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

Annotated bibliography on Franz Brentano: Studies in English, Seventh Part: San - Srz

Contents of this Section


  1. Sánchez-Migallón, Sergio, and Martí-Sanchez, Miguel. 2019/20. "The Originality of Franz Brentano's Description of 'Correct Love' and its Aristotelian Nexus." Brentano Studien no. 16:117-136.

    Abstract: "One of Brentano’s most original and influential theses is his description of the knowledge of the good in the immediate experience of correct love, encompassing voluntary acts as well as feelings. In that union of will and feelings in a more fundamental class of psychical experiences, Brentano sees a coincidence with Aristotle’s doctrine of órexis. Yet, on Brentano’s account, while Aristotle accurately perceived correct love or desire, he did not correctly set out the knowledge of the good on this basis. The paper discusses this discrepancy and shows that the concurrence is more than merely assumed. Indeed, it is demonstrated that for both thinkers, moral knowledge is deeply rooted in the virtuous or good person."

  2. Sanford, David. 1997. "Chisholm on Brentano's thesis." In The Philosophy of Roderick M. Chisholm, edited by Hahn, Lewis. Chicago: Open-Court.

    "My purpose in this paper is neither to defend nor to refute Brentano's thesis. Nor shall I address the importance and implications of Brentano's thesis, except to comment that its incompatibility with physicalism depends on what you mean by "physicalism." Brentano's thesis does not imply dualism.(3) It does seem to imply that intentional psychology is conceptually autonomous from pure physics. In this paper I attempt the following: to distinguish proposals about intentionality that are often confused, both by those who support and those who oppose Chisholm's project; to generalize the notion of logical independence; and, based on this notion of independence, to revise some of Chisholm's criteria of intentionality." (p. 202)

    (3) See Chisholm 1955-56, where he denies that the linguistic thesis about intentionality indicates “that there is a ghost in the machine” (p. 50).

    "Anyone who wants to understand what I have been up to in trying to formulate criteria of intentionality, should read Sanford’s paper." R. M. Chsiholm, "Reply to David H. Sanford", p. 215.


    Chisholm, Roderick M. 1955-56. “Sentences about Believing.” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 56: 125-48. Reprinted with revisions in Feigl 1958, pp. 510-20.

    Page references are to the version reprinted in Marras 1972, pp. 31-51.

    Feigl, Herbert, Michael Scriven, and Grover Maxwell, eds. 1958. Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science. Vol. 2, Concepts, Theories, and the Mind-Body Problem. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

    Marras, Ausonio, ed. 1972. Intentionality, Mind, and Language. Urbana, IIL: University of Illinois Press.

  3. Sauer, Werner. 2013. "Being as the True: From Aristotle to Brentano." In Themes from Brentano, edited by Fisette, Denis and Fréchette, Guillaume, 193-226. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

    "Attentive readers of Brentano’s interpretation of Aristotle’s being as the true, on hōs alēthes, in his dissertation of 1862, Von der mannigfachen Bedeutung des Seienden nach Aristoteles, will not fail to notice therein rather peculiar, if not perplexing features. The central aim of this paper is to show that to understand what Brentano’s account of being as the true is actually concerned with in its overall intention, it must be read in light of Thomas Aquinas’ views on the topic. This paper consists of six sections. In section 1, the stage is set.

    Section 2 presents in brief outline an exposition of Aristotle’s own account of being as the true in Metaphysics Δ.7. In section 3, we consider Alexander of Aphrodisias’ commentary on the Δ.7 passage regarding being as the true insofar as it provides Brentano with an important premise for his own interpretation of that passage. Section 4 turns to Aquinas, and focuses in particular on his reading of the Δ.7 passage in his commentary on the Metaphysics. Then in section 5, Brentano himself comes into the picture, and it will be shown that what in his interpretation of Aristotle’s being as the true strikes the reader as rather peculiar is due to his attempt to defend Aquinas’ account in the context of contemporary Aristotle scholarship. Finally, section 6 attempts to show that the conception of being as the true in Brentano’s dissertation already prefigures, so to speak, the doctrine of judgments which he then presents in the Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt of 1874." (p. 193, a note omitted)

  4. Schaar, Maria van der. 1999. "Evidence and the Law of Excluded Middle: Brentano on Truth." In The Logica Yearbook 1998, 110-120. Prague: Filosofia.


    The central question of my paper is whether there is a coherent logical theory in which truth is construed in epistemic terms and in which also some version of the law of excluded middle is defended. Brentano in his later writings has such a theory.(2) My first question is whether his theory is consistent. I also make a comparison between Brentano’s view and that of an intuitionist at the present day, namely Per Martin-Löf. Such a comparison might provide some insight into what is essential to a theory that understands truth in epistemic terms." (p. 110)

    (2) It is inevitable to elaborate strongly on what is published of Brentano’s later ideas. On the one hand, because these ideas were in progress, and not formulated in any definitive and authorized publication. On the other hand, what is published of Brentano’s later writings is very unreliable. Therefore I have checked the passages which are central for my paper by comparing them with the typoscripts of Brentano’s manuscripts at the Husserl Archives at Leuven. I wish to thank the Archives for this possibility. In these passages I found no important deviations from the typoscripts.

  5. ———. 2003. "Brentano on Logic, Truth and Evidence." Brentano Studien no. 10:119-150.

    Abstract: "Does the criticism raised against the use of judgemental evidence in logic and epistemology still stand, or is the notion crucial in our understanding of truth? First, Brentano’s account of truth and evidence is expounded. Then, the different kinds of criticism that may be raised against Brentano’s account of truth and evidence are presented. Finally, it is argued that, although there is a serious problem with this account of truth and evidence, a modification of the theory can be of importance for philosophy today. In Brentano’s account of truth and evidence, a first-person perspective plays a crucial role, and it is precisely this aspect we need in epistemology and in logic today."

  6. ———. 2016. Brentano, Twardowski and Stout: From Psychology to Ontology.

    Available at

    Abstract: "This article was commissioned as a supplement to the Oxford Handbook of the History of Analytic Philosophy, edited by Michael Beaney. It focuses on the psychological origins of analytic philosophy. Analytic psychology influenced the emergence of a new method in philosophy and the crucial changes to the notions of judgement and intentionality at the end of the nineteenth century. In particular, G. F. Stout’s analytic psychology played an important role in the formation of Moore’s and Russell’s early analytic philosophy.

    Through Stout, the account of judgement and intentionality given by Brentano and Twardowski also had a significant influence on the development of early analytic philosophy."

  7. ———. 2018. "Brentano on Truth and Evidence. Understanding Truth from a First-Person Point of View." Brentano Studien no. 16:187-206.

    Abstract: "Does the criticism raised against the use of judgemental evidence in logic and epistemology still stand, or is the notion crucial in our understanding of truth? First, Brentano’s account of truth and evidence is expounded.

    Then, the different kinds of criticism that may be raised against Brentano’s account of truth and evidence are presented. Finally, it is argued that, although there is a serious problem with this account of truth and evidence, a modification of the theory can be of importance for philosophy today. In Brentano’s account of truth and evidence, a first-person perspective plays a crucial role, and it is precisely this aspect we need in epistemology and in logic today."

  8. ———. 2023. "Judgement and intentionality in early Brentano." Grazer Philosophische Studien no. 100:151-172.

    Abstract: "There are two notions of intentionality: the first contains the thesis that our acts of thinking, judging and loving have a content; the second that our mental acts are about something external to the act. Brentano uses the term ‘intentionality’ only in relation to the first notion; for him, intentionality does not function as a bridge between the mind and the external world. Is it possible for a phenomenologist like Brentano to give an account of the second notion of intentionality? It is argued that this is possible, but not without introducing the notion of judgement. A comparison with Mill’s distinction between connotation and denotation, and with Frege’s distinction between sense and reference shows how original Brentano’s theory is."

