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)
Intentionality is one of the central problems of modern philosophy. How can a thought, action or belief be about something? Sachs draws on the work of Wilfrid Sellars, C. I. Lewis and Maurice Merleau-Ponty to build a new theory of intentionality that solves many of the problems faced by traditional conceptions. In doing so, he sheds new light on Sellars’s influential arguments concerning the ‘Myth of the Given’ and shows how we can build a productive discourse between American (...) pragmatism, analytical philosophy and European phenomenology. -/- . (shrink)
This paper compares tracking and phenomenal intentionality theories of intentionality with respect to the issue of naturalism. Tracking theories explicitly aim to naturalize intentionality, while phenomenal intentionality theories generally do not. It might seem that considerations of naturalism count in favor of tracking theories. We survey key considerations relevant to this claim, including some motivations for and objections to the two kinds of theories. We conclude by suggesting that naturalistic considerations may in fact support phenomenal (...) class='Hi'>intentionality theories over tracking theories. (shrink)
‘It is of the very nature of consciousness to be intentional’ said Jean-Paul Sartre, ‘and a consciousness that ceases to be a consciousness of something would ipso facto cease to exist’.1 Sartre here endorses the central doctrine of Husserl’s phenomenology, itself inspired by a famous idea of Brentano’s: that intentionality, the mind’s ‘direction upon its objects’, is what is distinctive of mental phenomena. Brentano’s originality does not lie in pointing out the existence of intentionality, or in inventing the (...) terminology, which derives from scholastic discussions of concepts or intentiones.2 Rather, his originality consists in his claim that the concept of intentionality marks out the subject matter of psychology: the mental. His view was that intentionality ‘is characteristic exclusively of mental phenomena. No physical phenomenon manifests anything like it’.3 This is Brentano’s thesis that intentionality is the mark of the mental. Despite the centrality of the concept of intentionality in contemporary philosophy of mind, and despite the customary homage paid to Brentano as the one who revived the terminology and placed the concept at the centre of philosophy, Brentano’s thesis is widely rejected by contemporary philosophers of mind. What is more, its rejection is not something which is thought to require substantial philosophical argument. Rather, the falsity of the thesis is taken as a starting-point in many contemporary discussions of intentionality, something so obvious that it only needs to be stated to be recognised as true. Consider, for instance, these remarks from the opening pages of Searle’s Intentionality: Some, not all, mental states and events have Intentionality. Beliefs, fears, hopes and desires are Intentional; but there are forms of nervousness, elation and undirected anxiety that are not Intentional.... My beliefs and desires must always be about something. But my nervousness and undirected anxiety need not in that way be about anything.4 Searle takes this as obvious, so obvious that it is not in need of further argument or elucidation. (shrink)
Phenomenal intentionality is a kind of intentionality, or aboutness, that is grounded in phenomenal consciousness, the subjective, experiential feature of certain mental states. The phenomenal intentionality theory (PIT), is a theory of intentionality according to which there is phenomenal intentionality, and all other kinds of intentionality at least partly derive from it. In recent years, PIT has increasingly been seen as one of the main approaches to intentionality.
It is often assumed thatconsciousness and intentionality are twomutually independent aspects of mental life.When the assumption is denounced, it usuallygives way to the claim that consciousness issomehow dependent upon intentionality. Thepossibility that intentionality may bedependent upon consciousness is rarelyentertained. Recently, however, John Searle andColin McGinn have argued for just suchdependence. In this paper, I reconstruct andevaluate their argumentation. I am in sympathyboth with their view and with the lines ofargument they employ in its defense. UnlikeSearle and McGinn, (...) however, I am quite attachedto a naturalist approach to intentionality. Itwill turn out to be somewhat difficult toreconcile naturalism with the notion thatintentionality is dependent upon consciousness,although, perhaps surprisingly, I will arguethat McGinn's case for such dependence iscompatible with naturalism. (shrink)
In recent years, several philosophers have defended the idea of phenomenal intentionality : the intrinsic directedness of certain conscious mental events which is inseparable from these events’ phenomenal character. On this conception, phenomenology is usually conceived as narrow, that is, as supervening on the internal states of subjects, and hence phenomenal intentionality is a form of narrow intentionality. However, defenders of this idea usually maintain that there is another kind of, externalistic intentionality, which depends on factors (...) external to the subject. We may ask whether this concession to content externalism is obligatory. In this paper, I shall argue that it isn’t. I shall suggest that if one is convinced that narrow phenomenal intentionality is legitimate, there is nothing stopping one from claiming that all intentionality is narrow. (shrink)
