Review of A Mark of the Mental [Book Review]

Philosophical Review 128 (3):378-385 (2019)
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Karen Neander's A Mark of the Mental is a noteworthy and novel contribution to the long-running project of naturalizing intentionality. The aim of the book is to “solve the part of Brentano’s problem that is within reach” (3). Brentano's problem is the problem of explaining intentionality; the part of this problem that is supposedly within reach is that of explaining nonconceptual sensory-perceptual intentionality; and Neander aims to solve it via an informational teleosemantic theory. In this review, we provide a chapter-by-chapter summary followed by some discussion. We argue that Neander's theory yields incorrect predictions in some cases, that the methodological argument for informational teleosemantics does not succeed, and that it is not clear that the book makes contact with its initial target, the everyday phenomenon of intentionality.
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Archival date: 2019-04-27
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