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Summary According to Brentano, all mental states are conscious, and relatedly, all are intentionally directed at themselves (in addition to being intentionally directed at distinct objects). Debates in the area often concern what Brentano's position exactly was and how it relates to contemporary self-representational theories of consciousness; they often also concern the plausibility of Brentano's position, often as compared to Husserl's.
Key works Brentano's clearest exposition of his view on consciousness is in the second half of Chapter 2, and the whole of Chapter 3, of Book II of Brentano 1874. Relevant developments appear from his lecture notes of 1890-1, published posthumously as Brentano 1982/1995. Husserl critically discusses Brentano's views in the fifth investigation of Husserl 2000 Vol 2. In modern analytic philosophy of mind, Brentano's ideas were first prominently discussed by David Woodruff Smith in Smith 1986, and have been further developed by Uriah Kriegel, for instance in Kriegel 2003. In recent years, Mark Textor has developed a nuanced interpretation of Brentano on consciousness - see especially Textor 2006 and Textor 2013. A sustained Husserlian critique of these recent Brentanian developments is offered by Dan Zahavi, for example in Zahavi 2004.
Introductions Brentano's own presentation of his take on consciousness is very lucid and still serves as the best introduction - see Chapters 2-3 of Book II of Brentano 1874. In a series of recent papers, Mark Textor offers a thorough exposition of Brentano's account - see especially Textor 2006 and Textor 2013.
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  1. The Phenomenology of Mentality.Arnaud Dewalque - forthcoming - In Denis Fisette, Guillaume Frechette & Hynek Janoušek (eds.), Franz Brentano’s Philosophy after Hundred Years – From History of Philosophy to Reism. New York: Springer.
    This paper offers a phenomenological interpretation of Brentano’s view of mentality. The key idea is that mental phenomena are not only characterized by intentionality; they also exhibit a distinctive way of appearing or being experienced. In short, they also have a distinctive phenomenology. I argue this view may be traced back to Brentano’s theory of inner perception. Challenging the self-representational reading of IP, I maintain the latter is best understood as a way of appearing, that is, in phenomenological terms. Section (...)
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  2. Brentano on Consciousness, Intentionality, Value, Will, and Emotion: Reply to Symposiasts.Uriah Kriegel - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    It is a regrettable feature of this book symposium that it appears only after the book itself. If I could solicit from three outstanding philosophers detailed analyses of substantial portions of the book before publishing it, the book would have been far better. Below, I indicate some of the ways the book would have been better.
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  3. Comments on Denis Fisette, “Franz Brentano and Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness".Bruno Leclercq - forthcoming - Argumentos.
  4. A Systematic Reconstruction of Brentano’s Theory of Consciousness.Andrea Marchesi - forthcoming - Topoi:1-10.
    In recent years, Brentano’s theory of consciousness has been systematically reassessed. The reconstruction that has received the most attention is the so-called identity reconstruction. It says that secondary consciousness and the mental phenomenon it is about are one and the same. Crucially, it has been claimed that this thesis is the only one which can make Brentano’s theory immune to what he considers the main threat to it, namely, the duplication of the primary object. In this paper, I argue that (...)
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  5. Brentano on Phenomenal and Transitive Consciousness, Unconscious Consciousness, and Phenomenal Intentionality.Angela Mendelovici - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    In Brentano’s Philosophical System: Mind, Being, Value, Uriah Kriegel argues that Brentano’s work forms a “live philosophical program” (p. 14, italics omitted) that contemporary philosophy has much to learn from and that is promising and largely correct. To this end, Kriegel argues that Brentano’s notion of consciousness is the contemporary notion of phenomenal consciousness, that Brentano’s rejection of unconscious mentality is a grave mistake that can be fairly neatly excised from his overall view, and that Brentano’s notion of intentionality is (...)
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  6. The Mind’s Presence to Itself: In Search of Non-Intentional Awareness.Jonathan Mitchell - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    According to some philosophers, the mind enjoys a form of presence to itself. That is to say, in addition to being aware of whatever objects it is aware of, it is also (co-presently) aware of itself. This paper explores the proposal that we should think about this kind of experiential-presence in terms of a form of non-intentional awareness. Various candidates for the relevant form of awareness, as constituting supposed non-intentional experiential-presence, are considered and are shown to encounter significant problems. The (...)
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  7. Briefwechsel Über Psychophysik 1874–1878, Written by Franz Brentano and Gustav Theodor Fechner.Denis Seron - forthcoming - Grazer Philosophische Studien.
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  8. Descriptive Psychology: Brentano and Dilthey.Guillaume Fréchette - 2020 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 10 (1):290-307.
