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2.5a. Naturalism and Intentionality (Naturalism and Intentionality on PhilPapers)

See also:
Alfano, Mark (forthcoming). Nietzsche, naturalism, and the tenacity of the intentional. International Studies in Philosophy.   (Google)
Abstract: In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche demands that “psychology shall be
recognized again as the queen of the sciences.” While one might cast a dubious glance at the “again,” many of Nietzsche’s insights were indeed psychological, and many of his arguments invoke psychological premises. In Genealogy, he criticizes the “English psychologists” for the “inherent psychological absurdity” of their theory of the origin of good and bad, pointing out the implausibility of the claim that the utility of unegoistic
actions would be forgotten. Tabling whether this criticism is valid, we see Nietzsche’s methodological naturalism here: moral claims should be grounded in empirical psychological claims. Later in Genealogy, Nietzsche advances his own naturalistic account of the origins of good, bad, and evil.
Three cheers for methodological naturalism, but it was not Nietzsche’s innovation, and he did not pioneer its application to morality. The list of moral naturalists who appealed to psychology arguably includes Aristotle, Descartes, Spinoza, Bentham, and Mill, among many others. If Nietzsche’s naturalism is to be worth the candle of contemporary scholarship, it must involve more than the methodological naturalism that predated him by centuries and to which he made no serious contribution. Nietzsche’s key contribution to naturalism is not his adherence to its methodology, but his discovery of certain psychological facts. In particular, he realized that mental states are not ordinary dyadic relations between a subject and an intentional content. Nietzsche discovered the tenacity of intentional states: when an intentional state loses its object (because the subject realizes the object does not exist, because the object is forbidden, or because of something else), a new object replaces the original; the state does not disappear entirely. As Nietzsche puts it Genealogy, “Man would rather will the void than be void of will.” Nietzsche relies on the tenacity thesis in his explanation of the origin of bad conscience: “All instincts that do not discharge themselves outwardly turn inward […. They turn] against [their] possessors.” When hostility towards others becomes impossible, hostility does not disappear; instead, its object is replaced.
Bealer, George (1996). Materialism and the logical structure of intentionality. In Objections to Physicalism. New York: Clarendon Press.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Abstract: After a brief history of Brentano's thesis of intentionality, it is argued that intentionality presents a serious problem for materialism. First, it is shown that, if no general materialist analysis (or reduction) of intentionality is possible, then intentional phenomena would have in common at least one nonphysical property, namely, their intentionality. A general analysis of intentionality is then suggested. Finally, it is argued that any satisfactory general analysis of intentionality must share with this analysis a feature which entails the existence of a nonphysical "level of organization"
Beckermann, Ansgar (1996). Is there a problem about intentionality? Erkenntnis 45 (1):1-24.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The crucial point of the mind-body-problem appears to be that mental phenome- na (events, properties, states) seem to have features which at first sight make it impossible to integrate these phenomena into a naturalistic world view, i.e. to identify them with, or to reduce them to, physical phenomena.1 In the contemp- orary discussion, there are mainly two critical features which are important in this context. The first of these is the feature of intentional states, e.g. beliefs and desires, to have a representational or semantic content. The problem of the naturalization of these states I will call the problem of intentionality. The second critical feature is the property of other mental states, e.g. perceptions and sensations, to have a qualitative aspect, i.e. that it is somehow, or feels in a characteristic way, to be in one of those states. The problem of the naturalization of these states is generally called the qualia-problem
Beckermann, Ansgar (1988). Why tropistic systems are not genuine intentional systems. Erkenntnis 29 (July):125-142.   (Google | More links)
Bestor, Thomas W. (1991). Naturalizing semantics: New insights or old folly? Inquiry 34 (September):285-310.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Boden, Margaret A. (1970). Intentionality and physical systems. Philosophy of Science 32 (June):200-214.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Bontly, Thomas D. (2001). Should Intentionality Be Naturalized? In D. Walsh (ed.), Evolution, Naturalism and Mind. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Brentano, Franz Clemens (1874). Psychology From an Empirical Standpoint. Routledge.   (Google)
Conee, Earl (1995). Supervenience and intentionality. In Supervenience: New Essays. Needham Heights: Cambridge.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Coseru, Christian (2009). Naturalism and Intentionality: A Buddhist Epistemological Approach. Asian Philosophy 19 (3):239-264.   (Google)
Abstract: In this paper I propose a naturalist account of the Buddhist epistemological discussion of sva- samvitti (“self-awareness,” “self-cognition”) following similar attempts in the domains of phe- nomenology and analytic epistemology. I examine the extent to which recent work in naturalized epistemology and phenomenology, particularly in the areas of perception and inten- tionality could be profitably used in unpacking the implications of the Buddhist epistemological project. I am also concerned with naturalism more generally, and the ways in which spe- cific models such as that of embodied cognition, can benefit from some of the valuable insights of Buddhist epistemology.