This text addresses a problem that is not sufficiently dealt with in most of the recent literature on emotion and feeling. The problem is a general underestimation of the extent to which affective intentionality is essentially bodily. Affective intentionality is the sui generis type of world-directedness that most affective states – most clearly the emotions – display. Many theorists of emotion overlook the extent to which intentional feelings are essentially bodily feelings. The important but quite often overlooked fact (...) is that the bodily feelings in question are not the regularly treated, non-intentional bodily sensations (known from Jamesian accounts of emotion), but rather crucial carriers of world-directed intentionality. Consequently, most theories of human emotions and feelings recently advocated are deficient in terms of phenomenological adequacy. This text tries to make up for this deficit and develops a catalogue of five central features of intentional bodily feelings. In addition, Jesse Prinz’s embodied appraisal theory is criticized as an exemplary case of the misconstrual of the bodily nature of affective experience in naturalistic philosophy of mind. (shrink)
IT IS SHOWN IN DETAIL THAT RECENT ACCOUNTS FAIL TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN INTENTIONALITY AND MERELY CAUSALLY DISPOSITIONAL STATES OF INORGANIC PHYSICAL OBJECTS—A QUICK ROAD TO PANPSYCHISM. THE CLEAR NEED TO MAKE SUCH A DISTINCTION GIVES DIRECTION FOR FUTURE WORK. A BEGINNING IS MADE TOWARD PROVIDING SUCH AN ACCOUNT.
This article responds to two unresolved and crucial problems of cognitive science: (1) What is actually accomplished by functions of the nervous system that we ordinarily describe in the intentional idiom? and (2) What makes the information processing involved in these functions semantic? It is argued that, contrary to the assumptions of many cognitive theorists, the computational approach does not provide coherent answers to these problems, and that a more promising start would be to fall back on mathematical communication theory (...) and, with the help of evolutionary biology and neurophysiology, to attempt a characterization of the adaptive processes involved in visual perception. Visual representations are explained as patterns of cortical activity that are enabled to focus on objects in the changing visual environment by constantly adjusting to maintain levels of mutual information between pattern and object that are adequate for continuing perceptual control. In these terms, the answer proposed to (1) is that the intentional functions of vision are those involved in the establishment and maintenance of such representations, and to (2) that semantic features are added to the information processes of vision with the focus on objects that these representations accomplish. The article concludes with proposals for extending this account of intentionality to the higher domains of conceptualization and reason, and with speculation about how semantic information-processing might be achieved in mechanical systems. (shrink)
Phenomenal intentionality is supposed to be a kind of directedness of the mind onto the world that is grounded in the conscious feel of mental life. This book of new essays explores a number of issues raised by the notion of phenomenal intentionality.
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. (shrink)
There are important structural similarities in the way that animals and humans engage in unreflective activities, including unreflective social interactions in the case of higher animals. Firstly, it is a form of unreflective embodied intelligence that is ‘motivated’ by the situation. Secondly, both humans and non-human animals are responsive to ‘affordances’ (Gibson 1979); to possibilities for action offered by an environment. Thirdly, both humans and animals are selectively responsive to one affordance rather than another. Social affordances are a subcategory of (...) affordances, namely possibilities for social interaction offered by an environment: a friend’s sad face invites comforting behavior, a person waiting for a coffee machine can afford a conversation, and an extended hand affords a handshake. I will review recent insights in the nature of the bodily intentionality characteristic of unreflective action. Such ‘motor intentionality’ can be characterized as “our direct bodily inclination to act in a situated, environmental context” (Kelly 2005, p. 106). Standard interpretations of bodily intentionality see grasping an object as the paradigmatic example of motor intentionality. I will discuss the implications of another, novel perspective that emphasizes the importance of unreflective switches from one activity to another (Rietveld 2004) and understands bodily intentionality in terms of adequate responsiveness to a field of relevant affordances. In the final section I will discuss some implications for cognitive neuroscientists who use empirical findings related to the ‘mirror neuron system’ as a starting point for a theory of motor intentionality and social cognition. (shrink)
This article investigates the types of intentionality involved in human–technology relations. It aims to augment Don Ihde’s analysis of the relations between human beings and technological artifacts, by analyzing a number of concrete examples at the limits of Ihde’s analysis. The article distinguishes and analyzes three types of “cyborg intentionality,” which all involve specific blends of the human and the technological. Technologically mediated intentionality occurs when human intentionality takes place “through” technological artifacts; hybrid intentionality occurs (...) when the technological actually merges with the human; and composite intentionality is the addition of human intentionality and the intentionality of technological artifacts. (shrink)
