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Summary Brentano introduces the notion of intentionality in Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint, and claims that it is the mark of the mental (in the sense that all and only mental phenomena are intentional); he offers important clarifications in the first appendix to this book published 37 years later in 1911. Scholars have debated whether Brentano changed his view on the nature of intentionality in the interval. It is natural to interpret the earlier passage as implying that intentionality is a relation between mental acts and immanent objects that exist only in the subject's mind; and to interpret the later passage as implying that intentionality is not a relation at all. More recently, however, these interpretations have been contested, with some suggesting that for Brentano intentional objects were always meant to be external and some claiming that Brentano foreshadows the accounts of intentionality as a three-place relation between an act, a content, and an object. More recently, there has also been an interest in whether Brentano's conception of intentionality foreshadowed work on so-called phenomenal intentionality. Other debates also concern the nature and plausibility of Brentano's claim that intentionality is the mark of the mental.
Key works Brentano introduces the notion of intentionality in Chapter 1 of Book II of Brentano 1874; his 1911 appendix on the notion is important (included in the same English edition). From Brentano, the notion propagated into all branches of the Brentano School, but most prominently through the phenomenological movement (see especially Husserl 2012). Other important contributions by Brentano's students include Twardowski 1977 and Meinong 1960. The notion is brought into analytic philosophy and regimented by Chisholm in Chisholm 1957, and later becomes central to philosophy of mind (see, e.g., Searle 1983). For an interpretation of Brentanian intentionality as a relation to immanent objects, see Brandl 2005; for an interpretation of it as not really a relation, see Chisholm 1989 (and, relatedly, Crane 2006). For a recent discussion of its connection to the notion of phenomenal intentionality, see Dewalque 2013. For discussion of Brentano's claim that intentionality is the mark of the mental, see Crane 1998 and Kriegel 2017.
Introductions A seminal presentation, and regimentation, of Brentano's notion of intentionality is offered in Chisholm 1957. Recent partially expository discussions are in Jacquette 2004 and Brandl 2005. A useful historical introduction to the propagation of the notion of intentionality through the Brentano School is offered in Kriegel 2013.
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  1. added 2018-09-17
    Brentano’s Mind. [REVIEW]Giuliano Bacigalupo - forthcoming - British Journal for the History of Philosophy:1-3.
  2. added 2018-09-03
    Reply to Nes.Tim Crane - 2008 - Analysis 68 (3):215–218.
    Brentano (1874) described intentionality in a number of different ways: as ‘the intentional inexistence of an object’, ‘reference to a content’, ‘direction towards an object’, and ‘immanent objectivity’. All these phrases were intended to mean the same thing, but such elegant variation can give rise to confusion. In my Elements of Mind (2001) I tried to give a simpler description: intentional states all involve directedness upon an object and what I call (following Searle 1992) aspectual shape. My aim in doing (...)
  3. added 2018-08-07
    Act and Intentionality.Benjamin Sheredos - 2016 - Dissertation, University of California, San Diego
    Understanding the “intentionality” of mental phenomena is widely regarded as a key problem in philosophy of mind. Franz Brentano (along with his students, especially Edmund Husserl) is widely credited with bringing intentionality to philosophers’ attention. In early treatment by the Brentano school, intentionality is at least nominally understood as executed, brought about, or achieved in mental acts. And in the early 20th century, historians of psychology regarded this “act conception” of intentionality as integral for understanding the phenomenon. Yet the secondary (...)
  4. added 2018-08-07
    Brentano's Act Psychology Was Not Aristotelian (or Else, Not Empirical).Benjamin Sheredos - 2016 - Brentano Studien 14:157-189.
  5. added 2018-07-02
    Much Ado About Nothing: Toward a Structural Realist Theory of Intentionality.Majid Davoody Beni - 2018 - Axiomathes 28 (3):293-308.
    Building upon Brentano’s Psychology from an empirical standpoint. Routledge, London, [1874] Brentano 1995) reintroduction of the concept of intentionality to the contemporary philosophy, Tim Crane has famously presented the intentionality as the mark of the mental. Accordingly, the problem of “intentional existence” has resurfaced in Crane’s revival of the Brentanoian theme. Here, I revise Crane’s construal of Brentano’s notion of intentional inexistence and reinterpret it in terms of a moderate version of relationalism. My relationalist theory of intentionality is inspired by (...)
