At the next session of Mind Readings, we will discuss an upcoming paper by Andrea Pace Giannotta, PhD (University of Florence/University of Catania), entitled 'Naturalizing Phenomenal Intentionality'. The read-ahead session will happen on Zoom, on Monday, June 14 at 11 a.m. (UK-time). Dr. Pace Giannotta will be present at the session and will reply to attendees' comments and questions.
Here is the abstract:
The “phenomenal intentionality theory” (PIT) claims that intentionality, i.e., the directedness of mental states at objects, is grounded in phenomenal consciousness, i.e., the subjective and qualitative character of mental states. This theory is developed by investigating first-person experience without assuming from the outset a certain metaphysics of mind and nature. However, this “consciousness first” approach to the analysis of mind ultimately confronts us with the question of the metaphysics of mind and of its relationship with nature. I tackle this issue by considering the argument from internalism to PIT, which appeals to the conceivability of the phenomenal duplicate of a conscious being’s experience that, however, could be a brain in a vat or a disembodied mind. This argument makes PIT compatible with idealism. I point out a naturalistic alternative to idealism for PIT, by investigating the temporal structure of phenomenal intentionality. This alternative consists in conceiving of phenomenal intentionality as grounded in a flow of qualities that exist before subjective experience and its intentional correlates are co-constituted in reciprocal dependence. By conceiving of these pre-phenomenal qualities as the fundamental elements of nature, it is possible to naturalize phenomenal intentionality.
Everyone is welcome to join, newcomers, please e-mail Jakub Mihálik (firstname.lastname@example.org) to register and receive the paper.