Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy


Acquaintance and the Qualitative Character of Conscious Intentional States

Issue: • Author/s: Anna Giustina
Topics: Cognitive science, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of mind, Theoretical philosophy

Conscious intentional states are mental states that represent things as being a certain way and do so consciously: they involve a phenomenally conscious representation. For any phenomenally conscious state, there is something it is like for its subject to be in it. The way it is like for a subject to be in a certain phenomenal state is the state’s phenomenal character. According to some authors, phenomenal character has two components: qualitative character (i.e., the “what it is like” component) and subjective character (the “for the subject” component). Elsewhere, I…

Analytic Phenomenology and the Inseparatism Thesis

Issue: • Author/s: Christopher Stratman
Topics: Cognitive science, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of mind

A phenomenological turn has occurred in contemporary philosophy of mind. Some philosophers working on the nature of intentionality and consciousness have turned away from views that construe the basic ingredients of intentionality in terms of naturalistic tracking relations that hold between thinkers and external conditions in their environment in favor of what has been called the “Phenomenal Intentionality Theory” (PIT). According to PIT, all “original” intentionality is either identical to or partly grounded in phenomenal consciousness. A central claim for PIT is the inseparatism thesis, which asserts that the phenomenal…

Analytic Phenomenology: A Guided Tour

Issue: • Author/s: Alfredo Tomasetta
Topics: Cognitive science, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of mind, Theoretical philosophy

A turn is taking place in analytic philosophy of mind. This article attempts to flesh out this claim by providing an overview of what may be called ‘analytic phenomenology’. The first section gives some reasons why this overview may be useful. The overview itself takes up the second section, which is divided into five sub-sections that address some of the central themes of analytic phenomenology. The third section draws a ‘family portrait’ of the movement, and assesses its general cultural significance. A brief appendix distinguishes analytic phenomenology from ‘4E-phenomenology’.

Being an Experience as the Mark of the Mental

Issue: • Author/s: Alberto Voltolini
Topics: Cognitive science, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of language, Philosophy of mind, Theoretical philosophy

In this paper, I want to revive an idea stemming out of the Cartesian-Husserlian phenomenological tradition as regards what makes the case that something—primarily a state, but also an event, or even a property—is mental; namely, the both necessary and sufficient conditions of mentality, i.e., the mark of the mental. According to this idea, the mark of the mental is, primarily for a state, its being an experience, to be meant as the property of having a phenomenal character that makes that state phenomenally aware. I defend this idea while…

Is Intentionality a Relation? A Dialogue

Issue: • Author/s: Angela Mendelovici, David Bourget
Topics: Cognitive science, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ontology, Philosophy of mind, Theoretical philosophy

This dialogue explores the question of whether intentionality––the “ofness”, “aboutness”, or “directedness” of mental states––is a relation. We explore three views: the Naive View, on which intentionality is a relation to ordinary, everyday objects, facts, and other such items; the Abstract Contents View, on which intentionality is a relation to mind-independent abstract entities; and the Aspect View, on which intentionality is a matter of having intentional states with particular (non-relational) aspects that are our contents. We consider the challenges facing these views, which include empirical challenges in accounting for all…

Husserlian Intentionality and Contingent Universals [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 04 • Author/s: Nicola Spinelli
Topics: Epistemology, History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophy of language

Can one hold both that universals exist in the strongest sense (i.e., neither in language nor in thought, nor in their instances) and that they exist contingently—and still make sense? Edmund Husserl thought so. In this paper I present a version of his view regimented in terms of modal logic cum possible-world semantics. Crucial to the picture is the distinction between two accessibility relations with different structural properties. These relations are cashed out in terms of two Husserlian notions of imagination: world-bound and free. After briefly presenting the Husserlian framework—his…

Intentional Relations [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 04 • Author/s: Mark Sainsbury
Topics: Epistemology, Philosophical logic

Thinking about Obama and thinking about Pegasus seem to be the same kind of thing: both are cases of thinking about something. But they also seem to be different kinds of thing, in that one is relational and the other not. This paper aims to show a way out of the impasse by distinguishing varieties of relationality, concluding that what matters is the two-term relational nature of all intentional states, regardless of whether or not the representations they involve have referents.

Norm and Failure in Mind and Meaning [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 05 • Author/s: Akeel Bilgrami
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophy of language, Philosophy of mind, Theoretical philosophy

The paper first gives an argument for the Davidsonian thesis that norms constitute the human mind. Then it shows that that thesis is better formulated by Wittgenstein rather than by Davidson himself. And finally, it uses the Wittgensteinian formulation of the thesis to establish why Davidson was right to further claim that linguistic meaning was not normative despite the human mind being normatively constituted. Through this entire dialectic of the paper, the concept of failure is made central to the argument.

Demystifying Davidson: Radical Interpretation meets Radical Enactivism [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 05 • Author/s: Daniel D. Hutto, Glenda Satne
Topics: Epistemology, History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

Davidson’s signature ideas on the holism and autonomy of propositional thought have led some exegetes to hold that he advances a kind of transcendentalism that is discordant with a satisfactory naturalism. On the other hand, Davidson’s work has strong connections with naturalism, as some Quinean strands of his thinking make apparent. Two strands can thus be identified in Davidson’s thought. One emphasizes features of thought that set it apart from the rest of nature. The otherseeks to locate thought within nature. Taken to extremes these different strands in Davidson’s thinking…

Toward a General Model of Agency

Issue: Issue 16 • Author/s: Emanuele Martinelli
Topics: Epistemology, Metaethics, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of action

Generally speaking, the present literature on agency has been heavily focused on human agency. This approach proves to be very useful for the immediate applications of the philosophy of agency, e.g. to develop a definition ready for use in ethics or political philosophy. However, there are some limitations to this line of thought, as, for instance, it poses too restrictive requirements on agency, like purposefulness, consciousness, or willingness. In this paper, I would like to tackle the question of agency with the need to include non-human agency in mind. I…