  9. Sound Ontology and the Brentano-Husserl Analysis of the Consciousness of Time.Jorge Luis Méndez-martínez - 2020 - HORIZON. Studies in Phenomenology 9 (1):184-215.
    Both Franz Brentano and Edmund Husserl addressed sound while trying to explain the inner consciousness of time and gave to it the status of a supporting example. Although their inquiries were not aimed at clarifying in detail the nature of the auditory experience or sounds themselves, they made some interesting observations that can contribute to the current philosophical discussion on sounds. On the other hand, in analytic philosophy, while inquiring the nature of sounds, their location, auditory experience or the audible (...)
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  10. Brentano’s Philosophical System: Mind, Being, and Value and Brentano’s Mind.Michelle Montague - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (3):473-480.
  11. From Psychology to Phenomenology : A Controversy Over the Method in the School of Twardowski.Witold Płotka - 2020 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 19 (1):141-167.
    This paper seeks to define the main trends, arguments and problems regarding the question of method formulated by Twardowski and his students. In this regard, the aim of the paper is twofold. First, I situate Brentano’s project of descriptive psychology within the context of disputes in the school of Twardowski concerning the method of both psychology and phenomenology, arguing that descriptive-psychological analysis was dominant in this respect. Second, the study explores the notion of eidetic phenomenology, as founded on a methodological (...)
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  12. Brentano's Mind. [REVIEW]Giuliano Bacigalupo - 2019 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 27 (1):238-239.
  13. On External and Internal Experience: Franz Brentano and Meister Eckhart.Yaroslav Slinin - 2019 - HORIZON. Studies in Phenomenology 8 (2):442-459.
  14. Que peut Freud que Brentano ne peut pas?Hamid Taieb - 2019 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de L’Etranger 144 (2):183-201.
    Dans quelle mesure l'outillage conceptuel de Brentano peut rendre compte des processus psychiques dont la découverte est usuellement attribuée à Freud ? Il y a, entre le maître Brentano et l'élève Freud, une opposition fondamentale : le premier rejette l'existence de processus psychiques inconscients, tandis que le second les érige en principe majeur d'explication de la vie psychique. Après le rappel des arguments de Freud en faveur de l'inconscient, deux concepts brentaniens négligés, ceux d'association et de disposition, sont présentés, qui (...)
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  15. Natural Classes in Brentano's Psychology.Arnaud Dewalque - 2018 - Brentano‐Studien: Internationales Jahrbuch der Franz Brentano Forschung 16:111-142.
    This article argues that Brentano’s classification of mental phenomena is best understood against the background of the theories of natural classification held by Auguste Comte and John Stuart Mill. Section 1 offers a reconstruction of Brentano’s two-premise argument for his tripartite classification. Section 2 gives a brief overview of the reception and historical background of the classification project. Section 3 addresses the question as to why a classification of mental phenomena is needed at all and traces the answer back to (...)
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  16. Phenomenology and Descriptive Psychology: Brentano, Stumpf, and Husserl.Denis Fisette - 2018 - In Dan Zahavi (ed.), Oxford Handbook of the History of Phenomenology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 88-104.
    Entry on the influence of Stumpf et Brentano on Husserl's early phenomenology during the Halle period.
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  17. Brentano's Mind by Mark Textor. [REVIEW]Carlo Ierna - 2018 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 56 (4):763-764.
    Marx Textor's Brentano's Mind begins with a short, illuminating introduction which clearly sets out the author's main aims. The two questions Textor wants to consider are, "What is the nature of mind?" and, "What is the structure of consciousness?" From the outset, Textor explicitly states that his intent is not to provide a historically plausible exegesis of "Brentano's often dense and difficult texts", but to take his "bold, suggestive, and influential" answers to these questions as an inspiration for new systematic (...)
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  18. Brentano's Dual‐Framing Theory of Consciousness.Uriah Kriegel - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (1):79-98.
    Brentano's theory of consciousness has garnered a surprising amount of attention in recent philosophy of mind. Here I argue for a novel interpretation of Brentano's theory that casts it as more original than previously appreciated and yet quite plausible upon inspection. According to Brentano's theory, as interpreted here, a conscious experience of a tree is a mental state that can be simultaneously thought of, or framed, equally accurately as an awareness of a tree or an awareness of an awareness of (...)
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  19. Brentano's Philosophical System: Mind, Being, Value.Uriah Kriegel - 2018 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Uriah Kriegel presents a rich exploration of the philosophy of the great nineteenth-century thinker Franz Brentano. He locates Brentano at the crossroads where the Anglo-American and continental European philosophical traditions diverged. At the centre of this account of Brentano's philosophy is the connection between mind and reality. Kriegel aims to develop Brentano's central ideas where they are overly programmatic or do not take into account philosophical developments that have taken place since Brentano's death a century ago; and to offer a (...)
