Theory and History of Ontology ( Raul Corazzon | e-mail:

Annotated bibliography on Franz Brentano: Studies in English, First Part: Gea - Kra

Contents of this Section


  1. Geach, Peter. 1978. "Intentionality of Thought versus Intentionality of Desire." Grazer Philosophische Studien no. 5:131-138.

    Abstract: "The work of Brentano's English contemporary J.E. McTaggart is in several ways profitable for Brentano scholars to study: I here cosider his views on the nature and classification of mental states. In McTaggart's account the characteristic of being a 'cognition', one that some but not all 'cogitations' have, corresponds to Brentano's notion of Anerkennen; quite unlike Brentano, he holds that contrariety obtains only between the contents of judgments, not between contrary acts of affirming and denying; like Brentano however he recognizes contrariety in the realm of emotion and feeling, e.g. between love and hate, pleasure and pain. He regards feelings and emotions as mere colourings of cogitations, and thinks that their relation to an object (intentionality, as Brentano would say) comes about merely from their cogitative aspect. This view is attractively simple; but by considering McTaggart's own view of emotions' being in respect of characteristics of their objects, we can find serious ground to reject it."

  2. Geniusas, Saulius. 2014. "The origins of the phenomenology of pain: Brentano, Stumpf and Husserl." Continental Philosophy Review no. 47:1-17.

    Abstract: "The following investigation aims to determine the historical origins of the phenomenology of pain. According to my central thesis, these origins can be traced back to an enthralling discussion between Husserl and two of his most important teachers, Brentano and Stumpf. According to my reconstruction of this discussion, while Brentano defended the view that all feelings, including pain, are intentional experiences, and while Stumpf argued that pain is a non-intentional feeling-sensation, Husserl of the Logical Investigations provides compelling resources to resolve the polemic between his teachers by showing how pain can be conceived as a pre-intentional experience. According to my argument, this largely forgotten discussion is of significance not only because it enriches our understanding of pain, but also because it modifies the phenomenological conception of consciousness.Thus in the concluding section, I show why the Husserlian resolution of the controversy between Brentano and Stumpf is of importance for our understanding of the central phenomenological theme—intentionality."

  3. George, Rolf. 1978. "Brentano's Relation to Aristotle." Grazer Philosophische Studien no. 5:249-266.

    Abstract: "The paper tries to illustrate the influence of Aristotle's thought upon Brentano by arguing that the view that all psychological phenomena have objects was proably derived from the Aristotelian conception that the mind can know itself only en parergo, and that this knowledge presupposes that some other thing be in the mind "objectively". Brentano's contribution to Aristotle scholarship is illustrated by reviewing some of his arguments against Zeller's claim that Aristotle's God, contemplating only himself, is ignorant of the world. The paper concludes with an attempt to explain the relative neglect into which Brentano's exegetical efforts have fallen."

  4. George, Rolf, and Kohen, Glen. 2001. "Brentano’s relation to Aristotle." In The Cambridge Companion to Brentano, edited by Jacquette, Dale, 20-44. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    "To conclude: Brentano’s way of philosophizing and treating the history of the subject really does represent a renewal of style and substance, a more scientific attitude, a profound change from the obscurities of German Idealism.

    There are few writers for whom Aristotle was more alive. And even if his interpretations are often speculative and daring, his manner of arguing for them is always challenging, demanding a kind of active involvement that cautious historical accounts seldom manage to produce." (pp. 41-42)

  5. Gilson, Étienne. 1939. "Franz Brentano's interpretation of mediaeval philosophy." Mediaeval Studies no. 1:1-10.

    Reprinted in: Linda McAlister (ed:), The Philosophy of Brentano, pp. 56-67.

    "The section of J.A. Möhler’s History of the Church that deals with the history of the ecclesiastical sciences during the Middle Ages, has been compiled from the posthumous notes of Möhler, by Franz Brentano, then a Catholic priest and a professor at the German University of Wurzburg.(2) As is usually the case in general histories, Brentano’s chapter is a rather short one, but it gives a clear account of what was then known on the subject. Its main interest however does not lie in its remarkable clarity and general accuracy, but rather in the philosophical interpretation of the evolution of medieval thought which it propounds. As will be seen later, there are good reasons to think that the responsible author for that interpretation was not Möhler, but Brentano." (p. 1)

    (2) The History of the Church of J.-A. Möhler will be quoted from the French translation: J.-A. Möhler, Histoire de I'Eglise, trans. P. Belet and published by Gams (3 vols, Paris 1868—9). Interesting details on the history of the book will be found inthe Preface of Gams. The chapter on the History of ecclesiastical sciences is in vol. 2, pp. 467-520. In the German edition of Möhler’s Kirchengeschichte, the chapter written by Brentano will be found in vol. 2, pp. 526-84.

  6. Gilson, Lucie. 1976. "Franz Brentano on Science and Philosophy." In The Philosophy of Brentano, edited by McAlister, Linda Lopez, 68-79. London: Duckworth.

    Translated from the French by Linda L. McAlister and Margarete Schättle. Reprinted from Revue Internationale de Philosophie, vol. 20, no. 78 (1966), pp. 416-33.

    "Can philosophy be saved, and, if so, how? A consideration of these questions marks the starting point of Brentano’s work, and the desire to bring about the salvation of philosophy is his principal motivation. It is this desire that inspired the first and fourth of his habilitation theses which he defended in a public disputation at the University of Wurzburg one hundred years ago. In the first thesis he stated: ‘Philosophy must protest against the distinction between speculative and exact sciences; and the justification for this protest is philosophy’s very right to existence.’(2) His urth thesis read: ‘The true method of philosophy is none other than that of the natural sciences.'"

    (2) See Über die Zukunft der Philosophie, ed. Oskar Kraus (Leipzig, 1929), p. 136 (Latin text) and p. 137 (German text).

  7. Girard, Charles. 2021. "Reflexivity Without Noticing: Durand of Saint-Pourçain, Walter Chatton, Brentano." Topoi no. 41:111-121.

    Abstract: "According to Franz Brentano, every mental act includes a representation of itself. Hence, Brentano can be described as maintaining that: (T1) reflexivity, when it occurs, is included as a part in mental acts; and (T2) reflexivity always occurs.

    Brentano’s way of understanding the inclusion of reflexivity in mental acts (T1) entails double intentionality in mental acts. The aim of this paper is to show that the conjunction of (T1) and (T2) is not uncommon in the history of philosophy.

    To that end, the theories of two medieval thinkers, namely, Walter Chatton and Durand of Saint-Pourçain, are presented.

    The repeated conjunction of (T1) and (T2) paves the way for a more general distinction than that between subjectivist and objectivist theories of reflexivity, namely, one between automatic theories of reflexivity (where noticing is not required for reflexivity) and apperceptive theories of reflexivity (where noticing is required for reflexivity)."

