Ibn Sīnā and Husserl on Intention and Intentionality Author(s): Marina Paola Banchetti-Robino Source: Philosophy East

and West, Vol. 54, No. 1 (Jan., 2004), pp. 71-82 Published by: University of Hawai'i Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1399863 Accessed: 18/09/2009 21:55
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They were particularly notions in the Christian. in manyways. they are less familiarwith Ibn Sina's understandingof the concept of intention. are somewhat familiarwith Husserl'stheory of intentionality. and Islamic philosophical traditionsof the Middle Ages and regained philoin sophical importancein the twentiethcentury. of respectively. To this end.Afterthis I shall arguefor the superiority the Husserlian transcendentalist view over the Avicenniannaturalistic view. pher and mathematician There are profounddifferences between Ibn Sina's and Husserl'saccounts of intention and intentionality. they are medievalistsor have a certain degree of competence in medieval philosophy.Therefore. that of the physician and the mathematician. unless. in theirapproachto the concept of intentional meanings and of intentionality. physics.Lastly. Philosophy East & West Volume 54.IBN SINA AND HUSSERL ON INTENTION AND INTENTIONALITY MarinaPaola Banchetti-Robino of AtlanticUniversity Department Philosophy.Florida The concepts of intention and intentionalityhave enjoyed a long history within Westernphilosophy.Ibn Sina and Husserlwere. strongly influencedby the professionalcultureto which each belonged. Afterthis I shall examine Husserl'santi-naturalistic stance and how this stance was both influenced by regardingintentionand intentionality and. Number 1 January 2004 71-82 ? 2004 by University of Hawai'i Press 71 . even those who do not consider themselves phenomenologists. in particularly his psychology and his metaas found in the Kitabal-Najatand the Kitabal-Shifa'. in many ways.I shall arguethat. a response to FranzBrentano'spsychologisticaccount of 'intentional in-existence'. influencedby the traditionof the Baghdadschool of philosopher-physicians their understanding and of the 'internalsenses'. I shall firstexamine Ibn Sina's naturalistic conception of intentionand how it was.I shall begin by examiningthe concept of intention as it appears in the work of Ibn STna. IbnSTna's Account of Intentionand Intentionality Although many philosopherstoday. of course.and it is particularlyinterestingto examine the influences and the specific philosophical concerns that helped to shape each philosopher's unique conception of intentions and intentional processes and of intentionality'srelationto consciousness. Jewimportant ish. This essay proposes to confront medieval philosophy with contemporary phenomenologyby conductinga comparativestudyof the concepts of intentionand as intentionality they appear in the philosophicalworks of the Islamicphilosopher and physician Ibn Sina (latinizedas Avicenna)and the phenomenologicalphilosoEdmundHusserl.particularly the writingsof Edmund Husserl. in part. The theory of intentionelaboratedby Ibn Sina in his accounts of psychology.

. such as the quality of being agreeable or disagreeable. and metaphysics was transmitted to Scholastic philosophy through the work of Thomas Aquinas. which causes it to fear the wolf and to flee from it.3 72 PhilosophyEast& West . as for example.. In his theoryof knowledge. he calls this type of existence intentionalbeing uses [the concept of [or intentionalexistence]. corporealqualitiesthataffectthe sensoryorgansin such a way that they are received by virtue of their similitude.It is not merelythat it seizes the living object by simply accepting certainof its vital qualities. titled "InternalSense.... through its internal sense.which is a substanceof inferior order. what is firstperceived by the sense and then by the internalfaculties is the facultiesperceive withoutthe externalsense is the inform..Some faculties. judges that it is sweet and proceeds to taste it.and runsaway fromit immediately. rather.while what only the internal tention.e.it is a thing which the soul perceives from the sensed object without its previously having been perceived by the external sense. In Ibn STna'sdiscussion of Being and substance. within this [IbnSTna] distinguishesseparateand materialforms and matter.but also [thatit of seizes the object] by the attribution these qualitiesto the object. seeing a yellow liquid that is honey. i.etc.. because it has not yet actuallybeen tastedby the animal. but the externalsense perceivesit firstand then transmits to the soul. the intention in itself is not perceived by the external senses. form.. [IbnSTna] reachesthe conclusion that one thing can legitimately exist in the spirit and be missing from externalobjects.. the animal..The distinctionbetween the perceptionof the form and that of the intentionis thatthe form is what is perceived both by the innersoul and it the externalsense.. Some possess primary perception...again. justas the sheep perceivesthe intentionof harmin the wolf. But the 'meanings'that these objects signify are not such corporeal qualities but. can both perceive and act while others only perceive and do not act. in turn. This form is certainlyperceived by the innersoul of the sheep. Being per se is substance. The sweetness that is seized by this judgment is not sensible. The sheep. As for the intention.and colour..and otherswhich perceive the 'intention'thereof.epistemology. qualities or values that are latent in the sensible forms.2 Why does the sheep. [IbnSTna] intention]to explainthe relationbetween object and subject.