- In this chapter I have explored the relation between the qualitative character of experience and its intentional content. Most philosophers who defend a version of intentionalism — the doctrine that qualitative character supervenes1 on intentional content — do so as a way of reducing the problem of qualia to the problem of intentionality. For that reason, they tend to adopt an externalist version of the doctrine, on which the intentional contents on which qualia supervene2 attribute physical properties to distal objects. I have argued that this version of intentionalism is untenable.
- On the other hand, I have admitted that the idea that qualia supervene3 on intentional contents — when divorced from its externalist interpretation — does have virtue. After surveying various other versions of the doctrine, I argued that the most plausible one is the one defended by Shoemaker, on which the relevant intentional contents attribute properties to distal objects, but where the dispositions in question essentially involve qualia. This view satisfies various plausibility constraints on a theory of the relation between qualia and intentional contents, but it does not serve the reductive function for which most philosophers of mind hoped to employ intentionalism. So much the worse for reduction.
Part One: Intentionality and Phenomenal Content, Chapter 3
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