  8. Giustina, Anna. 2017. "Conscious Unity from the Top Down: A Brentanian Approach." The Monist no. 100:15-36.

    Abstract: "Many contemporary views on unity of consciousness adopt a bottom-up approach: a subject has several conscious experiences at a time, which are unified in virtue of a special relationship. In this paper I explore an alternative, top-down approach, according to which (to a first approximation) a subject has one single conscious experience at a time. I present three top-down approaches: Priority unity monism, Existence unity monism, and Brentanian unity monism.

    The first two are defined in analogy with the homonymous metaphysical theories of object composition. Brentanian monism retraces Franz Brentano’s view on unity of consciousness, and is defined by appeal to some of his mereological ideas. I argue that the latter is the best top-down approach to unity of consciousness."

  9. ———. 2023. "Introspective acquaintance: An integration account." European Journal of Philosophy:380-397.

    Abstract: "In this paper, I develop a new version of the acquaintance view of the nature of introspection of phenomenal states. On the acquaintance view, when one introspects a current phenomenal state of one's, one bears to it the relation of introspective acquaintance. Extant versions of the acquaintance view neglect what I call the phenomenal modification problem. The problem, articulated by Franz Brentano in his Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint, is that drawing introspective attention to one's current conscious experience may modify its phenomenology. Failing to take phenomenal modification into account affects the adequacy of extant versions of the acquaintance view. The purpose of this paper is to develop a better version, the integration account, that meets the phenomenal modification challenge while preserving the merits of other versions."

  10. Gonzáles Porta, Mario Ariel. 2019/20. "Brentano and his School on the Psychological Method." Brentano Studien no. 16:37-68.

    Abstract: "The standard expositions of Brentano’s philosophical antecedents went no further than to recall his Aristotelian background and, against this backdrop, to indicate his assimilation of English empiricism, including John Stuart Mill, and of French positivism, primarily Comte. In recent times, this perspective has begun to be reappraised. In what follows, I propose to contribute to this reappraisal process by concentrating on the relations existing between the Brentanian program and the Germanic tradition of the “psychological method”."

  11. Grossmann, Reinhardt. 1960. "Acts and Relations in Brentano." Analysis no. 21:1-5.

    "When I think of John as thinking of Paris, there is therefore still only one mental substance which is now modified in two ways, and not, as one may perhaps think, two arrows pointing at John and Paris, respectively: one, if I may so put it, pointing from myself to John thinking of Paris, the other, from John's self to Paris. The only difference between thinking of a relational property and thinking of a non-relational property consists in the fact that in the former case the thinker's self is modified in two ways, while in the latter there is only one. But whether acts are relational or not in the usual sense, does not at all depend on how we think of them. Brentano, it seems, confuses a philosophical question, namely, the nature of relations, with a psychological one, namely, how we think about them; or, if not, then he answers two different questions. He asserts, first, that there are no relations and that acts in particular are properties. He asserts, second, that, psycho- logically speaking, one thinks of act-properties in a certain way, namely, the way in which one thinks of all his so-called relational properties. Hence he has not been able to show that one can deny the existence of relational acts and at the same time solve the problem of how selves are connected with other selves and independent material things." (p. 5)

  12. ———. 1962. "Brentano's Ontology: A Reply to Mr. Kamitz." Analysis no. 23:20-24.

    "In a recent article, Mr. Kamitz claims that I misrepresented the views of Brentano.(1) He then goes on to correct my alleged errors. Before I examine his corrections, a general remark may be appropriate. It was not my intention to expound Brentano's views in detail. This is of course impossible in five pages. Nor did I use or even mention Brentano's own terminology. Rather, I tried to offer an analysis of some of Brentano's crucial ideas in my own words." (p. 20)


    "(4) Finally, Mr. Kamitz claims that I am unjustified in saying that Brentano confused the two questions "What is a relation?" and " How do we think about relations ? ", because Brentano proved that there are no relations. But I did not just say that Brentano confused the two questions. What I said was that either he confused the questions or, if he didn't, he answered two different questions. Brentano asserted, first, that there are no relations. He asserted, second, that, psychologically speaking, one thinks of all his so called " relational properties " in a certain way. Hence I stated a disjunction. And Mr. Kamitz' statement that Brentano proved that there are no relations shows that this disjunction is true." (pp. 23-24)

  13. ———. 1969. "Non-existent objects: recent work on Brentano and Meinong." American Philosophical Quarterly no. 6:17-32.

    "There are two problems which must be faced.

    First, what are ideas as contrasted with senseimpressions?

    Secondly, how are they related to their objects? Brentano's school, I submit, gave the correct answer to the first question, but did not find a satisfactory answer to the second. More accurately, it was a student of Brentano's, K. Twardowski, who had the right idea. Every mental act, he held, has two sides: it is an act of a certain kind, say, a judgment or a representation (Vorstellung), and it also has a so-called content, say, the content expressed by the sentence "This is red."(11)

    The sharp distinction between a mental act, its kind, and its content is one of the most outstanding achievements of Brentano's school.(12) Bergmann, in his book [Realism: A Critique of Brentano and Meinong (Madison, The University of Wisconsin Press, 1967)], says everything that needs to be said about this distinction and its importance.(13)

    But this leaves us with the second and more formidable problem: How are contents of mental acts related to what they intend? We need not worry about the general problem of the existence of relations; the shackles of Aristotelian ontology do not hamper us. But not all mental acts-and hence not all contents-intend existents. We see things that are not there and we believe things that are not so. How can such mental acts intend anything?

    There is nothing there for them to be related to or connected with. On the other hand, the mind is not just blank, if I may put it so, when one has an hallucination or clings to a mistaken belief. Even non-veridical mental acts seem to intend something; and we can tell what they intend. Actually, we know what our mental acts intend before we know whether or not their intentions exist. I am convinced that if there is a key-issue of the realism-idealism controversy, it is the issue raised by these and similar considerations. Bergmann agrees with this assessment. He shows in painstaking detail that and how Brentano's school contributed to the discussion of the problem of non-existent objects.

    And we also agree that no one from that school found the right solution." (p. 20)

    (11) See K. Twardowski, Zur Lehre vom lnhalt und Gegenstand der Vorstellungen (Wien, 1894) .

    (12) It can be found, for example, both in Meinong and in Husserl.

    (13) Bergmann's exposition is flawed by a small but persistent mistake in his own ontology. He says that a mental act is a state of affairs. In general, he thinks of ordinary things like chairs and tables as states of affairs. This, I believe, is wrong. A mental act or a chair is not a state of affairs, but rather what Bergmann calls a particular and what I would prefer to call an individual thing. Such individual things must be distinguished from properties, states of affairs, and other categorial kinds. Bergmann's mistake, though, is slight because he acknowledges all the relevant ontological kinds, if I may put it so. He merely "identifies" ordinary things with the wrong kind, namely, states of affairs rather than with the right kind, namely, individual things (particulars).

  14. Gyemant, Maria. 2017. "Contrasting Two Ways of Making Psychology: Brentano and Freud." Axiomathes no. 27:491-501.

    Abstract: "Brentano’s views on psychology influenced the way philosophy was made at the beginning of the 20th century. But did this influence spread as far as to give place to Freud’s revolutionary discovery of the psychoanalytical unconscious?

