Intentionality, qualia, and mind/brain identity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper examines the status of conscious presentation with regard to mental content and intentional states. I argue that conscious presentation of mental content should be viewed on the model of a secondary quality, as a subjectiveeffect of the microstructure of an underlying brain state. The brain state is in turn viewed as the instantiation of an abstract computational state, with the result that introspectively accessible content is interpreted as a presentation of the associated computational state realized by the brain. However, if the relation between consciousness and representational content is construed in this manner, then conscious presentation does not provide an adequate foundation for the claim that human mental states areintrinsically intentional. On this model, I argue that functionalism is able to account for (non-intrinsic) intentionality, but not for consciousness, which has implications for the computational paradigm, as well as for Searle's Chinese room thought experiment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-282
Number of pages24
JournalMinds and machines
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1994


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