Individual and Collective Intentionality: Elaborating the Fundamentality-Question

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This is a contribution to the controversy which of individual or collective intentionality is more fundamental. I call it the fundamentality-question. In a first step, I argue that it is really two questions. One is about sense and one about reference. The first is: Can one grasp or understand the concept individual intentionality and, correspondingly, individuality, on the one hand, without grasping or understanding the concept collective intentionality and, correspondingly, collectivity, on the other? The second is: Can the concept individual intentionality and corresponding concept of individuality, on the one hand, refer to something without the concept of collective intentionality and corresponding concept of collectivity referring to something, on the other? Simplifying somewhat, this elaborated fundamentality-question admits of nine answers. In a second step, I pursue a tentative answer to the elaborated fundamentality-question. Given a disambiguation of individuality and, correspondingly, individual intentionality, the answer is the combination of claims that individuality and individual intentionality in one sense is fundamental in reference-dependence but that collectivity and collective intentionality is fundamental in reference-dependence in the other sense of individuality, while collectivity and collective intentionality is in both cases fundamental in sense-dependence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1977-1997
Issue number4
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Philosophy

Free keywords

  • Collectivity
  • Individuality
  • Intentionality
  • Reference-dependence
  • Sense-dependence

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