    There are reasons to believe that Brentano had a profound influence on Freud. An attentive analysis of Freud’s vocabulary as well as his arguments against ‘‘philosophical’’ objections supports this point rather convincingly. However, Freud was not a philosopher and Brentano’s historical influence does not suffice to transform the Freudian unconscious in a philosophical concept. It is the purpose of this paper to sketch a way to make a philosophical use of Freud’s unconscious by reconstructing the dialogue between Brentano and Freud on a conceptual level. Despite the explicit critique of the unconscious that we find in Brentano’s Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint, I show that Freud never truly opposed Brentano. He rather took Brentano’s descriptive psychology a step further: he introduced a dynamic component to the analysis of the psyche that is complementary to Brentano’s descriptive psychology and could be considered a type of genetic psychology."

  15. Haldane, John. 1989. "Brentano's Problem." Grazer Philosophische Studien no. 35:1-32.

    Abstract: "Contemporary writers often refer to 'Brentano's Problem' meaning by this the issue of whether all intentional phenomena can be accounted for in terms of a materialist ontology. This, however, was not the problem of intentionality which concerned Brentano himself. Rather, the difficulty which he identified is that of how to explain the very contentfulness of mental states, and in particular their apparently relational character. This essay explores something of Brentano's own views on this issue and considers various other recent approaches. It then examines the scholastic doctrine of 'intentional inexistence' in the version associated with Aquinas, according to which content is explained by reference to the occurrence in esse intentionale of the very same features (forms) as contribute to the constitution of extra-mental reality. Various interpretations and aspects of this view are considered and a version of it is commended as providing a plausible solution to Brentano's problem."

  16. Hao, Liu. 2019/20. "Brentano's Two Stages of Intentionality in the Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint." Brentano Studien no. 16.

    Abstract: "This paper deals with Brentano’s notion of intentionality, aiming to ela- borate on the puzzles surrounding it: the distinction between mental and physical phenomena, how to interpret intentional in-existence, the non- existent object, and the implication of “in” in “in-existence” . Meanwhile, Brentano’s notion of intentionality varies in his two stages of PES . The change Brentano made in the second stage, I think, results from the con- fusion between content and object in the first stage. Based on these, this paper provides a comprehensive and dynamic picture of Brentano’s topic of intentionality."

  17. Hart, James G. 2012. "Individuality of the" I": Brentano and Today." Journal of Speculative Philosophy no. 26:232-246.


    The Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP), as a fifty-year-old movement of both phenomenologically and existentially disposed philosophers, may regard Franz Brentano (1838–1917) as at least a grandfather. For many SPEP members, including myself until very recently, Brentano has been known in a rather vague and inauthentic empty intention merely as the teacher of Husserl, foremost in regard to some aspects of the doctrine of intentionality. Upon closer inspection this is pitifully shortsighted, and I have come to believe that the phenomenologist’s lineage to the grandfather is not to be forgotten and that retrieving it may bring out not only differences but surprising enrichments that will emerge through wrestling with the differences. As merely one example, I want to discuss Brentanian propositions regarding the individuality of the I." (p. 232, a note omitted)

  18. Hedwig, Klaus. 1979. "Intention: Outlines for the History of a Phenomenological Concept." Philosophy and Phenomenological Research no. 39:326-340.

    "Brentano made only short reference to the scholastic concept of intentio.(1) In its philosophical implications, however, this reference rendered possible a new interpretation of reality which has subsequently become one of the main themes of phenomenological philosophy. On the other hand, the terminological parallels with the scholastic use of the concept of intention and its partial dependence on an Aristotelian problem generally conceal that Brentano referred to a very limited version of the late medieval discussion on intentionality a limitation which is at least partially responsible for the radical reformulation of this concept in Brentano's later writings." (p. 326)

    (1) Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt, Leipzig 1924, I, p. 124. Cf. K. Hedwig, "Der scholastische Kontext des Intentionalen bei Brentano," Grazer Phil. Studien (1978).

  19. ———. 1987. "Brentano's Hermeneutics." Topoi no. 6:3-10.

    "It is surpnsmg and often even puzzling to see that Brentano, who in his own scientific work strictly insisted on the return to "experience", to the "empirical standpoint" and the "exact method" of natural science, was for the whole of his life occupied with historical texts - from the young student who wrote numerous notes on Aristotle(1) to the old man, who was no longer able to read but who listened to texts read to him, who was no longer able to write but who dictated his extremely subtle philosophical reflections, which are interwoven with numerous historical quotations.(2) While considering any of these texts, one is surprised by the actual relevance of historical references. It seems as if Brentano did not understand history in a historical sense, nor the past as past, but as "now" relevant. History is obviously preceded by a theory of history or, as Brentano says, by a "philosophy of the history of philosophy".(3) Historical hermeneutics is part of philosophy itself." (p. 3)

    (1) The Nachlass contains 159 Mss on Aristotle. Brentano developed his hermeneutical theories mainly in contrast to E. Zeller (cf. Note 52), but also in the context of his own studies on Aristotle; cf. Ms. A20: Aristoteles' Terminologie; Ms. A2: Grundzüge fiir die Interpretation grosser philosophischer Denker, insbesondere des Aristoteles; Ms. A154: Zur Methode Aristotelischer Studien und zur Methodik geschichtlicher Forschung auf philosophischem Gebiet iiberhaupt. -- The quotations follow the Meiner editions of Brentano's works and the Catalogue of Manuscripts established by F. Mayer-Hillebrand and revised by W. Baumgartner.

    (2) In his last dictation (9 March 1917) on Anschauung und abstrakte Vorstellung Brentano refers to Aristotle, Leibniz, Berkeley, Newton, Clarke, Kant, Euler, and Schopenhauer.

    (3) This is the title of several Seminarübungen held at Vienna (SS 1878; SS 1880; SS 1883). A fragment of this text is included in Ms. H45: Gesch. d. Phil. (25248-25252).

  20. Heller Britto, Arthur. 2019/20. "Brentanian Continua and their Boundaries." Brentano Studien no. 16:157-194.

    Abstract: "Just as mathematicians were constructing the set-theoretical topological conceptions that permeate contemporary mathematical and scientific thinking, Brentano was also thinking about the subject but from a more traditional Aristotelian perspective that could not be fully harmonized with the mathematical approach. In this paper, we attempt to reconstruct Brentano’s account of continua and their boundaries, which is his response to the set-theoretical topology of his time, as well as comment on other such attempts by previous authors."

  21. Henry, Desmond Paul. 1993. "Brentano and Some Medieval Mereologists." Brentano Studien no. 4:25-34.

    "Discussion of what Brentano calls the 'strange arithmetic' involved in the connumeration of overlapping objects is also to be found in Abelard, John Wyclif, and in Leibniz. Brentano's divergence from the commonly-held medieval distinction between X-part and part-of-X may be partially explained by his adherence to a theory of body resembling that which occurs in a twelfth-century compendium of Porretan logic."

