• In Freud and Philosophy Of Mind, Jerome Wakefield wants to show that Freud's philosophy of mind is best understood in its Cartesian-Brentanian context.

  • According to Brentano, mental acts are essentially (1) intentional ( equated with representational) and (2) conscious.

Brentano understands the consciousness property as an immediate reflexive intentionality ( analogous to the aristotelian "I cannot see without seeing that I am in a seeing-state") ; this reflexivity being different from reflexion.

According to Brentano these properties are eidetically necessary, but not logically : there is no a priori absurdity in the idea of an unconscious mental state.

  • This opens the door for Freud's theory.

  • Freud keeps the intentionality criterion and abandons the consciousness property.

So, according to Freud ( in Wekefield's reading) mental states are

(1) brain states

(2) having an intentional / representational content ( Freud is materialist regarding intentionality)

(3) but essentially unconscious ( neither consciously directed towards their objects , nor phenomenbally conscious).

(4) consciousness is an accidental and mysterious quality of some mental states.

My questions : on what textual evidence can one claim that Freud makes of intentionality an / the essential feature of mental states? the author says there are many of them , but does not provide examples.

  • 1
    Freud is psychology - not philsophy – Swami Vishwananda May 15 '20 at 4:24
  • Einstein is physics - not philosophy? – user37859 May 15 '20 at 12:14

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