at length for the non-intentionality of some conscious states. None of the opposing comments made on the various posts inclined me to modify my view. The agreement of Peter Lupu, however, fortified me in my adherence to it. I was especially pleased recently to stumble upon a passage by the great F. H. Bradley in support of the non-intentionality of some experiences. Please note that the intentionality of my being PLEASED to find the supporting Bradley passage has no tendency to show that PLEASURE is an intentional state, as 'pleasure' is used below. No doubt one can be pleased by such-and-such or pained at this-or-that, but these facts are consistent with there being non-intentional pleasures and pains. The passage infra is from Bradley's magisterial "Pleasure for Pleasure's Sake" (Ethical Studies (Selected Essays), LLA, 1951, p. 37, bolding added):
Pleasure and pain are feelings and they are nothing but feelings. It would perhaps be right to call them the two simple modes of self-feeling; but we are not here concerned with psychological accuracy. The point which we wish to emphasize and which we think is not doubtful is that, considered psychically, they are nothing whatever but states of the feeling self. This means that they exist in me only as long as I feel them, and only as I feel them, that beyond this they have no reference to anything else, no validity and no meaning whatsoever. They are 'subjective' because they neither have, nor pretend to, reality beyond this or that subject. They are as they are felt to be, but they tell us nothing. In one word, they have no content; they are as states of us, but they have nothing for us.
How do I know that Bradley is right? By doing a little phenomenology. Right now I am stretching my back in consequence of which I am experiencing a pleasant kinaesthetic sensation. At the same time I an gazing out my window at a blooming palo verde tree. Both the kinaesthetic sensation and the gazing are 'states of me' to adapt a Bradleyan phrase, but only the second 'has anything for me,' i.e., presents an object, pretends to a reality beyond the subject, intends or means something, takes an accusative, has an intentional object, possesses a content, refers beyond itself -- pick your favorite phraseology. Either you phenomenologically 'see' the distinction or you do not. No amount of argument or dialectic can make you 'see.' At most, argument and dialectic can remove impediments to 'seeing.' And if there were no 'seeing,' how could there be arguments? Arguments need premises, and not all premises can be the conclusions of arguments.