Intentionality, Consciousness, and the Mark of the Mental: Rorty’s Challenge

The Monist 91 (2):324-346 (2008)
Abstract
Intentionality and phenomenal consciousness are the main candidates to provide a ‘ mark of the mental’. Rorty, who thinks the category ‘mental’ lacks any underlying unity, suggests a challenge to these positions: to explain how intentionality or phenomenal consciousness alone could generate a mental-physical contrast. I argue that a failure to meet Rorty’s challenge would present a serious indictment of the concept of mind, even though Rorty’s own position is untenable. I then argue that both intentionalism and proposals such as Searle’s ‘Connection Principle’ fail to satisfy this explanatory burden. I conclude with the suggestion that only introspectibility may be able to unite intentional and phenomenal states whilst meeting Rorty’s challenge.
Keywords Mark of the Mental  Intentionality  Consciousness  Introspection
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DOI 10.5840/monist20089127
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