* 1. YOUR NAME (and Primary Disciplinary Background)

* 2. Every mental phenomenon is characterized by what the Scholastics of the Middle Ages called the intentional (or mental) inexistence of an object, and what we might call, though not wholly unambiguously, reference to a content, direction toward an object (which is not to be understood here as meaning a thing), or immanent objectivity... In presentation, something is presented, in judgment something is affirmed or denied; in love, loved; in hate, hated; in desire, desired and so on. This intentional inexistence is characteristic exclusively of mental phenomena. No physical phenomenon exhibits anything like it. We can, therefore, define mental phenomena by saying that they are those phenomena which contain an object intentionally within themselves.

 — Franz Brentano, Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint. London: Routledge. 1874/1995:88–89.

* 3. Above all, intentionality is property of thought, a prerogative of its immateriality, whereby being in itself, posited ‘outside it’ – i.e., being which is fully independent of the act of thought – becomes a thing existing within it, set up for it and integrated into its own act through which, from that moment, they both exist in thought with a single, self-same suprasubjective existence.

– Jacques Maritain, The Degrees of Knowledge. New York: Scribner’s. 1959:103.

* 4. The usual conception of intentionality…misconstrues the structure of the "self-directedness-towards" […. ] An ego or subject is supposed, to whose so-called sphere, “intentional experiences” are then supposed to belong…. [However], the mode of being of our own self, the Dasein, is essentially such that this being, so far as it is, is always already dwelling with the extant. The idea of a subject which has "intentional experiences" merely inside its own sphere and is not yet outside it, but encapsulated within itself, is an absurdity.

 – Martin Heidegger. The Basic Problems of Phenomenology. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 1927/1982: 63-64.

* 5. The skin has both an inner side and an outer side, and an asymmetry is therefore established by the skin between that which is inside and that which is outside. The ‘self’ exists only in so far as that which is inside contains an intentionality toward, or reference to, that which is outside – an aboutness, as it is often called. But this outward reference rests upon a corresponding inward reference, such that one could say: other-reference presupposes self-reference.

– Jesper Hoffmeyer, Biosemiotics. An Examination into the Signs of Life and the Life of Signs. Chicago: Scranton. 2008:174.

* 6. It is the cyclical organization of metabolism which makes it meaningful to speak of ‘intention’ (whether conscious or not), because the directedness of intention, be it inside the organism or directed outwards into the niche is governed by the cyclical attractor of metabolism. …Thus the biosemiotic vocabulary centered, like Kant predicted and Cassirer further argued, around the concept of intentionality, of telos, formally interpreted as cyclic pattern or order, gives meaning in relation to the notion of the cyclical flow of metabolism.

– Frederik Stjernfelt, Diagrammatology: An Investigation on The Borderlines of Phenomenology,Ontology, and Semiotics. Dordrecht: Springer. 2007:222).

* 7. To become the other in intentional being is precisely to assimilate vicariously the form of the other –  not its substantial form, but aspects of its being and activity conveyed initially through environmental interactions

– John Deely, Intentionality and Semiotics. Chicago: University of Scranton Press. 2007:181-182.

* 8. Mental life is animated by an intentional striving that aims toward and finds satisfaction in disclosure of the intentional object. In this way, intentionality is teleological …Given this conception of intentionality, It follows that neither the mental act nor that which it intends can be understood in isolation. Every mental act is the very act it is in virtue of that which it intends, and every Object is constituted in and through the temporally extended course of intentional experience.

– Evan Thompson, Mind in Life. Cambridge: Harvard. 2007:22-24.

* 9. [Terrence Deacon suggests replacing the overly-mentalistic term intentional with the broader category term “ententional”, which he defines as:]

a generic adjective to describe all phenomena that are intrinsically incomplete in the sense of being in relationship to, constituted by, or organized to achieve something non-intrinsic…[such] ententional phenomena include functions that have satisfaction conditions, adaptations that have environmental correlates, thoughts that have contents, purposes that have goals, subjective experiences that have a self/other perspective, and values that have a self that is benefited or harmed.

– Terrence Deacon, Incomplete Nature. New York: Norton. 2012:27.

* 10. The “intentional object” of philosophy is recast here as the holistic self-organized dynamics of a system, which exists for the purpose of self-maintenance, and that constrains the parts’ behaviors, which serve the purpose of forming the system. (A “system” can be any emergent, e.g. an abiotic form, an adapted species, a self, a conditioned response, thought, or a set of ideas.) The self-organized whole, which is represented to the parts in their own constrained behaviors, assumes the guiding function so long attributed to the mysterious “intentional object.”

– Victoria Alexander, “The Poetics of Purpose.” Biosemiotics 2009 (2):77–100.

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