The Phenomenological Turn in Analytical Philosophy of the Mind

Intriguing paper submissions requested for the journal Argumenta that will be exploring the phenomenological turn in philosophy of the mind.


 “Two assumptions have long prevailed in the analytic tradition. First, intentionality has to be conceived as some sort of naturalistic relation holding between a subject’s mental states and the objects these states represent. Second, phenomenology pertains only to sensory states. Recently, however, a number of philosophers have broken free of this tradition. While these new proposals are fairly heterogeneous, they revolve around two major theses. First, the claim that the intentionality of mental states is best understood in terms of a subject’s phenomenal experience, and that indeed all forms of intentionality are rooted in phenomenology (cf. Kriegel 2014; Mendelovici 2018). Secondly, the claim that phenomenology extends beyond the sensory domain and covers a subject’s thought and propositional attitudes (cf. Pitt 2004; Horgan 2011). This diversion is rapidly gaining momentum, so much so that we are witnessing a phenomenological turn taking place in analytic philosophy of mind, challenging more traditional approaches.

We invite submission of original papers addressing issues that are relevant for the debate on analytic phenomenology. Question tackled in this Special Issue include, but are not limited to, the following:

Does a state’s phenomenology determine the state’s content? And if so, how is intentional content determined by the phenomenal properties of a mental state?

How does this novel approach impact traditional philosophical issues concerning content, such as content internalism/externalism, conceptualism/non-conceptualism, propositional attitudes, and the metaphysics of mental content more generally?

Is an account of intentionality based on phenomenal properties necessarily non-naturalistic or non-reductive? How could phenomenology-based and “classical” (reductive and naturalistic) approaches to intentionality interact?

Are phenomenology-based accounts of intentionality related to first-person cognitive science and the field of consciousness studies more generally? And if so, how should this relation be spelled out? Can phenomenology-based accounts of intentionality be falsified or supported by empirical means?

Assuming that phenomenology goes beyond the sensory sphere, what kinds of non-sensory phenomenologies are there (e.g. agency, freedom, for-me-ness, cognitive phenomenology, etc)? And what is their nature?

Should proponents of phenomenal intentionality also accept the existence of non-sensory kinds of phenomenologies (e.g. for-me-ness, cognitive phenomenology)?

In the analytic phenomenology perspective, how are conscious and unconscious mental states related?

Methodological issues in analytic phenomenology”

Important dates

Deadline for submission: November 30, 2022

Notification of acceptance: February 28, 2023

Important links

link to the journal

 For any query, please use the following addresses: [email protected] or [email protected]

Guest editors:

Michele Di Francesco (IUSS Pavia)

Marco Facchin (IUSS Pavia)

Giulia Piredda (IUSS Pavia)

Giacomo Zanotti (IUSS Pavia)

Invited Contributors:

Jérôme Dokic (Institut Jean Nicod)

Anna Giustina (University of Liège)

Angela Mendelovici (University of Western Ontario)

Elisabetta Sacchi (San Raffaele Vita-Salute University, Milan)

Alfredo Tomasetta (IUSS Pavia)

Alberto Voltolini (University of Turin)