(Emphasis mine)' In chapter 3 of the Najat. Being is the properand primaryobject of metaphysics. and one cannot point to anything specifically perceived by the external senses that displays the intention. otherssecondaryperception. perceivingthe figure. something about the form (sura) that is perceived by the external senses and which. its shape.. . when the sheep perceivesthe formof the wolf." we read the following account of intention: There are some faculties of internalperceptionwhich perceive the form of the sensed things.the howls and the scent of a wolf. althoughthis qualityin itself is sensible.This is the reason for which they are to received firstby the externalsenses and are then transmitted the internalsenses. There is. without harmhaving been perceived at all by the external sense. leads to the perception of intention by the internal senses: Sensibleformsare . For example.good or bad. perceive hostility in the wolf? According to one reading of this text... but it is firstperceived by its externalsense. Now. however. judgesthat he is ferociousand dangerous. sympatheticor non-sympathetic.

in human animals.whereasthe memorative faculty retains intentions. The proper objects of the estimative faculty are. because an intention is not itself a sensuous quality of the object. as the example of the sheep illustrates. In the scheme of internalsenses. although it may be conveyed to the percipient througha sensoryfaculty. what sensible form 'means'or 'signifies'to the the to percipientsubject.who understoodthe idea of perUnlike Alexanderof Aphrodisias rematerializes perception. as established in the Najat. Ibn Sina explains that these two faculties are distinct from the fact that reception requiresa malleable substratesince. in humananimalsthe estimativefacultyand the intellectivefacultyare co-present. it only possesses those intentionswhen they MarinaPaola Banchetti-Robino 73 .perceive non-sensual aspects of the environment"thatexceed the perceptualcapacities of the [external] senses and the imagination.within the internalsenses.to the sheep.Ibn STna he also indirectlymaterializeshis account of intention.As has already been estabintentionsare closely connected to sense perceptionsbelished above. that perceive these sensible objects. Thus.Thus. that is.fromthe Baghdad complex school of philosopher-physicians. Accordingto this scheme. and there are two types of faculties. in this context. ma'nan or intentions. This is why IbnSina can referto intentionsas 'sensible objects' even though. there is a faculty of the receptive type and a facultyof the retentivetype that handle each type of sensible object. facultyof estimationis responsiblefor the perception of intentions and. a change must take since place in the substrate.We must understandthat. perceivable by the externalsenses. there are two types of sensible objects thatcan be perceivedby the internalsenses.to return the example used by IbnSYna. accordingto IbnSYna. for intentionality. Commonsense is the faculty that receives (or perceives) sensible forms. ception non-physiologically."4 However. the estimative faculty is somewhat limited. In nonhuman animals. that the wolf is hostile.in part.This faculty is part of Ibn STna's rather scheme of the 'internalsenses' that he inherited.5 and Plotinus. for IbnSTna cause they are dependent on them and. whereas the formative(or retentive)imaginationis the facultythat retainssensible forms. but merelyperceivableby the internalsenses.However. The ferociousnessof the wolf is latent in its appearance and comportment. thus. They can. then. 'sensible' does not mean 'sensuous'. in doing this. Althoughthe sheep does not literally'see' hostility in the wolf's eyes.the Accordingto IbnSTna. sensible form of the wolf 'signifies'hostilityto the sheep.The estimativefaculty (wahm)is the facultythat receives (or perceives)intentions. The two types of sensible objects are sensible forms and intentions. when receiving a form. are Intentions. for him. intentionsare never perceived or perceivable by the externalsenses. sense perceptioncontains a clearly physiological and materialisticelement: "althoughthe estimativefaculty has nonsensible intentionsas its properobjects. the sensible form of the expression in the wolf's eyes 'means'. the estimativefaculty also has cognitive functions that it does not have in nonhumananimals. retentionrequiresa stable substrate retaininga form requiresa changeless substrate.it does not affectany sense organat the time duringwhich the judgmentis being made.On the other hand.and. The two types of facultiesof internalsense are the receptivefacultyand the retentivefaculty.

