Abstract

Bipartism is the common view that the nature of an intentional state can be wholly explained in terms of (a) its horizontal relations with other such states (as well as peripheral inputs and outputs); and (b) its vertical relations with the world. Extrapolating from Nagel, I try to show that bipartism is fundamentally mistaken. Some intentional states are conscious states, and thus there is something it is like to be in them. This phenomenology is of a piece with such states’ interpretability: to know what it is like to be X at least involves being able to interpret X’s conscious intentional states. But a bi‐partist account of an intentional state is not, by itself, interpretational. So bipartist accounts, at least of conscious intentional states, are incomplete: they fail to capture their phenomenology.

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