  9. Schaefer, Richard. 2013. "The Madness of Franz Brentano: Religion, Secularisation and the History of Philosophy." History of European Ideas no. 39:541-560.

    Summary. "In recent decades, scholars have shown a distinct new willingness to concede the important place of religion in the life and thought of the philosopher Franz Brentano. However, these studies are still dominated by the presumption that Brentano’s life and thought are best understood according to a model of secularisation as a progressive waning of religion. This essay asks whether such a presumption is the best way of understanding the complex interconnections between various elements of his philosophical and religious ideas. It posits that a better appreciation of his position entails a confrontation with Brentano’s historical imagination, and especially the structuring role of his approach to the history of philosophy as one manifesting regular cycles of decline and regeneration.

    Brentano’s theory of the four phases of philosophy, though not the final word on how he viewed history, was nevertheless an exercise in thinking about the ways history accommodates various forms of progress and repetition. It was therefore a salutary means for thinking about the evolution of religion in ways that challenge any simple understanding of secularisation."

  10. ———. 2018. "Hopes and Dreams in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna: Brentano, History and the Jews." Brentano Studien no. 16:157-185.

    Abstract: "This essay attempts a fresh interpretation of Franz Brentano’s life and career in Vienna between 1874 and 1895. But rather than ask how Vienna was significant to the evolution of his philosophy or assess his influence in the Austrian capital and beyond, this essay explores some of the circumstances surrounding controversial Meine letzten Wünsche für Österreich, which recounts his battle with the Austrian government to have him reinstated as a full professor of philosophy. The failure to regain his professorship was more than a career setback that embittered Brentano. It was the occasion for him to publicly declare the backwardness of Catholic Austria. I will try to show how this condemnation was shaped by Brentano’s specific experience as an apostate priest at the intersection of Catholic and Jewish segments of Viennese society, and nourished by his views on the course of history. In this way, this essay seeks to enrich our understanding of the interplay between Brentano’s life and thought, and add another chapter to our understanding of the Viennese fin-de-siècle."

  11. Schnieder, Benjamin. 2006. "Particularised attributes: an Austrian tale." In The Austrian Contribution to Analytic Philosophy, edited by Textor, M., 130-158. New York: Routledge.

    "For philosophers interested in ontological issues, the writings of the important figures of Austrian philosophy in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries contain many buried treasures to rediscover.

    Bernard Bolzano, Franz Brentano, Alexius Meinong and Edmund Husserl, to give just four grand names of that period, were highly aware of the importance of a feasible ontology for many of the philosophical questions they addressed throughout their works.

    In this chapter, I will discuss some ideas that these philosophers had with respect to the ontological category of particularised attributes; the discussion is intended to be a contribution both to the history of ontology, and to ontology itself. In the first part of the chapter I will review three arguments to the effect that we should allow particularised attributes into our ontology. In the second part, I will discuss certain problems for the idea that particularised attributes have a unique bearer and present two alternative solutions to them." (p. 130)

  12. Schuhmann, Karl. 2004. "Brentano’s impact on twentieth-century philosophy." In The Cambridge Companion to Brentano, edited by Jacquette, Dale, 277-297. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    "A detailed and complete picture of Brentano’s courses can emerge only from the comprehensive shorthand notes taken by his students on the spot.

    This too, however, is problematic. The most extensive notes were taken by Brentano’s immediate pupils Anton Marty, Carl Stumpf, and Edmund Husserl, who donated their treasures to the Brentano Archives in Prague.(1) All these materials were, however, lost in 1939 when the Archives were hastily evacuated to England. As a result, it is very difficult – and I will not attempt it here – to describe in detail the role Brentano’s ideas played among his immediate followers and heirs. This is why people have spoken of a certain “invisibility” that Brentano has had in twentieth-century philosophy(2) Since his impact on this philosophy, for the reasons just mentioned, was often channeled through that of his direct disciples, it is worth looking at them first. Brentano’s problems and questions went through many metamorphoses and to a large extent determined the agenda of twentieth century philosophy, but philosophers are often unaware of the fact that they do indeed originate with him." (pp. 277-278)

    (1) Husserl in 1935 gave the Archives no less than 28 notebooks. Cf. Oskar Kraus, “Brentano-Gesellschaft in Prag,” Philosophia, 2, 1937, pp. 402–5.

    (2) Cf. Roberto Poli, “The Brentano Puzzle: an Introduction,” in, ed., Roberto Poli, The Brentano Puzzle (Aldershot, Brookfield USA, Singapore, Sydney: Ashgate, 1998), p. 1.

  13. Seron, Denis. 2014. "Brentano's "Descriptive" Realism." Bulletin d'Analyse Phénoménologique no. 10:1-14.

    Abstract" "Brentano’s metaphysical position in Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint is usually assumed to be metaphysical realism. I propose an alternative interpretation, according to which Brentano was at that time, as well as later, a full-fledged phenomenalist. However, his phenomenalism is markedly different from standard phenomenalism in that it does not deny that the physicist’s judgments are really about the objective world. The aim of the theory of intentionality, I argue, is to allow for extra-phenomenal aboutness within a phenomenalist framework."

  14. ———. 2018. "Intentionality and Epistemological Relativity." Brentano Studien no. 16:207-228.

    Abstract: "I will adopt two assumptions without further discussion. First, I take for granted that Brentano’s epistemology, in 1874, was not only empiricist, but also phenomenalist. This view is controversial, but it has some support in the literature (Tolman 1987; Bell 1990: 8–9; Pacherie 1993: 13; Simons 1995; Crane 2006; Seron 2014; Seron forthcoming). Secondly, I assume that Brentano’s aim in the Psychology was to make phenomenalism less problematic by distinguishing two things which standard phenomenalism does not distinguish, namely reference and intentional aboutness. Now, there are good reasons to think that this distinction is the cornerstone of his theory of intentionality (Cayla 1993; Sauer 2006; Fréchette 2012: 330).

    Therefore, it is plausible to say that Brentano’s theory of intentionality has as its heart an epistemological concern.

    In the first three sections, I examine Brentano’s rejection of epistemological realism and its phenomenalist implications. In sections 4 to 6, I argue that Brentano’s theory of intentionality is better seen as a more sophisticated variant of William Hamilton’s “theory of the relativity of knowledge”. My underlying hypothesis is that the notion of intentionality — the distinction between real and intentional existence, direct and oblique modes — functions primarily as a means for overcoming some of the inherent limitations of standard phenomenalism."


    Bell, D. (1990). Husserl. New York: Routledge.

    Cayla, F. (1993). Husserl, Brentano et la psychologie descriptive. Philosophiques, 20/2, 347–361.

    Crane, T. (2006). Brentano’s concept of intentional inexistence. In: The Austrian Contribution to Analytic Philosophy (M. Textor, Ed.). New York: Routledge, p. 20–35.

    Fréchette, G. (2012). Deux aspects de l’intentionnalité dans la Psychologie de Brentano. In: Franz Brentano’s Metaphysics and Psychology (I. Tanasescu, Ed.). Bucarest: Zeta Books, p. 310–343.

    Pacherie, E. (1993). Naturaliser l’intentionnalité: Essai de philosophie de la psychologie. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

    Sauer, W. (2006). Die Einheit der Intentionalitätskonzeption bei Brentano. Grazer philosophische Studien, 73/1, p. 1–26.

    Seron, D. (2014). Brentano’s “descriptive” realism. Bulletin d’analyse phénoménologique, 10/4, p. 1–14.

    Seron, D. (forthcoming). Brentano on appearance and reality. In: Handbook of Brentano and the Brentano School (U. Kriegel, Ed.). New York: Routledge [2017]

    Simons, P. (1995). Introduction. In: F. Brentano, Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint, Engl. trans. by L. McAlister et al. New York: Routledge

    Tolman, C.W. (1987). Intentionality, meaning, and evolution. In: Current Issues in Theoretical Psychology (W.J. Baker, M.E. Hyland, H. Van Rappard, A.W. Staats, Eds.). Amsterdam: Elsevier (North-Holland), p. 365–377.