in Ibn Luka."'6 As we have seen above. philosophicaltradition.for whom the reception of form without matterwas interpreted by the Scholasticsas 'intentionalin-existence'. rather I shall focus on the professionalculturethat helped to shape focus on ethnic culture. such as perception. was the Baghdad school of This the of philosopher-physicians.. influencedby his own trainingas a physicianand by his attemptto respondto and mediate between the physicians'account of mental facultiesand the philosophers'account. Now.Once the formwithout matterhas been received by common sense.. of Greatly influentialin Ibn Sina's medical trainingand in his understanding the mental faculties. Althoughthe form is received strippedof its originalmatter.or formwithoutmatter. and Islam.and to refuseto assent to them. there is nothing in the imaginationthat is not first receivedthroughthe perceptionof sensible forms."7 Therefore. ultimately.the following purelyphysiologicalconception of the spirit. that The physicians'account of the mental faculties was much more physiological than the account to be found in the Aristotelian tradition.then. "[F]orall five senses. and quasi-physiologicalaccount of perception and other mental faculties was. however. and Hippocrates.This account of perception is directly inherited from Aristotle. perception. However. 74 Philosophy East & West . the that IbnSTna's Notwithstanding fact that his account of perceptionwas.. especially that of perception. intentionality. in some ways. medical circle represented 'afterlife' the Baghdad and they were "a constant featureof the intellectuallife of medieval Peripatetics. form without matter.cognition. establishesthe dependence of the facultyof estimation. one would have to conclude that intentionalityhas.on sense perception.for Ibn Sina.. thatare received by common sense and thatare retainedby the This.that is. However. At this point.. in many ways. Althoughthere are Neoplatonic influences in IbnSina'sconception of the intellect. one should not extractfrom this account of perceptionis entirelyAristotelian.and intentionality. physiologicalorigins. I would like to examine the culturalinfluencesthat helped shape than IbnSTna's account of perception. is a physiological element to the reception and retentionof the sensible forms of external objects. the reception of form as without matteris interpreted makingthe perceiverbecome like the form of the thing perceived. of Ibn Sina's understanding these concepts. the imaginativefaculty retains these sensible forms. Galen. of the philosopher-physician IbnSina emerged. Thus. are conjoined with particular thereby estimationto 'impede the existence of thingswhich cannot be imagined compelling and are not imprintedin [the imagination]."The spirit.the from matterin sense-perceptionis not so complete as in the estimative abstraction since it can be shown that.for IbnSTna.the evidence suggeststhat IbnSTna's Peripatetic psychologistic.or of imagination.the estimativefaculty receives intentionson the basis of the sensible forms.his account of other mentalfaculties. there facultyor in the intellect.sensible formsrepresentedin the imagination. inheritedfrom Aristotleand the naturalistic."8 They were not only prominentphysiciansbut also translators students and it is out of this culturaltradition of the workof Aristotle. occurs when common sense receives sensible forms.is not Neoplatonic.We find for example.

