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Abstract: In this paper I argue that there is no moral justification for the conviction that rights should be reserved to humans. In particular, I reject James Griffin’s view on the moral relevance of the cultural dimension of humanity. Drawing from the original notion of individual right introduced in the Middle Ages and the development of this notion in the eighteenth century, I emphasise that the practice of according rights is justified by the interest in safeguarding the powers of reason and autonomy that some individuals can exercise. Since we are in no position to rule out that non-humans can exercise these capacities, I conclude that rights should not be reserved to humans. This will lead to a reformulation of the reasons why so-called ‘marginal’ humans and non-human animals can be granted some basic rights. Being human is neither necessary nor sufficient for holding rights. All individuals, human or non-human, who can exercise reason and autonomy to some extent can be accorded basic rights in virtue of their having morally relevant preferences.
Abstract: Some things are _about_, or are _directed on_ , or _represent_, other things. For example, the sentence 'Cats are animals' is about cats (and about animals), this article is about intentionality, Emanuel Leutze's most famous painting is about Washington's crossing of the Delaware, lanterns hung in Boston's North Church were about the British, and a map of Boston is about Boston. In contrast, '#a$b', a blank slate, and the city of Boston are not about anything. Many mental states and events also have "aboutness": the belief that cats are animals is about cats, as is the fear of cats, the desire to have many cats, and seeing that the cats are on the mat. Arguably some mental states and events are not about anything: sensations, like pains and itches, are often held to be examples. Actions can also be about other things: hunting for the cat is about the cat, although tripping over the cat is not. This -- rather vaguely characterized -- phenomenon of "aboutness" is called _intentionality_. Something that is about (directed on, represents) something else is said to "have intentionality", or (in the case of mental states) is said to be an "intentional mental state"
Abstract: Perhaps no other classical philosophical tradition, East or West, offers a more complex and counter-intuitive account of mind and mental phenomena than Buddhism. While Buddhists share with other Indian philosophers the view that the domain of the mental encompasses a set of interrelated faculties and processes, they do not associate mental phenomena with the activity of a substantial, independent, and enduring self or agent. Rather, Buddhist theories of mind center on the doctrine of no-self (Pāli anatta, Skt. anātma), which postulates that human beings are reducible to the physical and psychological constituents and processes which comprise them.
Abstract: ‘It is of the very nature of consciousness to be intentional’ said Jean-Paul Sartre, ‘and a consciousness that ceases to be a consciousness of something would ipso facto cease to exist’.1 Sartre here endorses the central doctrine of Husserl’s phenomenology, itself inspired by a famous idea of Brentano’s: that intentionality, the mind’s ‘direction upon its objects’, is what is distinctive of mental phenomena. Brentano’s originality does not lie in pointing out the existence of intentionality, or in inventing the terminology, which derives from scholastic discussions of concepts or intentiones.2 Rather, his originality consists in his claim that the concept of intentionality marks out the subject matter of psychology: the mental. His view was that intentionality ‘is characteristic exclusively of mental phenomena. No physical phenomenon manifests anything like it’.3 This is Brentano’s thesis that intentionality is the mark of the mental. Despite the centrality of the concept of intentionality in contemporary philosophy of mind, and despite the customary homage paid to Brentano as the one who revived the terminology and placed the concept at the centre of philosophy, Brentano’s thesis is widely rejected by contemporary philosophers of mind. What is more, its rejection is not something which is thought to require substantial philosophical argument. Rather, the falsity of the thesis is taken as a starting-point in many contemporary discussions of intentionality, something so obvious that it only needs to be stated to be recognised as true. Consider, for instance, these remarks from the opening pages of Searle’s Intentionality: Some, not all, mental states and events have Intentionality. Beliefs, fears, hopes and desires are Intentional; but there are forms of nervousness, elation and undirected anxiety that are not Intentional.... My beliefs and desires must always be about something. But my nervousness and undirected anxiety need not in that way be about anything.4 Searle takes this as obvious, so obvious that it is not in need of further argument or elucidation..
