INTENTIONAL OBJECTS AND CAUSAL SEMANTICS
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The central thesis of the theory of intentional objects, as developed by Brentano and Ingarden, is that to be in an intentional state consists basically in having before one's mind a special intentional object. Such an intentional object encodes certain identifying properties that in turn must be exemplified by any entity which is intended to play the role of the reference object of the intentional state in question. This means that the theory of intentional objects operates within the framework of the so-called 'identifying description theory of intentionality'. The partisans of this view claim that an intentional reference always consists in employing a certain 'identifying description' of a putative reference object. Every adept of philosophy knows today that after the seminal works by Kripke and Putnam this approach is generally regarded to be highly implausible. It has been argued that neither the semantics of (i) demonstrative pronouns, nor that of (ii) proper names or (iii) so-called natural kind terms can be explained in terms of the identifying description theory of intentionality. In this paper the author wants to show that the theory of intentional objects can deal with this critique. It turns out that all the above points (i-iii) can be explained if we make a certain extension of the theory. It consists basically in the assumption that an intentional object can encode not only so-called 'purely qualitative' properties but also 'relational' ones.
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