  15. ———. 2020. "Franz Brentano's Critique of Free Will." In The Routledge Handbook of Phenomenology of Agency, edited by Keiling, Tobias and Erhard, Christopher, 7-14. New York: Routledge.

    "Brentano intended to investigate free will in the fifth of the six planned books of the Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint, devoted to emotion and will (Brentano 1924: 1, engl. trans.: xxvii, 1925: 110, ftn., engl. trans.: 254) – a book which, unfortunately, he never wrote. Most of Brentano’s reflections on this topic are found in Part 3 of his 1876–1894 Vienna lectures on practical philosophy that were posthumously published as The Foundation and Construction of Ethics by Franziska Mayer-Hillebrand. Other relevant sources include the second volume of the Psychology and the 1889 lecture The Origin of Our Knowledge of Right and Wrong." (p. 7)


    "Concluding remarks

    To conclude with, Brentano presents his determinism as fully compatible with both the law of causality and the view that we are morally perfectible and responsible for our actions. In fact, his claim is even stronger, since he maintains that determinism is the only way to make sense of our moral perfectibility and responsibility. Brentano proposes an interesting variant of virtue ethics based on the idea of self-improvement. Opposing the view that moral life consists in resisting inclinations that would otherwise cause the agent to act badly, he asks us to conceive of the will as being necessarily determined by inclinations and having to strive actively to improve them through self-discipline." (p. 12)

  16. ———. 2020. "Consciousness and Representation." In Franz Brentano's Philosophy after Hundred Years: From History of Philosophy to Reism, edited by Fisette, Denis, Frechette, Guillaume and Janoušek, Hynek, 41-53. Cham (Switzerland): Springer.

    Abstract: "In this chapter, the author raises new objections to the self-representational reading of Brentano. This reading, he argues, is untenable simply because Brentano regards a representational perception as conceptually impossible. He then provides a new construal of Brentano’s theory of intentionality, based on a phenomenological approach to intentionality and consciousness. In his view, the main purpose of

    Brentano’s theory of intentionality is to account for mental acts that are not (inner) perceptions, that is, for acts in which something appears without existing."

  17. ———. 2021. "Psychology first!" 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, 141-155. Leiden: Brill Rodopi.

    "Franz Brentano’s aim in his masterpiece, Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint, as is clearly indicated in the title, was to develop an epistemology of psychology (Seron, 2017a). It is the contention of this chapter, however, that this book is much more than this. In my view, it is not merely about psychology, but about scientific knowledge in general. In his Psychology, Brentano seeks to create not merely an epistemology of psychology, but a general epistemology which assigns the first role to psychology.

    Psychology is accorded a preeminent place in the epistemology of Brentano and his pupils—with some notable exceptions like the transcendental Husserl.

    My purpose in this chapter is to show that Brentano’s privileging of psychology over the natural sciences is a consequence of his empiricism. Brentano’s version of empiricism involves a certain view of what experience is, and this view of experience entails that psychological knowledge enjoys some sort of priority." (p. 141)


    Seron, D. (2017a). Brentano’s project of descriptive psychology. In U. Kriegel (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Franz Brentano and the Brentano School (pp. 35–40). London: Routledge.

  18. ———. 2021. "Brentano and the ideality of time." Revista de Filosofia Moderna e Contemporânea no. 9:35-49.

    Abstract: "How is it possible to have present memory experiences of things that, being past, are no longer presently experienced? A possible answer to this long-standing philosophical question is what I call the “ideality of time view,” namely the view that temporal succession is unreal. In this paper I outline the basic idea behind Brentano’s version of the ideality of time view. Additionally, I contrast it with Hume’s version, suggesting that, despite significant differences, it can nonetheless be construed as broadly Humean."

  19. ———. 2021. "Brentano and Mauthner on Grammatical Illusions." In Philosophy of Language in the Brentano School. Reassessing the Brentanian Legacy, edited by Dewalque, Arnaud, Gauvry, C. and Richard, Sebastian, 77-94. Cham, Switzerland): Palgrave.

    "In the current literature Brentano’s name is usually associated with British empiricism, the Aristotelian tradition, and the so-called ‘Austrian semantic turn’. This paper seeks to suggest a convergence with another tradition within Austrian philosophy—namely the critique of language developed, among others, by Mach, Mauthner, Karl Kraus, the German Vaihinger, and Wittgenstein. My starting hypothesis is that, despite significant differences, the late Brentano’s approach to grammatical illusions has a greatdeal in common with Fritz Mauthner’s critique of language." (p. 77)

  20. ———. 2023. "Experiencing the a priori." European Journal of Philosophy:371-379.

    Abstract: "Brentano clearly asserts, in his Vienna lectures of 1887–1888, that his descriptive psychology is an a priori or “exact” science. Since he rejects Kant's idea of a synthetic a priori, this means that the descriptive psychologist's laws are analytic. My aim in this paper is to clarify and discuss this view. I examine Brentano's epistemology in the Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint and then its later developments. I conclude with a difficulty inherent in Brentano's psychological approach to a priori knowledge."

  21. Sheredos, Ben. 2016. "Brentano’s Act Psychology was not Aristotelian (or at least, not empirical)." Brentano Studien no. 14:157-189.

    Abstract: "Brentano’s Psychology constantly refers to mental phenomena as “mental acts,” yet there has been surprisingly little effort devoted to discerning the significance of the term “act” in this context. A widespread implicit view is (1) that it is merely a technical term, and does not literally invoke any connotations of action at all. But since many regard the Psychology as riddled with Aristotelian assumptions, some also suggest (2) that Brentano’s talk of “mental acts” is a significant holdover from his Aristotelian pedigree. Here I argue, negatively, that both claims are deeply problematic. First, traditional readings of Brentano (by, e.g., Oskar Kraus) in terms of (1) are incapable of supporting some of Brentano’s most central commitments regarding inner perception and the method of psychology. Second, Brentano’s own conception of Aristotelianism is such that if (2) were true, (1) would be false. Finally, if (2) were true in any significant sense, then Brentano would simply fail to do what he sets out to do in his empirical psychology. I thus call for renewed attention to Brentano’s conception of “mental acts.” ."

  22. Siewert, Charles. 2023. "Why we need descriptive psychology." European Journal of Philosophy:341-357.

    Abstract: "This article defends the thesis that in theorizing about the mind we need to accord first-person (“introspective” or “reflective”) judgments about experience a “selective provisional trust.” Such an approach can form part of a descriptive psychology. It is here so employed to evaluate some influential interpretations of research on attention to conclude that—despite what conventional wisdom suggests—an “introspection-positive” policy actually offers us a better critical perspective than its contrary. What supposedly teaches us the worthlessness of introspection actually shows us why we need to take it seriously."

  23. Simons, Peter M. 1984. "A Brentanian basis for Lesniewskian logic." Logique & Analyse no. 27:297-308.

    "Brentano can effectively handle, if not the singular terms of natural languages, then at least something very like them, the singular names of a logical language which boasts a form of singular copula and is closer to traditional and Brentanian logic than is Frege-Russell predicate logic, namely the language of Lesniewski's Ontology.(4) What we show is that it is possible to base Ontology jointly on two primitives employed by Brentano in his reduction: an expression for existence and nominal conjunction. This not only provides (yet) another basis for Ontology: it shows that Brentano's claims for the existential form are considerably stronger than orthodox predicate logic is able to admit. We then sketch how a system of Ontology with extensionality allows even existence to be defined using conjunction, making this the sole undefined notion." (p. 300)

    (4) Cf. my "On Understanding Leśniewski", History and Philosophy of Logic 3 (1982), 165-191.