Abstract: Intentionality is aboutness. Some things are about other things: a belief can be about icebergs, but an iceberg is not about anything; an idea can be about the number 7, but the number 7 is not about anything; a book or a film can be about Paris, but Paris is not about anything. Philosophers have long been concerned with the analysis of the phenomenon of intentionality, which has seemed to many to be a fundamental feature of mental states and events
Abstract: P.M.S. Hacker 1. _The problems of Intentionality_ The problems of intentionality have exercised philosophers since the dawn of their subject. In the last century they were brought afresh into the limelight by Brentano. Famously he remarked that
Abstract: David Lewis's account of intentionality is a version of what he calls 'global descriptivism'. The rough idea is that the correct interpretation of one's total theory is the one (among the admissible interpretations) that come closest to making it true. I give an exposition of this account, as I understand it, and try to bring out some of its consequences. I argue that there is a tension between Lewis's global descriptivism and his rejection of a linguistic account of the intentionality of thought. I distinguish some different senses in which Lewis's theory might permit, or be committed to, a kind of holism about intentional content, and I consider the sense in which Lewis's account might be said to be an internalist account, and the motivation for this kind of internalism
Abstract: Wilfrid Sellars, in his essay “Being and Being Known,”1 sets out to explore “the profound truth contained in the Thomistic thesis that the senses in their way and the intellect in its way are informed by the natures of external objects and events” [§1]. Profound truth there may be, but Sellars also finds a profound error in the mediæval treatment of the intentionality of sensing on a par with the intentionality of thinking: There are many reasons for the plausibility of the idea that sense belongs to the intentional order. . . It is primarily due, however, to the fact that sensations have what I shall call a pseudo-intentionality which is easily mistaken for the genuine intentionality of the cognitive order. [§18] Sellars argues that thought is genuinely intentional, for it is (in good linguistic fashion) about the world, whereas sense merely seems to be about the world but in fact is not, although it is systematically correlated with the world—the ‘pseudo-intentionality’ he alludes to here. On Sellars’s reading, the ‘Thomistic’ view gets certain things right that the later Cartesian view gets wrong, such as distinguishing mental acts intrinsically rather than by their ‘content’, but it also gets some things wrong in its own right, notably in its claim that sensing has “genuine intentionality” the way thinking does, and so to take sensing as properly belonging to “the cognitive order” (i. e. to qualify as a kind of knowledge strictly speaking). Sellars is out to right the Thomistic wrongs, beginning with intentionality, where the mistake is easily made. For Sellars has his eye not only on intentionality, but on the consequent claim that episodes of (intentional) sensing play a foundationalist epistemological role, a view he elsewhere famously calls ‘The Myth of the Given’.2 There is no question that Sellars wants to make room for his own brand of social epistemology; his agenda is not historical but systematic. Yet in “Being and Being Known,” Sellars puts his case in historical rather than systematic terms..
Abstract: Exploring intentionality from an externalist per- spective, I distinguish three kinds of intentionality in the case of seeing, which I call transparent, translucent, and opaque respec- tively. I then extend the distinction from seeing to knowing, and then to believing. Having explicated the three-fold distinction, I then critically explore some important consequences that follow from granting that (i) there are transparent and translucent in- tentional states and (ii) these intentional states are mental states. These consequences include: ?rst, that existential opacity is neither the mark of intentionality nor of the mental; second, that Sellars has not shown that all intentionality is non-relational; third, that a key Quinean argument for semantic indeterminacy rests on a false premise; fourth, that perceptual experience is intentional on Alston
Abstract: Intentionality is usually defined as the directedness of the mind toward something other than itself. My desire for a cold beer is directed at the cold beer in front of me. Much of consciousness is intentional, my conscious experiences are usually directed at something. However, conscious experiences typically have a phenomenal character: there is something it is like for me to see the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean and to feel the warm water lapping over my feet, and to smell the briny breeze. An important question to answer concerning the relationship between intentionality and consciousness is whether all conscious states are intentional? Another question concerns the explanatory priority of intentionality and phenomenal character: Can phenomenal character be explained in terms of intentionality? Or is it the case that intentionality should be understood in terms of phenomenology? Philosophers from the analytic, phenomenological, and naturalistic traditions have all made important contributions to our understanding of intentionality and consciousness. Some philosophers, such as Dretske, think that our phenomenology is intentionally structured. Others, such as Horgan and Tienson think that intentionality is fundamentally determined by our phenomenology. This looks like an impasse; however it may well be resolved by a combination of contemporary accounts of representation combined with an embodied phenomenology.
Abstract: Intentionality, as Brentano originally introduced the term in modern philosophy, was meant to provide a distinctive characteristic definitively separating the mental from the physical.(1) Mental states have an intrinsic relationship to an object, to that which they are "about." Physical entities just are what they are, they cannot, by their very essence, refer to anything, they have no "outreach", as one might put it. Mental states have, as it were, an incomplete essence, they cannot exist at all unless they are completed by something other than themselves, their object. Brentano's position is opposed to all theories which represent the mental as only extrinsically related to the world, that is, to all theories in which mental states are themselves self-sufficient for their own existence and only secondarily relate to the world by means of something external to their nature, e.g., neurological causation, divine intervention, or pre-established harmony. In these later cases, any mental act whatsoever could be related to any object, or indeed to none, for the relation is external to the nature of the act, it is superimposed on it by outside forces. Brentano's point is that a mental act has, by its very essence, an Intentional object without which it would not be a mental act. It would therefore appear that since causality is an external relationship which could in principle relate any two things regardless of their nature, the Intentional relation between an act and its object cannot be a causal relation
Abstract: One is often told that sentences expressing or reporting mental states endowed with intentionality—the feature of being “directed upon” an object that some mental states possess—contain contexts that both prevent those sentences to be existentially generalized and are filled by referentially opaque occurrences of singular terms. Failure of existential generalization and referential opacity have been traditionally said to be the basic characterizations of intentionality from a linguistic point of view. I will call those contexts directional contexts. In what follows, I will argue that this traditional conception is incorrect. First, the above characterizations do not provide both necessary and jointly sufficient conditions for directional contexts. Appearances notwithstanding, these characterizations are not the adequate linguistic counterparts of two elements folk-psychologically featuring intentionality, namely existence-independence and the possible apparent aspectual character of the intentional object, the target of a mental state endowed with intentionality. Indeed, they do not retain the prima facie ontological commitment to intentional objects the above elements contain. I will replace failure of existential generalization and referential opacity with other linguistic factors, namely success of mere existentially unloaded particular quantification and pseudo-opacity. I will contend that they provide both necessary and jointly sufficient conditions for directional contexts, and claim that these factors are the adequate counterparts of the above folk-psychological elements, precisely because they retain the prima facie ontological commitment to intentionalia those elements possess