Materialism and the logical structure of intentionality

In Howard Robinson (ed.), Objections to Physicalism. New York: Oxford University Press (1993)
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Abstract

After a brief history of Brentano's thesis of intentionality, it is argued that intentionality presents a serious problem for materialism. First, it is shown that, if no general materialist analysis (or reduction) of intentionality is possible, then intentional phenomena would have in common at least one nonphysical property, namely, their intentionality. A general analysis of intentionality is then suggested. Finally, it is argued that any satisfactory general analysis of intentionality must share with this analysis a feature which entails the existence of a nonphysical "level of organization".

Author's Profile

George Bealer
Yale University

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