  6. added 2018-05-14
    L'intentionnalité des phénomènes mentaux et l'action. Kaufmann et la phénoménologie.Denis Fisette - 2008 - In D. Fisette & D. Vanderveken (ed.), Actions, rationalité & décision. Actions, Rationality & Decision. Oxford: College Publications. pp. 166-197.
    Commentaires sur l'interprétation de la phénoménologie chez N. Kaufmann qui préconise une approche que j'ai appelée la lecture frégéenne de la phénoménologie. Je commente brièvement quelques-uns des problèmes liés à cette approche. J'examinerai ensuite le postulat de base de cette approche de la phénoménologie qui consiste à voir dans la théorie husserlienne de l'intentionnalité la tentative d'articuler le concept de directionalité emprunté de Brentano sur la théorie de la signification de Frege. Cette question fait l'objet de la deuxième et de (...)
  7. added 2018-02-17
    Austrian Phenomenology: Brentano, Husserl, Meinong, and Others on Mind and Object.Kimberly Baltzer-Jaray - 2011 - Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy/Revue canadienne de philosophie continentale 15 (2):209-212.
  8. added 2018-02-16
    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.
  9. added 2018-02-12
    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 (...)
  10. added 2017-12-25
    A Problem of the Intentional Relation of Presentation in Brentano’s Empirical Psychology.Tanasescu Ion - 2015 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 77 (2):251-271.
    In this paper, I argue that Brentano’s analysis of the mental act of presentation faces a major difficulty. Specifically, Brentano provides a description of the intentional relation of presentation that neglects an important difference between sensory presentation and nominal presentation. I also maintain that there are four kinds of intentional relations in Brentano’s empirical psychology: 1) intentional relation as a genus, 2) the relation of bare intentional containing of sensory presentation, 3) the relation of signification proper to nominal presentation, and (...)
  11. added 2017-10-09
    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 (...)
  12. added 2017-10-09
    Intention und Zeichen. Untersuchungen zu Franz Brentano und zu Edmund Husserls Frühwerk. [REVIEW]Karl Mertens - 1995 - ProtoSociology 7:238-241.
  13. added 2017-09-28
    Dieter Münch, Intention und Zeichen. Untersuchungen zu Franz Brentano und zu Edmund Husserls Frühwerk. [REVIEW]Bertrand Bouckaert - 1996 - Revue Philosophique De Louvain 94 (2):367-369.
  14. added 2017-09-25
    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.
  15. added 2017-09-11
    Brentano's Empiricism and the Philosophy of Intentionality.Mark Textor - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Brentano's Thesis that intentionality is the mark of the mental is central to analytic philosophy of mind as well as phenomenology. The contemporary discussion assumes that it is a formulation of an analytic definition of the mental. I argue that this assumption is mistaken. According to Brentano, many philosophical concepts can only be elucidated by perceiving their instances because these concepts are abstracted from perception. The concept of the mental is one of these concepts. We need to understand Brentano's Thesis (...)
  16. added 2017-09-11
    Brentano on Appearance and Reality.Seron Denis - 2017 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Franz Brentano and the Brentano School. Routledge.
  17. added 2017-09-11
    The Inaugural Address: Brentano's Thesis.Dermot Moran - 1996 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes( 70:1-27.
  18. added 2017-07-06
    Brentano's Empiricism and the Philosophy of Intentionality.Mark Textor - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Brentano's Thesis that intentionality is the mark of the mental is central to analytic philosophy of mind as well as phenomenology. The contemporary discussion assumes that it is a formulation of an analytic definition of the mental. I argue that this assumption is mistaken. According to Brentano, many philosophical concepts can only be elucidated by perceiving their instances because these concepts are abstracted from perception. The concept of the mental is one of these concepts. We need to understand Brentano's Thesis (...)
  19. added 2017-07-01
    Knowing Things in Themselves.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2017 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 94 (3):332-358.
    A perennial epistemological question is whether things can be known just as they are in the absence of any awareness of them. This epistemological question is posterior to ontological considerations and more specific ones pertaining to mind. In light of such considerations, the author propounds a naïve realist, foundationalist account of knowledge of things in themselves, one that makes crucial use of the work of Brentano. After introducing the resources provided by Brentano’s study of mind, the author reveals the ontological (...)
