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Tuesday, July 06, 2021


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Brentano: “Jedes [psychische Phänomen] enthält etwas als Objekt in sich, obwohl nicht jedes in gleicher Weise.” “Every [mental phenomenon] contains something as object within itself”

Then the existence of the phenomenon depends on its containing that object. Or are you saying that the same phenomenon could not contain such an object? But isn’t this what Brentano denies? He says 'every' (strictly jedes – each).

“If I am thinking of Lucifer, I have a definite object in mind, an object to which my thought is directed”. So the Lucifer-thought, in order to be a Lucifer-thought, depends on having that object to which it is directed?

I rest my case. Mental phenomena are object-dependent in the sense that they must have an object, also the identity of the phenomenon depends on the identity of the object. The identity of Lucifer-thought, for example, depends on its having Lucifer (and not God, or Napoleon) as object.

I think you are reading ‘object-dependent thought’ as thought which contains an existing object. I do not understand it in that way.

PS and isn't the identity condition I refer to above precisely what Molnar is saying? He says "The identity of the intentional state is defined in terms of this intentional object".

Correct. That is what object-dependency is: thought must contain an object, and the identity of the thought depends on the identity of the object.

BV: “Given that the nexus of act and intentional object is non-contingent, the identity of the act and its directedness does not depend on an external object. An object-directed thought need not be object-dependent in the sense of requiring an external thing for its identity.”

Isn’t Lucifer an external thing, even though there is no such being as Lucifer? For you and I, and many others, can think about Lucifer. Milton even wrote about Lucifer! What exactly do you mean by ‘external’?

Sorry, many questions.

You are back-pedaling. Here is what you wrote: >>intentionality, sometimes called object-dependence, a supposed unmediated relationship between thought and reality . . . .<<

You are missing the main point, namely, that the intentional object may or may not exist without prejudice to the directedness of the intentional state. You also falsely state or imply that intentionality is a relationship or relation. That is denied by Brentano and everyone else. And since intentionality is not a relation, it need not be a "relationship between thought and reality." My thoughts about the Fountain of Youth are just as intentional as my thoughts about the Trevi Fountain in Rome. And the bit about unmediated is wrong. Given that Venus exists in reality, my thoughts and perceptions of the planet are mediated by different intentional objects.

You are reading a radical externalism into modern intentionality theory.

“You also falsely state or imply that intentionality is a relationship or relation. That is denied by Brentano and everyone else.”

Everyone else? Could I have a guest post on this subject please?

I welcome a guest post from you. "Everyone else" is an exaggeration. I take it back. Almost everyone -- but it also depends on how we understand relations. I'll bet money you have not read Reinhardt Grossmann on intentionality.

Well I have read him in the sense that I have read this https://maverickphilosopher.typepad.com/maverick_philosopher/2011/02/reinhardt-grossmann-against-modes-of-being.html and indeed commented on a later post in the same vein.

So hand over the money! No crypto currency please.

I see we have had differences on this very same issue for at least 11 years.


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