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2.4c. Intentional Objects (Intentional Objects on PhilPapers)

See also:
Adams, Frederick R.; Fuller, Gary & Stecker, Robert A. (1993). Thoughts without objects. Mind and Language 8 (1):90-104.   (Cited by 13 | Google)
Blumson, Ben (2009). Images, intentionality and inexistence. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (3):522-538.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: forthcoming in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
Clark, Michael (1965). Intentional objects. Analysis 25 (January):123-128.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Crane, Tim (2006). Brentano's concept of intentional inexistence. In Mark Textor (ed.), The Austrian Contribution to Analytic Philosophy. Routledge.   (Google)
Abstract: Franz Brentano’s attempt to distinguish mental from physical phenomena by employing the scholastic concept of intentional inexistence is often cited as reintroducing the concept of intentionality into mainstream philosophical discussion. But Brentano’s own claims about intentional inexistence are much misunderstood. In the second half of the 20th century, analytical philosophers in particular have misread Brentano’s views in misleading ways.1 It is important to correct these misunderstandings if we are to come to a proper assessment of Brentano’s worth as a philosopher and his position in the history of philosophy. Good corrections have been made in the recent analytic literature by David Bell (1990), Dermot Moran (1996), and Barry Smith (1994) among others. But there is also another, more purely philosophical lesson to be learned from the proper understanding of Brentano’s views on this matter. This is that Brentano’s struggles with the concept of intentionality reveal a fundamental division between different ways of thinking about intentionality, an division which Brentano himself does not make fully clear. Making the nature of this division explicit is the aim of this paper
Crane, Tim (2001). Intentional objects. Ratio 14 (4):298-317.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Is there, or should there be, any place in contemporary philosophy of mind for the concept of an intentional object? Many philosophers would make short work of this question. In a discussion of what intentional objects are supposed to be, John Searle
Dowling, Eric (1970). Intentional objects, old and new. Ratio 12 (December):95-107.   (Google)
Fitch, Gregory (1990). Thinking of something. Noûs 24 (December):675-696.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Gorman, Michael (2006). Talking about intentional objects. Dialectica 60 (2):135-144.   (Google | More links)
Kriegel, Uriah (2007). Intentional inexistence and phenomenal intentionality. Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):307-340.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: How come we can represent Bigfoot even though Bigfoot does not exist, given that representing something involves bearing a relation to it and we cannot bear relations to what does not exist?This is the problem of intentional inexistence. This paper develops a two-step solution to this problem, involving (first) an adverbial account of conscious representation, or phenomenal inten- tionality, and (second) the thesis that all representation derives from conscious representation (all intentionality derives from phenomenal intentionality). The solution is correspondingly two-part: we can consciously represent Bigfoot because consciously representing Bigfoot does not involve bearing a relation to Bigfoot, but rather instantiating a certain non-relational (“adverbial”) property of representing Bigfoot-wise; and we can non-consciously represent Bigfoot because non-consciously representing Bigfoot does not involve bearing a relation to Bigfoot, but rather bearing a relation to conscious representations of Bigfoot
Kriegel, Uriah (2008). The dispensability of (merely) intentional objects. Philosophical Studies 141 (1):79-95.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The ontology of (merely) intentional objects is a can of worms. If we can avoid ontological commitment to such entities, we should. In this paper, I offer a strategy for accomplishing that. This is to reject the traditional act-object account of intentionality in favor of an adverbial account. According to adverbialism about intentionality, having a dragon thought is not a matter of bearing the thinking-about relation to dragons, but of engaging in the activity of thinking dragon-wise
Malcolm, Norman (1993). The mystery of thought. In Josep-Maria Terricabras (ed.), A Wittgenstein Symposium. Amsterdam: Rodopi.   (Google)
Matthen, Mohan P. (1988). Biological functions and perceptual content. Journal of Philosophy 85 (January):5-27.   (Cited by 38 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Perceptions "present" objects as red, as round, etc.-- in general as possessing some property. This is the "perceptual content" of the title, And the article attempts to answer the following question: what is a materialistically adequate basis for assigning content to what are, after all, neurophysiological states of biological organisms? The thesis is that a state is a perception that presents its object as "F" if the "biological function" of the state is to detect the presence of objects that are "F". The theory contrasts with causal/informational theories, and with internalist theories, for example those which assign content on the basis of introspected feel. Its advantages are that it permits perceptual error while at the same time allowing content to be expressed in terms of external properties. The argument of the paper is illustrated throughout by examples from biology and computational psychology.
