My research is on intentionality, consciousness, and the relationship between the two. Much of my work argues for a view on which all intentional states are phenomenal states. This is a version of the phenomenal intentionality theory, but my favored version of this view also qualifies as a version of intentionalism. According to this view, intentionality is more limited than we might have initially thought. While perceptual experience might represent fairly rich contents, thoughts represent fairly impoverished contents, and beliefs, desires, and nonconscious occurrent states don't have genuine intentional properties at all, though thoughts, beliefs, and desires have rich derived representational properties.
Work in progress
- Book: The Phenomenal Basis of Intentionality (accepted for publication at OUP)
- Phenomenal intentionality about thought According to the phenomenal intentionality theory (PIT), mental representation is a matter of phenomenal consciousness. PIT is somewhat plausible as a theory of the intentionality of perception, but less plausible as a theory of the intentionality of thought. A central difficulty for the application of PIT to thought is that the representational content of thought doesn't seem to "match" its phenomenal character. In this paper, I sketch what I take to be a plausible application of PIT to thought. I argue that there are two types of thought content: source content, and derived content. Source content adequately matches thought's phenomenal character, and derived content is derived from source content.
- Phenomenal intentionality and naturalism in the philosophy of mind
- Olfactory experience, content, and justification