This paper explores the relationship between phenomenal properties and intentional properties. In recent years a number of philosophers have argued that intentional properties are sometimes necessitated by phenomenal properties, but have not explained why or how. Exceptions can be found in the work of Katalin Farkas and Farid Masrour, who develop versions of reductionism regarding phenomenally-necessitated intentionality (or "phenomenal intentionality"). I raise two objections to reductive theories of the sort they develop. Then I propose a version of primitivism (...) regarding phenomenal intentionality. I argue that primitivism avoids the pitfalls of reductionism while promising broad explanatory payoffs. (shrink)
This book argues that words and thoughts are typically about whatever they are about necessarily rather than contingently. The argument proceeds by articulating a requisite modal background and then bringing this background to bear on cognitive matters, notably the intentionality of cognitive episodes and states. The modal picture that emerges from the first two chapters is a strongly particularist one whereby possibilities reduce to possibilities for particular things (or pluralities thereof) where the latter are determined by the natures of (...) the particular things (or pluralities) involved. The next three chapters are devoted to the aboutness of referring terms in language and thought. The approach espoused is, again, strongly particularist in allotting explanatory priority to cognitive episodes and states regarding particular things (aka de re attitudes). (shrink)
Intentionality is a mark of the mental, as Brentano (1874) noted. Any representation or conception of anything has the feature of intentionality, which informally put, is the feature of being about something that may or may not exist. Visual artworks are about something, whether something literal or abstract. The artwork is a mentalized physical object. Aesthetic experience of the artwork illustrates the nature of intentionality as we focus attention on the phenomenology of the sensory exemplar. This focus (...) of attention on the exemplar in aesthetic experience simultaneously exhibits what the intentional object is like and what our conception of it is like. The exemplar is Janus-faced, looking in one direction outward toward the objects conceived and in the other direction inward toward our conceiving of them. It shows us what intentionality is like and how we know it. (shrink)
Int. intr nseca i derivada. Condicions de satisfacci . Atribuci literal i metaf rica d'Int. Int. intr nseca-cervell. Ment-cervell. Panorama Filosof a de la Ment. Ryle. Causaci intencional. Teleolog a. Explicaci de les CC. Socials.
This article presents a sketch of a theory of action. It does so by locating the relation of intention to action -vithin a general theory of Intentionality. It introduces a distinction between ptiorintentions and intentions in actions; the concept of the experience of acting; and the thesis that both prior intentions and intentions in action are causally self-referential. Each of these is independently motivated, but together they allow suggested solutions to several outstanding problems within action theory (deviant causal chains, (...) the accordion effect, basic actions, etc.); the demonstration of striking similarities between the logical structure of intentional action and the logical structure of perception; and the construction of an account of simple actions. A successfully performed intentional action characteristically consists of an intention in action together with the bodily movement or state of the agent which is its condition of satisfaction and which is caused by it. The account is extended to complex actions. (shrink)
summaryMartin and Pfeifer have claimed“that the most typical characterizations of intentionality… all fail to distinguish … mental states from …dispositional physical states.”The evidence they present in support of this thesis is examined in the light of the possibility that what it shows is that intentionality is the mark, not of the mental, but of the dispositional. Of the five marks of intentionality they discuss a critical examination shows that three of them, Brentano's inexistence of the intentional object, (...) Searle's directedness and Anscombe's indeterminacy, are features which distinguish T‐inten Tional/dispositional The other two are either, as in the case of Chisholm's permissible falsity of a propositional attitude ascription, a feature of linguistic utterances too restricted in its scope to be of interest, or, as in the case of Frege's indirect reference/Quine's referential opacity, evidence that the S‐intenSional locution is a quotation either of what someone has said in the past or might be expected to say, if the question were to arise at some time in the future. (shrink)
According to the phenomenal intentionality research program, a state’s intentional content is fixed by its phenomenal character. Defenders of this view have little to say about just how this grounding is accomplished. I argue that without a robust account of representation, the research program promises too little. Unfortunately, most of the well-developed accounts of representation – asymmetric dependence, teleosemantics, and the like – ground representation in external relations such as causation. Such accounts are inconsistent with the core of the (...) phenomenal intentionality program. I argue that, however counter-intuitive it may seem, the best prospect for explaining how phenomenal character represents appeals to resemblance. (shrink)
