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Intentionality: A Philosophical Context

  • John J. Drummond
Chapter
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Part of the Contributions to Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 4)

Abstract

Intentionality is identified by Husserl as the distinguishing feature of certain kinds of experiences, viz. those in which we are aware of objectivities of some sort Acts possessing this feature are said by Husserl to involve an intention, defined as “the relating (Beziehen) itself, in a presentation (Vorstellung) or some other analogous manner, to what is objective (ein Gegenständliches).”1 Husserl was not the first to appeal to intentions and intentionality in order to elucidate the nature of conscious experience and the knowledge appropriate to it. Some medievals, St. Thomas Aquinas for example, provided detailed discussions of the intentionality of knowledge. After the concept of intentionality was effectively discarded by the various accounts of knowledge in the early modern period and when the extremes of German idealism and British empiricism were more clearly recognized as unattractive alternatives, the concept was revived in nineteenth-century discussions of knowledge, and it is in the context of these discussions that Husserl’s theory is to understood and placed.

Keywords

Intentional Object Intentional Relation Ordinary Object Intended Object Declarative Sentence 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Edmund Husserl, Logische Untersuchungen. Zweiter Band: Untersuchungen zur Phänomenologie und Theorie der Erkenntnis, Erster Teil (hereafter LU II/1), ed. by U. Panzer, Husserliana XIX/1 (The Hague, Boston, Lancaster: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1984), inv. V, §13, p. 392. An English translation is available: Logical Investigations, tr. by J. N. Findlay (2 vols., London: Routledge and Kegan Paul; New York: The Humanities Press, 1970), cf. II, 562. Whenever an English translation of a cited work by Husserl is available, I shall include a reference to it in brackets after the reference to the German edition. If I have modified the published translation in any way, I shall so indicate by placing an “m” immediately following the page number of the translation; hence, the present citation would read [II, 562m].Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cf. esp. LU II/l, investigations I and V, and Edmund Husserl, Logische Untersuchungen. Zweiter Band: Untersuchungen zur Phänomenologie und Theorie der Erkenntnis, Zweiter Teil (hereafter LU II/2), ed. by U. Panzer, Husserliana XIX/2 (The Hague, Boston, Lancaster: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1984), inv. VI.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Gottlob Frege, “Sinn und Bedeutung” (hereafter “SB”), Zeitschrift für Philosophie und philosophische Kritik 100 (1892): 25–50; reprinted in Frege, Funktion, Begriff, Bedeutung: Fünf logische Studien (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1962), pp. 40–65, and translated as “Sense and Reference” by M. Black, The Philosophical Review 57 (1948): 207–30. Translations of this paper have been widely reprinted, most importantly in Gottlob Frege, Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, ed. by P. Geach and M. Black (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1966). I shall refer to the 1962 reprint of the German and to the Philosophical Review translation.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • John J. Drummond
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyMount Saint Mary’s CollegeEmmitsburgUSA

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