  22. Hickerson, Ryan. 2007. The History of Intentionality: Theories of Consciousness from Brentano to Husserl. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.

    Chapter 1: What was Brentano's Problem? Physical phenomena in Psychology from Empirical Standpoint, pp. 21-44.

    "In order to understand that claim, what has come to be known as 'Brentano's Thesis' (also sometimes called the 'Intentional Thesis' or the ' Intentionalist Thesis'), we need only three basic concepts: the mental, the physical, and intentionality. Everything mental is intentional, and nothing physical is intentional, says the Brentanian.


    "The task of this chapter will be a direct interpretation of the most neglected of these three basic concepts, proper accounting for which upsets now-standard readings of the other two. I argue below that Brentanian physical phenomena are not merely phenomenal quaJities or mentaJ entities, but are instead robustly physical, i.e. we should take Brentano at his word when he labelled them 'physicaJ'. The upshot is attributing to Brentano a somewhat older understanding of the physicaJ, one that he inherited from the positivism of Auguste Comte, and that will return him to the fold of fin-de-siècle phenomenalisms. But I wiJI aJso argue that this does not vitiate Brentano's basic commitment to a kind of physicalism, because Brentano did not treat these physical facts as mind dependent. In addition to treating physical phenomena as mental contents, Brentano treated them as psychophysical causes. This pairing of theses, part and parcel of Brentano's 'empirical standpoints', results in a rather severe theoreticaJ problem: integrating sensible contents with judgeable contents. But this problem, Brentano's (actual) problem is quite different from what has come to be known as ' Brentano's Problem '.

    I will deny a ubiquitous misreading of Brentano as an immanentist, i.e. someone who treated physical phenomena as existing only within the mind. I do so not to rehabilitate Brentano's reputation, so much as try to set the record straight." (p. 22)

  23. Hossack, Keith. 2006. "Reid and Brentano on consciousness." In The Austrian Contribution to Analytic Philosophy, edited by Textor, Mark, 36-63. New York: Routledge.

    "Among the principal philosophical problems that any satisfactory account of consciousness has to address are the following three. First, the problem of qualitative character: do experiences have intrinsic nonrepresentational properties, namely qualia, which determine what the experience is like for the subject of the experience? Second, the problem of the necessity of co-occurrence: why is it that, necessarily, an experience and the consciousness of it co-occur, i.e. necessarily either both are present together, or both are absent together? Third, the problem of introspection: what account should be given of the introspective knowledge one has of one’s own current experiences?

    In this chapter I discuss the contributions of Thomas Reid and Franz Brentano to these three problems. There is a fundamental similarity between their accounts of consciousness, for they both endorsed an ‘Identity Theory’, according to which an experience, and the consciousness of the experience, involve only a single mental event. But although they both subscribed to the Identity Theory, they meant different things by it. For the Scottish philosopher of common sense, consciousness was a species of knowledge; but for the Austrian founder of phenomenology, consciousness was the same thing as appearance.

    This is a fundamental difference between their two approaches: taking knowledge as the central concept in the philosophy of mind tends to promote philosophical realism; taking appearance as the central concept risks anti-realism and idealism. I shall be suggesting that Reid’s more realist approach is to be preferred to Brentano’s, since it does a better job of solving the three problems of consciousness." (p. 36)

  24. Huemer, Wolfgang. 2018. "“Vera philosophiae methodus nulla alia nisi scientiae naturalis est” Brentano’s conception of philosophy as rigorous science." Brentano Studien no. 16:53-72.

    Abstract: "Brentano’s conception of scientific philosophy had a strong influence on his students and on the intellectual atmosphere of Vienna in the late nineteenth century. The aim of this article is to expose Brentano’s conception and to contrast his views with that of two traditions he is said to have considerably influenced: phenomenology and analytic philosophy. I will shed light on the question of how and to what extent Brentano’s conception of philosophy as a rigorous science has had an impact on these two traditions. The discussion will show that both took their liberties in the interpretation of the thesis, a move that allowed them to liberate themselves from Brentano’s inheritance and to fully develop their own philosophical positions."

  25. ———. 2019. "Is Brentano's Method a Unifying Element of the Brentano School?" Rivista di Filosofia Neo-Scolastica:897-910.

    Abstract: "Among historians of philosophy it is often taken for granted that the «Brentano school» was one of the influential philosophical movements at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century – but Brentano’s own contributions are often eclipsed by that of his direct students. This invites to reflect on the nature of and the unity within the school. Since Brentano’s conception of a rigorous, scientific philosophy had a strong impact on his students, it has been argued that this conception constitutes a unifying element in an otherwise heterogeneous group. The scope of this article is to shed light on this thesis and to show its limits. I argue for a differentiated view: the Brentano school is best seen not as a compact movement, but as a heterogeneous group of scholars who approached, in a given historical and geographical period, similar topics in very similar ways."

  26. ———. 2021. "Was Brentano a Systematic Philosopher?" In The Philosophy of Brentano: Contributions from the Second International Conference Graz 1977 & 2017, in Memory of Rudolf Haller, edited by Antonelli, Mauro and Binder, Thomas, 11-27. Leiden: Brill Rodopi.

    "In the following, I will discuss whether this qualifies Brentano’s philosophical position as a “grand system” from which one could deduce a profound and informative answer to any serious philosophical roblem.(1) I will pay particular attention to two aspects: Brentano’s view that philosophy should be done in a rigorous, scientific manner and the fragmentary character of Brentano’s work. I will argue that both aspects stand in contrast to the very idea of system-philosophy: the maxim that philosophy should adopt the method of the natural sciences was intended by Brentano as a way of distancing himself from system-philosophy; while the fragmentary character of Brentano’s work does not fulfill the aspiration of system-philosophy to provide an answer to everything. Yet, the incompleteness of his work is not an arbitrary or contingent aspect; it is rather a necessary side-effect of his methodological views." (pp. 11-12)

    (1) The modification “profound and informative” seems necessary, or else Wittgenstein’s early position would qualify as a philosophical system, as the picture theory of the Tractatus provides a unified account of the true, the good, and the beautiful, which, however, is not (and does even not intend to be) very profound or informative, at least not with regard to the latter two concepts, as it merely consists in the thesis that statements in ethics and aesthetics are meaningless.

  27. Huemer, Wolfgang, and Landerer, Christoph. 2010. "Mathematics, experience and laboratories: Herbart’s and Brentano’s role in the rise of scientific psychology." History of the Human Science no. 23:72-94.

    Abstract: "In this article we present and compare two early attempts to establish psychology as an independent scientific discipline that had considerable influence in central Europe: the theories of Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776–1841) and Franz Brentano (1838–1917).

    While both of them emphasize that psychology ought to be conceived as an empirical science, their conceptions show revealing differences. Herbart starts with metaphysical principles and aims at mathematizing psychology, whereas Brentano rejects all metaphysics and bases his method on a conception of inner perception (as opposed to inner observation) as a secondary consciousness, by means of which one gets to be aware of all of one’s own conscious phenomena. Brentano’s focus on inner perception brings him to deny the claim that there could be unconscious mental phenomena – a view that stands in sharp contrast to Herbart’s emphasis on unconscious, ‘repressed’ presentations as a core element of his mechanics of mind.

