Intentionality and Normativity

Philosophical Issues 20 (1):185-208 (2010)

Abstract

One of the most enduring elements of Davidson’s legacy is the idea that intentionality is inherently normative. The normativity of intentionality means different things to different people and in different contexts, however. A subsidiary goal of this paper is to get clear on the sense in which Davidson means the thesis that intentionality is inherently normative. The central goal of the paper is to consider whether the thesis is true, in light of recent work on intentionality that insists on an intimate connection between intentionality and phenomenal consciousness. According to several recent authors, there is a kind of intentionality – “phenomenal intentionality” – that is fully constituted by the phenomenal character of conscious experiences. I will argue that although Davidson’s thesis, when correctly understood, is compelling for most intentionality, it is false of phenomenal intentionality. I start, in §1, with an explication of the notion of phenomenal intentionality; in §2, I elucidate Davidson’s thesis and his case for it; in §3, I argue that the case does not extend to phenomenal intentionality; I close, in §4, with some objections and replies.

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Uriah Kriegel
Rice University

References found in this work

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Vision.David Marr - 1982 - W. H. Freeman.
Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.

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Citations of this work

Phenomenal Intentionality.Uriah Kriegel (ed.) - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
The Phenomenology of Kantian Respect for Persons.Uriah Kriegel & Mark Timmons - 2021 - In R. Dean & O. Sensen (eds.), Respect: Philosophical Essays. Cambridge: Oxford University Press. pp. 77-98.
The Normativity of Meaning and Content.Kathrin Glüer & Asa Wikforss - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Five Marks of the Mental.Tuomas K. Pernu - 2017 - Frontiers in Psychology 8.

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