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date: 19 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Intentionality comes from the Latin verb intendo meaning to aim, hold out, or stretch. In the context of phenomenology, it refers to consciousness’s ability to be of or about things—how consciousness can direct itself toward objects internal (images, memories, etc.) and external (things, relations, and events in the world). Phenomenologists argue that intentionality is a central feature of consciousness. This article discusses phenomenological approaches to intentionality. It consider intentionality’s mental, motor, and affective dimensions as developed within the phenomenological tradition. It also considers why phenomenologists think intentionality is integral to subjectivity, and how this qualitative orientation can help illuminate the lived experience of psychopathological conditions, some of which appear to involve subtle disturbances of intentionality.

Keywords: intentionality, embodiment, affectivity, phenomenology, psychopathology, schizophrenia, Brentano, Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre

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