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Since the late 1970's, the main research program for understanding intentionality - the mind's ability to direct itself onto the world - has been based on the attempt naturalize intentionality, in the sense of making it intelligible how intentionality can occur in a perfectly natural, indeed entirely physical, world. Some philosophers, however, have remained skeptical of this entire approach. In particular, some have argued that phenomenal consciousness - the subjective feel of conscious experience - has an essential role to play in the theory of intentionality, a role missing in the naturalization program. Thus a number of authors have recently brought to the fore the notion of phenomenal intentionality, as well as a cluster of nearby notions. There is a vague sense that their work is interrelated, complementary, and mutually reinforcing, in a way that suggests a germinal research program. With twelve new essays by philosophers at the forefront of the field, this volume is designed to launch this research program in a more self-conscious way, by exploring some of the fundamental claims and themes of relevance to this program.
Uriah Kriegel is a research director at the Jean Nicod Institute in Paris, working mainly in philosophy of mind and metaphysics. His books include Subjective Consciousness: A Self-Representational Theory (Oxford, 2009) and The Sources of Intentionality (Oxford, 2011).