there is also evidence in several of Ibn Sina's writings. does this by consideringthe receptivefaculties as distinctfromthe retentivefacultiesby focusing on theirfunctionaldifferences. achis count of intentionsis that they are 'meanings'or 'significations'.'1 organ Thus. the physicians made no distinction.but also in Shifa'and Kafet.12 Thus. between the receptive and the retentivetypes of facultyof internalsense.are not themselves perceived by the externalsenses.. It is throughthe spiritthat the soul communicates life and sensation to the body.to follow the reasoningof the medical circle.IbnSina places wahm. Ibn Lukadoes endorse a materialist between conception of the spiritas the intermediary soul and body.Only a malleable substratecan acquire the nonmaterialsensible form that is received in perception. Furthermore. Therefore. since this materialsubstance called 'spirit'must also interactwith the immaterial the soul.He appeals to syllogistic logic to make his argument.however.Only a stable substratecan retainthe form afterit has been acquired. is not tion between a materialand an immaterial successfully avoided by adding a thirdand materialsubstance as an intermediary.. concern themselves faculties the soulonly in so faras a hindrance physicians in in the functioning be tracedto an injury the bodilyorgansin whichthey are can if different faculties the soul residein one of located. QED. to breath. Accordingto the physiciansof the Baghdadschool. in a specific bodily location. the Canon.The problem. Inthese works.inasmuch any injury that as then physicians regard bodilyorgan. Thus.abstractand nonsensory aspects of the external environmentthat. therebyresurrecting problemof interaction. IbnSina seems to want to balance the account given by the medical circle and that given by the philosophers.Therefore.for example.and to arterialpulsation and."9IbnLukaviews the spiritas an intermediary between the body and the soul.it passes throughthe nervesand producessensationand movement.10One could speculate that Ibn Lukamight be tryingto avoid the obvious philosophicaland physical problemsassociated with the notion of interacsubstance. or the estimativeor intentionalfaculty.especially in his medical magnumopus.A substratecannot be both malleable and stable.Consequently. However. two functionally in it as one faculty. although he does not endorse a materialist conception of the soul. any injuryto this partof the bodily organ would affect the animal'sabilityto receive intentions. at the end of the middle hollow of the brain. willaffect two faculties the alike. one malleable and the other stable.a sheep whose middle hollow of the brain had been MarinaPaola Banchetti-Robino 75 .that he does not completely breakaway fromthe physician'saccount. for they with of . arisingfromthe brain.such as al-Kindiand al-Farabi. receptivefacultyand the retentivefaculty must the be distinct in kind. to the faculties the soul are regarded withreference the bodilyorgansin which of only to of resideand not with reference the variety function whichthey perform. it directs itself in the arteriesand gives birthto life. although they accompany sense perception.is a subtle substance that emanates throughoutthe body. is clear that in his scheme of facultiesof the internalsenses It Ibn STna tries to break away from the strictphysiological account of the Baghdad He school of philosopher-physicians. Arisingfrom the heart.

'Pain'.would conceivably be able to perceive the wolf but would be unable to detect hostilityin the animal.Husserltells us that all consciousness is necessarilyactionally'directed'towardan 'object'. living in original)14 (Emphasis is Thisactional Ego-advertence not to be found in every mentalevent.the strucassumptions."i. This would then lead to the conclusion. The act through which the ego bestows meaning upon its object is called the noetic act.that there could be an almost perfectlyfunctioningconsciousness without intentionsor intentionality. all consciousness is necessarilyconsciousness of something. occurs throughan intentionalact.somehow injuredto the point of affectingthe estimativefaculty. In other words.the intentionalobject and the noema are one and the same. not mental event is directed or intentional. so that experience is construed to be a complex of data given externally and organizationalprinciOnce one has suspended all ontological commitments.that is.Thus. apperceptionsare states. therefore. in some other words:to have sense or "to intend to" something [etwas "im Sinne zu haben"]."'3 and presuppositions and once contingencies are bracketed. whereas perceptionand all actionally directed mentalevents are not states but mobile activities. the most fundamentalof all intentionalacts." [Erlebnis] whatever.But. between apperceptionand perception. Or.are ultimately This is due to the fact that Ego unificationitself born in and borne by intentionality. its intended object. for 76 East Philosophy &West .for example. within itself.every intentivementalprocess-just this makesup the fundamental part of intentionality-has its "intentional Object. every mental process can. Husserltells us: Likeperception. is a mentalevent every that is not itself intentional. unacceptableto someone like EdmundHusserl. ples supplied internally.. It is this peculiarityof mentalprocessesthat is known as intentionality. ture of consciousness is revealed in its essence as being intentional.he claimsthat AlthoughHusserldistinguishes all mental processes.but withoutany injuryto any other partof the brain. even those which are not themselves intentive. for Husserl. Thus.is not just any mental a but is rather (mental living) havingsense. Husserlalso refersto intentionality 'egological constitution' the reasonthat as for the intentionalact is one in which subjective consciousness synthesizesthe sensuous data that is given to it and bestows sense or meaning upon it. and the meaningfulobject or 'meaning'that is constitutedthroughthis act is called a noema. for example. which is "noetic. In Ideas I.Husserlcalls those mental events that are not intentionalapperceptions. is the of fundamentalcharacteristic all consciousness which. include intentionality.The essential dynamic of an intentionalevent is that it projects itself toward something. its objective sense. whereas those mental events that are intentionalare called inner or outer perceptions. Husserl's Account of Intention and Intentionality is Husserl'sdoctrineof intentionality a highlysophisticatedand developed versionof the frequentlyheld epistemologicalpositionthat "the humanmind makessubstantial to of contributions the specific structure what appearsbefore it.e.

