Premodern Buddhists are sometimes characterized as veritable "mind scientists" whose insights anticipate modern research on the brain and mind. Aiming to complicate this story, Dan Arnold confronts a significant obstacle to popular attempts at harmonizing classical Buddhist and modern scientific thought: since most Indian Buddhists held that the mental continuum is uninterrupted by death, they would have no truck with the idea that everything about the mental can be explained in terms of brain events. Nevertheless, a predominant stream of Indian (...) Buddhist thought, associated with the seventh-century thinker Dharmakirti, turns out to be vulnerable to arguments modern philosophers have leveled against physicalism. By characterizing the philosophical problems commonly faced by Dharmakirti and contemporary philosophers such as Jerry Fodor and Daniel Dennett, Arnold seeks to advance an understanding of both first-millennium Indian arguments and contemporary debates on the philosophy of mind. The issues center on what modern philosophers have called _intentionality_--the fact that the mind can be about other things. Tracing an account of intentionality through Kant, Wilfrid Sellars, and John McDowell, Arnold argues that intentionality cannot, in principle, be explained in causal terms. Elaborating some of Dharmakirti's central commitments, Arnold shows that despite his concern to refute physicalism, Dharmakirti's causal explanations of the mental mean that modern arguments from intentionality cut as much against his project as they do against physicalist philosophies of mind. This is evident in the arguments of some of Dharmakirti's contemporaneous Indian critics, whose critiques exemplify the same logic as modern arguments from intentionality. Elaborating these various strands of thought, Arnold shows that seemingly arcane arguments among first-millennium Indian thinkers can illuminate matters still very much at the heart of contemporary philosophy. (shrink)
This work focuses on a narrow Buddhist epistemological tradition that begins with the Abhidharma philosopher Vasubandhu’s analyses of perception and is developed by Dignāga, Dharmakīrti, Kamalaśīla, and Śāntarakṣita. Coseru explains how Buddhist epistemology evolved in dialogue with competing conceptions internal to Buddhism and against orthodox Indian philosophies, particularly Nyāya and Mīmāṃsā. Coseru’s main argument is that although widespread interpretations of Buddhist epistemology are foundationalist, a more useful way to understand it is as a form of phenomenology consistent with enactivism and (...) a naturalism based in descriptive accounts of cognition. Coseru engages his analysis with contemporary Western philosophical concerns in philosophy of mind and language, cognitive science, and enactivism. (shrink)
This article examines two empirical research traditions—experimental economics and the social identity approach in social psychology—that may be seen as attempts to falsify and verify the theory of collective intentionality, respectively. The article argues that both approaches fail to settle the issue. However, this is not necessarily due to the alleged immaturity of the social sciences but, possibly, to the philosophical nature of intentionality and intentional action. The article shows how broadly Davidsonian action theory, including Hacking’s notion of (...) the looping effect of the human sciences, can be developed into an argument for the view that there is no theory-independent true nature of intentional action. If the Davidsonian line of thought is correct, the theory of collective intentionality is, in a sense, true if we accept the theory. Key Words: collective intentionality • experimental economics • social identity theory • Donald Davidson • Ian Hacking • constructivism • action • agency • philosophy of the social sciences. (shrink)
This paper is devoted to Franz Brentano’s conception of intentionality, and aims to reveal some of its lesser known aspects, like the implications of his studies for our understanding of Aristotle’s psychology. I try to show two “currents” in Brentano’s thought: beside what is widely known as Franz Brentano’s philosophy of mind, I also present the Aristotelian side of his thinking. Each of these currents, which I call A and B, makes different assumptions about the ontological status of the (...) soul and God, and from these different conceptions of mental life and its relation to God follow different accounts of immortality. By discussing them in detail I also hope to show Brentano as a philosopher of religion. (shrink)
This paper will deal with the problem of practical intentionality in the transcendental phenomenology of Husserl. First, through an analysis of a passage found in Logical Investigations, I will show Husserl''s earlier position with respect to the problem of practical intentionality. I will then go on to critically assess this position and, with reference to some of Husserl''s works written after the 1920''s, prove that every intentionality should be regarded as a practical intentionality. Correspondingly, transcendental phenomenology (...) should also be characterized as a practical philosophy. I make this statement with the following two senses in mind; transcendental phenomenology is a practical philosophy, first, in the sense that it investigates the various forms of practical intentionality and, second, in the sense that transcendental intentionality as the grounding source of transcendental phenomenology is also a kind of practical intentionality. (shrink)