    Herbart, on the other hand, denies any role for psychological experiments, while Brentano encouraged laboratory work, thus paving the road for the more experimental work of his students like Stumpf and Meinong. By briefly tracing the fate of the schools of Herbart and Brentano, respectively, we aim to illustrate their impact on the development of psychological research, mainly in central Europe."

  28. Ierna, Carlo. 2014. "Making the Humanities Scientific: Brentano’s Project of Philosophy as Science." In The Making of the Humanities: Volume III: The Modern Humanities, edited by Bod, Rens, Maat, Jaap and Weststeijn, Thijs, 543-554. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

    "On July 14, 1866, Brentano stepped up to the pulpit to defend his thesis that‘the true method of philosophy is none other than that of the natural sciences’.(21)

    This thesis became the north star of his school, rallying his first students to his flag,(22) and remained a central and lasting concern for many of them.(23) This thesis is part of a greater whole and actually follows from another thesis, namely that: ‘Philosophy must deny that the sciences can be divided into the speculative and the exact; because if this is not correctly denied, then philosophy itself would have no right to exist’.(24) Here a more general claim is made about the nature of science and philosophy: there is just one kind of science and philosophy is part of it. Philosophy is not done by speculative construction, but by humble, detailed investigation.(25) As Brentano told his students some years later: ‘We are taking the first steps toward the renewal of philosophy as science’, not by conjuring up ‘proud systems’ out of thin air, but by humbly ‘cultivating fallow scientific ground’.(26) Thus Brentano instilled in his students a strong sense of scientific rigor and his students did not consider themselves to practice ‘armchair philosophies’, but to do science." (p. 545)

    (22) The expression comes from a letter of Carl Stumpf to Brentano from 1892, quoted in Oskar Kraus, Franz Brentano. Zur Kenntnis seines Lebens und seiner Lehre (Munich: Beck, 1919), 19. Also see Carl Stumpf, ‘Erinnerungen an Franz Brentano’, in Kraus, Franz Brentano, 88.

    (23) About this thesis, see Dale Jacquette, ‘Brentano’s Scientific Revolution in Philosophy’, The Southern Journal of Philosophy 40 (2002), and Robin Rollinger, Austrian Phenomenology: Brentano, Husserl, Meinong and Others on Mind and Object, Phenomenology & Mind (Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag, 2008), 3.

    (24) Brentano, ‘Die Habilitationsthesen’, in Über die Zukunft der Philosophie, 136-137.

    (25) Poli, ‘Introduction’, in The Brentano Puzzle, 7, and Roberto Poli, ‘At the Origin of Analytic Philosophy’, Aletheia (1994).

    (26) Franz Brentano, ‘Über Schellings Philosophie’, in Über die Zukunft der Philosophie, 131; Wilhelm Baumgartner, ‘Nineteenth-Century Würzburg: The Development of the Scientific Approach to Philosophy’, in Roberto Poli (ed.), In Itinere: European Cities and the Birth of Modern Scientific Philosophy (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1997), 86.

  29. ———. 2015. "Improper Intentions of Ambiguous Objects: Sketching a New Approach to Brentano’s Intentionality." Brentano Studien:55–80.

    "In this article I will begin by discussing recent criticism, by Mauro Antonelli and Werner Sauer of the ontological interpretation of Franz Brentano’s concept of intentionality, as formulated by i.a. Roderick Chisholm. I will then outline some apparent inconsistencies of the positions advocated by Antonelli and Sauer with Brentano’s formulations of his theory in several works and lectures. This new evaluation of (unpublished) sources will then lead to a sketch of a new approach to Brentano’s theory of intentionality. Specifically, it will be argued that the notion of “intentional object” is inherently and unavoidably ambiguous in every act of external perception, due to the fact that we can only have improper intentions directed at the external world." (p. 55)

  30. ———. 2021. "Brentano as a Logicist." In The Philosophy of Brentano: Contributions from the Second International Conference Graz 1977 & 2017, in Memory of Rudolf Haller, edited by Antonelli, Mauro and Binder, Thomas, 301-311. Leiden: Brill Rodopi.

    "In the present contribution I would like to make three related claims: 1) There was an original and shared philosophy of mathematics in the School of Brentano; 2) In the School of Brentano mathematics was considered as the paradigmatic and foundational science, and more specifically as deductive, analytic, and a priori; 3) Brentano founds the concept of number on elementary logical operations, i.e. Brentano was a logicist. I will concentrate mainly on the third claim, using the other two as background and support." (p. 301)

  31. Jacquette, Dale. 1990/1991. "The Origins of Gegenstandstheorie: Immanent and Transcendent Intentional Objects in Brentano, Twardowski, and Meinong." Brentano Studien no. 3:177-202.

    "The origins of object theory in the philosophical psychology and semantics of Alexius Meinong and the Graz school can be traced both to the insight and failure of Franz Brentano's immanent objectivity or intentional in-existence thesis. The immanence thesis is documented, together with its critical reception in Alois Höfler's Logik, Twardowski's Zur Lehre vom Inhalt und Gegenstand der Vorstellungen, and Meinong's mature Gegenstandstheorie, in which immanent thought content and transcendent intentional object are distinguished, and Brentano's thesis of immanent intentionality as the mark of the mental is reinterpreted to imply that only content is the immanently intentional component of presentations. Brentano's thought from the early immanence thesis through the so-called Immanenzkrise and his later reism is explored against the background of his students' reactions to the original 1874 intentionality thesis and its idealist implications, in the emergence of Meinong's object theory and Edmund Husserl's transcendental phenomenology. Finally, Brentano's reism in the later ontology is critically examined, as his solution to ontic problems of immanent intentionality, limiting intentional objects to transcendent concrete particulars."

  32. ———. 2001. "Brentano's concept of intentionality." In The Cambridge Companion to Brentano, edited by Jacquette, Dale, 98-130. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    "Among Brentano’s most important and philosophically influential achievements is his thesis of the intentionality of mind. To say that thought is intentional is to say that it intends or is about something, that it aims at or is directed upon an intended object. Intentionality is thus the aboutness of thought, the relation whereby a psychological state intends or refers to an intended object." (p. 98)


    "The intentionality thesis holds out the prospect of understanding the essential nature of thought. If Brentano is right, then an intentionalist metaphysics of mind distinguishes psychological from nonpsychological or extrapsychological phenomena. This, unsurprisingly, is precisely how Brentano proposes to apply the concept of intentionality, which he significantly describes as “the mark of the mental.(2)" (p. 99)

    (2) See Psychologie from empirischen Standpunkt §5; especially, pp. 115–17.

