Reams of paper and years of thought have been spent on discussing “intentionality.”
Franz Clemens Brentano (1838–1917) advocated a form of internal recognition, according to which the intentional object is “in the head,” as it were; or in philosophy speak “internal intentionality.”
There are many other types of “intentionality” but for the sake of simplicity (which both William of Ockham and I subscribe to) let us consider only “the dualism of intentionality.”
So what I am speaking of here is “intentionality” of two types; internal and external.
INTERNAL INTENTIONALITY (I offer here) occurs when consciousness draws a mental picture of something and presents it to the owner of that consciousness as a surprise. It makes no difference if it is a major or minor surprise; it makes no difference if it is either a “VIOLA” or a “hhmmm, that’s interesting.”
It is still Internal Intentionality.
EXTERNAL INTENTIONALITY (I also offer here) occurs when one or more of the five senses “sees” an object and the owner of that consciousness relates the object to something else. This is clearly an immediate representation or resemblance; it resembles a specific tool, a similar word, that white paper that you read last month, a text book that used the same abstract symbols, a novel that you can’t forget, the photo of a loved one, an artwork that left you with conflicted feelings and intentions, e.g. “Yo Mama’s Last Supper” .
Therefore I conclude that external intentionality is nothing more than a resemblance.
Internal intentionality, also a resemblance, has one other element acting in the consciousness.
It is associated with the context that the consciousness is operating within.
The context may be a work situation, a walk on a winter’s night, the mental aftermath of an interpersonal conflict, looking in the mirror when shaving/applying makeup, or sitting alone in the laboratory after a spectacular failure of a pet project.
Internal Intentionality depends on the context that the consciousness is in.
Whatever the context this internal intentionality occurred in, it surely is not an intentionality tied to the wrench on the bench, or the spots on the bathroom mirror, or any other object in proximity of the five senses.
This internal intentionality appears to come out of nowhere; other than the synapsis firing away. This is Brentano’s “in the head” intentionality.
Somehow, somewhere, a memory may have crossed with another memory and a new internal intentionality occurred. And it presented to you something you were not intentionally thinking about.
This intentionality resided only in your consciousness and not in an object, scent, sound, touch or taste. It has a sense of ‘creativity’ to it.
Yet it had a resemblance to something you once knew or even a feeling about. Possibly it resembled that mind exploding feeling you had when you saw a beautiful multi-colored sunset. Or it resembled that exalted feeling you had on the drive home after having a wonderful night with that special someone. Possibly it resembled that dark feeling when you sat alone wondering if you were still relevant. In any case it was a resemblance not connected to anything at-hand to the five senses.
And that is all I have to say about those things that intentionally interrupt our consciousness.
They are intentionally (internal or external) resemblances, they are the breeze that blows at the curtains of our mind, they are the spirits that cavort in our apprehensiveness, they are the gauze and ether that binds our consciousness together — or – they could simply resemble that wrench on the bench, the spots on the mirror or the very purposeful ‘Dalmatian in Ink’; which is an intentionality, emergence and resemblance all wrapped up in one.