The Phenomenal Basis of Intentionality

New York, USA: Oxford University Press (2018)
Angela Mendelovici
University of Western Ontario
Some mental states seem to be "of" or "about" things, or to "say" something. For example, a thought might represent that grass is green, and a visual experience might represent a blue cup. This is intentionality. The aim of this book is to explain this phenomenon. Once we understand intentionality as a phenomenon to be explained, rather than a posit in a theory explaining something else, we can see that there are glaring empirical and in principle difficulties with currently popular tracking and functional role theories of intentionality, which aim to account for intentionality in terms of tracking relations and functional roles. This book develops an alternative theory, the phenomenal intentionality theory (PIT), on which the source of intentionality is none other than phenomenal consciousness, the subjective, felt, or qualitative aspect of mental life. While PIT avoids the problems that plague tracking and functional role theories, it faces its own challenges in accounting for the rich and complex contents of thoughts and the contents of nonconscious states. In responding to these challenges, this book proposes a novel version of PIT, on which all intentionality is phenomenal intentionality, though we in some sense represent many non-phenomenal contents by ascribing them to ourselves. This book further argues that phenomenal consciousness is an intrinsic feature of mental life, resulting in a view that is radically internalistic in spirit: Our phenomenally represented contents are literally in our heads, and any non-phenomenal contents we in some sense represent are expressly targeted by us.
Keywords phenomenal intentionality  intentionality  phenomenal consciousness  mental representation  nonconscious  perception  content  information  tracking  experience
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2018
ISBN(s) 9780190863807
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 35,829
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Phenomenal Dispositions.Henry Ian Schiller - forthcoming - Synthese:1-12.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Phenomenal Intentionality.David Bourget & Angela Mendelovici - 2016 - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Consciousness and Intentionality.Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget - forthcoming - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Consciousness. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
The Role of Valence in Intentionality.David Leech Anderson - 2017 - Mind and Matter 15 (1):71-90.
The Fiction of Phenomenal Intentionality.Nicholas Georgalis - 2003 - Consciousness and Emotion 4 (2):243-256.
Why Phenomenal Content is Not Intentional.Howard Robinson - 2009 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 5 (2):79-93.
Phenomenal Intentionality.Uriah Kriegel (ed.) - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
Intentionality and Normativity.Uriah Kriegel - 2010 - Philosophical Issues 20 (1):185-208.
Motivation and Horizon: Phenomenal Intentionality in Husserl.Philip J. Walsh - 2017 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 94 (3):410-435.
Phenomenal Intentionality and the Problem of Representation.Walter Ott - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (1):131--145.
Does Phenomenology Ground Mental Content?Adam Pautz - 2013 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), Phenomenal Intentionality. Oxford University Press. pp. 194-234.


Added to PP index

Total downloads
70 ( #93,269 of 2,293,776 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
25 ( #17,216 of 2,293,776 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature