Gabriel Segal

in The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780199234769
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:



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This article begins with a sketchy historical introduction to the topic, which will help bring into focus some of the pressing issues for philosophy in the twenty-first century. ‘Intentionality’ as it is typically used in analytic philosophy, meaning, roughly representationor ‘aboutness’, derives from the work of Franz Brentano. For Brentano mental states are essentially related to certain kinds of objects or contents that have ‘intentional inexistence’ within the states. These came to be called ‘intentional objects’. Brentano was particularly concerned with the problem of how we can represent things that don't exist outside of the mind, such as unicorns.

Keywords: intentionality; twenty-first century philosophy; analytic philosophy; Franz Brentano; intentional inexistence; intentional objects

Article.  12542 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mind ; Philosophy of Language

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