  20. added 2017-03-17
    Intentionality and Reference: A Brentanian Distinction.Hamid Taieb - 2017 - The Monist 100 (1):120-132.
    Brentano distinguishes between intentionality and reference. According to Brentano, all mental acts are intentionally directed toward something. Some mental acts also refer to something, which is the case when their object exists in reality. For Brentano, such acts, besides their intentionality, have a peculiar relation of similarity to their object. However, there is no mention of Brentano’s distinction between intentionality and reference in the literature. Drawing on some lesser known texts, this paper aims both at showing that Brentano makes such (...)
  21. added 2017-03-06
    Brentano`s Influence On Husserl`s Early Notion Of Intentionality.Peter Varga - 2008 - Studia Philosophica 1.
    The influence of Brentano on the emergence of Husserl`s notion of intentionality has been usually perceived as the key of understanding the history of intentionality, since Brentano was credited with the discovery of intentionality, and Husserl was his discipline. This much debated question is to be revisited in the present essay by incorporating recent advances in Brentano scholarship and by focusing on Husserl`s very first work, his habilitation essay, which followed immediately after his study years at Brentano, and also on (...)
  22. added 2017-03-06
    Ist Die Empfindung Intentional?: Der Brentanosche Hintergrund Einer Kritik Husserls.Ion Tănăsescu - 2003 - Studia Phaenomenologica 3 (1/2):75-97.
  23. added 2017-03-06
    The Concept of Intentionality: Husserl’s Development From the Brentano Period to the Logical Investigations.Herman Philipse - 1986 - Philosophy Research Archives 12:293-328.
    In this paper an attempt is made to reconstruct the development of Husserl’s conception of intentionality from 1891 up to 1900/01. It is argued that Husserl’s concept of intentionality in the Logical Investigations took shape under the influence of problems originating in two different fields: the philosophy of perception and philosophical semantics. This multiple origin of the concept of intentionality of 1900/01 is then adduced as an explanation of tensions within the text of the Investigations, tensions whieh account for the (...)
  24. added 2017-03-06
    Intentionalität und Sprache: Psychologische oder sprachliche Charakterisierung der intentionalen Beziehung?Hans Ineichen - 1982 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 15:21-41.
    Der theoretische Sinn von "intentional" wird vom praktischen unterschieden. Brentano vermag nicht zu erklären, was er unter "intentionaler Inexistenz eines Gegenstandes", d.h. "immanenter Gegenständlichkeit" versteht. Erst Husserl erklärt innerhalb seiner Analyse intentionaler Akte, was Brentano mit "intentionaler Beziehung" gemeint hat. Dabei zeigt sich, daß Bedeutungsintentionen auf Sprache bezogen sind. Husserl aber übersieht, daß intentionale Verben Dispositionsverben sind; der Zusammenhang zwischen sprachlichem Verhalten und Dispositionen bleibt ungeklärt. Aus Husserls Analyse lassen sich leicht die Kriterien gewinnen welche Chisholm u.a. als sprachliche Kriterien (...)
  25. added 2017-03-06
    Intensionality and Intentionality.Stephen F. Barker - 1982 - Philosophy Research Archives 8:95-109.
    This paper proposes interpretations of the vexed notions of intensionality and intentionality and then investigates their resulting interrelations.The notion of intentionality comes from Brentano, in connection with his view that it can help us understand the mental. Setting aside Husserl’s basic definition of intentionality as not quite in line with Brentano’s explanatory purpose, this paper proposes that intentionality be defined in terms of inexistence and indeterminacy.It results that Brentano’s thesis will not be strictly true. However, intentional descriptions will always be (...)
  26. added 2017-03-06
    Brentano and Husserl on Intentional Objects and Perception.Dagfinn Føllesdal - 1978 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 5:83-94.
    The article is a comparative critical discussion of the views of Brentano and Husserl on intentional objects and on perception. Brentano's views on intentional objects are first discussed, with special attention to the problems connected with the status of the intentional objects. It is then argued that Husserl overcomes these problems by help of his notion of noema. Similarly, in the case of perception, Brentano's notion of physical phenomena is argued to be less satisfactory than Husserl's notion of hyle, whose (...)
