intentionality, representation, association


This paper is an explanation of how the intentionality of perception is due to specific associations of sensations. It describes the intentionality of the mental and the problem that intentionality poses for accounts of the mind. The concept of "direction of fit" or "fulfillment of the act" is central to this description. An amalgamation of various recent interpretations of intentionality into a unified theory is presented along with an account of why even such a unified theory fails to account for direction of fit. The direction of fit of perceptual intentionality is then elucidated as a function of patterns of association of sensations. Objections to this associational manner of conceiving of intentionality are responded to and evidence in support of the overall conception is provided. The paper concludes with a brief explanation of how this characterization of direction of fit applies to other domains of mental activity that exhibit intentionality.


Pestana, M. (2006). Association mechanisms and the intentionality of the mental. Journal of Mind and Behavior, 27(2), 91-120.