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  20. Review of the Key of Franz Brentano’s Psychology: The Agent Intellect. [REVIEW]Juan Fernando Sellés - 2018 - Bajo Palabra 18.
    __ In this work we study the treatment of F. Brentano over the agent intellect in three of his works. We conclude that, for him, it is an immaterial and non-cognitive ‘power’ of the human soul, an ‘active force’ not pre-existent to it, but subsisting with it post-mortem; Its role is abstractive, not activation of the possible intellect, reason or intelligence. _Keywords:_ F. Brentano, agent intellect, psychology, non-cognitive immaterial power of the human soul.
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  21. Briefwechsel Über Psychophysik 1874–1878, Written by Franz Brentano and Gustav Theodor Fechner. [REVIEW]Denis Seron - 2018 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (1):153-157.
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  22. Brentano on the Unity of Consciousness.Dainton Barry - 2017 - In U. Kriegel (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Franz Brentano and the Brentano School. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 61-74.
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  23. Brentano on Phenomenal Unity and Holism.Barry Dainton - 2017 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 142 (4):513.
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  24. Brentano's Project of Descriptive Psychology.Seron Denis - 2017 - In U. Kriegel (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Franz Brentano and the Brentano School. New York: Routledge. pp. 35-40.
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  25. Brentano's Mind: Unity Without Simplicity.Arnaud Dewalque - 2017 - Rivista di Filosofia 108 (3):349-64.
    This paper offers a reconstruction of Franz Brentano’s mereological solution to the problem of the unity of consciousness and explores some implications of this solution for the ontology of the mind. In section 1 I sketch Brentano’s ontological distinctions between things, collectives, and divisives. In section 2 I present Brentano’s mereological solution and in section 3 I review his main pro-arguments. Eventually, in section 4 I consider some Jamesian objections to the mereological approach. I argue the notion of ‘mental parts’ (...)
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  26. Stumpf and Brentano.Denis Fisette - 2017 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Franz Brentano and the Brentano School. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 264-271.
    Overview of the complex relationship between Brentano and Stumpf.
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  27. Brentano on Self-Knowledge.Soldati Gianfranco - 2017 - In U. Kriegel (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Franz Brentano and the Brentano School. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 124-129.
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  28. Conscious Unity From the Top Down: A Brentanian Approach.Anna Giustina - 2017 - The Monist 100 (1):16-37.
    The question of the unity of consciousness is often treated as the question of how different conscious experiences are related to each other in order to be unified. Many contemporary views on the unity of consciousness are based on this bottom-up approach. In this paper I explore an alternative, top-down approach, according to which (to a first approximation) a subject undergoes one single conscious experience at a time. From this perspective, the problem of unity of consciousness becomes rather the problem (...)
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  29. Brentano on Time-Consciousness.Fréchette Guillaume - 2017 - In U. Kriegel (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Franz Brentano and the Brentano School. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 75-86.
    For many years, the importance and significance of Brentano’s conception of time-consciousness in contemporary philosophy was closely tied with Husserl’s adaptation of this conception in his own lectures on time-consciousness. These lectures, which Husserl held in Göttingen in 1904-05, were edited in the 1920s by the brilliant phenomenologist Edith Stein and are the source of many of the central ideas of transcendental phenomenology. In April 1926, Stein’s work was then taken over by Martin Heidegger, a young careerist who, after spending (...)
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  30. Contrasting Two Ways of Making Psychology: Brentano and Freud.Maria Gyemant - 2017 - Axiomathes 27 (5):491-501.
    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 (...)
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  31. Melody, Rhythm, Time.Hye Young Kim - 2017 - Glimpse 18:61-69.
    This paper examines the phenomenon of music in relation to time and time-consciousness based on the philosophies of Augustine, Brentano and Husserl. They analyzed music, or more precisely, the melody of tones and rhythm in their theories of time and time-consciousness, because the process of perceiving music uncloaks the phenomenon of time-understanding.
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  32. Hacia una fenomenología del tiempo. Una interpretación de las críticas de Husserl a Brentano en las Lecciones de fenomenología de la conciencia interna del tiempo.Verónica Kretschel - 2017 - Endoxa 39:185.
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  33. Brentano's Concept of Mind: Underlying Nature, Reference-Fixing, and the Mark of the Mental.Uriah Kriegel - 2017 - In Sandra Lapointe & Christopher Pincock (eds.), Innovations in the History of Analytical Philosophy. London: Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 197-228.
