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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

In recent years there has been considerable debate over whether all mental states are intentional; in particular, over whether all conscious mental states are intentional or entirely intentional. This article uses the term intentionalism for the general thesis that the nature of a conscious mental state is determined by its intentionality. (Intentionalism is sometimes called representationalism; the difference is purely terminological.) There are a number of ways of developing this general thesis; this article examines two of them. One is the view that the conscious character of a state of mind is determined by its intentional or representational content. The other is the view that the conscious character of a state of mind is determined by (what the article calls) its entire intentional nature. The article argues for the superiority of the second view over the first.

Keywords: mental states, intentionalism, representationalism, state of mind, conscious character, philosophy of mind

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