Publication 4833

Roy J.-M. (2015) Anti-Cartesianism and Anti-Brentanism: The problem of anti-representationalist intentionalism. The Southern Journal of Philosophy 53(S1): 90–125.
Despite its internal divisions and the uncertainty surrounding many of its foundations, there is a growing consensus that the on-going search for an alternative model of the mind finds a minimal theoretical identity in the pursuit of an anti-Cartesian conception of mental phenomena. Nevertheless, this anti-Cartesianism remains more or less explicitly committed to the neo-Brentanian idea that intentionality is an essential feature of the mental – an idea that has prevailed since the advent of modern cognitive science in the 1950s. An issue of compatibility is thereby raised, as neo-Brentanism arguably sides with cognitive Cartesianism. The main goal of the paper is to put into full light one specific aspect of this largely unperceived problem of compatibility by arguing that the neo-Brentanian property of intentionality is an essentially representational one that runs counter to the salient anti-representationalism of anti-Cartesianism. And, that this representational essence confronts the search for alternative models of the mind of an anti-Cartesian kind with the following theoretical issue: To what extent is it possible to devise a non-Brentanian property of intentionality, particularly one that is fully dissociated from the property of representation? This issue is shown to be much deeper and more difficult than it looks once the nature of representation is properly apprehended; it seems to be still waiting for an answer in the current search for an alternative model of the mind, if only because it has not yet be set in fully adequate terms.
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