  27. added 2017-03-03
    Brentano on Intentionality.Tim Crane - 2017 - In U. Kriegel (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Franz Brentano and the Brentano School. London, UK: Routledge. pp. 41-48.
    Brentano’s account of what he called intentionale Inexistenz — what we now call intentionality — is without question one of the most important parts of his philosophy, and one of the most influential ideas in late 19th-century philosophy. Here I will explain how this idea figures in Brentano’s central text, Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint (Brentano 1995a). I will then briefly explain how Brentano’s ideas about intentionality evolved after the first publication of this work in 1874, and how they were (...)
  28. added 2017-01-26
    Univocity of Being and Intentionality of Knowledge-Critical-Essay on the Genesis and Sources of the Thought of Brentano, Franz.M. Antonelli - 1990 - Giornale Critico Della Filosofia Italiana 10 (1):101-123.
  29. added 2017-01-23
    The Bounds of Object: The Brentano-Meinong Dispute, A Priori Knowledge, and the Power of Perception.C. Zielinska Anna & Boccaccini Federico - 2015 - In Denis Seron, Sebastien Richard & Bruno Leclercq (eds.), Objects and Pseudo-Objects: Ontological Deserts and Jungles From Brentano to Carnap. Berlin: De Gruyter. pp. 17-50.
  30. added 2017-01-17
    Intentionality, Brentano and Bain's Psychology.Boccaccini Federico - unknown
  31. added 2016-12-08
    Sprachkritik ou sémantique : sur le schisme de l'école brentanienne.Jocelyn Benoist - 2003 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 64 (1):35.
    The author studies the last period of Brentano’s thought and its characteristic refusal of semantic entities. During this « reist » period, Brentano fought against the idea of something like the « content » of a judgement. Confronting this conception, according to which nothing is but what is real, with the one of the « semantic objectivism », exemplified by Bolzano and Husserl, the author underlines the split which divides the so-called Austrian philosophical tradition.
  32. added 2016-11-07
    Ist die Empfindung intentional? Der Brentanosche Hintergrund einer Kritik Husserls.Ion Tãnãsescu - 2003 - Studia Phaenomenologica 3 (1):75-95.
  33. added 2016-10-18
    Franz Brentano: Psychologie Vom Empirischen Standpunkt. [REVIEW]W. Caldwell - 1926 - Philosophical Review 35 (2):189.
  34. added 2016-08-15
    Kant, Brentano and Stumpf on Psychology and Anti-Psychologism.Guillaume Fréchette - 2013 - In Margit Ruffing, Claudio La Rocca, Alfredo Ferrarin & Stefano Bacin (eds.), Kant Und Die Philosophie in Weltbürgerlicher Absicht: Akten des Xi. Kant-Kongresses 2010. De Gruyter. pp. 727-736.
  35. added 2016-07-31
    The Intentionality of Sensation and the Problem of Classification of Philosophical Sciences in Brentano’s Empirical Psychology.Ion Tănăsescu - 2017 - Axiomathes 27 (3):243-263.
    In the well-known intentionality quote of his Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint, Brentano characterises the mental phenomena through the following features: the intentional inexistence of an object, the relation to a content, and the direction toward an object. The text argues that this characterisation is not general because the direction toward an object does not apply to the mental phenomena of sensation. The second part of the paper analyses the consequences that ensue from here for the Brentanian classification of mental (...)
  36. added 2016-07-04
    The Paradox of Objectless Presentations in Early Phenomenology: A Brief History of the Intentional Object From Bolzano to Husserl With Concise Analyses of the Positions of Brentano, Frege, Twardowski and Meinong.George Heffernan - 2015 - Studia Phaenomenologica 15:67-91.
    This paper explores the close connection in early phenomenology between the problem of objectless presentations and the concept of intentional objects. It clarifies how this basic concept of Husserl’s early phenomenology emerged within the horizons of Bolzano’s logical objectivism, Brentano’s descriptive psychology, Frege’s mathematical logicism, Twardowski’s psychological representationalism, and Meinong’s object theory. It shows how in collaboration with these thinkers Husserl argued that a theory of intentionality is incomplete without a concept of the intentional object. It provides a brief history (...)
