Intentionality is an essentially mental, essentially occurrent, and essentially experiential (conscious) phenomenon. Any attempt to characterize a notion of intentionality that detaches it from conscious experience faces two insuperable problems. First, it is obliged to concede that almost everything (if not everything) has intentionality—all the way down to subatomic particles. Second, it has the consequence that everything that has intentionality has far too much of it—perhaps an infinite amount. The key to a satisfactory and truly ‘naturalistic’ theory of intentionality is (1) a realistic conception of naturalism and (2) a properly developed understanding of the phenomenon of cognitive experience.
Strawson, G. (2004). Real intentionality. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 3 (3), pp. 287-313.
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