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date: 22 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces the history of intentionality in the phenomenological tradition, from Brentano and Husserl through Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty to Iris Marion Young, emphasizing the continuity and deepening of the concept through the tradition. Brentano’s conceptions of the intentional relation and the intentional inexistence of the object were taken up and transformed in Husserl’s expansive conception of intentionality as the sense-apprehension and sense-making that runs through the whole of experiential and cognitive life. Intentionality, moreover, encompasses not just consciousness’s explicit relation to objects, but also the vaguer awareness of horizons and habitualities (“horizon-intentionality”). Heidegger radicalizes Husserlian intentionality by reframing it in terms of the transcendence of existence. Merleau-Ponty further expands Husserl’s conceptions of embodied and practical intentionality as ambiguous transcendence. Iris Marion Young adds an interesting new dimension through her concept of the socially constituted, inhibited intentionality of women’s bodies.

Keywords: intentionality, horizon, comportment, transcendence, habit

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