  33. ———. 2001. "Introduction: Brentano's philosophy." In The Cambridge Companion to Brentano, edited by Jacquette, Dale, 1-19. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    "Brentano is among the most important yet under-appreciated philosophers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He led an intellectual revolution that sought to reverse what was then the prevalent post-Kantian trend of German-Austrian philosophy in the direction of an Aristotelian scientific methodology. At the same time, he made valuable contributions to philosophical psychology, metaphysics, ontology, value theory, epistemology, the reform of syllogistic logic, philosophical theology and theodicy, and the history of philosophy and philosophical methodology." (p. 1)

  34. ———. 2002. "Brentano’s Scientific Revolution in Philosophy." The Southern Journal of Philosophy no. 40:193-221.

    "The standard, and by now almost cliché, description of Brentano as an Aristotelian empiricist doing battle with post-Kantian transcendentalism ignores what I find genuinely philosophically revolutionary-and, in the same measure, philosophically risky-about Brentano’s philosophy.

    The truly revolutionary aspect of Brentano’s thought is its attempt to make individual internal first-person a posteriori phenomenological experience the empirical basis for inductive reasoning in support of universal a priori propositions in philosophical psychology. In turn, these are supposed to uphold all of metaphysics and ontology, as well as logic, epistemology, value theory, and the social sciences. The idea that a scientific psychology must be both empirical and a priori is a requirement Brentano consistently makes, beginning with the foreward to the 1874 edition of Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt, where he writes: “My psychological standpoint is empirical; experience alone is my teacher. Yet I share with other thinkers the conviction that this is entirely compatible with a certain ideal point of view.(6)"

    (6) Franz Brentano, Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint [1924; originally 1874 and 1911, edited by Oskar Kraus; English edition by Linda L. McAlister, translated by Antos C. Rancurello, D. B. Terrell, and Linda L. McAlister (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1973, xxvii. (...)

  35. ———, ed. 2004. The Cambridge Companion to Brentano. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Contents: List of contributors XIII; Acknowledgments XVII; List of abbreviations XVIII; Chronology XX-XXII; 1. Dale Jacquette: Introduction: Brentano's philosophy 1; 2. Rolf George and Glen Koehn: Brentano's relation to Aristotle 20; 3. Peter Simons: Judging correctly: Brentano and the reform of elementary logic 45; 4. Kevin Mulligan: Brentano on the mind 66; 5. Dale Jaquette: Brentano's concept of intentionality 98; 6. Joseph Margolis: Reflections on intentionality 131; 7. Linda L. McAlister: Brentano's epistemology 149; 8. Charles Parsons: Brentano on judgment and truth 168; 9. Arkadiusz Chrudzimski and Barry Smith: Brentano's ontology: from conceptualism to reism 197; 10. Wilhelm Baumgartner and Lynn Pasquerella: Brentano's value theory: beauty, goodness, and the concept of correct emotion 220; 11. Susan F. Krantz Gabriel: Brentano on religion and natural theology 237; 12. Robin D. Rollinger: Brentano and Husserl 255; 13. Karl Schuhmann: Brentano's impact on twentieth-century philosophy 277; Bibliography 298; Index 316-322.

  36. ———. 2012. "Brentano on Aristotle’s Categories: First Philosophy and the Manifold Senses of Being." In Franz Brentano's Metaphysics and Psychology, edited by Tănăsescu, Ion, 53-94. Bucharest: Zeta Books.

    "Brentano’s 1862 dissertation, Von der mannigfachen Bedeutung des Seienden nach Aristoteles, is a scholarly historical study and philosophical consideration of Aristotle’s theory of categories.(1)

    The categories in Aristotle’s first philosophy, as Brentano interprets them, are the mutually independent predicates of being at the highest levels of generality, in the variety of ways in which we speak about being. If correctly identified, the categories should correspond exactly to the multiple modes of existence or ways of being that are available to primary substances in the actual world as Aristotle conceptualizes them. As such, they are the categories not only of our predicative thoughts, but of the real existence of primary substances.

    Aristotle’s categories accordingly constitute the rock bottom of his first philosophy. They are his ontology, built on the Greek word “ontos” for “being”; or, better, melding “ousia” as Aristotle’s Greek term for ‘substance’, they are the fundamental concepts of his ousiology." (pp. 53-54)

    (1) Brentano, Franz (1862): Von der mannigfachen Bedeutung des Seienden nach Aristoteles. Freiburg im Breisgau: Herder’sche Verlagshandlung; (ed. and trans.) George, Rolf (1975): On the Several Senses of Being in Aristotle. Berkeley: University of California Press (all parenthetical page references to this translation).

  37. ———. 2016. " Brentano’s Signature Contributions to Scientific Philosophy." Brentano Studien no. 14:127-157.

    Abstract: "Brentano’s agreement with the discovery of inner sensation or perception and the faculty of active intellect in Aristotle reflects the exact meaning by which both thinkers regard philosophy and philosophical psychology or philosophy of mind as (externally and internally) empirical and by extension (externally and internally) scientific. Brentano’s psychology is scientific in an Aristotelian sense directly inspired by the arguments of De Anima. It recognizes and builds its explanations on inner as well as outer sense and perception in establishing empirical experiential foundations for knowledge. Aristotelian-Brentanian philosophical psychology avails itself of the mind’s active as well as passive cognitive capabilities in taking the first steps toward a scientific proto-phenomenology. It is in his combined expansively outer and inner empirical psychology of passive and active intellect that Brentano’s signature contributions to an Aristotelian sense of scientific philosophy are most instructively ascertained."

  38. ———. 2019. "Brentano on Aristotle’s Psychology of the Active Intellect." In Aristotelian Studies in 19th Century Philosophy, edited by Hartung, Gerald, King, Colin Guthrie and Rapp, Christof, 149-177. Berlin: de Gruyter.

    Abstract: "One of the battlefields of Aristotelian studies in the 19th century is Aristotle’s theory of the intellect. Franz Brentano’s famous Habilitationsschrift on this topic became very much contested among Aristotle scholars of this time.

    In this chapter Dale Jacquette argues that by this treatise Brentano provides a lasting systematic contribution to a precise problem in the theory of mind: the problem of how the mind generates abstractions from subjectively experienced sense impression and perceptions. One of the surprising results of studying Brentano’s work in this connection is the manner in which his interpretation of Aristotle engages mind-theoretical themes and assumptions from British Empiricism, all while defending Aristotelian metaphysics against such a tradition."

  39. Janoušek, Hynek. 2017. "Consciousness of Judging: Katkov’s Critique of Marty’s State of Affairs and Brentano’s Description of Judgement." In Mind and Language – on the Philosophy of Anton Marty, edited by Taieb, Hamid and Fréchette, Guillaume, 241-260. Berlin: De Gruyter.

