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Real Materialismand Other Essays$
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Galen Strawson

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199267422

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199267422.001.0001

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Intentionality and Experience: Terminological Preliminaries

Intentionality and Experience: Terminological Preliminaries

(p.255) 10 Intentionality and Experience: Terminological Preliminaries
Real Materialism

Galen Strawson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter glosses ‘naturalism’, ‘physicalism’, ‘intentionality’, ‘aboutness’, ‘mental’, ‘content’, ‘mental content’, ‘representational content’, and so on in ways that may seem unorthodox but shouldn't. It points out that dispositions like belief dispositions cannot — metaphysically cannot — be (mentally) contentful entities, and argues dutifully for the existence of things that obviously exist — not only conscious experience, but also, more specifically, cognitive conscious experience as opposed to sensory experience. The chapter then puts the case for saying that: (1) the only truly intentional entities are conscious experiential episodes. The chapter argues that although one can (with Humpty Dumpty) use words like ‘mental’ and ‘intentional’ as one likes, there is in the end no tenable ground between (1) and (2) full-blown Dennettian behaviourism/instrumentalism/antirealism about the mind — as Dennett himself agrees. To accept (2), however, is to have completely lost touch with reality.

Keywords:   intentionality, naturalism, materialism, aboutness, dispositions, intentional stance, cognitive phenomenology, cognitive experience, meaning-experience, behaviourism

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