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By jwblackwell



9 Questions

What is intentionality?

Who reintroduced the concept of intentionality in contemporary philosophy?

What is the problem of intentional inexistence?

What is the difference between pure and impure intentionalism?

What is Cedric Evans' contribution to the discussion of intentionality?

What is intentionalism?

What is the distinction between phenomenal and non-phenomenal intentionality?

What is the Quinean double standard?

What do eliminativists believe about problematic mental states?


Ability of the mind to form representations

  • Intentionality is the power of the mind to represent or stand for things, properties, and states of affairs.

  • Intentionality is primarily attributed to mental states like perceptions, beliefs, or desires and is considered the characteristic mark of the mental by many philosophers.

  • The problem of intentional inexistence is a central issue for theories of intentionality, which aims to determine the ontological status of the entities that are the objects of intentional states.

  • Early theories of intentionality were associated with Anselm of Canterbury's ontological argument for the existence of God and his tenets distinguishing between objects that exist in understanding and objects that exist in reality.

  • Franz Brentano reintroduced the concept of intentionality in contemporary philosophy in his work Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint.

  • Brentano described intentionality as a characteristic of all acts of consciousness, which set them apart from physical or natural phenomena.

  • Brentano coined the expression "intentional inexistence" to indicate the peculiar ontological status of the contents of mental phenomena.

  • Theories of intentionality have been proposed to reconcile the conflicting intuitions of intentional states, especially when it involves objects that have no existence outside the mind.

  • Eliminativists deny that this kind of problematic mental state is possible, while relationalists hold that having an intentional state involves standing in a relation to the intentional object.

  • Adverbialists hold that intentional states are properties of subjects, which avoids the problem of non-existence.

  • Daniel Dennett offers a taxonomy of current theories about intentionality, which can be divided into three standpoints: eliminative materialism, realism, and Quinean double standard.

  • Intentionality is linked with questions of semantic inference in current artificial intelligence and philosophy of mind.Understanding Intentionality in Philosophy

  • Pierre Le Morvan (2005) distinguishes between three kinds of intentionality: transparent, translucent, and opaque.

  • Intentionalism is the thesis that all mental states are intentional.

  • Discussions of intentionalism often focus on the intentionality of conscious states.

  • Theories of intentionalism can roughly be divided into three categories: pure intentionalism, impure intentionalism, and qualia theories.

  • Pure and impure intentionalism hold that there is a supervenience relation between phenomenal features and intentional features.

  • Qualia theories assert that among the phenomenal features of a mental state there are at least some non-intentional phenomenal properties.

  • Critics of intentionalism, so-called anti-intentionalists, have proposed various apparent counterexamples to intentionalism: states that are considered mental but lack intentionality.

  • Phenomenal intentionality is the type of intentionality grounded in phenomenal or conscious mental states.

  • The distinction between phenomenal and non-phenomenal intentionality is important to philosophers who hold that phenomenal intentionality has a privileged status over non-phenomenal intentionality.

  • Several authors have attempted to construct philosophical models describing how intentionality relates to the human capacity to be self-conscious.

  • Cedric Evans contributed greatly to the discussion with his "The Subject of Self-Consciousness" in 1970.

  • The philosophical debate on intentionality is ongoing and can be explored further through the literature and external links provided.


Test your knowledge of intentionality, the ability of the mind to form representations, with this quiz! Explore the history and theories of intentionality, from Anselm of Canterbury's ontological argument to Daniel Dennett's taxonomy of current theories. Learn about different types of intentionality, such as transparent, translucent, and opaque, and the debate over whether all mental states are intentional. Discover the significance of phenomenal intentionality and its relation to self-consciousness. Take this quiz to deepen your understanding of

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