Intentionality, Politics, and Religion

Religious Inquiries 4 (8):17-22 (2015)
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The idea that intentionality is the distinctive mark of the mental or that only mental phenomena have intentionality emerged in the philosophical tradition after Franz Brentano. Much of contemporary philosophy is dedicated to a rejection of the view that mental phenomena have original intentionality. In other words, main strands of contemporary philosophy seek to naturalize intentionality of the mental by tracing it to linguistic intentionality. So in order to avoid the problematic claim that a physical phenomenon can in virtue of its own physical structure mean exactly one thing, they adopt a form of holism. Nevertheless, contemporary philosophers are attracted to a naturalist story about the emergence of the logical space. In this work, I am interested in the naturalism and the holism advocated by Wilfrid Sellars and developed by the Pittsburgh school. It is not only a view that I find theoretically attractive but I also admire it for its fecund engagement with the history of philosophy, especially the work of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and, as I will argue, Abū Nas̩r Muḥammad al-Fārābī (Alfarabi).

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Mohammad Azadpur
San Francisco State University


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