  24. ———. 1986. "Brentano's Reform of Logic." Topoi no. 6:25-38.

    Reprinted in: Peter Simons, Philosophy and Logic in Central Europe from Bolzano to Tarski. Selected Essays, Dodrecht: Kluwer, 1992, pp. 41-69.

    "This forgotten reform of the logic of terms is based on Brentano's theory of judgement, according to which the basic form of judgement is an affirmation or denial of existence.

    Brentano uses term-conjunction and -negation, and recognizes several logical relations among concepts (terms). While, like Boole, Brentano abolishes the requirement of existential import, the reform extends beyond this to the rules of inference, which allow syllogisms and other inferences to be elegantly derived. By treating propositions as fictions, following a suggestion of Brentano, and employing Brentano's rules with minor extensions, it is possible to develop a propositional logic within the term logic. The algebra of Brentano's logic, which interestingly mixes intensional and extensional components, is reconstructed.

    While the algebra of extensions of concepts is of course Boolean, concepts themselves form a quasi-Boolean algebra.

    1. Introductory.

    In his Würzburg logic lectures of 1870/1 Brentano proposed a reform of logic which he believed was an essential improvement on the traditional view. His ideas were mentioned in the Psychologie of 1874, where they became known to a wider public. The basic idea of his theory of judgment was that the logical form of simple judgments is that of an assertion or denial of existence, rather than the subject-predicate form of the tradition.

    His reform consists in part of drawing the consequences of this theory of judgment. Detailed presentation of the reform was confined to his lectures on logic, which were continued and modified throughout the period (1874-95) when he was teaching in Vienna, where they influenced a number of notable thinkers, notably Twardowski, who took Brentano's ideas to Poland and introduced them to the first generation of Polish analytic philosophers and logicians. The material of the lectures themselves was not published until 1956 under the title Die Lehre vom richtigen Urteil (hereafter LrU), although more of Brentano's views were made accessible through the work of Hillebrand (1891)." (p. 41 of the reprint)


    Hillebrand, F.: 1891, Die neuen Theorien der kategorischen Schlüsse, Vienna.

  25. ———. 1986. "Tractatus Mereologico-Philosophicus? A Brentanian look at Wittgenstein, and a moral." Grazer Philosophische Studien no. 28:165-186.

    Reprinted in P. M. Simons, Philosophy and Logic in Central Europe from Bolzano to Tarski, Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff 1992, pp. 339-359.

    "The philosophies of late Brentano and early Wittgenstein can be brought closer in two ways. One way discovers a surprising amount of part-whole theory in the Tractatus if we see states of affairs (not wholly wilfully) as thing-like rather than fact-like. This throws up a modal analogue to Chisholm's entia successiva in the form of situations. The other way sees all propositions as truth-functions of existential propositions, supporting Brentano's view that existentials are primary, and incidentally yielding a reistic semantics for the Tractatus. I draw a quick moral, that we should beware of excessive simplicity in metaphysics, and apply it to Chisholm's views on part and whole." (p. 339 of the reprint)

  26. ———. 1988. "Brentano's Theory of Categories: a Critical Reappraisal." Brentano Studien no. 1:47-61.

    Abstract: "In his doctoral dissertation Von der mannigfaltigen Bedeutung des Seienden nach Anstoteles, Brentano tried to show that (against criticism of this) one could indeed give a principle defense of Aristotle's table of categories as a coherent system. In later texts, Brentano appears sharply critical of Aristotle, mainly in respect to Aristotle's mereology, or theory of part and wbole, and to his theory of substance and accident.

    lt is argued that Brentano hadn't observed tbat Aristotle's belief that there are as many predicative senses of ,be' as there are categories of being is based not on his mereology but on his thcory of definition. Overlooking this, Brentano was led to far reaching inadequate ontological consequences."

  27. ———. 1989. "Tree Proofs for Syllogistic." Studia Logica no. 48:539-554.

    Abstract: "This paper presents a tree method for testing the validity of inferences, including syllogisms, in a simple term logic. The method is given in the form of an algorithm and is shown to be sound and complete with respect to the obvious denotational semantics. The primitive logical constants of the system, which is indebted to the logical works of Jevons, Brentano and Lewis Carroll, are term negation, polyadic term conjunction, and functors affirming and denying existence, and use is also made of a metalinguistic concept of formal synonymy. It is indicated briefly how the method may be extended to other systems."

  28. ———. 1996. "Logic in the Brentano School." In The School of Franz Brentano, edited by Albertazzi, Liliana, Libardi, Massimo and Poli, Roberto, 305-321. Kluwer Academic Publishers.

    "The term 'the Brentano School' will here be understood to comprise Brentano and his immediate students, that is, those who studied with him either in Würzburg or in Vienna. In practice, those whose contributions to logic I shall consider in any depth number precisely three: Brentano himself, Meinong, and Husserl. I shall not consider students of students of Brentano, for although some of these, in particular Ernst Mally and Jan Łukasiewicz, contributed to logic, they cannot be reckoned among the Brentano School: Mally belongs to Meinong and Graz, Łukasiewicz to Twardowski and Lvov (later to Warsaw).

    However, I shall briefly survey the influence ofthe Brentano School at the end.

    I shall consider contributions to deductive logic, the methodology of logic, and the philosophy of logic. I shall not consider inductive logic, the logical structure of scientific theories or the theory of probability, except where they are germane to deductive logic (in the work of Meinong).

    The format of the paper is that in each of the three major sections (Brentano, Hussed, Meinong) I first survey the primary literature souces and mention one or two useful works of secondary literature, before proceeding to a summary of the relevant aspects of the work in question. I prefer this to an elaborate system of page references which is out of place in an introductory survey article.(1)'" (p. 305)

    (1) There is no general monograph on the logic of the Brentano School. More of the individual papers I have written on various aspects of this topic are collected in my 1992.


    Simons 1992. P.M. Simons, Philosophy and logic in Central Europe from Bolzano to Tarski. Dordrecht, Kluwer.

  29. ———. 1999. "Bolzano, Brentano and Meinong: Three Austrian Realists." In German Philosophy Since Kant, edited by O'Hear, Anthony. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    "Although Brentano generally regarded himself as at heart a metaphysician, his work then and subsequently has always been dominated by the Psychology. He is rightly celebrated as the person who reintroduced the Aristotelian-Scholastic notion of intentio back into the study of the mind. Brentano's inspiration was Aristotle's theory of perception in De anima, though his terminology of intentional inexistence was medieval. For the history of the work and its position in his output may I refer to my Introduction to the reprinted English translation. Alongside Aristotle the work shows influences of Descartes, Comte and the British empiricists. The theory of intentionality presented in the Psychology is much less modern and less plausible than almost all recent commentary would have it, and was in any case not where Brentano's main interest lay. Intentionality simply served to demarcate mental phenomena from physical, in Book One, but the main aim was a classification of the mental, outlined in Book Two. Books Three to Five were to have dealt in detail with the three main classes of presentations, judgements and feelings, with the final book considering the metaphysics: mind-body and the immortality of the soul. Brentano's shifting views, recently documented in English with Benito Muller's translation of Descriptive Psychology, a work from the transitional 1890s, made the original plan obsolete. The role of an a priori, philosophical or descriptive psychology, methodologically prior to empirical-experimental genetic psychology, foreshadowed and influenced Husserl's notion of phenomenology, and Brentano's Comtean methodological epoche of desisting from controversial metaphysical statements in favour of an examination of the phenomena likewise presaged Husserl's more ponderous phenomenological reductions.

