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Analysis 68 (3):215–218 (2008)
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Abstract

Brentano (1874) described intentionality in a number of different ways: as ‘the intentional inexistence of an object’, ‘reference to a content’, ‘direction towards an object’, and ‘immanent objectivity’. All these phrases were intended to mean the same thing, but such elegant variation can give rise to confusion. In my Elements of Mind (2001) I tried to give a simpler description: intentional states all involve directedness upon an object and what I call (following Searle 1992) aspectual shape. My aim in doing this was to introduce an understanding of intentionality that (a) allows theorists of intentionality to agree on the fundamentals of the phenomenon, but disagree about the details; and (b) leaves the question open whether all mental states are intentional.

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Tim Crane
Central European University

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