is not reducibleto the brainitselfor to any particular of the brain. and. A non-intentionalconscious state. Intentionality the existence of a physical. subject of these mental events. was not born in a void but was It is clear that Husserl'sconcept of intentionality inherited. there must an intentional. for the empiricalor psychological self is itselfthe productof the transcendentalEgo'sact of constitutive synthesis. althoughit is not itselfa mentalevent characterizedby intentionality.for Husserl."16Brentano tell us: is mental of by Every phenomenon characterized whatthe Scholastics the Middle Ages of called the intentional mental)inexistence an object. Foras long as there is consciousness.we realizethat intentionality does not presuplocated in a particularbrain or part of the brain.in his Psychologie vom empirischenStandpunkt.constitutiveact capable of synthesizingand unifyingthe streamof consciousness.the productof an intentionalact. FollowingHusserl. It is not the purpose throughScholasticismon its way to contemporary of this essay to tracethis long history. The only possible damage to the brain that could destroy intentionalityis damage that destroysconsciousness altogether. only beings with a nervoussystem Althoughwe understand of and a brainhave consciousness. afterthe Scholasticperiod in medieval phiby other authors. there must be an Ego serving as the intentionality. in orderfor there to be an Ego. Because we are not speakingof the empirical Ego but of the transcendentalEgo. Meaning must. Thus. the essentialcharacteristic consciousness. therefore. For there to be mental events.is experienced by an Ego that is unified and is.The two are. Consciousnessis Consciousness. Thus. in essence.from the long traditionthat preceded him. and consciousness presupposes intentionality. it is absurd to speak of any conscious state or mental event as being. is a contradictionin terms. part intentionality. (or MarinaPaola Banchetti-Robino 77 .without it there would be no unified streamof consciousness. ality. that is.15 the concept of intentionalityexisted in semi-obscurityuntil 1874 when losophy. and because we have bracketedall ontological commitmentsto or assumptionsabout a materialworld cannot be reducedto brainstatesor externalto the Ego. in no mannerwhatsoever. that. no damage can be done to the brainthat could lead to non-intentionalconscious states. The traditionthrough was transmitted from Aristotleto the twentieth which the concept of intentionality is a long and complex one. Franz Brentano."[re]introduced into the philosophy of mind the seminal idea of an intentionalobject.rather. when there is no longer intentionality. for Husserl. then.which has alreadybeen successfullyaddressed Suffice it to say that. one and the same. Ibn STnais but one of the many philosophers century through which this concept passed from its origins in Aristotelianpsychology philosophy.an apperceptionlike 'pain'.and what we mightcall. as a matterof fact.founded on intentionalacts. material brain. Thus. there is intentionthere is no longerconsciousness. And.is thus immersedin intentionality. Intentionality only presupposes pose consciousness.we can draw the following conclusions. be bestowed upon the Ego before meaning can be bestowed upon the world of experience.

To embrace logical psychologism is to embrace a view of logical and mathematical laws as contingently true descriptions of how empirical subjects happen to think. that is. According to Brentano. We can. After inheriting the concept of intentionality from Brentano. Husserl seeks to overcome the naturalism. according to Husserl. mathematics."20 It is within the framework of his reflective and 'transcendental' phenomenological method and of the variously stated theory of intentionality that Husserl offers 78 PhilosophyEast& West . and logical psychologism emerges from naturalism. Husserl. the definition of intentional inexistence remains virtually unchanged from the definition found in the Scholastics. "Naturalism. theoretical laws holding for the domain of ideal meanings. Only such a nonnaturalistic account could. for Husserl also concludes that mental events and consciousness as a whole are essentially distinguished by their intentional character. as a mathematician who embraces the Bolzanian requirement for a pure logic. that is. or necessary about logic. Husserl clearly broke away from Brentano's account. he believes.17 In Brentano. therefore.. there is nothing a priori. and non-reductionistic. in desire desired and so on.or immanentobjectivity. in hate hated. according to Husserl.though not wholly unambiguously. as Husserl claims.18 It is this aspect of Brentano's theory that greatly influenced Husserl. No physical exhibits anything like it. Although Brentano's account is not naturalistic in the same way as Ibn Sina's. however. nonnaturalistic. remains psychologistic and naturalistic.referenceto a content. and the empirical sciences.define mental phenomena phenomenon within by saying that they are those phenomena