Irrational Intentionality


There at least three ways of thinking about rationality: instrumental, substantive, and intentional. By far, the instrumental account is most influential. This essay proposes that intentional rationality can provide substantive accounts with room to breathe, and in a way that is facially distinct from instrumental accounts. I suggest that the intentionality of a judgment is made up of what it is about and the orientation through which it is judged, while irrationality is the subversion of a strict supporting connection between the judgment and its corresponding set of coordinated attitudes (reasons). It follows that irrational intentionality is made up of episodic states where a judgment is subverted because of a misalignment between what it is about and the way the judge is oriented towards its contents. Four examples of irrational intentionality are considered: passivity towards ends, constitutive ignorance towards facts, delirious paranoia towards objects, and a disjunctive orientation towards categorizations.

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