Consciousness and Intentionality

Laird Addis 1
  • 1 Department of Philosophy, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
Laird Addis


The thesis is that conscious states and intentional states are the same things, although the property that makes a state a conscious state is different from the property that makes it an intentional state. Against those who say that sensations such as pains are conscious but not intentional states, it is argued that they are in fact intentional states. Against those who say dispositional mental states such as beliefs are intentional states but not conscious states, it is argued that they are in fact not intentional states. It is further argued that those unconscious mental states that are not merely dispositional mental states are, in the relevant sense, conscious states and therefore also intentional states. The argument is conducted within the framework of a briefly summarized ontology of mind.

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