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Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind$
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David Woodruff Smith and Amie L. Thomasson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199272457

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199272457.001.0001

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Intentionality and Experience: Terminological Preliminaries

Intentionality and Experience: Terminological Preliminaries

(p.41) 2 Intentionality and Experience: Terminological Preliminaries
Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind

Galen Strawson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter glosses the terms ‘naturalism’, ‘physicalism’, ‘intentionality’, ‘aboutness’, ‘mental’, ‘content’, ‘mental content’, ‘representational content’, and so on, in ways that may seem unorthodox but should not. It points out that dispositions like belief dispositions cannot — metaphysically cannot — be (mentally) contentful entities. It argues dutifully for the existence of things that obviously exist, not only conscious experience, but also, more specifically, cognitive conscious experience as opposed to sensory experience. The chapter presents the case for saying that (1) the only truly intentional entities are conscious experiential episodes. It argues that although one can (with Humpty Dumpty) use words like ‘mental’ and ‘intentional’ as one likes, there is in the end no tenable ground between (1) and (2) full-blown Dennettian behaviourism/instrumentalism/antirealism about the mind; as Dennett himself agrees. To accept (2), however, is to have completely lost touch with reality.

Keywords:   consciousness, experience, intentionality, naturalism, materialism, dispositions, intentional stance, cognitive phenomenology, behaviourism, mental content

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