What is Involved in Giving a Naturalistic Account of Intentionality: Essay

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Naturalism is both an ontological and an epistemological thesis, frequently taken together: all of the authenticity is natural, that everything that exists is amenable to scientific analysis. In essence, the ontological thesis contemplates that: the world of nature should form a single sphere without incursions from outside by divine or human, souls or spirits, and without having to lodge strange entities like non- natural values or substantive abstract universals. Natural entities’ includes theoretical entities which cannot be directly pragmatic, but whose existence is postulated whether real or merely as instrumental constructs to explain different phenomena. In totality, the different methods and levels of explanation should form a constant chain, amenable finally to empirical testing.

Ontological naturalism is the thesis nothing can have any sway on events and conditions in space and time except other events and conditions in space and time. According to the ontological naturalist, there are no fundamental influences from things.

Representational naturalism is the proposal that human knowledge and intentionality are parts of nature, to be explained completely in terms of scientifically understandable causal connections between brain states and the world. Intentionality is that feature of our thoughts and words that make them about things, that gives them the ability to be true or false of the world. I take philosophical naturalism to be the conjunction of the ontological and representational naturalism. The two theses are rationally independent: it is possible to be an ontological naturalist without being a figurative naturalist, and vice versa.

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