HomePhilosophia: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 38 no. 1 (2009)

Dreyfus on Heidegger's Critique of Husserl's Intentionality: A Review

Napoleon M. Mabaquiao Jr.

Discipline: Philosophy



This paper primarily disputes Dreyfus’s account of Heidegger’s critique of Husserl’s theory of intentionality. Specifically, it raises objections to the three central claims of such an account; namely: (1) that Searle’s theory of intentional action can be used as a stand-in for Husserl’s; (2) that Heidegger rejects the primordiality of the intentionality of consciousness; and (3) that Heidegger distinguishes between conscious and unconscious types of intentional actions and he privileges the latter over the former. I show the first to be unwarranted owing to a lack of fundamental parallelisms between Searle’s and Husserl’s theories of intentionality. I show the second to be mistaken for failing to take into account Heidegger’s strategic handling of the concept of consciousness and for contradicting Heidegger’s concept of care as the essential meaning of Dasein’s being-in-the-world. Lastly, I show the third to be highly problematic for lacking in textual evidence and explanatory power