Some arguments against intentionalism

Acta Analytica 19 (32):107-141 (2004)
According to a popular doctrine known as "intentionalism," two experiences must have different representational contents if they have different phenomenological contents, in other words, what they represent must differ if what they feel like differs. Were this position correct, the representational significance of a given affect (or 'quale'---plural 'qualia'--to use the preferred term), e.g. a tickle, would be fixed: what it represented would not be a function of the subject's beliefs, past experiences, or other facts about his past or present psychological condition. To be sure, many a quale has a significance; but it is never a quale's intrinsic properties that assign it that significance, it being quale-external facts about the subject's psychological composition that do so. (An example of such a fact would be a belief on the subject's part to the effect that relevantly similar qualia are consistent with arthritis.)
Keywords Epistemology  Intentionalism  Phenomenology  Brentano  Byrne, A
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DOI 10.1007/s12136-004-1005-8
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Mind and World.John McDowell - 1994 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

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