Intentionality: New Directions

March 21, 2017 - March 23, 2017
Peterhouse, University of Cambridge

Peterhouse, Trumpington Street
Cambridge CB2 1RD
United Kingdom

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities


  • John Templeton Foundation


Daniel Brigham
University of Cambridge
Sacha Golob
King's College London
Peter Hanks
University of Minnesota
Paul Livingston
University of New Mexico
Michelle Montague
University of Texas at Austin
Susanna Schellenberg
Rutgers University
Matthew Soteriou
King's College London
Maja Spener
University of Birmingham


Tim Crane
University of Cambridge
Alexander Greenberg
University of Cambridge

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Philosophical theorising about intentionality - the mind’s capacity to represent the world - has been dominated by attempts to reduce intentionality to physical or causal relations between thinkers and objects. This focus on reduction has led to a number of philosophically interesting features of intentionality being ignored. This workshop offers a reorientation of the study of intentionality away from the reductive project, instead focusing on the phenomenon of intentionality itself and the role it plays in our mental life. Such a reorientation opens up a number of potentially fruitful avenues for investigation:

  • What can be learnt about intentionality by focusing on the phenomenon from the first-person perspective? Is perceptual consciousness essentially intentional or representational? Is there a proprietary phenomenology associated with conscious thought?
  • How can our understanding of intentionality be informed by the psychological sciences? For example, how does cognitive psychology’s concept of ‘representation’ relate to our common sense understanding of how thoughts and feelings are ‘about’ things in the world?
  • How can the history of intentionality and related concepts inform how we think of the mind? For example, what are the similarities and differences between Locke’s ‘ideas’, Kant’s ‘representations’, Brentano’s concept of ‘intentional inexistence’, and Russell’s ‘propositional attitudes’?

Registration is free. Everyone is welcome, though spaces are limited. To register, please visit our website using the link below.

Any queries? Get in touch by email: [email protected]

This Workshop is a part of the New Directions in the Study of the Mind project, based in the Faculty of Philosophy in Cambridge, and supported by the John Templeton Foundation.

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March 13, 2017, 7:30pm EET

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