    Brentano's other work covers most areas of philosophy, notably ethics, where he upheld a form of a priori intuitionism much admired by G. E. Moore, the philosophy of religion, metaphysics, philosophy of language, deductive and inductive logic, and the history of philosophy. I shall mention just two areas. In his logic lectures from 1866 onwards (a compilation published 1956) Brentano rejected the subject-predicate analysis of simple judgements and proposed instead (for which he apparently secured written assent from Mill) that all judgements are logical compounds of positive and negative existential judgements. For example the universal judgement All men are mortal becomes the negative existential There are no immortal men. On this basis Brentano radically simplified the inference rules of deductive logic. While unlike de Morgan, Frege and others he does not go beyond logic's traditional scope by recognising relations, within its bounds his reformed-term logic is simple, elegant and easily teachable. Some of his ideas in logic influenced the young Husserl. Unfortunately Brentano took against mathematical logic, which he wrongly associated exclusively with Hamilton's confused doctrine of the quantification of the predicate. His inductive logic, which takes up by far the greater part of his logic lectures, remains unresearched to this day." (pp. 118-119)

  30. ———. 2000. "The Four Phases of Philosophy: Brentano's Theory and Austria's History." The Monist no. 83:68-88.

    Abstract: "From the beginning of the nineteenth century to the present day, philosophy in Austria has progressed through four phases. The particularities of the first three of these phases have prompted a number of commentators rightly to distinguish a characteristic Austrian, as distinct from German, way of doing philosophy. The main figure of the second phase was Franz Brentano, and his distinctive theory of the four-phase cycle of philosophical development is outlined, and critically compared to other views of the development of philosophy. In Austria itself the caesuras between the phases were marked as much by political as by philosophical events, and the paper shows how philosophy in Austria has been notable in all its phases for the high level and overwhelmingly negative effect of political interference in intellectual life, a doleful saga which continues to this day."

  31. ———. 2004. "Judging correctly: Brentano and the reform of elementary logic." In The Cambridge Companion to Brentano, edited by Jacquette, Dale, 45-65. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    "In this chapter I outline the simple but effective reforms Brentano proposed for elementary deductive logic, basically syllogistic plus; I then discuss briefly how they can be made the basis of a sensible and pedagogically accessible approach to term logic even today, and finally mention their subtle but important influence on logic in the twentieth century." (p. 46)


    "Brentano himself never published his reforms of logic, which is the main reason why historiographers of the subject have passed them by. The reducibility of judgments to the existential form is argued for in chapter VII of the Psychology (PES-E, pp. 201–34) and there are some remarks in the appendix prepared for the 1911 second edition of parts of that book, published as On the Classification of Mental Phenomena. These remarks appear in the English PES-E, pp. 291–301, and Brentano’s negative comments on mathematical logic at pp. 301–6." (p. 47)

  32. ———. 2015. "How to Do Things with Things: Brentano’s Reism and its Limits." In Objects and Pseudo-Objects: Ontological Deserts and Jungles From Brentano to Carnap, edited by Seron, Denis, Richard, Sebastien and Leclercq, Bruno, 3-16. Berlin: de Gruyter.

    "From about 1904 until the end of his life in 1917, Franz Brentano held an ontological view which has come to be called reism. This is the view that the only things that exist are concrete things (res). The list of objects that this view denies existing is long indeed, and includes: properties and relations, whether considered as individual accidents or as universals; events and processes; facts and states of affairs; numbers, sets and all other mathematical objects; space and time as entities in their own right; intentional contents and objects; propositions, and other abstract senses or meanings. The objects that Brentano does accept as entia realia or things include as individuals mental souls, physical bodies and their parts and lower-dimensional boundaries, and collections of individuals. Brentano conceives it as possible that the primary physical things be of more than three dimensions: he calls such things topoids." (p. 3)

  33. Simons, Peter M., and Wolenski, Jan. 1989. "De Veritate: Austro-Polish contributions to the theory of truth from Brentano to Tarski." In The Vienna Circle and the Lvov-Warsaw School, edited by Szaniawski, Klemens, 391-442. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

    Abstract: "Tarski's essay on truth is the single most important work from the Lw6w-Warsaw school. But it did not come from nothing: its philosophical pedigree goes back to earlier philosophy in Vienna. This paper traces in detail the influences from Brentano, throgh his pupils and their pupils to Tarski, noting the fluctuating nature of Austro-Polish obsession with truth. An examination of the characteristics inherited from this tradition by Tarski's theory enables us to correct several misconceptions about his work."

  34. Smith, Barry. 1987. "The Substance of Brentano's Ontology." Topoi no. 6:39-49.

    "The literature on Brentano of recent times has manifested an unmistakably deflationary tendency, often presenting Brentano as little more than a forerunner of analytic philosophy, and rarely taking account of more than those few passages in which Brentano talks about something called 'intentionality'. (1) The present paper is an attempt to redress this balance. It seeks to demonstrate that Brentano is to be classified not with the dry logic-and-language-choppers of modem times, but rather with the great metaphysical visionaries of the past, from Leibniz and Spinoza to Bergson and Lord Kelvin. Only in these terms, it may be argued, is it possible to explain the tremendous influence exerted by Brentano on so many of his pupils and disciples.

    The paper is a study of'Brentano's ontology, and more specifically of his theory of substance and accident, particularly as put forward toward the end of his life in the materials collected together as the Kategorienlehre." (p. 39)

    (1) A notable and heroic exception to this general trend is of course provided by Roderick Chisholm, who is almost single-handedly responsible for the fact that a wider spectrum of Brentanian ideas is at last beginning to make itself felt in certain circles. My indebtedness to him -- and particularly to his classic paper of 1978 [*] which first awakened my interest in Brentano's ontology -- is I hope obvious. He should not, of course, be held responsible for what follows.

    [*] Brentano's Conception of Substance and Accident.

  35. ———. 1988. "The Soul and its Parts. A Study in Aristotle and Brentano." Brentano Studien no. 1:75-88.

    Abstract: "The attempt is made to show that the key for a correct interpretation of Brentano's writings can be derived from an examination of his very early dissertations. The overarching context of all Brentano's writings is the psychology of Aristotle and the ontology of material and immaterial substance that goes together therewith. The present remarks will accordingly consist in an account of Aristotle, and more specifically of Aristotle's conception of the soul, as reflected by Brentano in his Psychology of Aristotle, Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint and Descriptive Psychology."

  36. ———. 1989. "The primacy of place: an investigation in Brentanian ontology." Topoi no. 8:43-51.

    "1. Introdution

    What follows is an investigation of the ontology of Franz Brentano with special reference to Brentano's later and superficially somewhat peculiar doctrine to the effect that the substances of the material world are three-dimensional places. Taken as a whole, Brentano's philosophy is marked by three, not obviously compatible, traits. In the first place, his work is rooted in the metaphysics of Aristotle, above all in Aristotle's substance-accident ontology and in the Aristotelian theory of categories. In the second place, Brentano embraced a Cartesian epistemology. He saw the source of all knowledge as residing in our direct awareness of our own mental phenomena and in our capacity to grasp evident incompatibilities in the realm of concepts.(1)

    Thirdly, he regarded the existence of an external world as at most probable, and denied outright the existence of a world similar to the world that is given in experience.

    Finally, and in some sense linking together these opposing strands, he propagated an idea of what he called "descriptive psychology", a discipline which would on the one hand yield exact knowledge of the structures and categories of mental life, and on the other hand provide an epistemologically sure foundation for other branches of philosophy. As we shall see, it is this psychological aspect of Brentano's philosophy which leads him to his conception of the substantiality of place.

    Surprisingly, however, the psychological considerations which underlie Brentano's thinking will be shown to raise a series of questions strictly ontological in nature, questions which are not without a systematic interest of their own."

    (1) Knowledge of the first sort he called "empirical"; knowledge of the latter sort "analytic".