Devitt, Michael (1994). The methodology of naturalistic semantics. Journal of Philosophy 91 (10):519-44.   (Cited by 14 | Google | More links)
Dowell, J. L. (2004). From metaphysical to substantive naturalism: A case study. Synthese 138 (2):149-173.   (Google | More links)
Egan, Frances (2003). Naturalistic inquiry: Where does mental representation fit in? In Chomsky and His Critics. Malden MA: Blackwell Publishing.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Enc, Berent (1982). Intentional states of mechanical devices. Mind 91 (April):161-182.   (Cited by 12 | Google | More links)
Millikan, Ruth G. (2000). Naturalizing intentionality. In Bernard Elevitch (ed.), Philosophy of Mind, Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy. Philosopy Documentation Center.   (Google)
Abstract: Brentano was surely mistaken, however, in thinking that bearing a relation to something nonexistent marks only the mental. Given any sort of purpose, it might not get fulfilled, hence might exhibit Brentano's relation, and there are many natural purposes, such as the purpose of one's stomach to digest food or the purpose of one's protective eye blink reflex to keep out the sand, that are not mental, nor derived from anything mental. Nor are stomachs and reflexes "of" or"about" anything. A reply might be, I suppose, that natural purposes are "purposes" only in an analogical sense hence "fail to be fulfilled" only in an analogical way. They bear an analogy to things that have been intentionally designed by purposive minds, hence can fail to accomplish the purposes they analogically have. As such they also have only analogical "intentionality". Such a response begs the question, however, for it assumes that natural purposes are not purposes in the full sense exactly because they are not
Greenberg, Mark (2005). A new map of theories of mental content. Noûs 39 (1):299-320.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Haldane, John J. (1989). Naturalism and the problem of intentionality. Inquiry 32 (September):305-22.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Heil, John (2004). Natural intentionality. In Richard Schantz (ed.), The Externalist Challenge. De Gruyter.   (Google)
Horowitz, Amir (1990). Intentional and physical relations. Manuscrito 13 (1):55-67.   (Google)
Horgan, Terence E. (1994). Naturalism and intentionality. Philosophical Studies 76 (2-3):301-26.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Kim, Jaegwon (2003). Chisholm's legacy on intentionality. Metaphilosophy 34 (5):649-662.   (Google | More links)
Madell, Geoffrey C. (1989). Physicalism and the content of thought. Inquiry 32 (1):107-21.   (Google)
Martin, C. B. & Pfeifer, Karl (1986). Intentionality and the non-psychological. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 46 (June):531-54.   (Cited by 10 | Google | More links)
Moran, Dermot (1996). The inaugural address: Brentano's thesis. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 70 (70):1-27.   (Google)
Nelson, Raymond J. (1988). Mechanism and intentionality: The new world knot. In Perspectives On Mind. Dordrecht: Kluwer.   (Google)
Nochlin, Philip (1953). Reducibility and intentional words. Journal of Philosophy 50 (October):625-637.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Potrc, Matjaz (2001). Nonreductive realism and preservative irrealism. Acta Analytica 16 (26):61-74.   (Google)
Puccetti, Roland (1989). The heart of the mind: Intentionality versus intelligence. In J. R. Smythies & John Beloff (eds.), The Case for Dualism. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia.   (Google)
Rietveld, Erik (2008). The Skillful Body as a Concernful System of Possible Actions: Phenomena and Neurodynamics. Theory & Psychology 18 (3):341-361.   (Google)
Abstract: For Merleau-Ponty,consciousness in skillful coping is a matter of prereflective ‘I can’ and not explicit ‘I think that.’ The body unifies many domain-specific capacities. There exists a direct link between the perceived possibilities for action in the situation (‘affordances’) and the organism’s capacities. From Merleau-Ponty’s descriptions it is clear that in a flow of skillful actions, the leading ‘I can’ may change from moment to moment without explicit deliberation. How these transitions occur, however, is less clear. Given that Merleau-Ponty suggested that a better understanding of the self-organization of brain and behavior is important, I will re-read his descriptions of skillful coping in the light of recent ideas on neurodynamics. Affective processes play a crucial role in evaluating the motivational significance of objects and contribute to the individual’s prereflective responsiveness to relevant affordances.
Rowlands, Mark (2006). The normativity of action. Philosophical Psychology 19 (3):401-416.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The concept of action is playing an increasingly prominent role in attempts to explain how subjects can represent the world. The idea is that at least some of the role traditionally assigned to internal representations can, in fact, be played by the ability of subjects to act on the world, and the exercise of that ability on appropriate occasions. This paper argues that the appeal to action faces a serious dilemma. If the concept of action employed is a representational one, then the appeal to action is circular: representation has been presupposed rather than explained. However, if the concept of action employed is a non-representational one, then the appeal to action will be inadequate: in particular, the appeal will fail to account for the normativity of representation. The way out of this dilemma is to develop a conception of action that is normative, but where this normativity is not inherited from the action's connection to distinct representational states. The normative status of such actions would be sui generis. This paper argues that such a conception of action is available
Searle, John R. (1984). Intentionality and its place in nature. Synthese 38 (October):87-100.   (Cited by 21 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Silvers, Stuart (1991). On naturalizing the semantics of mental representation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 42 (March):49-73.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Smith, David Woodruff (1999). Intentionality naturalized? In Naturalizing Phenomenology. Stanford: Stanford University Press.   (Cited by 7 | Google)
Stich, Stephen P. & Laurence, Stephen (1994). Intentionality and naturalism. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 19:159-82.   (Cited by 16 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract: ...the deepest motivation for intentional irrealism derives not from such relatively technical worries about individualism and holism as we
Thomas, Sid (1962). Professor Sellars on meaning and aboutness. Philosophical Studies 13 (5):68-74.   (Google | More links)
Tye, Michael (1994). Naturalism and the problem of intentionality. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 19 (September):122-42.   (Cited by 9 | Annotation | Google)
Ward, Andrew (1999). Naturalism and the mental realm. Southwest Philosophy Review 15 (1):157-167.   (Google)
Windes, James D. (1975). Intentionality, behavior, and identity theory. Behaviorism 3:156-161.   (Google)