This article addresses the problem of intentionality in Analytic philosophy. It begins with an assessment of post-Sellarsian scholarship, with primary attention to the work of Richard Rorty, Donald Davidson, Robert Brandom, and John McDowell. I argue that contemporary Analytic discourse on intentionality not only needs, but internally warrants, a pragmatist metaphysics in order to adequately and accurately communicate its public relevance—particularly in ethics. I suggest the metaphysics of Alfred North Whitehead as consonant with the sort of metaphysics needed in order to correct tacit presuppositions currently limiting Analytic treatments of intentionality and, in turn, the possibility of ethical critique without ethnocentrism. The resultant proposal is for a “modest” metaphysics, not unlike that for which Jeffrey Stout has called.
Contemporary Pragmatism – Brill
Published: Feb 22, 2019