Matthen, Mohan & Levy, Edwin (1984). Teleology, error, and the human immune system. Journal of Philosophy 81 (7):351-372.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The authors attempt to show that certain forms of behavior of the human immune system are illuminatingly regarded as errors in that system's operation. Since error-ascription can occur only within the context of an intentional/teleological characterization of the system, it follows that such a characterization is illuminating. It is argued that error-ascription is objective, non-anthropomorphic, irreducible to any purely causal form of explanation of the same behavior, and further that it is wrong to regard all errors of the immune system as due to malfunction or maladaptation.
McGinn, Colin (2004). The objects of intentionality. In Richard Schantz (ed.), The Externalist Challenge. De Gruyter.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Melden, Abraham I. (1940). Thought and its objects. Philosophy of Science 7 (October):434-441.   (Google | More links)
Montague, Michelle (2009). The Content of Perceptual Experience. In B. McLaughlin & A. Beckermann (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind.   (Google)
Rosenkrantz, Gary S. (1990). Reference, intentionality, and nonexistent entities. Philosophical Studies 58 (1-2):165-171.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Rozeboom, William W. (1962). Intentionality and existence. Mind 71 (January):15-32.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Voltolini, Alberto (2006). Are there non-existent intentionalia? Philosophical Quarterly 56 (224):436-441.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In his recent book on the philosophy of mind,1 Tim Crane has maintained that intentional objects are to be conceived as schematic entities, having no particular intrinsic nature. I take this metaphysical thesis as fundamentally correct. Yet in this paper I want to cast some doubts on whether this thesis prevents intentionalia, especially nonexistent ones, from belonging to the general inventory of what there is, as Crane seems to think. If my doubts are grounded, Crane’s treatment of intentionalia may further be freed from a certain tension that seems to affect it, namely the fact that he appeals to nonexistent intentionalia in order to individuate intentional states and at the same time he attempts at dispensing with them
Voltolini, Alberto (1991). Objects as intentional and real. Grazer Philosophische Studien 41:1-32.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Abstract: In a recent paper, G. Küng has maintained that in addition to what he considers the three standard theories concerning the relationship between an intentional and a "corresponding" real object, a case might be made for a fourth. According to this new theory, the intentional and the real object are simply one and the same thing, in the sense that should it exist, the intentional object is the real object1. In this paper, I hope to show that Küng is right when he says that this theory is preferable to the others, because of its greater explanatory power and because it avoids the perplexities which those theories give rise to. I hold, however, that the thesis of the identity of the intentional and the real object stands in fundamental need of being completed to make it really convincing. Indeed, an objection to it immediately comes to mind: how is it possible for an intentional object - something apparently mental or subjective - to be identical with a real one, generally considered mindindependent or objective? I think that it is only through an appropriate ontological move that a definite answer to this problem may be provided. In actual fact, Küng attempts to support its version of the theory with a Meinongian ontology, according to which objects as such are beyond being and non-being2. It seems to me, however, that in dealing with the above problem, Küng does not employ such an ontology satisfactorily. But whether this is or not the case, I will hereafter try to show that the thesis of the identity of the intentional and the real object may be retained if we also attempt to outline an anti-realist ontology different from the ultra-realist doctrine of Meinong's - namely, an ontology of objects as basically objects of discourse