  37. ———. 1990. "On the Phases of Reism." In Kotarbinski: Logic, Semantics and Ontology, edited by Wolenski, Jan, 137-184. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

    "The paper will consist of a critical survey of Kotarbinski's development from his early nominalism and 'pansomatistic reism' to the later doctrine of 'temporal phases'. It will be shown that the surface clarity and simplicity of Kotarbinski's writings mask a number of profound philosophical difficulties, connected above all with the problem of giving an adequate account of the truth of contingent (tensed) predications. The paper will examine in particular the attempts to resolve these difficulties on the part of Lesniewski. It will continue with an account of the relations of Kotarbinskian reism to the ontology of things or entia realia defended by the later Brentano.

    Kotarbinski's identification of Brentano as a precursor of reism is, it will be suggested, at least questionable, and the paper will conclude with a more careful attempt to situate the Brentanian and Kotarbinskian ontologies within the spectrum of competing ontological views." (pp. 137-138)

  38. ———. 1990. "Brentano and Marty: An Inquiry into Being and Truth." In Mind, Meaning and Metaphysics: The Philosophy and Theory of Language of Anton Marty, edited by Mulligan, Kevin, 111-149. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

    "Aristotle, as is well known, distinguished in his ontology between being in the sense of the categories and being in the sense of being true. (Met., 1017 a 31ff.) The early Brentano, correspondingly, distinguished between things or ens reale on the one hand, and entia rationis or irrealia on the other. Ens reale are for example a soul and its constituents (or 'divisives'), the various mental acts of presentation, judgment, love and hate. Entia rationis are entities such as the existence of A and the non-existence of A, entities which have a role to play in making true our judgments about entia realia.

    In the course of time, however, Brentano changed his mind, and his later ontology is an ontology of things alone. Hence there are no entia rationis, and there are no divisives or other non-thingly parts of things. We should talk not of mental acts or psychic phenomena but of 'thinkers' or 'thinking things', all of whom relate exclusively in their thinking to other things (or to themselves) as their objects. 'Thinking' is in this sense univocal. Things are divided into psychic things (minds, presenters, judgers, lovers, haters, and so on) and spatial things (places, hard places, red places, hard red places, and so on)." (p. 111)

  39. ———. 1993. "The Soul and its Parts II: Varieties of Inexistence." Brentano Studien no. 4:35-52.

    "A Brentanian might criticize contemporary philosophy of mind on at least the following counts:

    i. its taxonomy of types of mental act and state is too narrow (thus its repertoire consists, on many standard accounts, in little more than 'beliefs' and `desires');

    ii. its treatment of mental acts and states is too slavishly oriented around linguistic factors (thus for example it is standardly suggested that the philosophy of mind is most properly concerned with the so-called 'propositional attitudes');

    iii. its treatment of the temporal structures of mental acts and states is overly crude (thus in many standard accounts punctual and episodic acts are not distinguished from enduring states and dispositions);

    iv. it presupposes an over-crude theory of the internal structures of mental acts and states and of the corresponding types of parts and unity.

    It is with this last that we shall be principally concerned in what follows, and more precisely with Brentano's own account of the part-whole structures obtaining in the mental sphere." (p. 35)

  40. ———. 1994. Austrian Philosophy: The Legacy of Franz Brentano. Chicago: Open Court.

    Chapter One: Austrian Philosophy and the Brentano School, 7; Chapter Two: Franz Brentano I: On Mind and Its Objects 35; Chapter Three: Franz Brentano II: On Substance and Accident 61.82.

    "This book is a survey of the most important developments in Austrian philosophy in its classical period from the 1870s to the Anschluss in 1938." (Preface, p.1)


    "1. Brentano’s Metaphysics

    Much of the literature on Brentano has manifested a certain deflationary tendency, often presenting Brentano as little more than a forerunner of Husserl or of analytic philosophy, and rarely taking account of more than those few passages in which Brentano talks about his doctrine of intentionality. Here, in contrast, I shall seek to do full justice to the metaphysical aspects of Brentano’s thinking. At the centre of our concern, as always with Brentano, will be the philosophy of Aristotle, and more specifically Aristotle’s theory of substance and accident, which is given detailed treatment by Brentano in the materials collected together as the Theory of Categories." (p. 61)

  41. ———. 2000. "Boundaries: a Brentanian Theory." Brentano Studien no. 8:107-114.

    "According to Brentano's theory of boundaries, no boundary can exist without being connected with a continuum. But there is no specifiable part of the continuum, and no point, which is such that we may say that it is the existence of that part or of that point which conditions the boundary. - An adequate theory of the continuum must now recognize that boundaries be boundaries only in certain directions and not in others. This leads to consequences in other areas, too."

  42. Smith, David Woodruff. 2020. "Descriptive Psychology and Phenomenology: From Brentano to Husserl to the Logic of Consciousness." In Franz Brentano and Austrian Philosophy, edited by Fisette, Denis, Frechette, Guillaume and Stadler, Friedrich, 49-71. Cham (Switzerland): Springer.

    Abstract: "In his Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint (1874) Franz Brentano launched the discipline of phenomenology as descriptive psychology. Drawing on Brentano’s work, Edmund Husserl developed a conception of phenomenology founded on an enhanced theory of intentionality as a distinctive property of consciousness.

    Husserl expanded Brentanian descriptive psychology with an ontology of meaning or content influenced by logical theory, from Bolzano to Frege and beyond.

    Here I shall outline an evolving line of phenomenological analysis of the structure of consciousness and its intentionality. This lineage draws key factors from first Brentano and then Husserl with further explication through subsequent forms of ideal meaning and modal ontology. The resulting model of intentional consciousness is a direct legacy flowing from Brentano’s work, though it goes beyond Brentano’s more purely empiricist constraints.

    On Brentano’s analysis, an act of consciousness is “directed” primarily toward an object: an object existing “intentionally in” the act. And the act is also directed secondarily, “incidentally”, toward itself: in “inner consciousness”. The primary form of directedness leads into Husserl’s theory of intentionality via phenomenological content or “noematic” meaning. The secondary form of directedness leads into Husserl’s theory of awareness-of-consciousness in “inner time-consciousness”.

    Thus, phenomenal intentional consciousness features the way the object is presented in consciousness modified by the way that presentation itself is carried out.

    These two features of an act of consciousness define the fundamental form of consciousness.

    These features can be further explicated in terms of the way the act is directed via phenomenological content toward the object in “intentionally possible” situations (“in” consciousness) and the way the act itself is executed phenomenally (with “inner consciousness”). The result is a “modal” model of precisely intentionality cum inner awareness.

    Recent philosophers of mind have gradually come to focus on features of phenomenological content and inner consciousness that were sharply characterized in Brentano and pursued further in Husserl. The modal model affords a theory of the ideal “logical” structures that define the Brentanian forms of “intentional in-existence” and “inner consciousness”."

  43. ———. 2021. "Structures of inner consciousness: Brentano onward." Inquiry. An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.

    Published online: 26 Apr 2021.

    Abstract: "For Brentano, an act of consciousness features a presentation of an object joined with an inner presentation – an ‘inner consciousness’ or inner awareness – of that object-presentation. On Mark Textor’s articulation of Brentano’s model, the act has the structure of a single experience directed upon a plurality, viz.: the object and the experience itself. I consider an alternative development of this Brentanian model. Drawing on Husserl’s part-whole ontology, I submit, the act itself has the structure of a whole formed from two co-dependent parts, viz., the object-presentation and inner awareness of that presentation. Looking to Husserl’s analysis of inner time-consciousness, Textor proposes an enhancement of Brentano’s model of inner consciousness. On Textor’s model, inner awareness is such that one may be aware of one’s experience, in the stream of one’s consciousness, ‘without grasping any adumbrations [of the experience], but temporal ones’. I dig into Husserl’s doctrine of ‘abumbration’ (as where a tree is given visually with adumbrations of its shape on the back side, of its color in gradations, etc.). On my reconstruction, inner awareness of an experience presents the experience within a manifold of ‘adumbrated’ temporal retentions and protentions that place the experience in its stream of consciousness."

