceptual or cognitive phenomena or processes, and potential mechanisms and models of phenomenal causality. (shrink)
The empirical literature on phenomenal causality (the notion that causality can be perceived) is reviewed. Different potential types of phenomenal causality and variables that influence phenomenal causality were considered in Part I (Hubbard 2012b) of this two-part series. In Part II, broader questions regarding properties of phenomenal causality and connections of phenomenal causality to other perceptual or cognitive phenomena (different types of phenomenal causality, effects of spatial and temporal variance, phenomenal causality in infancy, (...) effects of object properties, naïve physics, spatial localization, other illusions, amodal completion, Gestalt principles of perceptual grouping, effects of context, differences between physical and social causality, effects of learning and experience, individual differences, effects of predictability, asymmetry in phenomenal causality, differences between perceived causality and perceived force, phenomenal causality in nonhuman animals) are considered. Potential mechanisms of phenomenal causality (inference from contiguity, a priori understanding, ampliation, perceptual learning, stimulus activity, beliefs regarding kinematics, haptic experience, beliefs regarding impetus, postdiction, innateness, modularity, specific neural structures) are also considered. (shrink)
Since the seventies, it has been customary to assume that intentionality is independent of consciousness. Recently, a number of philosophers have rejected this assumption, claiming intentionality is closely tied to consciousness, inasmuch as non- conscious intentionality in some sense depends upon conscious intentionality. Within this alternative framework, the question arises of how to account for unconscious intentionality, and different authors have offered different accounts. In this paper, I compare and contrast four possible accounts of unconscious (...)intentionality, which I call potentialism, inferentialism, eliminativism, and interpretivism. The first three are the leading accounts in the existing literature, while the fourth is my own proposal, which I argue to be superior. I then argue that an upshot of interpretivism is that all unconscious intentionality is ultimately grounded is a specific kind of cognitive phenomenology. (shrink)
According to the old feeling theory of emotion, an emotion is just a feeling: a conscious experience with a characteristic phenomenal character. This theory is widely dismissed in contemporary discussions of emotion as hopelessly naïve. In particular, it is thought to suffer from two fatal drawbacks: its inability to account for the cognitive dimension of emotion (which is thought to go beyond the phenomenal dimension), and its inability to accommodate unconscious emotions (which, of course, lack any phenomenal (...) character). In this paper, I argue that the old feeling theory is in reality only a pair of modifications removed from a highly plausible account of the nature of emotion that retains the essential connection between emotion and feeling. These modifications are, moreover, motivated by recent developments in work on phenomenal consciousness. The first development is the rising recognition of a phenomenal character proper to cognition—so-called cognitive phenomenology. The second is the gathering momentum behind various ‘connection principles’ that specify some connection that a given state must bear to phenomenally conscious states in order to qualify as mental. These developments make it possible to formulate a new feeling theory of emotion, which would overcome the two fatal drawbacks of the old feeling theory. According to the new feeling theory, an emotion is a mental state that bears the right connection to conscious experiences with the right phenomenal character (involving, among other elements, a cognitive phenomenology). (shrink)
Using empirical research on pain, sound and taste, I argue against the combination of intentionalism about consciousness and a broadly ‘tracking’ psychosemantics of the kind defended by Fodor, Dretske, Hill, Neander, Stalnaker, Tye and others. Then I develop problems with Kriegel and Prinz's attempt to combine a Dretskean psychosemantics with the view that sensible properties are Shoemakerian response-dependent properties. Finally, I develop in detail my own 'primitivist' view of sensory intentionality.
This dissertation argues that mental representation is identical to phenomenal consciousness, and everything else that appears to be both mental and a matter of representation is not genuine mental representation, but either in some way derived from mental representation, or a case of non-mental representation.
This dissertation investigates the nature, the phenomenal character and the philosophical significance of attention. According to its central thesis, attention is the ongoing mental activity of structuring the stream of consciousness or phenomenal field. The dissertation connects the scientific study of attention in psychology and the neurosciences with central discussions in the philosophy of mind. Once we get clear on the nature and the phenomenal character of attention, we can make progress toward understanding foundational issues concerning the (...) nature and the structure of conscious mentality itself. We understand better how consciousness is connected to self-awareness and to agency, and we get a better grip on the nature of perceptual experience, the unity of consciousness, and its subjective character. The dissertation also aims at showing that the current empirical investigation of attention should be complemented with work at the level of generality that a philosophical analysis can provide; it shows how such an analysis is relevant for the scientific study of attention by providing a new conceptual framework and suggesting several new areas of research. (shrink)
The main thesis of this paper is twofold. In the first half of the paper, (§§1-2), I argue that there are two notions of mental representation, which I call objective and subjective. In the second part (§§3-7), I argue that this casts familiar tracking theories of mental representation as incomplete: while it is clear how they might account for objective representation, they at least require supplementation to account for subjective representation.
The consensus in contemporary philosophy of mind is that how a perceptual experience represents the world to be is built into its sensory phenomenology. I defend an opposing view which I call ‘moderate separatism’, that an experience's sensory phenomenology does not determine how it represents the world to be. I argue for moderate separatism by pointing to two ordinary experiences which instantiate the same sensory phenomenology but differ with regard to their intentional content. Two experiences of an object reflected in (...) a mirror can possess the same spatial phenomenology while representing that object to occupy different spatial locations. So, contrary to the current consensus, the representation of spatial location is not fixed by an experience's sensory phenomenology. (shrink)
This paper overviews the current status of debates on tracking representationalism, the view that phenomenal consciousness is a matter of tracking features of one's environment in a certain way. We overview the main arguments for the view and the main objections and challenges it faces. We close with a discussion of alternative versions of representationalism that might overcome the shortcomings of tracking representationalism.
