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This and the next chapter defend the Argument from the Marks of Intentionality: Since powers share relevant marks of intentionality with mental states, powers are intentional properties. After identifying ten marks of intentionality, including those advanced by C. B. Martin and Karl Pfefier at the beginning of the physical intentionality debate, this chapter focuses on applying what are arguably the three essential marks of intentionality: directedness, intentional inexistence, and intentional indeterminacy. Directedness, inherently connected to intentional inexistence, is the main focus here: Just as thoughts are directed toward objects that need not exist, powers are directed toward manifestations that need not occur. The discussion explores what directedness is and is not. It is argued that directedness is a representational phenomenon. Therefore, since powers are directed, they are representational intentional states, contrary to George Molnar’s claim that powers are nonrepresentational intentional states. The concluding section argues that powers, like thoughts, display indeterminacy.
Although the additional marks of intentionality discussed in this chapter are not essential for intentionality, when applied to powers they illuminate various aspects of the nature of powers and help justify the Physical Intentionality Thesis. The additional marks of intentionality include two linguistic marks (referential opacity, lack of truth import), unique intentional objects (the object of directedness could be one of a kind), impossible intentional objects (directedness toward an impossible object), extrinsicness (the object of directedness is extrinsic to the directed state), direction of causation (the object causes the directed state), and direction of fit (directed states have a particular fit in relation to their objects). The chapter’s penultimate section discusses three objections: that physical intentionality is mysterious, that physical intentionality is not sufficiently like mental intentionality, and that powers are directed toward nonexistent manifestations. Lastly, the chapter presents reasons why advocates of both the Universals Model and the Neo-Humean Model of modality should be open to assigning directedness and physical intentionality to properties.
This chapter begins defending the 3d account of powers, which combines directedness (i.e., intentionality) and data (i.e., information) as essential ingredients of dispositions (i.e., powers). The first thesis in the 3d account is the Physical Intentionality Thesis, and it is introduced here. Two supporting arguments for this thesis are previewed: the Argument from the Marks of intentionality (to be elaborated in Chapters 4 and 5) and the Argument from the Unity of Nature (to be elaborated in Chapter 8). Then historical precursors to physical intentionality are discussed, including Brentano’s thesis, the primary model for the Physical Intentionality Thesis. Lastly, an epistemic (versus a metaphysical) interpretation of physical intentionality is critiqued, a teleological view of powers is compared to the Physical Intentionality Thesis, and other related views are explored.
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