John Searle's Speech Acts and Expression and Meaning developed a highly original and influential approach to the study of language. But behind both works lay the assumption that the philosophy of language is in the end a branch of the philosophy of the mind: speech acts are forms of human action and represent just one example of the mind's capacity to relate the human organism to the world. The present book is concerned with these biologically fundamental capacities, and, though third (...) in the sequence, in effect it provides the philosophical foundations for the other two. Intentionality is taken to be the crucial mental phenomenon, and its analysis involves wide-ranging discussions of perception, action, causation, meaning, and reference. In all these areas John Searle has original and stimulating views. He ends with a resolution of the 'mind-body' problem. (shrink)
Thomas Reid’s epistemological ambitions are decisively at the center of his work. However, if we take such ambitions to be the whole story, we are apt to overlook the theory of mind that Reid develops and deploys against the theory of ideas. Reid’s philosophy of mind is sophisticated and strikingly contemporary, and has, until recently, been lost in the shadow of his other philosophical accomplishments. Here I survey some aspects of Reid’s theory of mind that I find most interesting. I (...) examine whether Reid is a mysterian about the mind, whether Reid has a direct realist theory of perception, and whether Reid has a higher-order, or “inner-sense,” view of consciousness. Along the way I will mention portions of the secondary literature that examine these aspects and point out whether and to what degree I part ways with the interpretations present in the literature. (shrink)
In Perceiving Reality: Consciousness, Intentionality, and Cognition in Buddhist Philosophy, Christian Coseru makes the innovative and ambitious argument that the project of Indian Buddhist epistemology, as represented by thinkers in the Yogācāra tradition of Dignāga and Dharmakīrti, is continuous in many of its methods and conclusions with the phenomenological theories of Edmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, as well as with recent naturalistic approaches in epistemology and the philosophy of mind. In Coseru’s reading, Buddhism shares with phenomenology the attitude that (...) metaphysical and epistemological questions cannot be treated in isolation from questions concerning the nature of conscious awareness and .. (shrink)
The fifteen essays in this volume represent the state of the art when it comes to the contemporary study of medieval philosophy of mind. The contributors are well-established scholars in the field who build on their previous work, and most advance an original argument in these essays. The focus is on western Christian philosophers and theologians from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and “the intricacies and varieties of the conceptual relationships among intentionality, cognition, and mental representation” in their thought. (...) As editor Gyula Klima points out, intentionality plays a role in non-cognitive as well as cognitive processes for the medievals. But when these thinkers attempted to explain the.. (shrink)
Brentano's Thesis that intentionality is the mark of the mental is central to analytic philosophy of mind as well as phenomenology. The contemporary discussion assumes that it is a formulation of an analytic definition of the mental. I argue that this assumption is mistaken. According to Brentano, many philosophical concepts can only be elucidated by perceiving their instances because these concepts are abstracted from perception. The concept of the mental is one of these concepts. We need to understand Brentano's (...) Thesis accordingly: It is a piece of advice on how to become introspectively aware of the distinctive feature of mental phenomena. On this understanding of Brentano's Thesis standard objections to it no longer arise. (shrink)
Premodern Buddhists are sometimes characterized as veritable "mind scientists" whose insights anticipate modern research on the brain and mind. Aiming to complicate this story, Dan Arnold confronts a significant obstacle to popular attempts at harmonizing classical Buddhist and modern scientific thought: since most Indian Buddhists held that the mental continuum is uninterrupted by death, they would have no truck with the idea that everything about the mental can be explained in terms of brain events. Nevertheless, a predominant stream of Indian (...) Buddhist thought, associated with the seventh-century thinker Dharmakirti, turns out to be vulnerable to arguments modern philosophers have leveled against physicalism. By characterizing the philosophical problems commonly faced by Dharmakirti and contemporary philosophers such as Jerry Fodor and Daniel Dennett, Arnold seeks to advance an understanding of both first-millennium Indian arguments and contemporary debates on the philosophy of mind. The issues center on what modern philosophers have called _intentionality_ -- the fact that the mind can be about other things. Tracing an account of intentionality through Kant, Wilfrid Sellars, and John McDowell, Arnold argues that intentionality cannot, in principle, be explained in causal terms. Elaborating some of Dharmakirti's central commitments, Arnold shows that despite his concern to refute physicalism, Dharmakirti's causal explanations of the mental mean that modern arguments from intentionality cut as much against his project as they do against physicalist philosophies of mind. This is evident in the arguments of some of Dharmakirti's contemporaneous Indian critics, whose critiques exemplify the same logic as modern arguments from intentionality. Elaborating these various strands of thought, Arnold shows that seemingly arcane arguments among first-millennium Indian thinkers can illuminate matters still very much at the heart of contemporary philosophy. (shrink)
