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Intentionality and Indexicality:( Content Internalism and Husserl's Logical Investigations

Date and Time

Friday, October 26, 2012
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM


  • Mackinac Hall
  • Mackinac Hall » BLL110 - Caseroom


Friday October 26 at 3:00pm in Mackinac Hall BLL-110 (Basement)

Intentionality and Indexicality:(

Content Internalism and Husserl's Logical Investigations((

Andrew Spear

((Grand Valley State University)( 


Talk Abstract:

In this paper I will consider the Twin Earth thought experiment of Hilary Putnam concerning natural kind terms and similar cases that have been proposed by John Perry for indexicals. I will argue that these cases function as definitive arguments against content internalism, understood in terms of the traditional account of intentionality steming from Brentano and Husserl only on the assumptions that (i) internalism is committed to what I will call a strict Fregean interpretation of the content determines reference thesis and (ii) that there is no descriptive content associated with demonstrative and indexical terms. I will argue that Edmund Husserl’s Logical Investigations understanding of the ontology of intentional content provides a framework within which it is possible to defend a content internalism committed to a weaker content determines reference principle, and that identifies intentional content associated with indexical and demonstrative thoughts, while retaining the explanatory advantages of the content-object distinction. Such a view is immune to standard externalist objections and retains the explanatory power of traditional theories of intentionality.



Andrew Spear

Philosophy Department



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