which contain an object intentionally themselves. of empirical consciousness and. therefore. empiricism. In presentation somethingis presented.in judgementsomething is affirmedor denied. is. seems . Psychological facts serve as the foundation of logical laws. on the other hand. in the sense in which Husserl understands it. and meanings. and reductionism that. is not concerned with the vague laws of empirical psychology but with precise and universal laws. According to logical psychologism. Brentano's conception of intentional inexistence is a theory about the nature of the psychological Ego.19 Understanding that these laws are not merely descriptive and contingent features of the empirical world but are. directiontoward an object (which is not to be understoodhere as meaninga thing). concerned with developing an account of consciousness and intentionality that is nonpsychologistic. in love loved. objective..Every mentalphenomenon includes somethingas object within itselfalthoughthey do not all do so in the same way. is very different from that to be found in Husserl. This intentionalin-existenceis characteristic exclusively of mental phenomena. provide us with a phenomenology that could serve as the truly scientific foundation for logic. the feature that distinguishes mental phenomena from physical phenomena is that they are directed toward objects that have intentional inexistence. their directedness toward intentional objects. were responsible for the emergence of logical psychologism. to be nothing more than one of those many residual tendencies all of which converge in the overlooking of the act in favor of the object. inevitably leads to relativism and skepticism. The concept of an intentional object that we find in Brentano's work. rather. mathematics. Logic. Logical psychologism.

and this includes the wolf's ferociousness. Ibn Sina's account is naturalisticfor two reasons.reductionism. Although in both Ibn Sina and Husserl intention refersto the 'meaning'of the perceived object. the intentional object is a productof the constitutiveactivitiesof consciousness and of its directness.consciousness (or mind. is latent in the sensible form of the object. certain remnantsof still linger in many of his writings. his account of Marina Paola Banchetti-Robino 79 .and ontology. on the other hand. As we have seen. Thus. intenreductionistic. Thus.his own solution to the problemsof the theory of evidence. For Ibn Sina. althoughfor Husserlthe sheep constitutesthe wolf-as-perceived. For Husserl. particularly views on the natureof mind. Sufficeit to say thatsince the laws of logic and mathematics the productof intentionalacts are of the transcendentalEgo and since they are not descriptiveand contingent.for Ibn Sina the wolf's ferociousnessis latentin its appearance and comportment.even physicalism.and naturalism those that are philosophicalrather than medical. although Ibn Sina's contributionto the theory of intentionalityis certainly both in itself and for its influence on the Scholastic notion of 'intentional important inexistence'. or physiological terms. perception.Consciousnessbestows meaningupon the world ratherthan finding meaning already in the world. the meaning signified by the object. tionalityand intentionalacts could never be conceived in naturalistic.and this activityis intentional. To discuss further how the phenomenologicalmethodand its discoveryof intentionality put the nail in the coffin of psychologismis beyond the scope of this essay. truth. Husserltakes this notion much further than Ibn STna the precisely because he de-materializesand de-naturalizes conof intentionand intentionality and moves away from a substantivetheory of cepts consciousness.Although strictlyphysicalisticaccount of mental activityfound in the medical circle and the nonphysicalisticaccount found in the philosophical circles. To conceive it in those terms would undermine Husserl's entire anti-psychologistic foundationalproject. although not a corporealquality of the object. since physicality concept itself.are bracketedpriorto the discoveryof intentionality. and all other assumptionsof the naturalattitude. Firstof all. it is from this Scholastic notion that Brentanoresurrectsthe concept of intentionality will laterallow Husserlto give us a new way that of understanding consciousness. It is also clear that Husserl'sbackgroundas a mathematician and his desire to ground mathematicsand the empiricalsciences in a trulyscientific philosophy led him to the rejectionof psychologism and naturalism and to the development of a of intentionalityas not reducible to physiological states. and in Ibn Sina we find an attempt to mediate between the intentionality. Discussion of the Avicennianand HusserlianConceptionsof Intention Comparative and Intentionality It is clear thatthe medical cultureof which IbnSTna a partgreatlyinfluencedhis was his philosophical work. I wish to argue that Husserl'saccount of intentionalityis far superiorto Ibn STna's. soul) is no longer a substance but an activity.