It has long been a truism of the history of philosophy that intentionality is an invention of the medieval period, and within this standard narrative, the central place of Arabic philosophy has always been acknowledged. Yet there are many misconceptions surrounding the theories of intentionality advanced by the two main Arabic thinkers whose works were available to the West, Avicenna and Averroes. In the first part of this paper I offer an overview of the general accounts of (...) class='Hi'>intentionality and intentional being found in the linguistic, psychological, and metaphysical writings of Avicenna and Averroes, and I trace the terminology of “intentions” to a neglected passage from Avicenna’s logic. In the second part of the paper I examine the way that Avicenna and Averroes apply their general theories of intentionality to the realm of sense perception. I offer an explanation of why Avicenna might have chosen to denominate the objects of the internal sense faculty of estimation as “intentions”, and I explore the implications of Averroes’s decision to attribute intentionality to the external senses and the media of perception. (shrink)
What turns the continuous flow of experience into perceptually distinct objects? Can our verbal descriptions unambiguously capture what it is like to see, hear, or feel? How might we reason about the testimony that perception alone discloses? Christian Coseru proposes a rigorous and highly original way to answer these questions by developing a framework for understanding perception as a mode of apprehension that is intentionally constituted, pragmatically oriented, and causally effective. By engaging with recent discussions in phenomenology and analytic philosophy (...) of mind, but also by drawing on the work of Husserl and Merleau-Ponty, Coseru offers a sustained argument that Buddhist philosophers, in particular those who follow the tradition of inquiry initiated by Dign?ga and Dharmak?rti, have much to offer when it comes to explaining why epistemological disputes about the evidential role of perceptual experience cannot satisfactorily be resolved without taking into account the structure of our cognitive awareness. -/- Perceiving Reality examines the function of perception and its relation to attention, language, and discursive thought, and provides new ways of conceptualizing the Buddhist defense of the reflexivity thesis of consciousness-namely, that each cognitive event is to be understood as involving a pre-reflective implicit awareness of its own occurrence. Coseru advances an innovative approach to Buddhist philosophy of mind in the form of phenomenological naturalism, and moves beyond comparative approaches to philosophy by emphasizing the continuity of concerns between Buddhist and Western philosophical accounts of the nature of perceptual content and the character of perceptual consciousness. (shrink)
It is supposed to be common knowledge about the history of ideas that one of the few medieval philosophical contributions preserved in modern philosophical thought is the idea that mental phenomena are distinguished from physical phenomena by their intentionality, their directedness toward some object. As is usually the case with such commonplaces about the history of ideas, this claim is not quite true. Medieval philosophers routinely described ordinary physical phenomena, such as reflections in mirrors or sounds in the air, (...) as exhibiting intentionality, while they described what modern philosophers would take to be typically mental phenomena, such as sensation and imagination, as ordinary physical processes. Still, it is true that medieval philosophers would regard all acts of cognition as characterized by intentionality, on account of which all these acts are some sort of representations of their intended objects. This course is going to provide a broad survey of the conceptual relationships between intentionality, cognition and mental representation as conceived by some of the greatest medieval philosophers, including Aquinas, Scotus, Ockham and Buridan, and some of their lesser known contemporaries. The clarification of these conceptual connections sheds some light not only on the intriguing historical relationships between medieval and modern thought on these issues, but also on some fundamental questions in the philosophy of mind as it is conceived today. (shrink)
This book says Prior claims: (1) that a sentence never names; (2) what a sentence says cannot be otherwise signified; and (3) that a sentence says what it says whatever the type of its occurrence; (4) and that quantifications binding sentential variables are neither eliminable, substitutional, nor referential. The book develops and defends (1)-(3). It also defends (4) against the sorts of strictures on quantification of such philosophers as Quine and Davidson.