One of Brian Loar’s most central contributions to contemporary philosophy of mind is the notion of phenomenal intentionality: a kind of intentional directedness fully grounded in phenomenal character. Proponents of phenomenal intentionality typically also endorse the idea of cognitive phenomenology: a sui generis phenomenal character of cognitive states such as thoughts and judgments that grounds these states’ intentional directedness. This combination creates a challenge, though: namely, how to account for the manifest phenomenological difference between perception and cognition. In (...) this paper, I argue that there is in fact no obvious account of this difference. I consider three main approaches: in terms of high-level vs. low-level contents, of conceptual vs. nonconceptual content, and of propositional vs. objectual content. After arguing against each, I conclude by considering the phenomenal-intentionalist’s options moving forward. (shrink)
Naturalistic philosophers ought to think that the mind is continuous with the rest of the world and should not, therefore, be surprised by the findings of the extended mind, cognitive integration and enactivism. Not everyone is convinced that all mental phenomena are continuous with the rest of the world. For example, intentionality is often formulated in a way that makes the mind discontinuous with the rest of the world. This is a consequence of Brentano’s formulation of intentionality, I (...) suggest, and can be overcome by revealing that the concept of intentional directedness as he receives it from the Scholastics is quite consistent with the continuity thesis. It is only when intentional directedness is conjoined with intentional inexistence that intentionality and content are consistent with a discontinuity thesis (such as Brentano’s thesis). This makes room to develop an account of intentional directedness that is consistent with the continuity thesis in the form of Peirce’s representational principle. I also argue against a form of the discontinuity thesis in the guise of the derived/underived content distinction. Having shown that intentionality is consistent with the continuity thesis I argue that we should focus on intentionality and representation as bodily enacted. I conclude that we would be better off focussing on representation and intentionality in action rather than giving abstract functional accounts of extended cognition. (shrink)
Despite increasing interest in the work of Tetsuro Watsuji, his discussion of intentionality remains underexplored. I here develop an interpretation and application of his view. First, I unpack Watsuji’s arguments for the inherently social character of intentionality, consider how they connect with his more general discussion of embodiment and betweenness, and then situate his view alongside phenomenologists like Husserl, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty. Next, I argue that Watsuji’s characterization of the social character of intentionality is relevant to current (...) discussions in phenomenological psychopathology. I consider how it can help illuminate the character and structure of some anomalous experiences in schizophrenia. I argue further that this application can enrich existing attempts to connect Watsuji and psychopathology, such as those found in the work of the psychiatrist Bin Kimura. (shrink)
Intentionality (?directedness?, ?aboutness?) is both a central topic in contemporary philosophy of mind, phenomenology and the cognitive sciences, and one of the themes with which both analytic and Continental philosophers have separately engaged starting from Brentano and Edmund Husserl?s ground-breaking Logical Investigations (1901) through Roderick M. Chisholm, Daniel C. Dennett?s The Intentional Stance, John Searle?s Intentionality, to the recent work of Tim Crane, Robert Brandom, Shaun Gallagher and Dan Zahavi, among many others. In this paper, I shall review (...) recent discussions of intentionality, including some recent explorations of the history of the concept (paying particular attention to Anselm), and suggest some ways the phenomenological approach of Husserl and Heidegger can still offer insights for contemporary philosophy of mind and consciousness. (shrink)
This article offers an account of moods as distinctive kinds of personal level affective-evaluative states, which are both intentional and rationally intelligible in specific ways. The account contrasts with those who claim moods are non-intentional, and so also arational. Section 1 provides a conception of intentionality and distinguishes moods, as occurrent experiential states, from other states in the affective domain. Section 2 argues moods target the subject’s total environment presented in a specific evaluative light through felt valenced attitudes (the (...) Mood-Intentionality thesis). Section 3 argues some moods are experienced as rationally intelligible responses, and so epistemically appropriate, to the way ‘the world’ presents itself (the Mood-Intelligibility thesis). Finally, section 4 discusses the epistemology of moods. (shrink)
This paper has three aims. First, I aim to stress the importance of the issue of the dispositional/categorical distinction in the light of the evident failure of the traditional formulation, which is in terms of conditional entailment. Second, I consider one radical new alternative on offer from Ullin Place: intentionality as the mark of the dispositional. I explain the appeal of physical intentionality, but show it ultimately to be unacceptable. Finally, I suggest what would be a better theory. (...) If we take disposition ascriptions to be functional characterizations of properties, then we can explain all that was appealing about the new alternative without the unacceptable consequences. (shrink)
