The problem of the “identity of identity and nonidentity” (IINI), which haunted German idealism, has two closely related aspects. The first, epistemological aspect concerns the possibility of knowledge of an objective world. The second, transcendental aspect, concerns the question of how thoughts can be directed towards the world. Reconstructing McDowell’s Kantian account of intentionality as a purported resolution of the transcendental aspect of IINI, I pose the following dilemma for McDowell’s account: Either (1) part ways with Kant’s purported resolution of IINI at a crucial point, thereby being driven towards an approach that McDowell firmly opposes, indeed cannot accept, or (2) follow Kant to the letter, and then face, head-on, a deep problem that Kant’s purported resolution of IINI faces. Parting ways, as I show, with Kant’s purported resolution of IINI, McDowell finds himself impaled upon the first horn of this dilemma. Were he, however, to respond by following Kant to the letter, McDowell would find himself impaled upon the second horn. Thus, I conclude, McDowell’s account of intentionality fails.
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