Graham Priest presents a ground-breaking account of the semantics of intentional language--verbs such as "believes," "fears," "seeks," or "imagines." Towards Non-Being proceeds in terms of objects that may be either existent or non-existent, at worlds that may be either possible or impossible. The book will be of central interest to anyone who is concerned with intentionality in the philosophy of mind or philosophy of language, the metaphysics of existence and identity, the philosophy of fiction, the philosophy of mathematics, or (...) cognitive representation in AI. (shrink)
This paper examines the pressures leading two very different Early Modern philosophers, Descartes and Locke, to invoke two ways in which thought is directed at objects. According to both philosophers, I argue, the same idea can simultaneously count as “of” two different objects—in two different senses of the phrase ‘idea of’. One kind of intentional directedness is invoked in answering the question What is it to think that thus-and-so? The other kind is invoked in answering the question What accounts for (...) the success of our proper methods of inquiry? For Descartes as well as Locke, the two kinds of “ofness” come apart as a result of strong rationalist commitments. However, I will suggest that even if we reject such commitments, we go wrong if we assume that a single kind of intentional directedness suffices to address both questions. (shrink)
This anthology investigates how Searle’s philosophy and Chinese philosophy can jointly contribute to the common philosophical enterprise and shows how such comparative methodology of constructive engagement is important in philosophical inquiry.
This dissertation is a definition of Sartre's theory of alienation through an explication of his concept of Intentionality. The analysis begins with Sartre's concept of "nothingness." It explicates this concept first, through a study of Sartre's early article on Intentionality, and then the larger work, Transcendence of the Ego. It then provides a detailed account of Sartre's realism. The three-fold relationship of nothingness, realism and the doctrine of Intentionality comprise the core elements of Sartre's concept of realism. (...) ;The analysis then considers the way Sartre develops the concept of Intentionality as it relates to nothingness and realism in Sartre's major early work, Being and Nothingness. The final part of the dissertation puts forth Sartre's theory of alienation from the perspective of his early works including his early literary works, Nausea and The Flies. The analysis then turns towards the contributions of Sartre's theory of alienation from the perspective of the doctrine of Intentionality. In this later part of the dissertation the focus is on Sartre's study of Anti-Semitism. (shrink)
Many important thinkers in the philosophical tradition, like Aristotle or Hume, have used an explicit theory of action as the basis of their respective normative theories of practical rationality and morality. The idea behind this architecture of theories is that action theory can inform us about the origin, bonds, reach and limits of practical reason. The aim of this book is to revive this direct connection between action theory and practical philosophy, in particular to provide systematic action-theoretical underpinnings for the (...) discussion about the normative structure of practical reason. This book brings together a collection of specially commissioned essays from internationally prestigious scholars in the field and represents the state of the art in contemporary philosophy of action. The book is divided into three parts: i. conceptual work about what actions, intentions and intentional actions are; ii. empirical theory of practical deliberation; and iii.theories about the action theoretic features of autonomy. The volume significantly advances these three lines of research and offers important new contributions to each of them. (shrink)
Im Folgenden werde ich einige der möglichen Interpretationen der thomistischen Intentionalitätstheorie darstellen. Zuerst werde ich die Mechanismen der menschlichen Erkenntnis und der Beziehung zwischen phantasmata, species sensibile und species intelligibile bei Thomas von Aquin beschreiben. Danachwerde ich die verschiedenen Interpretationen des Problems der Intentionalität bei Thomas darstellen; genauer gesagt geht es um drei reduktive Interpretationenund eine nicht-reduktive. Am Ende dieses Beitrags werde ich mich für eine dieser Interpretationen entscheiden und meine Gründe dafür angeben.