Intentionality, Relations and Objects II: The Irreducibility Theory

  • Maurita J. Harney
Part of the Phaenomenologica book series (PHAE, volume 94)


An alternative approach to the problem of how individual acts are capable of objective reference is that offered by philosophers who claim that intentionality is irreducible — that intentionality is “what it is and not another thing”. All thought is intentional. The intentionality of thought cannot be reduced to anything else, nor can it be eliminated altogether. Thus the irreducibility theory is opposed to the relational theory that we have been discussing, for it denies both that intentional sentences can be reduced to extensional constructions, and the possible consequence of this view, that the intentional can be eliminated altogether. After a brief discussion of Chisholm’s own arguments for the thesis that intentionality is irreducible, I shall turn to some of the problems that arise for such a thesis — viz., those problems which beset Anscombe’s attempts to provide an account of the intentionality of sensation.


Irreducibility Theorist Material Object Objective Reference Direct Object Intentional Object 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maurita J. Harney
    • 1
  1. 1.Australia

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