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Volume 9/10, 2011/2012

L’âme et ses Discours de l’Antiquité au Moyen Âge

Jan‑Ivar Lindén
Pages 339-352

Intentionnalité et perception
une esquisse aristotélicienne

Intentionality is a key concept in the phenomenological tradition, but also figures in several other currents of contemporary thought, often as a criteria of consciousness. Husserl adopted the principle of intentionality from Franz Brentano, who was heavily influenced by Aristotle and medieval Aristotelian tradition. Considering that intentionality means a direction of thought or behaviour, it is quite evident that Aristotle remains a major reference in this context : through the idea of natural entelechies, the theory of life, perception and thinking and through the ethical descriptions of dispositions, virtues and decisions. Whatever point of view chosen, it seems obvious that the equivalent of Husserlian intentionality must be something else in Aristotle than a principle of constitution of objects in the sense of modern (Cartesian and Kantian) tradition. What could be called intentionality in Aristotle seems rather to be something like a direction of behaviour, founded on natural tendencies. Such a «physiomorphic» intentionality can shed some light on the contemporary discussions concerning consciousness, knowledge and affectivity and similarly differentiate and situate the «modern» critique of teleology. The present article deals with these questions in relation to phantasia and orexis.

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