    Abstract: "This study presents Katkov’s critique of Marty’s theory of meaning and Brentano’s description of judgemental consciousness. Katkov, a student of Oskar Kraus in Prague, developed an interesting account of a reistic reduction of states of affairs. This reduction is based on Katkov’s transformation of Marty’s theory of the secondary intention of statements (linguistically expressed judgements) and on a further development of Brentano’s theory of judgements. According to Katkov’s theory, all linguistically expressed judgements have to manifest two independent judgements if they are to fulfil the communicative goal of a speaker. The first judgement is a basic acceptance or negation of an object. The second is a higher-order belief in the correctness of the acceptance or negation. Katkov then reduces states of affairs to the consciousness of objective validity, which consists in such a belief in correctness. In this article I first present some features of Katkov’s critique of Marty’s theory of linguistic communication of statements.

    I then offer my own short reply to Katkov’s questions.

    The study concludes by presenting Katkov’s reduction of states of affairs to a complex of beliefs and by questioning Katkov’s description concerning the difference between sensory perception and rational judgement. This difference motivates Katkov’s separation of a basic acceptance or negation on the one side and a separate belief in the correctness of the acceptance or negation on the other."


    Katkov, G. (1930), ‘Bewußtsein, Gegenstand, Sachverhalt. Eine Brentanostudie’, Archiv für die gesamte Psychologie 75(3/4), p. 459–544.

    Katkov, G. (1978), ‘The World in which Franz Brentano Believed He Lived’, Grazer Philosophische Studien 5, p. 11–27.

  40. Kamitz, Reinhard. 1962. "Acts and Relations in Brentano: A Reply to Prof. Grossmann." Analysis no. 22:73 - 78.

    "In the very interesting article by Prof. Reinhardt Grossmann about Brentano's theory of relations(1) there are, in my opinion, some serious errors concerning Brentano's theory which, I feel, ought to be rectified.

    Such a correction first of all calls for a short summary of Brentano's semiotic ideas." (p. 73)


    "Recapitulating what I said about Mr. Grossmann's argument in regard to Brentano's confusion of two different questions, one can finally put it shortly thus; Mr. Grossmann would be quite right, if words such as ' relation ', etc., were autosemantica, i.e. words with a meaning-function of their own, so that one could legitimately demand a definition of the term ' relation '. This, however, is, according to Brentano, not the case. Therefore Mr. Grossmann's argument fails to convince." (p. 78)

    (1) 'Acts and Relations in Brentano', Analysis 21.1, 1960.

  41. ———. 1963. "Acts and Relations in Brentano: A Second Reply to Professor Grossmann." Analysis no. 24:36-41.

    "In a recent article "Brentano's Ontology: A Reply to Mr. Kamitz" (Analysis 23.1, October 1962) Prof. Grossmann tries to prove that my arguments, expressed in Analysis 22.4, are for the most part not only based on a misrepresentation of his own criticism of Brentano, but also on a erroneous representation of Brentano's teaching itself.(2) I now wish to consider Prof. Grossmann's new arguments.


    "Brentano never denied the existence of relational acts, but only—as a result of critical linguistic researches—the existence of Koexistenzrelationen. Prof. Grossmann has overlooked this distinction (as well as the ambiguity of the word 'object') and has therefore been led to false conclusions regarding Brentano's theory of acts and relations." (p. 40, a note omitted)

    (3) For this reason I especially appreciate Prof. Mayer-Hillebrand's willingness to join the discussion in a last word to this article.

    Prof. Franziska Mayer-Hillebrand, of the University of Innsbruck, writes:

    "I cannot here discuss Prof. Grossmann's misinterpretations, nor is it necessary, because Dr. Kamitz has already done so.

    It is because of the great importance of this point that I was ready to add a postscript to this article by Dr. Kamitz, whose opinions on this matter I fully share." (p. 41)

  42. Katkov, George. 1978. "The World in Which Brentano Believed He Lived." Grazer Philosophische Studien no. 5:11-27.

    Abstract: "The first part of this paper gives a summary of some philosophical discoveries of Brentano which affected his outlook on the world in which he lived. The other, lesser part, contains reminiscences of how the philosophical thinking of the man affected his behaviour to the world around him."

  43. Kavanaugh, Leslie. 2008. "Brentano on Space." Footprint no. 3:39-50.

    "At the end of the nineteenth century, Franz Brentano developed a philosophical method that would be a sort of middle way between the idealism inherited from Kant, the ontological gap inherited from Descartes, and a brute materialism advocated primarily by the emerging hegemony of scientific procedure. The question was (and is): What is my relation to the world? Is the world completely ‘out there’ and then a matter of discovery? If this is the case, then a philosophical account needs to be constructed that explains how we can know the world. Is the world, on the other hand, completely ‘in here’, in my mind – the world being a mere representation of sense data? If this is the case, then a philosophical account would still need to explain how the world is constituted in my mind. Both accounts had failed historically. Furthermore, both accounts could not explain the relationship between my ‘mind’ and other ‘minds’. This impasse, this aporia, was the birthplace of phenomenology. (pp. 40-41)

  44. Körner, Stephan. 1987. "On Brentano's Objections to Kant's Theory of Knowledge." Topoi no. 6:11-17.

    Abstract: "The main purpose of this essay is to examine Brentano's rejection of Kant's theory of a priori concepts and synthetic a priori judgments. The essay begins by recalling the views of Descartes and Locke about the acquisition of knowledge, since Brentano regards them as on the whole correct or, at least, as pointing in the right direction and since he regards Kant's epistemology as obscurantist and reactionary (Section 1). There follows a brief characterization of Brentano's conception of knowledge as based on self-evident inner perception and analytic propositions, i.e. propositions which are true ex terminis (Section 2). Next some aspects of Kant's epistemology are compared with corresponding features of Brentano's doctrine (Section 3). In the light of this comparison the validity of Brentano's criticisms is examined (Section 4). In conclusion an independent view of the function of concepts and of their relation to perception is briefly outlined and contrasted with the views of Kant and Brentano (Section 5)."

  45. Kotarbinski, Tadeusz. 1976. "Franz Brentano as Reist." In The Philosophy of Brentano, edited by McAlister, Linda L., 194-203. London: Duckworth.

    Translated from the French by Linda L. McAlister and Margarete Schättle.

    Reprinted from the Revue Internationale de Philosophie vol. 20, no. 78 (1966), pp. 459-76.

    "The term ‘reism’ was coined when I wrote my book on formal logic and the methodology of science entitled Gnosiology, which first appeared in 1929.(2)" (p. 194)


    "At the time I wrote this I was unaware that the scope and substance of this reism had already been formulated and put forth earlier by Franz Brentano, especially in the appendices to the supplement to his major work Psychology From an Empirical Standpoint. This supplement, entitled The Classification of Mental Phenomena appeared in 1911 together with the above-mentioned appendices. In 1924 (Vol. I) and 1925 (Vol. II), after the death of the author the second edition of the complete work appeared, supplemented by new additions, notably by a number of dictations by the author between 1915 and 1917, after he had lost his sight.

