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The past two decades have seen an explosion of literature on Hume’s views about mental representation and intentionality. This essay gives a roadmap of this literature, while arguing for two main interpretive claims. First, Hume aims to naturalize all forms of mental representation and intentionality, i.e. to explain them in terms of properties and relations that are found throughout the natural world (not just in minds) and that are not, individually, peculiar to representational or intentional things. Second, Hume holds that the passions are not representational, but do have intentionality extrinsically.




This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Cottrell JD. Hume on mental representation and intentionality. Philosophy Compass. 2018; e12505., which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

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