Moral Judgment Matjaž Potrč

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Separation of intentionality (intentional content) and of phenomenology (qualitative what-it’s-like experience).

Instead of embracing judgment as one’s departure, one centered at intentional relation. There is intentional content, or intentional object, one argued, and on the other side there is attitude, the psychological embedding of the content. One distinguished intentional referential and intensional relations, these last ones taken to be opaque in respect to the extensional criteria. This intentional relation, consisting of directedness at an object or at an content, and its adjoined attitude, also qualitative attitude, did not amount to genuine judgment, even if they would be taken as coming together.

But intentional content and psychological attitude, moreover, came as separated from each other. So, intentional content, such as someone thinking about a cat, was treated independently of attitudional and of qualitative, phenomenological manner in combination with which it tends to appear. There was perhaps acknowledgment that qualitative phenomenological feeling of what-it’s-like appears together with the intentional content. But this intentional content was treated as basically independent from, as separated from the phenomenological quality. In this manner, externalist, causal or co-variational explanations of content were proposed, so that the qualitative embedding, if it was recognized, was certainly not accorded any priority. The accompanying qualitative feeling of pleasure, say, coming along with my thought about cat, was treated as something secondary and as not really important.

On the other hand, phenomenological qualitative what-it’s-like feeling was treated as coming separately from the intentional content. The usual examples of conscious phenomenological experiences involved such cases as pain, where qualitative feeling was supposed not to uphold any intentional directedness.

Separatism in the treatment of intentional relation may involve theses of priority. So on the one hand one can claim that intentional relation has priority over phenomenological what-it’s-like experiences. Or again, one may promote the thesis that phenomenological relation is accorded priority over the intentional one. Such would be the case where consciousness, say, would be seen as basic and constitutive for intentional relation. In short, separatism promotes several theses about independency about the basically atomistically treated ingredients of intentional relation, consisting of intentional content and of phenomenological quality. This centering at parts of intentional relation, according to the atomistic agenda, as we say, does not even amount to the full blown genuine judgment, but is just in value for atomistically adapted shadow of it.

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