psycholofrom both Brentano's of IbnSTna's and naturalism that. Second. clearlypermeate understanding gism intentionalmeaningand of intentionality.The influencedby their training. They are in the object. "senses are propertiesof the sort that physical objects have.as a mathematician because of a need to locate mental funcphysician was drawn toward naturalism of the brain in orderto explain injuriesto those functions. it is constitutedby an active consciousness. on the other hand. Intentionsor 'meanings'are latent in the object perceived. riorto thatprovidedby naturalistic in their development of an account of mental events and intentions..respectively.Itis clear thatboth Husserland IbnSTna. It is not latentin some extramental reality.and his account of perception suffersfrom a materialism that is inheritedfrom the medical traditionto which Ibn STnahimself contributedgreatly. even if there is no object that 'satisfies'this sense. Second. thus. a physiological self. Husserlisolatesconsciousness as such and discloses its activities. Husserl focuses on intentional acts of the subject ratherthan objects. while the propertiesbelong to the object. able to divorce himself a and his own early psychologismand naturalism. and other mental faculties by suspendingthe naturalattitude in which the existence of the materialworld and the psychological empirical self are taken for granted. Husserlis. Husserlunderstands that."21Itseems that Dretske.It is not given to a passive consciousness. Thus.experience-as-such suspends Husserlis not embracinga conception of consciousness as disembodied. and a psychologicalempiricalself.Although belief in an extramental reality. Fromthis.at least in this respect. rather than being the productof the subject'sactions. As was recentlystated by Ronald Mcintyre in his critique of Fred Dretske's 'representationalnaturalism'. mistakesthatwe find in IbnSTna. his account of intentionsfocuses on the object ratherthan on the act.they are abstract'contents' of intentionalthoughtsor experiences. the same criticismthat Mcintyre raises against Dretske could also be raised against Ibn STna. The mathematician account because of his serl.. It is in these and many other respectsthat transcendental phenomenology proof vides an account of mentalevents-and particularly intentionality-that is supetheories.intentionsis dependenton his account of perception.. "senses are not propertiesof the objects we intend.cognition. For Husserl.were greatly and a physician.For both Dretskeand Ibn STna. tions in a particular part The riskof this. of perception. Rather. althoughthey are not themselves sensuous qualitiesof the object. however. An act is intentionalby virtueof having a sense or content. Husserlavoids physicalisticreductionsof intentionality. is to fall into a reductionisticprogramthat is not able to Husof explain the qualityand meaningfulness our mental life. This is one of the to aspects of naturalism which Husserlhimselfobjected. In doing this. [T]he sense belongs to the content of the experience."22 intentionalthoughtsbeing the acts that constitutethese very senses. even if one has meaning. Husserldoes not makeeitherof the naturalistic First all. unfortunately. was drawntowarda transcendental 80 Philosophy East & West . Husserl is able to arrive at his conception of intentionalityprecisely by bracketingor suspending all assumptionsabout a materialworld. is guiltyof thinking of intentionsor 'senses' in a way similarto Ibn STna. he nevertheless realizes that meaning must not come from outside consciousness.

