Consciousness and intentionality

George Graham, Terence Horgan, John Tienson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Consciousness and intentionality help to define the mental qua mental. Consciousness and intentionality, insist some philosophers, although perhaps often co-occurring, are mutually independent or separable. Consciousness and intentionality, insist others, are interdependent or inseparable. This chapter discusses an important aspect of inseparatism: the relation between phenomenal character and intentional content. The contemporary philosophers and theorists have developed inseparatist or nearly inseparatist theses in various ways. The chapter mentions some of this work, and the philosophers responsible for it. It discusses two implications of thesis C-Ins. First, since phenomenally conscious states are mental, every phenomenally conscious state also is intentional. Second, since phenomenally intentional content is determined by phenomenal character alone, such content is entirely constituted by features internal or intrinsic to phenomenology. Finally, the chapter sketches the questions about or challenges to inseparatism and explains something, again briefly, about how the inseparatist might reply to each.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Blackwell Companion to Consciousness
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781119132363
ISBN (Print)9780470674079
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Consciousness
  • Contemporary philosophers
  • Inseparatism
  • Intentionality
  • Nonconscious mental states
  • Thesis c-ins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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