Edinburgh speaker series seminar
Speaker: Fedor Benevich (University of Edinburgh)
Title: Intentional Objects and Mental Properties in Islamic Philosophy
Abstract: In our everyday language we often refer to non-existent objects. “Pegasus has wings”, “Unicorns have horns”, “Phoenix is one of a kind”. Do we actually intend anything when we say it? If yes, what is the ontological status of non-existent intentional objects? A famous response originates from the works of F. Brentano. Non-existent intentional objects have “intentional inexistence”. Modern scholarship agrees that Brentano’s intentional inexistence dates back to the Latin scholastic notion of intentional being (esse intentionale). It has also been recently suggested that intentional being, in its turn, has its roots in Avicenna’s notion of being in the mind aka “mental existence” (Black 2010). In my presentation, I will argue (a) that Avicenna’s mental existence certainly does not amount to intentional inexistence on its Meinongian interpretation; and (b) does not amount to intentional inexistence on its immanentist interpretation either, at least according to the post-Avicennian Islamic philosophical tradition. Post-Avicennian scholars emphasised that mental entities are identical to mental properties according to Avicenna. Therefore, they refused to agree that those mental entities are intentional objects.
The Edinburgh Speaker Series features talks on all areas of philosophy. For information, or to join the email list for these events, please contact Mahrad Almotahari. All are welcome, including all students (MA, MSc, PhD) and faculty in philosophy.