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Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

Volume 58, Issue 2, June 1998

Victor Caston
Pages 249-298

Aristotle and the Problem of Intentionality

Aristotle not only fonnulates the problem of intentionality explicitly, he makes a solution to it a requirement for any adequate theory of mind. His own solution, however, is not to be found in his theory of sensation, as Brentano and others have thought. In fact, it is precisely because Aristotle regards this theory as inadequate that he goes on to argue for a distinct new ability he calls “phantasia.” The theory of content he develops on this basis (unlike Brentano’s) is profoundly naturalistic: it is a representational theory, formulated in tenns of the causal powers and physical magnitudes of the body.