Husserl has finally begun to be recognized as the precursor of current interest in intentionality — the first to have a general theory of the role of mental representations in the philosophy of language and mind. As the first thinker to put directedness of mental representations at the center of his philosophy, he is also beginning to emerge as the father of current research in cognitive psychology and artificial intelligence.
§1. Intentionality; §2. Husserl's Phenomenological Conception of Intentionality; §3. The Distinction between Content and Object; §4. Husserl's Theory of Content: Noesis and Noema; §5. Noema and Object; §6. The Sensory Content of Perception; §7. The Internal Structure of Noematic Sinne; §8. Noema and Horizon; §9. Horizon and Background Beliefs.
This essay is a study of Edmund Husserl’s conception of meaning. In this first section we indicate its importance for his conception of phenomenology. In Section 2 we see that Husserl’s conception of linguistic meaning, of its nature as “ideal” and its role in mediating reference, is almost exactly that of his contemporary Gottlob Frege. In Sections 3 and 4 we further argue that, for Husserl, linguistic meaning and noematic Sinn are one and the same. For, according to Husserl, every (...) linguistic meaning is a noematic Sinn expressed, and every noematic Sinn is in principle expressible and therefore a linguistic meaning. Section 3 argues the former; Section 4, the latter. (shrink)
First, I briefly characterize Dretske’s particular naturalization project, emphasizing his naturalistic reconstruction of the notion of representation. Second, I note some apparent similarities between his notion of representation and Husserl’s notion of intentionality, but I find even more important differences. Whereas Husserl takes intentionality to be an intrinsic, phenomenological feature of thought and experience, Dretske advocates an “externalist” account of mental representation. Third, I consider Dretske’s treatment of qualia, because he takes it to show that his representational account of mind (...) succeeds in naturalizing even the “subjective” features of experience. I claim that Dretske's argument for his account of qualia turns on an ambiguous characterization of qualia. I conclude that he succeeds in naturalizing qualia only if qualia are understood as nonphenomenological features of experience and that he therefore has less to say than he thinks about the subjective life of beings such as us. (shrink)
I experience the world as comprising not only pluralities of individual persons but also interpersonal communal unities – groups, teams, societies, cultures, etc. The world, as experienced or "constituted", is a social world, a “spiritual” world. How are these social communities experienced as communities and distinguished from one another? What does it mean to be a “community”? And how do I constitute myself as a member of some communities but not of others? Moreover, the world of experience is not constituted (...) by me alone, nor am I myself the final arbiter of what is true or false about it, of what is good or bad about it, etc. Constitution is an intersubjective achievement: “we” – I with others – constitute the world. Thus, the world is not only constituted as including interpersonal communal unities, but it is also constituted by these communities: groups, teams, societies, cultures, etc. are themselves "we-subjects”, Husserl says, communally constituting the world of their common engagement. But what is communal, as opposed to individual, constitution and how is it achieved? And what sense is to be made of the notion of plural, collective, "we-subjects", communally constituting a common world? (shrink)