In their target article, Hutto and Satne eloquently articulate the failings of most current attempts to naturalize mental content. Furthermore, we think they are correct in their insistence that the only way forward is by drawing a distinction between two kinds of intentionality, one of which is considerably weaker than—and should be deployed to explain—the propositional variety most philosophers take for granted. The problem is that their own rendering of this weaker form of intentionality—contentless intentionality—is too weak. (...) What’s needed is a species of intentionality distinct from both the industrial-strength version beloved by philosophers and the intentionality lite recommended by Hutto and Satne. We briefly motivate and sketch this alternative, and say a few words about the account of cognition that it spawns. (shrink)
In everyday discourse and in the context of social scientific research we often attribute intentional states to groups. Contemporary approaches to group intentionality have either dismissed these attributions as metaphorical or provided an analysis of our attributions in terms of the intentional states of individuals in the group.Insection1, the author argues that these approaches are problematic. In sections 2 and 3, the author defends the view that certain groups are literally intentional agents. In section 4, the author argues that (...) there are significant reasons for social scientists and philosophers of social science to acknowledge the adequacy of macro-level explanations that involve the attribution of intentional states to groups. In section 5, the author considers and responds to some criticisms of the thesis she defends. (shrink)
The rift which has long divided the philosophical world into opposed schools-the "Continental" school owing its origins to the phenomenology of Husserl and the "analytic" school derived from Frege-is finally closing.
This book sheds new light on the history of the philosophically crucial notion of intentionality, which accounts for one of the most distinctive aspects of our mental life: the fact that our thoughts are about objects. Intentionality is often described as a certain kind of relation. Focusing on Franz Brentano, who introduced the notion into contemporary philosophy, and on the Aristotelian tradition, which was Brentano’s main source of inspiration, the book reveals a rich history of debate on precisely (...) the relational nature of intentionality. It shows that Brentano and the Aristotelian authors from which he drew not only addressed the question whether intentionality is a relation, but also devoted extensive discussions to what kind of relation it is, if any. The book aims to show that Brentano distinguishes the intentional relation from two other relations with which it might be confused, namely, causality and reference, which also hold between thoughts and their objects. Intentionality accounts for the aboutness of a thought; causality, by contrast, explains how the thought is generated, and reference, understood as a sort of similarity, occurs when the object towards which the thought is directed exists. Brentano claims to find some anticipation of his views in Aristotle. This book argues that, whether or not Brentano’s interpretation of Aristotle is correct, his claim is true of the Aristotelian tradition as a whole, since followers of Aristotle more or less explicitly made some or all of Brentano’s distinctions. This is demonstrated through examination of some major figures of the Aristotelian tradition (broadly understood), including Alexander of Aphrodisias, the Neoplatonic commentators, Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, and Francisco Suárez. This book combines a longue durée approach – focusing on the long-term evolution of philosophical concepts rather than restricting itself to a specific author or period – with systematic analysis in the history of philosophy. By studying Brentano and the Aristotelian authors with theoretical sensitivity, it also aims to contribute to our understanding of intentionality and cognate features of the mind. (shrink)
What is the relation between the intentionality of states and attitudes which can miss their mark, such as belief and desire, and the intentionality of acts, states and attitudes which cannot miss their mark, such as the different types of knowledge and simple seeing? Two theories of the first type of intentionality, the theory of correctness conditions and the theory of satisfaction conditions, are compared. It is argued that knowledge always involves knowledge of formal objects such as (...) facts and values, that emotions are reactions to (apparently) known values and that beliefs are reactions to known or apparently known facts or to the objects of relational states. (shrink)
I argue that Merleau-Ponty’s use of the case of Schneider in his arguments for the existence of non-conconceptual and non-representational motor intentionality contains a problematic methodological ambiguity. Motor intentionality is both to be revealed by its perspicuous preservation and by its contrastive impairment in one and the same case. To resolve the resulting contradiction I suggest we emphasize the second of Merleau-Ponty’s two lines of argument. I argue that this interpretation is the one in best accordance both with (...) Merleau-Ponty’s general methodology and with the empirical case of Schneider as it was described by Gelb and Goldstein. (shrink)
The concept of intentional action occupies a central place in commonsense or folk psychological thought. Philosophers of action, psychologists and moral philosophers all have taken an interest in understanding this important concept. One issue that has been discussed by philosophers is whether the concept of intentional action is purely ‘naturalistic’, that is, whether it is entirely a descriptive concept that can be used to explain and predict behavior. (Of course, judgments using such a concept could be used to support moral (...) or evaluative judgments about responsibility, praise and blame.) A related question is whether speakers’ views about moral and evaluative issues at least affect their judgments about intentionality, even if their explicit concept of intentional action is not itself evaluative. (shrink)