  37. added 2016-07-04
    On Brentano's Thesis and Psychologism.Natuhiko Yosida - 1966 - Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 3 (1):1-5.
  38. added 2016-06-20
    Brentano or Husserl? Intentionality, Consciousness, and Self-Consciousness in Contemporary Phenomenology of Mind.Federico Boccaccini - 2015 - Archivio Di Filosofia (3):189-202.
  39. added 2016-06-06
    Bewußtsein, Gegenstand, Sachverhalt. Eine Brentanostudie.Georg Katkov - 1930 - Archiv Für Die Gesamte Psychologie 75 (3-4):459-544.
  40. added 2016-02-05
    Franz Brentano: equivocidad del ser y objeto intencional.Mario Ariel González Porta - 2002 - Kriterion: Revista de Filosofia 43 (105):97-118.
  41. added 2016-01-25
    Two Views on Intentionality, Immortality, and the Self in Brentano’s Philosophy of Mind.Sonia Kamińska - 2014 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 8 (2):25-42.
    This paper is devoted to Franz Brentano’s conception of intentionality, and aims to reveal some of its lesser known aspects, like the implications of his studies for our understanding of Aristotle’s psychology. I try to show two “currents” in Brentano’s thought: beside what is widely known as Franz Brentano’s philosophy of mind, I also present the Aristotelian side of his thinking. Each of these currents, which I call A and B, makes different assumptions about the ontological status of the soul (...)
  42. added 2016-01-07
    Brentano's Mature Theory of Intentionality.Uriah Kriegel - 2016 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 4 (2):1-15.
    The notion of intentionality is what Franz Brentano is best known for. But disagreements and misunderstandings still surround his account of its nature. In this paper, I argue that Brentano’s mature account of the nature of intentionality construes it, not as a two-place relation between a subject and an object, nor as a three-place relation between a subject’s act, its object, and a ‘content,’ but as an altogether non-relational, intrinsic property of subjects. I will argue that the view is more (...)
  43. added 2015-11-29
    Seiendes, Bewußtsein, Intentionalit Im Frühwerk von Franz Brentano.Mauro Antonelli - 2001 - K. Alber.
  44. added 2015-11-03
    Brentano's Immanent Realism and Beyond. [REVIEW]Riccardo Manzotti - 2006 - Mind and Matter 4 (1):115-119.
    Review of Albertazzi, L. (2006): 'ImmanentRealism.An Introduction to Brentano'. Springer, Netherlands. ISBN 1-402-04201-9 (Euro 139.-; hbk).
  45. added 2015-09-08
    Improper Intentions of Ambiguous Objects: Sketching a New Approach to Brentano’s Intentionality.Carlo Ierna - 2015 - Brentano Studien:55–80.
    In this article I will begin by discussing recent criticism, by Mauro Antonelli and Werner Sauer, of the ontological interpretation of Franz Brentano’s concept of intentionality, as formulated by i.a. Roderick Chisholm. I will then outline some apparent inconsistencies of the positions advocated by Antonelli and Sauer with Brentano’s formulations of his theory in several works and lectures. This new evaluation of (unpublished) sources will then lead to a sketch of a new approach to Brentano’s theory of intentionality. Specifically, it (...)
  46. added 2015-08-17
    Origins of Gegenstandstheorie: Immanent and Transcendent Intended Objects in Brentano, Twardowski, and Meinong.Dale Jacquette - 2015 - In Alexius Meinong, the Shepherd of Non-Being. Springer Verlag.
  47. added 2015-04-11
    Intention und Zeichen. Untersuchungen zu Franz Brentano und zu Edmund Husserls Frühwerk.Dieter Münch - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):604-605.
  48. added 2015-04-11
    "Intention" und "Intentionalität" in der Scholastik, bei Brentano und Husserl.Herbert Spiegelberg - 1969 - Studia Philosophica 29:189.
  49. added 2015-04-11
    Intenzionalità, verità ed evidenza secondo Franz Brentano.A. Bausola - 1967 - Rivista di Filosofia Neo-Scolastica 59:275.
  50. added 2015-04-11
    On Brentano's Thesis and Psychologism.Natuhiko Yosida - 1967 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 32 (3):405-406.
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