Karen Neander's A Mark of the Mental is a noteworthy and novel contribution to the long-running project of naturalizing intentionality. The aim of the book is to “solve the part of Brentano's problem that is within reach” (3). Brentano's problem is the problem of explaining intentionality; the part of this problem that is supposedly within reach is that of explaining nonconceptual sensory-perceptual intentionality; and Neander aims to solve it via an informational teleosemantic theory. In this review, we provide a chapter-by-chapter summary followed by some critical discussion.

Chapter 1 outlines the book's project. Neander is interested in the phenomenon of intentionality, which she introduces through everyday examples and Brentano's discussion of “intentional inexistence.” One of Neander's starting assumptions is that most intentionality is ultimately derived from the underived (or original) intentionality of nonconceptual sensory-perceptual representations and perhaps some core concepts.1 Neander's aim...

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