    Perhaps the philosophical thesis most commonly associated with Brentano is that intentionality is the mark of the mental. But in fact Brentano often and centrally uses also what he calls ‘inner perception’ to demarcate the mental. In this paper, I offer a new interpretation of Brentano’s conception of the interrelations between mentality, intentionality, and inner perception. According to this interpretation, Brentano took the concept of mind to be a natural-kind concept, with intentionality constituting the underlying nature of the mental and (...)
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  34. The Routledge Handbook of Franz Brentano and the Brentano School.Uriah Kriegel (ed.) - 2017 - London and New York: Routledge.
    Both through his own work and that of his students, Franz Clemens Brentano had an often underappreciated influence on the course of 20 th - and 21 st -century philosophy. _The Routledge Handbook of Franz Brentano and the Brentano School_ offers full coverage of Brentano’s philosophy and his influence. It contains 38 brand-new essays from an international team of experts that offer a comprehensive view of Brentano’s central research areas—philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and value theory—as well as of the principal (...)
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  35. Brentano's Classification of Mental Phenomena.Uriah Kriegel - 2017 - In U. Kriegel (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Franz Brentano and the Brentano School. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 97-102.
    In Chapter 3 of Book I of Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint, Brentano articulates what he takes to be the four most basic and central tasks of psychology. One of them is to discover the ‘fundamental classification’ of mental phenomena. Brentano attends to this task in Chapters 5-9 of Book II of the Psychology, reprinted (with appendices) in 1911 as a standalone book (Brentano 1911a). The classification is further developed in an essay entitled “A Survey of So-Called Sensory and Noetic (...)
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  36. Brentano’s Evaluative-Attitudinal Account of Will and Emotion.Uriah Kriegel - 2017 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 142 (4):529-548.
    In contemporary analytic philosophy of mind, Franz Brentano is known mostly for his thesis that intentionality is ‘the mark of the mental.’ Among Brentano scholars, there are also lively debates on his theory of consciousness and his theory of judgment. Brentano’s theory of will and emotion is less widely discussed, even within the circles of Brentano scholarship. In this paper, I want to show that this is a missed opportunity, certainly for Brentano scholars but also for contemporary philosophy of mind. (...)
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  37. Meinong and Brentano.Johann Christian Marek - 2017 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Franz Brentano and the Brentano School. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 272-282.
  38. Is Purple a Red and Blue Chessboard? Brentano on Colour Mixtures.Olivier Massin & Marion Hämmerli - 2017 - The Monist 100 (1):37-63.
    Can we maintain that purple seems composed of red and blue without giving up the impenetrability of the red and blue parts that compose it? Brentano thinks we can. Purple, according to him, is a chessboard of red and blue tiles which, although individually too small to be perceived, are together indistinctly perceived within the purple. After a presentation of Brentano’s solution, we raise two objections to it. First, Brentano’s solution commits him to unperceivable intentional objects (the chessboard’s tiles). Second, (...)
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  39. What Kind of Awareness is Awareness of Awareness?Michelle Montague - 2017 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 94 (3):359-380.
    _ Source: _Volume 94, Issue 3, pp 359 - 380 In this paper the author discusses and defends a theory of consciousness inspired by Franz Brentano, according to which every conscious experience involves a certain kind of immediate awareness of itself. All conscious experience is in a certain fundamental sense ‘self-intimating’—it constitutively involves awareness of that very awareness. The author calls this ‘the awareness of awareness thesis’, and she calls the phenomenon that it concerns ‘awareness of awareness’. The author attempts (...)
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  40. A Contemporary View of Brentano’s Theory of Emotion.Michelle Montague - 2017 - The Monist 100 (1):64-87.
    In this paper I consider Franz Brentano’s theory of emotion. I focus on three of its central claims: (i) emotions are sui generis intentional phenomena; (ii) emotions are essentially evaluative phenomena; (iii) emotions provide the basis of an epistemology of objective value. I argue that all three claims are correct, and I weave together Brentano’s arguments with some of my own to support them. In the course of defending these claims, Brentano argues that ‘feeling and will’ are united into the (...)
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  41. Brentano on Emotion and the Will.Michelle Montague - 2017 - In U. Kriegel (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Franz Brentano and the Brentano School. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 110-123.
    Franz Brentano’s theory of emotion is tightly bound up with many of his other central claims, in such a way that one has to work out how it relates to these other claims if one is to understand its distinctive character. There are two main axes of investigation. The first results from the fact that Brentano introduces his theory of emotion as part of his overall theory of mind, which consists of a number of closely interconnected theses concerning the nature (...)
