Intentionality and Consciousness

Carlo Ierna

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


In this chapter I concentrate on the notion of intentionality and its relation to consciousness. Ever since its re-introduction into contemporary philosophy in the works of Franz Brentano, intentionality has been associated in various ways with consciousness. In the continental and analytic traditions the notion of intentionality has undergone divergent developments, although more recent authors try to tie them together once again. I outline Brentano’s conception of intentionality and its immediate reception in his school, then I look at the later developments in the twentieth century by focusing on J. R. Searle’s (1983) Intentionality. By critically analysing and comparing Searle’s discussion with Brentano’s original introduction and Husserl’s elaboration, various fundamental questions come to the fore: Are all conscious mental acts intentional? In what way is intentionality representational? Can intentionality be naturalized?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Bloomsbury Companion to the Philosophy of Consciousness
EditorsDale Jacquette
ISBN (Electronic)781474229029
ISBN (Print)9781474229012
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameBloomsbury Companions


  • Franz Brentano
  • John Searle
  • Intentionality
  • Consciousness

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