chapter  3
10 Pages

What Is Intentionality and Why Is it Important?

ByMark D. Vagle

Much like their conception of phenomena, phenomenologists use the word "intentionality" to mean the inseparable connectedness between subjects and objects in the world. Phenomenologists have consistently and stubbornly asserted that consciousness is always of something, as opposed to consciousness being conscious in and of itself. The primary assumption is that phenomenological philosophers and researchers must be interested in determining universal truths that transcend time and space and which are unaffected by social context, power, and agency. For lack of a better phrase, Western philosophy has needed, and continues to need, to get out of its own head-and out into the interconnectedness of human relations among human beings and with the things of the world. Phenomenology itself, broadly conceived, has been critiqued by qualitative researchers for its focus on essence- that is, on the view that there is an essential structure to a phenomenon and the intentional relations that characterize that phenomenon.