Black is here quoting Avicenna." Topoi 19 (1) (2000): 60.. En espirituy su teorfadel conocimiento la usa paraexplicarla relacionentre los objetos y el sujeto. p.1.Noriko Ushida. 61. juge qu'il est doux et va le gouter.. I'animal. Rahman (Oxford: Oxford University Press. Mais les sens que les objets signifientne sont pas telles qualitescorporelles. MarinaPaola Banchetti-Robino 81 .et le fuit tout de suite. "Imagination and Estimation:Arabic Paradigms and Western Transformations. dentrode esta distinguelas formasseparaday materialy la materia.en percevantla figure. Husserl was successful in providing us with an account of experience and mental life that is much richer than the naturalistic account found in Ibn Smna. 30. Etude Comparative de la Psychologie d'Aristote. Avicenna's Psychology: An English Translation of Kitab AI-Najat.sympathiqueou antipathique.que es la sustancia de orden inferior.Avicenna.. 3 .Ladouceursaisie parce jugementn'estpas sensible. 158. with an introd. quoique cette qualite en elle-meme soit sensible. IlegaAvicena a la conclusi6n de que una cosa puede existirlegitimamente el a faltaren los objetosexteriores. trans. reprint. 37. Labrebis. Connecticut: Hyperion Press. Ce n'est pas seulementqu'elle saisit I'objet vivantpar la simple acceptationde certainesde ses qualitesvitales. voyent un liquidejaune qui est du miel. Thomas d'Aquin (Tokyo: Keio Institute of Cultural and Linguistic Studies.. Westport. in Avicenna's "De Anima. d'Avicenne et de St. des qualitescorporellesqui affectentles organessensoriels en sortequ'elles sont reguesen vertude leursimilitude. juge qu'il est feroce et dangereux. en . 5 ." in F. Rahman. Sobre Metafisica (Antologfa).Ibid.. The original text reads as follows: El ser es el objeto primarioy propriode la metaffsica.Avicenna.. The original text reads as follows: Lesformessensibles sont . "Concerning the Soul. 4..desire to escape psychologism. and notes. telles que les qualitesagreablesou d6sagreables.mais plutot des qualites ou des valeurs qui sont latentes dans les formes sensibles.Ibid. p. mais aussi par I'atde tribution ces qualit6sa I'objet. 6 .. 1952. Black. 2 . en etc. Book II..et ensuite elles sont transmises aux sens internes. 1981).. 166. Parexemple. Al-Shifa': AI-Nafs (Healing: De anima). p. In doing so. from the Arabic. 1959). 1950). p.bonne ou mauvaise." Being the Psychological Part of Kitab alShifa'. Chapter VI with HistoricoPhilosophical Notes and Textual Improvements to the Cairo Edition (Oxford University Press...Deborah L. 4 .... 1968)... car elle n'est pas encore goutee actuellementpar l'animal.C'estpourquoielles sont repues en premierlieu par les sens externes. esta existencia le llamaser intencional. ed.les cris et I'odeurd'un loup. p. by Miguel Cruz Hernandez (Madrid: Revista de Occidente. El ser per se es la sustancia. F. Notes 1 .

15 . Naturalizing Phenomenology. 79-80. 88-89. F. Williams (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. p. 1972). 21 . L'esprit est une substancesubtiler6panduedans le corps. Studies in the History of Philosophy and Religion. 484.Ibid. p. ? 90. N. Varela.F. p. 1982).. trans. "When Transcendental Genesis Encounters the Naturalization Project. Rancurello and D. Bernard Pachou.. 1999)." in Naturalizing Phenomenology: Issues in Contemporary Phenomenology and Cognitive Science.For one excellent account of this history. 1970).Natalie Depraz. Psychology from an EmpiricalStandpoint. 1964). Contribution a I'Etude de la psychologie a travers la philosophie avicennienne. Linda McAlister. Francisco J. 5. 433. p.Franz Brentano. 78." 16. "Dretske on Qualia. S'elevantdu coeur. preface de Roger Deladriere (Tunis: Universite de Tunis 1. 8 . 1991). The Paris Lectures. p. trans.. trans. p. The original text reads as follows: . 9 . 1995).Edmund Husserl.Edmund Husserl.HarryAustin Wolfson. chap. ed. Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy." in Petitot et al. trans. 13 . "Prolegomena." Logical Investigations. 247. p. a la respiration a la pulsation arterielleet. vol.. and Jean-Michel Roy (Stanford: Stanford University Press. J.. ed. 18 . 19Edmund Husserl. Jean Petitot.. E. Kersten (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.Richard Sorabji.Ibid. 114. partantdu cerveau. 163. I refer the reader to Sorabji's "From Aristotle to Brentano. A. 22 82 PhilosophyEast& West ." in Aristotle and the Later Tradition. 284. Henry Blumenthal and Howard Robinson. 20 . 1. 14 . vol. . with an introductory essay (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. "From Aristotle to Brentano: The Development of the Concept of Intentionality. pp. p. Supplementary volume (Oxford: Clarendon Press. Aristotle and the Arabs: The Aristotelian Tradition in Islam (New York: New York University Press. 17 . xxvii. 12 . Findlay from the second German edition of Logische Untersuchungen (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. 11 . ed. elle passe dans les nerfset produitla sensationet le mouvement. First Book. ed. 21 7. 236. p. pp. 1. elle se et dirige dans les artereset donne naissance a la vie.Ronald Mcintyre. ?25. Isadore Twersky and George H.7 . Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy. 1973). p.Ibid. Peters.Ibid. p. 10. Peter Koestenbaum. 1968).Ibid. 283.Abderrahman Tlili. Terrell (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.