Intentionality is usually defined as the directedness of the mind toward something other than itself. My desire for a cold beer is directed at the cold beer in front of me. Much of consciousness is intentional, my conscious experiences are usually directed at something. However, conscious experiences typically have a phenomenal character: there is something it is like for me to see the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean and to feel the warm water lapping over my feet, (...) and to smell the briny breeze. An important question to answer concerning the relationship between intentionality and consciousness is whether all conscious states are intentional? Another question concerns the explanatory priority of intentionality and phenomenal character: Can phenomenal character be explained in terms of intentionality? Or is it the case that intentionality should be understood in terms of phenomenology? Philosophers from the analytic, phenomenological, and naturalistic traditions have all made important contributions to our understanding of intentionality and consciousness. Some philosophers, such as Dretske, think that our phenomenology is intentionally structured. Others, such as Horgan and Tienson think that intentionality is fundamentally determined by our phenomenology. This looks like an impasse; however it may well be resolved by a combination of contemporary accounts of representation combined with an embodied phenomenology. (shrink)
To what extent is the external world the way that it appears to us in perceptual experience? This perennial question in philosophy is no doubt ambiguous in many ways. For example, it might be taken as equivalent to the question of whether or not the external world is the way that it appears to be? This is a question about the epistemology of perception: Are our perceptual experiences by and large veridical representations of the external world? Alternatively, the question might (...) be taken as asking whether or not the external world is like its ways of appearing to us, where the expression “ways of appearing” is intended to pick out aspects of our perceptual experiences themselves. This is a metaphysical version of the question of the relationship between appearance and reality: What is the relationship between the phenomenal features that characterize perceptual experience, on the one hand, and the mind-independent features of the external objects of perception, on the other? There are some philosophers who might resist distinguishing between these two questions. For them, “ways of appearing” in the phenomenal sense just are the ways that things appear to be (let’s call the latter the “intentional sense” of “ways of appearing”).1 That is, the phenomenal character of an experience is nothing over and above its representational content. Phenomenal properties are represented properties—the properties that an experience attributes to the external objects of perception. The question of whether or not phenomenal properties can be identified with the represented properties of an experience mirrors traditional questions in the philosophy of perception. If they can be identified with each other, then in veridical perception we might be said to “directly grasp” features of the external world through perception. The properties that are present to the mind are the very same properties that belong to the external objects of perception. Such a view affords.... (shrink)
In the first part, the paper describes in detail the classical conception of intentionality which was expounded in its most sophisticated form by Edmund Husserl. This conception is today largely eclipsed in the philosophy of mind by the functionalist and by the representationalist account of intentionality, the former adopted by Daniel Dennett and David Chalmers, the latter by John Searle and Fred Dretske. The very considerable differences between the classical and the modern conceptions are pointed out, and it (...) is argued that the classical conception is more satisfactory than the two modern ones, not only regarding phenomenal adequacy, but also on the grounds of epistemological considerations. In the second part, the paper argues that classical intentionality is not naturalizable, that is, physicalizable. Since classical intentionality exists (in the experiences that display it), the non-naturalizability of classical intentionality implies psychophysical dualism. (shrink)
This paper distinguishes between two senses of the term “phenomenology”: a narrow sense (drawn from Nagel) and a broader sense (drawn from Husserl). It claims, with particular reference to the moral sphere, that the narrow meaning of moral phenomenology cannot stand alone, that is, that moral phenomenology in the narrow sense entails moral intentionality. The paper proceeds by examining different examples of the axiological and volitional experiences of both virtuous and dutiful agents, and it notes the correlation between the (...)phenomenal and intentional differences belonging to these experiences. The paper concludes with some reflections on how the focus on the broader sense of “phenomenology” serves to provide a more precise sense of what we might mean by “moral phenomenology.”. (shrink)
According to intentionalism, phenomenal properties are identical to, supervenient on, or determined by representational properties. Intentionalism faces a special challenge when it comes to accounting for the phenomenal character of moods. First, it seems that no intentionalist treatment of moods can capture their apparently undirected phenomenology. Second, it seems that even if we can come up with a viable intentionalist account of moods, we would not be able to motivate it in some of the same kinds of ways (...) that intentionalism about other kinds of states can be motivated. In this article, I respond to both challenges: First, I propose a novel intentionalist treatment of moods on which they represent unbound affective properties. Then, I argue that this view is indirectly supported by the same kinds of considerations that directly support intentionalism about other mental states. (shrink)
Phenomenology is intrinsically intentional for Brentano. Qualitative conscious experiences are individuated by their phenomenal space. Examples concerning the phenomenal take account of both experiential and physical spaces. As directedness at an object and reflexive directedness of the act at itself come interwoven, there is the intrinsic phenomenology of intentionality. Both intentionality of phenomenology and phenomenology of intentionality present the wholes with mutually pervading and only logically distinguishable parts. The above theses establish balance between phenomenology and (...)intentionality, a balance disrupted in both analytical and continental traditions to which Brentano was a precursor. (shrink)
Lotze’s influence on the development of the XIXth and XXth century philosophy and psychology remains largely neglected still today. In this paper, I examine some Lotzean elements in Husserl’s early conception of intentionality, and more specifically in his rejection of the Brentanian concept of intentionality. I argue that Husserl and Lotze, pace Brentano, share a qualitative conception of experiences, what they both call the Zumutesein of experiences. Furthermore, I discuss other issues upon which Husserl and Lotze share common (...) intuitions: the perception of space, the theory of local signs, the realisations of thinking (Leistungen des Denkens) and phenomenology. (shrink)