    How is it possible that I did not know of Brentano's thought when I wrote my Gnosiology? I was, after all, a student of Professor Kazimierz Twardowski, who was himself a student of Brentano's. There is a very simple explanation of this puzzle. Brentano was not a very faithful follower of his own doctrines; on the contrary, in his later years he completely changed his whole point of view. Therefore his followers went in two different directions: one group continued to work on the typology and the structural analysis of so-called intentional entities which are intangible objects perceived only through the act of thinking; the other group (by adopting the essential sense of the word 'exist') was converted to the belief that things are the only existing objects and, at the same time, are the only things that can be the objects of thought. The second group, Brentano's reist followers, consisted, among others, of Oskar Kraus, editor and annotater of the above-mentioned second edition of the Psychology, and also the editor and annotator of numerous posthumous writings of the master. The first group consisted of Meinong, Husserl and many others, among them Twardowski; his treatise on 'acts and products' shows, above all, that Twardowski firmly maintained a nonreist point of view in the controversy between logic and ontology." (p. 195)

    (2) Elements Teorii Poznania, Logiki Formalnej i Metodologii Nauk (Lvov, 1929; 2nd ed. Wroclaw, Warsaw and Cracow, 1961). English translation, Gnosiology. The Scientific Approach to the Theory of Knowledge, trans. Olgierd Wojtasiewicz, translation ed. G. Bidwell and C. Finder (Oxford and New York, 1966).

  46. Krantz Gabriel, Susan. 2004. "Brentano on religion and natural theology." In The Cambridge Companion to Brentano, edited by Jacquette, Dale, 237-254. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    "Although Brentano broke with organized religion in the late 1870s, he remained a traditional theist all his life and was still writing (by dictation) on subjects in natural theology in 1917."


    "The best way to understand Brentano’s natural theology is to see it in the context of Aristotelian empiricism as modified by the somewhat Cartesian outlook of Brentano’s philosophical psychology." (p. 237)

  47. ———. 2006/2009. "Brentano on Albert the Great’s Summa de creaturis, Concerning the Substantiality of the Soul." Brentano Studien no. 12:357-367.

    Abstract: "Though Brentano’s lectures on medieval philosophy belong to his early period (1864-1873), it is possible to find evidence in them of abiding interests that later developed into his mature thought. The thesis that the soul is a substance, which Brentano noted in the philosophy of Albert the Great, clearly forms the core of Brentano’s later reism. I show how both Brentano’s presentation of the topic, and his interpretation of Albert, as well as his reliance on 19th century historians of philosophy, lead to this conclusion."

  48. ———. 2017. "Brentano on Darwin I: Teleology." Brentano Studien no. 16:361-372.

    Abstract: "In his On the existence of God: Lectures given at the Universities of Würzburg and Vienna (1868–1891), Brentano’s version of the teleological proof of God’s existence receives more attention than his three other proofs do, and within its presentation an analysis of the Darwinian theory of evolution is the main focus . Brentano objected, not to the fact of the evolution of species, but rather to the Darwinian explanation of evolution in terms of random mutation and natural selection . In analyzing Brentano’s objection to Darwin’s explanation of evolution, this article examines his distinction between apparent teleology and real teleology, his commentary on the theory of random chance, and, apartfrom the question of God’s existence, the difficulty in general of accountingfor biological phenomena without recourse to some concept of purpose ."

  49. ———. 2018. "Brentano on Darwin II: Science." Brentano Studien no. 16:143-156.

    Abstract: "In his On the existence of God: Lectures given at the Universities of Würzburg and Vienna (1868-1891), Brentano offers several proofs of God’s existence, of which the teleological proof gets more attention than any other, and within this presentation an analysis of the Darwinian theory of evolution is decidedly prominent. Although Brentano was critical of certain aspects of Darwinism, in particular the apparent denial of purposes in nature, it would be a mistake to conclude that he rejected the science behind the theory of evolution. Rather, in this, as in other areas of scientific research, Brentano was an interested and well-informed student, conversant in and respectful of the scientific developments of his era. This article examines Brentano’s views on the science of evolution, including some of the specific scientific discoveries with which he was familiar, and some of the contemporary scientists whose views he discussed, as these are to be found in his lectures on the existence of God."

  50. ———. 2021. "Brentano on Kant’s Transcendental Idealism." In The Philosophy of Brentano: Contributions from the Second International Conference Graz 1977 & 2017, in Memory of Rudolf Haller, edited by Antonelli, Mauro and Binder, Thomas, 50-70. Leiden: Brill Rodopi.

    "Franz Brentano did not admire Kant’s philosophy. In fact, it would not be overstating the case to say that he held transcendental idealism in contempt. At the same time, it can be persuasively argued that Brentano was indebted to Kant, namely, that some of his views involve or lead to a kind of phenomenological realism. In what follows I shall first examine Brentano’s critique of Kant as it is to be found in his lectures on the existence of God (Brentano, 1987). Then I shall address the question of Brentano’s fairness to Kant. Finally, I shall venture a resulting account of Brentano’s realism." (p. 50, notes omitted)


    Brentano, F. (1987). On the existence of God: Lectures given at the Universities of Würzburg and Vienna (1868–1891), ed. and trans. by S. F. Krantz. The Hague: Nijhoff.

  51. Krantz, Susan. 1988. "Brentano's argument against Aristotle for the immateriality of the soul." Brentano Studien no. 1:63-74.

    Abstract: "The Aristotelian conception of the soul as Brentano understood it is examined, with respect to the nature of the soul and mainly to what Aristotle called the sensitive soul, since this is where the issue of the soul's corporeity becomes important. Secondly the difficulties are discussed which Brentano saw in the Aristotelian semimaterialistic conception conceming tbe intellectual, as distinct from the sensitive soul from Brentano's reistic point of view which claimed that the entire human soul is a substance in its own right and that it is an immaterial substance. Finally there follows a presentation of what is taken to be Brentano's conception of the soul as it appears from a reistic interpretation of his analyses of the act of sensation and of the subject of sensation in order to shed some light on the reistic ontology that may be taken to underlie Brentano's sychology."

  52. ———. 1993. "Brentano's Revision of the Correspondence Theory." Brentano Studien no. 3:79-88.

    Abstract: "Franz Brentano took exception to the classic statement of the correspondence theory of truth, the thesis: veritas est adaequatio rei et intellectus. His reasons for objecting to it, and his proposed revision of the thesis, are interesting considered in themselves as well as for the light they shed on Brentano's view of the relation between the thinker and the world. With regard to the former, it is shown how Brentano analyzes the adaequatio thesis word by word in order to demonstrate what he takes to be its fundamental incoherence. With regard to the latter, it becomes apparent, by contrast with the Thomistic understanding of the adaequatio thesis, that Brentano's revision of it in the direction of a phenomenological theory of truth also involves a revised understanding of the nature of the thinker or knower."

  53. ———. 1993. "Brentanian unity of consciousness." Brentano Studien no. 4:89-100.

    Abstract: "Brentano's thoughts on unity of consciousness are of central importance to an understanding of his psychology and of his ontology. By means of a reistic interpretation of his views on unity of consciousness, and in contrast with the Aristotelian approach to unity of consciousness, one begins to see the paradoxically objective and realistic spirit of Brentano's subjectivism in psychology."