Cogitamus Ergo Sumus: The Intentionality of the First-Person Plural

  • David Carr
Part of the Phaenomenologica book series (PHAE, volume 106)


A survey of current attitudes towards the concept of intentionality provides for an interesting sociology of philosophers. One group regards the notion as a kind of ghost-in-the-machine redivivus, come back to haunt them. The spectral threats posed to a seamless materiahst ontology by such things as immateriality, incorrigibility and privacy had seemed excorcised in the first round, at the hands of Ryle and Wittgenstein. But now it appeared that their opponents had been holding in reserve a much more sophisticated concept of mind that required such intractables as mental states that derive their identity from their meanings, meanings themselves as abstract and intensional entities, intentional as opposed to real objects, and the like.


Intentional State Common Action Common Experience Ontological Status Temporal Unity 
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  1. 1.
    The Locus classicus is Quine’s Word and Object (Cambridge, Mass. The M.I.T. Press, 1960), p. 221.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Daniel Dennett, Content and Consciousness ( New York: Humanities Press, 1969 ).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Intentionality (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1983) p. IX.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ibid., p. 7.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    G.W.F. Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit, trans. A.V. Miller ( Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977 ) p. 110.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    J.P. Sartre, Critique de la raison dialectique (Paris: Gallimard, 1960) pp. 392 ff.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Carr
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of OttawaCanada

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