Intentionality: Some Lessons from the History of the Problem from Brentano to the Present

International Journal of Philosophical Studies 21 (3):317-358 (2013)
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Intentionality (‘directedness’, ‘aboutness’) is both a central topic in contemporary philosophy of mind, phenomenology and the cognitive sciences, and one of the themes with which both analytic and Continental philosophers have separately engaged starting from Brentano and Edmund Husserl’s ground-breaking Logical Investigations (1901) through Roderick M. Chisholm, Daniel C. Dennett’s The Intentional Stance, John Searle’s Intentionality, to the recent work of Tim Crane, Robert Brandom, Shaun Gallagher and Dan Zahavi, among many others. In this paper, I shall review recent discussions of intentionality, including some recent explorations of the history of the concept (paying particular attention to Anselm), and suggest some ways the phenomenological approach of Husserl and Heidegger can still offer insights for contemporary philosophy of mind and consciousness.

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Dermot Moran
Boston College


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