Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

Volume 57, Issue 2, June 1997

Grant Gillett
Pages 331-349

Husserl, Wittgenstein and the Snark
Intentionality and Social Naturalism

The Snark is an intentional object. I examine the general philosophical characteristics of thoughts of objects from the perspective of Husserl’s, hyle, noesis, and noema and show how this meets constraints of opacity, normativity, and possible existence as generated by a sensitive theory of intentionality. Husserl introduces terms which indicate the normative features of intentional content and attempts to forge a direct relationship between the norms he generates and the actual world object which a thought intends. I then attempt to relate Husserl’s account to Fregean insights about the sense and reference of a term. Neither Husserl nor Frege suggest plausible routes to a naturalistic account of intentionality and I turn to Wittgenstein to provide a naturalistic reading of the crucial terms involved in the analysis of intentional content. His account is normative in a way required by both Husserl and Frege and yet manages a kind of Aristotelian naturalism which avoids crude biologism.