One of the most enduring elements of Davidson’s legacy is the idea that intentionality is inherently normative. The normativity of intentionality means different things to different people and in different contexts, however. A subsidiary goal of this paper is to get clear on the sense in which Davidson means the thesis that intentionality is inherently normative. The central goal of the paper is to consider whether the thesis is true, in light of recent work on intentionality (...) that insists on an intimate connection between intentionality and phenomenal consciousness. According to several recent authors, there is a kind of intentionality – “phenomenal intentionality” – that is fully constituted by the phenomenal character of conscious experiences. I will argue that although Davidson’s thesis, when correctly understood, is compelling for most intentionality, it is false of phenomenal intentionality. I start, in §1, with an explication of the notion of phenomenal intentionality; in §2, I elucidate Davidson’s thesis and his case for it; in §3, I argue that the case does not extend to phenomenal intentionality; I close, in §4, with some objections and replies. (shrink)
Intentionality is an essentially mental, essentially occurrent, and essentially experiential phenomenon. Any attempt to characterize intentionality that detaches it from conscious experience faces two insuperable problems. First, it is obliged to concede that almost everything has intentionality—all the way down to subatomic particles. Second, it has the consequence that everything that has intentionality has far too much of it—perhaps an infinite amount. The key to a satisfactory and truly naturalistic theory of intentionality is a realistic (...) conception of naturalism and a properly developed understanding of the phenomenon of cognitive experience. (shrink)
This paper defends hedonic intentionalism, the view that all pleasures, including bodily pleasures, are directed towards objects distinct from themselves. Brentano is the leading proponent of this view. My goal here is to disentangle his significant proposals from the more disputable ones so as to arrive at a hopefully promising version of hedonic intentionalism. I mainly focus on bodily pleasures, which constitute the main troublemakers for hedonic intentionalism. Section 1 introduces the problem raised by bodily pleasures for hedonic intentionalism and (...) some of the main reactions to it. Sections 2 and 3 rebut two main approaches equating bodily pleasures with non- intentional episodes. More precisely, section 2 argues that bodily pleasures cannot be purely non-intentional self-conscious feelings, by relying on Brentano’s objection to Hamilton’s theory of pleasure. Section 3 argues that bodily pleasures cannot be non-intentional sensory qualities by relying on Brentano’s objections to Stumpf’s theory of pleasure. Section 4 develops a brentanian view of the intentionality of bodily pleasures by claiming bodily pleasures are directed at a sui generis class of sensory qualities. Section 5 presents an objection to Brentano’s later theory of pleasure according to which all sensory pleasures are directed at sensing acts. (shrink)
Theories of content purport to explain, among other things, in virtue of what beliefs have the truth conditions they do have. The desire for such a theory has many sources, but prominent among them are two puzzling facts that are notoriously difficult to explain: beliefs can be false, and there are normative constraints on the formation of beliefs.2 If we knew in virtue of what beliefs had truth conditions, we would be better positioned to explain how it is possible for (...) an agent to believe that which is not the case. Moreover, we do not say merely of such an agent that he believes that p when p is not the case. We say the agent made a mistake, and often criticize him accordingly; we think agents ought not have false beliefs, and that such beliefs should be changed; etc. An adequate theory of content would, presumably, reveal the source of these normative facts about the mental lives of agents. Indeed, it is typically taken to be an adequacy constraint on a theory of content that it help explain the possibility of error and the "normativity" of content. Teleological theories of content promise to do just this. (shrink)
This article explores several entanglements between human judgments of intentionality and morality (blame and praise). After proposing a model of people’s folk concept of intentionality I discuss three topics. First, considerations of a behavior’s intentionality a ﬀ ect people’s praise and blame of that behavior, but one study suggests that there may be an asymmetry such that blame is more aﬀected than praise. Second, the concept of intentionality is constitutive of many legal judgments (e.g., of murder (...) vs. manslaughter), and one study illustrates people’s subtle considerations of intentionality in making those judgments. Third, controversial recent studies suggest that moral considerations can aﬀect judgments of intentionality, and an asymmetry may exist such that blame a ﬀ ects those judgments more than praise. I report two new studies that may shed light on these recent ﬁndings, and I discuss several theoretical models that might account for the impact of moral considerations on intentionality judgments and for the relationship between the two more generally. (shrink)