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  42. Brentano on Sensations and Sensory Qualities.Massin Olivier - 2017 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Franz Brentano and the Brentano School. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 87-96.
    This chapter has three sections. The first introduces Brentano’s view of sensations by presenting the intentional features of sensations irreducible to features of the sensory objects. The second presents Brentano’s view of sensory objects —which include sensory qualities— and the features of sensations that such objects allow to explain, such as their intensity. The third section presents Brentano’s approach to sensory pleasures and pains, which combines both appeal to specific modes of reference and to specific sensory qualities.
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  43. Brentano’s Methodology as a Path Through the Divide: On Combining Phenomenological Descriptions and Logical Analysis.Tina Röck - 2017 - Axiomathes 27 (5):475-489.
    In this paper, I will describe how Brentano was able to integrate descriptive philosophy and logical analysis fruitfully by pointing out Brentano’s concept of philosophy as a rigorous science. First I will clarify how Brentano attempted to turn philosophy into a rigorous descriptive science by applying scientific methods to philosophical questions. After spelling out the implications of such a descriptive understanding of philosophy, I will contrast this descriptive view of philosophy with a semantic-analytic understanding of philosophy as proposed by Frege. (...)
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  44. Act Psychology and Phenomenology: Husserl on Egoic Acts.Benjamin Sheredos - 2017 - Husserl Studies 33 (3):191-209.
    Husserl famously retracted his early portrayal, in Logische Untersuchungen, of phenomenology as empirical psychology. Previous scholarship has typically understood this transcendental turn in light of the Ideen’s revised conception of the ἐποχή, and its distinction between noesa and noemata. This essay thematizes the evolution of the concept of mental acts in Husserl’s work as a way of understanding the shift. I show how the recognition of the pure ego in Ideen I and II enabled Husserl to radically alter his conception (...)
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  45. Brentano's Mind.Mark Textor - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
    Mark Textor presents a critical study of the work of Franz Brentano, one of the most important thinkers of the nineteenth century. His work has influenced analytic philosophers like Russell as well as phenomenologists like Husserl and Sartre, and continues to shape debates in the philosophy of mind. Brentano made intentionality a central topic in the philosophy of mind by proposing that 'directedness' is the distinctive feature of the mental. The first part of the book investigates Brentano's intentionalism as well (...)
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  46. Brentano on Consciousness.Mark Textor - 2017 - In U. Kriegel (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Franz Brentano and the Brentano School. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 49-60.
    Consider a perceptual activity such as seeing a colour, hearing a tone, tasting a flavour. How are these activities related to one’s awareness of them? I will use Brentano’s struggle with this question to guide the reader through the development of his view on consciousness. My starting point will be Brentano’s book Die Psychologie des Aristoteles (Brentano 1867), in which he developed an inner sense view of consciousness (§§1-2). Brentano’s early view is underexplored in the literature, but crucial for understanding (...)
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  47. From Mental Holism to the Soul and Back.Mark Textor - 2017 - The Monist 100 (1):133-154.
    In his Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt Brentano proposed a view of consciousness that neither has room nor need for a subject of mental acts, a soul. Later he changed his mind: there is a soul that appears in consciousness. In this paper I will argue that Brentano’s change of view is not justified. The subjectless view of consciousness can be defended against Brentano’s argument and it is superior to its predecessor.
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  48. Franz Brentano’s Mereology and the Principles of Descriptive Psychology.Flávio Vieira Curvello - 2016 - Dialogue and Universalism 26 (3):109-123.
  49. Two Phenomenological Accounts of Intuition.Guillaume Fréchette - 2016 - In Harald A. Wiltsche & Sonja Rinofner-Kreidl (eds.), Analytic and Continental Philosophy: Methods and Perspectives. Proceedings of the 37th International Wittgenstein Symposium. De Gruyter. pp. 129-142.
    Phenomenological accounts of intuition are often considered as significantly different from, or even incommensurable with most of the conception of intuitions defended in analytical philosophy. In this paper, I reject this view. Starting with what I consider to be a relatively neutral phenomenological account of intuition, I first present the main features of Husserl’s and Brentano’s accounts of intuition, showing the structural similarities and differences between these two views. After confronting them, I finally come back to what unites the two (...)
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  50. Aristotle’s De Anima According to Franz Brentano. The Structure of Human Soul in The Psychology of Aristotle. In Particular His Doctrine of the Active Intellect and in the Context of the Other Works From the Aristotelica Collection.Sonia Kamińska - 2016 - Analiza I Egzystencja 33:31-50.