Intentionality and Normativity

Philosophy Today 60 (1):207-221 (2016)
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The paper is organized around two ideas that come out in Steve Crowell’s Normativity and Phenomenology in Husserl and Heidegger and that I discuss critically in turn. The first concerns the reach of Crowell’s claim according to which the connection between intentionality, meaning and normativity is necessary in all forms of intentional experience. I make my point by considering the case of imagining experiences, which are—I argue—meaningful, intentional, but not necessarily normative in any relevant sense. The second question is about Crowell’s criticism of the role of bodily self-awareness in Husserl’s phenomenology of perception. While Crowell is right to maintain that the norm of proper functioning relevant to bodily skills can’t be understood as arising from a system of kinaesthetic sensations alone, I argue that bodily self-awareness still has a normative role to play in perception inasmuch as it allows me to cast my own experience in evaluative terms.



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Maxime Doyon
Université de Montréal

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