  44. Soldati, Gianfranco. 2005. "Brentano on Inner Perception, Intrinsic Truth and Evidence." In Experience and Analysis: Papers of the 27th International Wittgenstein Symposium, edited by Reicher, M. E. and Marek, J. C., 63-73. Kirchberg am Wechsel: Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society.

    "§ 1. Preliminaries

    Brentano’s theory of inner perception, evidence and truth upsets some widespread assumptions in contemporary philosophy. It rests on an unusual notion of inner perception and on a nominal theory of judgement; it attributes a central role to evidence in epistemology and treats mental states as being intrinsically true.

    The present contribution aims first at presenting and elucidating some of Brentano’s views on these matters. In some crucial points Brentano’s position will be modified and hopefully enhanced in a way that is compatible with the overall picture.(1) Considerable space will be devoted to the examination of some of the most important objections that have been or might be raised against the position presented on Brentano’s behalf. If by far not invulnerable, the position under scrutiny should hopefully appear more challenging than what it is often taken to be." (p. 63)

    (1) References to the passages on which the suggested interpretation of Brentano’s position is based will be provided. The discussion of more problematic texts in Brentano’s work will have to be left for another occasion.

  45. Sorabji, Richard. 1991. "From Aristotle to Brentano: the Development of the Concept of Intentionality." In Aristotle and the Later Tradition, edited by Blumenthal, Henry and Robinson, Howard, 227-259. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    Reprinted as Essay IV in R. Sorabji, Perception, Conscience and Will in Ancient Philosophy. Variorum collected studies series,Burlington, VT: Ashgate Variorum, 2013.

  46. Spiegelberg, Herbert. 1960. The Phenomenological Movement: A Historical Introduction. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.

    Second revised edition 1978; Third expanded edition with the collaboration of Karl Schuhmann 1982.

    Chapter I. Franz Brentano (1838-1917) forerunner of the phenomenological movement - pp. 27-50.

    "Brentano's first concern in psychology was to find a characteristic which separates psychological from non-psychological or 'physical' phenomena. It was in connection with this attempt that he first developed his celebrated doctrine of intentionality as the decisive constituent of psychological phenomena. The sentence in which he introduces the term 'intentionality' is of such crucial importance that I shall render it here in literal translation: Every psychical phenomenon is characterized by what the Scholastics of the Middle Ages called the intentional (or sometimes the mental) inexistence of an object, and what we should like to call, although not quite unambiguously, the reference (Beziehung) to a content, the directedness (Richtung) toward an object (which in this context is not to be understood as something real) or the immanent-object quality (immanente Gegenständlichkeit). Each contains something as its object, though not each in the same manner. In the representation (Vorstellung) something is represented, in the judgment something is acknowledged or rejected, in desiring it is desired, etc. This intentional inexistence is peculiar alone to psychical phenomena. No physical phenomenon shows anything like it. And thus we can define psychical phenomena by saying that they are such phenomena as contain objects in themselves by way of intention (intentional). (1)Actually, this first characterization of the psychological phenomenon makes use of two phrases: 'intentional inexistence' and 'reference to a content.' It is the first of these phrases which has attracted most attention, and it has even given rise to the view, supported by both anti-scholastics and neo-scholastic critics, that this whole doctrine was nothing but a loan from medieval philosophy. While a quick reading of the passage may seem to confirm this view, it is nevertheless misleading. 'Intentional inexistence,' which literally implies the existence of an 'intentio' inside the intending being, as if imbedded in it, is indeed a Thomistic conception. But it is precisely this conception which Brentano himself did not share, or which in any case he abandoned, to the extent of finally even dropping the very term 'intentionality.' Thus, the second characterization of the psychic phenomenon, 'reference to an object,' is the more important and the only permanent one for Brentano; it is also the one listed exclusively in the Table of Contents, beginning with the first edition. What is more: as far as I can make out, this characterization is completely original with Brentano, except for whatever credit he himself generously extends to Aristotle for its 'first germs' in a rather minor passage of the Metaphysics (1021 a 29). It was certainly none of Brentano's doing that this new wholly unscholastic conception came to sail under the old flag of 'intentionality.' Reference to an object is thus the decisive and indispensable feature of anything that we consider psychical: No hearing without something heard, no believing without something believed, no hoping without something hoped, no striving without something striven for, no joy without something we feel joyous about, etc. Physical phenomena are characterized, by contrast, as lacking such references. It also becomes clear at this point that Brentano's psychological phenomena are always acts, taking this term in a very broad sense which comprises experiences of undergoing as well as of doing, states of consciousness as well as merely transitory processes. Here, then, Brentano for the first time uncovered a structure which was to become one of the basic patterns for all phenomenological analysis." pp. 36-37

    (1) Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt I, Buch II, Kapitel I § 5 (pp. 125 f.; English translation p. 88).

  47. ———. 1976. "Intention’ and ‘Intentionality’ in the Scholastics, Brentano and Husserl." In The Philosophy of Brentano, edited by McAlister, Linda L., 108-127. London: Duckworth.

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

    The present translation is based on a reprinted version of the German original which appeared in Studia Philosophica, vol. 29 (1970), pp. 189-216.

    "The attempt at a more thorough investigation of what is designated by the expressions ‘intention’ and ‘intentional’ in present-day philosophy needs no special justification at the present stage of philosophy. Brentano and Husserl discovered the strategic role of these phenomena within all mental life, and brought it to the fore. Nevertheless, one can hardly claim that the subject and its context have been sufficiently explored. In several respects more clarity is needed. In many cases unexamined or insufficiently examined preconceptions and anticipations are obstructions to the real understanding of the situation. In part these harken back to conscious orunconscious historical recollections by which one is guided or, rather, misguided, in the study of the phenomena. It is the main purpose of this essay to render them harmless and at the same time to work out more clearly the systematic problems that stand behind the historical development.

    Not everything, however, that goes by the name ‘intention’ will be dealt with, but only extra-practical intention. ‘Intention’ is commonly understood in the sense of an intention to do something or a purpose. That is the original practical meaning of the term and it has been preserved in ordinary language. This meaning will not be discussed here. By contrast, the extra-practical is secondary; it has been limited to academic philosophy, and is demonstrably derived from the Scholastics of the Middle Ages." (pp. 108-109)

  48. ———. 1978. "On the Significance of the Correspondence Between Franz Brentano and Edmund Husserl." Grazer Philosophische Studien no. 5:95-116.

    "This correspondence, still unpublished, extends over fourty years. Its significance is both biographical and philosophical. Biographically it shows Brentano's tolerant friendship for his emancipated student and Husserl's unwavering veneration for his only philosophical teacher. The philosophical issues taken up are Euclidean axiomatics, Husserl's departure from Brentano in the Logical Investigations by distinguishing two types of logic as the way out from psychologism, and the possibility of negative presentations, but not Husserl's new phenomenology. Few agreements are reached, but the dissents were clarified."

  49. Spinicci, Paolo. 1988. "Some Observations on the Concept of Descriptive Psychology in the Philosophy of Franz Brentano." In La Scuola di Brentano. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

    "In an oft-quoted passage of Philosophie als strenge Wissenschaft(1) Husserl characterize descriptive psychology as the mature fruit of Brentano's philosophy, and the most vital part of his thought. Brentano, then fore, is seen by him primarily as a descriptive psychologist: this opinion could be shared, but it leads to several problems of interpretation. The term 'descriptive psychology’ is too vague, and can be applied to very different philosophies.


