Untangling the Knot of Intentionality: Between Directedness, Reference, and Content

Abstrakt

The notion of “intentionality” is much invoked in various foundational theories of meaning, being very often equated with “meaning”, “content” and “reference”. In this paper, I propose and develop a basic distinction between two concepts and, more fundamentally, properties of intentionality: intentionality-T (the fact that a state is directed to some object) and intentionality-C (the fact that a state is contentful). Representationalism is then defined as the position according to which intentionality-T can be reduced to intentionality-C, in the form of representational (i.e. contentful) states. Nonrepresentationalism is rejecting this reduction, and argues that intentionality-T is more fundamental than intentionality-C. Non-representationalism allows for a new layered view of the relations between cognitive intentionality and linguistic intentionality; this view is presented at the end of the paper.

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