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Approaches to Intentionality
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Approaches to Intentionality

William Lyons


What is intentionality? Intentionality is a distinguishing characteristic of states of mind such as beliefs, thoughts, wishes, dreams, and desires, which are about things outside themselves. This book explores various ways in which philosophers have tried to explain intentionality, and then suggests a new way. Part I of the book gives a critical account of the five most comprehensive and prominent current approaches to intentionality. These approaches can be summarized as the instrumentalist approach, derived from Carnap and Quine, and culminating in the work of Daniel Dennett; the linguistic ... More

Keywords: intentionality, beliefs, brain functioning, prelinguistic consciousness, language, instrumentalist approach, linguistic approach, biological approach, information-processing approach, functional role approach

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1997 Print ISBN-13: 9780198752226
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198752226.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

William Lyons, author
Trinity College, Dublin