    Of course some suggestions as to the real meaning of the term ‘descriptive psychology’ can be found in the literature on Brentano (...), but it is only since the recent publication ot Brentano's university courses (1887/88; 1888/89; 1890/91) on psychognosy (Psychognosie)(3) that we are in a belter position to resolve the theoretical problem, which is of such importance in Brentano's philosophy. In the pages of Deskriptive Psychologie, Brentano points out that pure psychology is in principle indipendent from considerations of a physiological-genetic nature, and indicates what he regards as the essential features of psychognosy. According to Brentano, descriptive psychology is a conceptual formulation of our psychic experience which must result in necessarily valid propositions. One can go from here to clarify Brentano's concept of descriptive psychology, pointing out its connection with Husserl's phenomenology, so confirming earlier statements of this relationship(4). Brentano speaks of psychognosy as a pure psychology (reine Psychologie) and as an exact science (exakte Wissenschaft) (see DP, p. 1), and from the beginning he explicitly compares psychognosy with mathematics in order to bring out clearly that its assertions are necessarily true, which leads us inevitably to the pages of Ideen III where Husserl explains the meaning and nature of pure eidetic phenomenology.

    Such a relationship does indeed exist, but an evaluation of the historical significance and the theoretical importance of psychognosy should not be limited to this assertion: it must try to clarify exactly what Brentano means by ‘pure psychology’ and ‘exact science’ and to what extent these definitions can explain the nature of his work. In my opinion Brentano really goes beyond the boundaries of such definitions, and a full understanding of his project for a descriptive psychology must take this into account." (pp. 82-83, a note omitted)

    (1) E. Husserl, Philosophic als strenge Wissenschaft, (1910 11), edited by W. Szilasi, Klostermann, Frankfurt a.M., 1971, p. 26.

    (3) F. Brentano, Deskriptive Psychologie, edited by R. Chisholm and W. Baumgartner, Meiner, Hamburg, 1982. Abbrv.: DP.

    (4) The presence of this relationship - revealed by O. Kraus in his Preface to Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt - has been emphasized mainly by R.M. Chisholm.

  50. Srzednicki, Jan. 1962. "Remarks concerning the interpretation of the philosophy of Franz Brentano." Philosophy and Phenomenological Research no. 22:308-316.

    "Most of the editors of Brentano's works and his commentators have a tendency to attempt to arrest his thought at a given moment and then to try to work out, in a systematicw ay, his views concerningm ost problems.

    So, for instance, Alfred Kastil (in Die Philosophie Franz Brentano's, Salzburg, 1951) ". ..attempted to represent Brentano's teaching in its final form . . ." 1 The same tendency is clearly evident in, e.g., F. Mayer-Hillebrand's edition of Die Lehre vom Richtigen Urteil (Bern, 1956). In order to attain this objective the editor used Brentano's own writings and some writings of Hillebrand, and produced a systematic whole by skillful arrangement, subtle changes and additions. The effect is one of detailed and systematict theory represented as Brentano's final views."


    "Despite a certain sympathy with the attitude, and some respect for the justification produced, I am of the opinion that the treatment does not suit Brentano's philosophy really well; that it is not likely to bring out the best in his work; and finally that it possibly rests to some extent on a misunderstanding of his advice." (p. 308)

  51. ———. 1963. "A reply to Professor F. Mayer-Hillebrand." Philosophy and Phenomenological Research no. 23:445-446.

    "In this brief comment upon Professor Mayer-Hillebrand's reply to my article, I shall not contest the points concerning Brentano's own earnest permission to have his papers edited in the Kastil ayer-Hillebrand way. I have already admitted its existence and I was doubtful merely because I did suspect that his modesty might have led him to be unwilling to have his pupils spend most of their ability and energies editing his papers. I admit also that this type of edition is often very acceptable. I have great admiration for the painstaking work both of A. Kastil and Mayer-Hillebrand, notwithstanding which, I am under the impression that they might have, to say the least, underemphasized some important aspects of Brentano's philosophy. It was the purpose of my article to re-emphasize them. As to the point of pure scholarship, even if one would agree that EL. 67 belongs firmly to a transitory and formative period, would not the fact that Brentano's philosophy was in this stage after about forty years of active professional life support my general contention? Further, I find it unlikely that Brentano would ever produce a systematic presentation if it meant system-building. The fact that impresses one here is not so much Brentano's late blindness and dictating difficulties, but that he was engaged in new research, as shown by his discussion, admittedly late, of evidence. The open-mindedness with which he approached the subject appertaining to one of the main problems that occupied him for a long time is also significant. Is it really consonant with a system-building attitude? However, I have not denied that Brentano was a systematic philosopher, even if he was not a system-builder." (p. 445)

  52. ———. 1965. Franz Brentano's Analysis of Truth. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.

    "Brentano has established many points and provided a number of important suggestions. Let us now survey briefly those of his observations that appear to be of more importance for the future research into the matter. Brentano has shown that the correspondence theory is not acceptable. His detailed reasoning concerning the nature of the relation itself and the nature of its termini is quite conclusive. The relation itself cannot be properly explained: If it is discussed in general terms it soon degenerates into a mere metaphor. However, if an attempt is made at giving it a more definite meaning, we find that there are grave objections to each suggested solution. None of the suggested particular determinations can account for all past, future and negative assertions. We are in difficulties whether we assume that both termini of the relation must exist or not. It is impossible to characterise sufficiently well the thing with which our judgement is to correspond.

    If it is outside the mind, we cannot give a consistent picture of it; even entia rationis will not help because they would naturally correspond to affirmative judgements only. Should they correspond also to negative jUdgements, then how could the same situation correspond closely enough with both? Further difficulties arise with regard to intellectus, etc.(5) In view of all these difficulties, it is quite clear that it is impossible to resurrect the correspondence theory. We must therefore investigate other possibilities." (p. 112)

    (5) See Chapter I, Section I and Chapter V, Sections I and 2; also Chapter IV, Sections 3.

  53. ———. 1966. "Some Elements of Brentano's Analysis of Language and Their Ramifications." Revue Internationale de Philosophie no. 20:434-445.

    "Brentano's departure from the traditional correspondence theory of truth was precipitated by his qualms about Aristotle's account of judgement as the combination or separation of ideas. We can see it very clearly in his early: Uber den Begriff der Wahrheit (1889) (1). He maintains there that the basic form of judgement is not "A is B", as Aristotle would have it, but "A is", what he calls an existential judgement.

    It will be clear that this must put serious strain on Aristotle's theory of truth where he characteristically says: (2)

    ... he who thinks the separated to be separated and the combined to be combined has the truth, while he whose thought is in a state contrary to that of the objects is in error (tr. W. D. Ross)." (p. 434)

    (1) Cf. Wahrheit und Evidenz, F. Meiner, 1930, also translation by R. M. Chisholm, The True and the Evident, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966 (W & E).

    (2) Metaphysica, IX, 10, 1051, b, 3.

  54. ———. 1998. "Brentano and the Thinkable." In The Brentano Puzzle, edited by Poli, Roberto, 139-150. Aldershot: Ashgate.

    "Our original puzzle was that thinkability constituting a common umbrella of consideration tended to reduce all our proposals to questionbegging; this is now resolved at least in principle.

    The picture suggested here, without at the moment supplying many details, is that the parameter of ’thinkable' provides us with the possibility of having something as 'the given.' Having that much, we can envisage how object-level choices arise on some natural basis. The parameter of compatibility perspectives can then supply an interconnected matrix that in turn supports various: operations, systems, structures, etc.

    This does not deal sufficiently with the whole problem of preferencecompatibility without referring to work beyond what could be presented today. What has been said constitutes, I hope, a demonstration of the importance of the sub-level of the thinkable. That level permits us to make moves capable in principle of resolving a difficult situation sketched above, for it enables us to side-step the main difficulty of questionbegging. Short of it every possible proposal seemed subject to it.

    I conclude by suggesting that Brentano's doctrine of Doppelurteile can be developed and applied very usefully in this direction." (p. 150)