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ABSTRACT. Since as far back as the middle ages, philosophers have been concerned with the inner representations of the mind. St Thomas Aquinas suggested that when he thinks of an object, the object of his thought has a different sort of existence in his mind. Indeed, there certainly seems to be a difference between physical phenomena and mental phenomena but merely seeming like there is a difference is not enough to show that there is a difference. In this paper I will compare two different approaches to the supposed distinction between the mental and the physical. First I will outline Brentano’s theory of ’Intentionality’, which, in its early formulation, proposes a true distinction between physical objects and the objects of thought. I will then introduce Daniel Dennett’s ’Intentional Systems Theory’. Dennett’s theory is an attempt to naturalise the mind and to reduce mental phenomena such as beliefs and desires to simple physical systems.

 

Written by BRENT SILBY
 
 
 

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