Revisiting the Intentionality All-Stars

Walter Veit [PDF]

Article information
Vol 2, No 1
RAP0009 – Research Article
Recieved: August 31, 2021
Accepted: April 18, 2022
Online Published: May 11, 2022
DOI: 10.18494/SAM.RAP.2022.0009
Cite this article
Veit, W. (2022). Revisiting the Intentionality All-Stars. The Review of Analytic Philosophy, 2(1), 1-24. Japan: MYU.


Eliminativism is a position most readily associated with the eliminative
materialism of the Churchlands, denying that there are such things as
propositional states. This position has created much controversy, despite the fact
that intentionality has long been seen as perhaps the core problem for naturalistic
philosophy. There is a more radical interpretation of eliminativism, however,
denying not only mental states, such as beliefs and desires, but also intentionality
(i.e., aboutness) on a global level. This position traces its contemporary origin
back to Quine, but has generally been assumed to undermine naturalism or,
worse, to be incoherent by the majority of philosophers who maintain that there
clearly are things or mental states that are about others. In a recent paper, Hutto
and Satne (2015a) offer an update that tries to revive John Haugeland’s baseball
analogy from his influential 1990 review paper The Intentionality All-Stars on
the state of the game to argue that the failure of Neo-Cartesians, Neo-
Behaviorists, and Neo-Pragmatists should urge us to make them work together
to naturalize content and “win the game.” But Hutto and Satne misunderstand
what the game is ultimately about. The goal of the Intentionality All-Stars is not
to naturalize content against eliminativism but to defend a naturalist “thirdperson”
view of the problem against first-person phenomenalists. For this goal,
a naturalist defense of global content eliminativism would equally enable them
to emerge victorious. Revisiting Haugeland, I will offer my own analysis of the
current state of play to argue that global content eliminativism has not received
sufficient attention and deserves a more prominent place in the debate than it
currently occupies.


Haugeland, eliminativism, content, mental representation, Quine, Churchland


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