The Epistemology of Intentionality: Notional Constituents vs. Direct Grasp

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Franz Brentano is well known for highlighting the importance of intentionality, but he said curiously little about the nature of intentionality. According to Mark Textor, there is a deep reason for this: Brentano took intentionality to be a conceptual primitive the nature of which is revealed only in direct grasp. Although there is certainly textual support for this interpretation, it appears in tension with Brentano’s repeated attempts to analyze intentionality in terms of ‘notional constituents’ – aspects of intentionality which cannot come apart in reality but which can be conceptually distinguished. After bringing out this tension, I explore some options for resolving it, ultimately offering my own favored interpretation.
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First archival date: 2020-05-19
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