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Summary Franz Brentano (1838-1917) published relatively little in his lifetime. But through his lectures he was extraordinarily influential. His best-known contribution to modern philosophy is the notion of intentionality, but he also developed original accounts of consciousness, judgment, truth, existence, substance, part-whole relations, emotion, value, beauty, and other central philosophical notions. The literature features both scholarly debates on what Brentano's view exactly was in each area and critical debates on the plausibility of these views. While such debates have been uninterrupted in the German-speaking world (as well as in Polish and Italian philosophy) throughout the 20th century, in the English-speaking world awareness of Brentano's philosophy is more recent and owes much to Roderick Chisholm's work. The term "Brentano School" is often used to refer to later generations of philosophers working within general paradigms he set out. Brentano's ideas propagated from his students in at least six directions: from Husserl to the Phenomenological movement, from Meinong to the so-called Graz School and Italian Gestalt Psychology, from Twardowski to Polish philosophy and logic, from Stumpf to the so-called Berlin School and German psychology, from Marty to the Prague School of orthodox Brentanianism, and from Ehrenfles to early Austrian economic thought. Some scholars have argued that Analytic Philosophy itself is an Austro-English development whose source is the work of Bolzano and Brentano.
Key works Chisholm 1976 has spawned an enormous literature on Brentano's notion of intentionality; a recent discussion is Crane 2006. Brentano's account of consciousness has recently received renewed attention - see Textor 2006. Brentano's contributions to logic and the theory of judgment were more widely discussed in the 1980s - see Chisholm 1976 and Simons 1987. For Brentano's metaphysics and mereology, see Chisholm 1978 and Mulligan & Smith 1985. The most thorough and comprehensive discussion of Brentano's value theory is still Chisholm 1986, but the theory has been the focus of sustained interest of late - see Danielsson & Olson 2007. G.E. Moore's review of Brentano 1889/1969 has been influential for its early reception - see Moore 1903. Many of Brentano's lecture notes have been edited posthumously by his students Alfred Kastil and Oskar Kraus; it is important to know that they sometimes interpolate their own understanding of Brentano into the text, and the reliability of their interpolations is debatable. Many of Brentano's original manuscripts are held by the Houghton Library at Harvard and can be consulted online; other manuscripts are held in Graz and Wurzburg.
Introductions Brentano's best known work is Brentano 1874, a relatively early book that presents a systematic picture of the nature and structure of mind; it is so clearly written that it still stands as the best introduction to Brentano's work. Also influential has been his Brentano 1889/1969, which defends an early version of a fitting-attitude account of value. Many of Brentano's articles, lectures, and letters on judgment, knowledge, and truth are collected in Brentano 1930/1966; and on metaphysics and mereology in Brentano 1933/1981. The most comprehensive and systematic English-language introduction to Brentano's philosophy is Albertazzi 2006. An extremely lucid exposition of Brentano's epistemology and metaethics is Chisholm 1986. An Early English-language collection on Brentano is McAlister 1976; a more recent one is Jacquette 2004. For discussion of the central ideas in the Brentano School, see Smith 1994; an extremely useful visual device is Dewalque 2013.
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Brentano: Consciousness
  1. 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.
  2. 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 (...)
  3. 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.
  4. Brentano's Mind. [REVIEW]Giuliano Bacigalupo - 2018 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 27 (1):238-239.
  5. 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 (...)
  6. Briefwechsel Über Psychophysik 1874–1878, Written by Franz Brentano and Gustav Theodor Fechner. [REVIEW]Denis Seron - 2018 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (1):153-157.
  7. Brentano on Phenomenal Unity and Holism.Barry Dainton - 2017 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 142 (4):513.
  8. 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. (...)
  9. 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. Sensory Perception and Primary Contents: Husserl's Contribution to the Problem of Consciousness.Denis Fisette - 2014 - New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy 13:36-61.
    My paper is divided into three parts. The first examines the different versions of phenomenology that Husserl used during the Freiburg period, including genetic phenomenology, which is considered, in Experience and Judgment, as the basis for his genealogy of logic. I also examine the doxa-episteme opposition, which is one of the central topics of this book, and I claim that Brentano's epistemic asymmetry between internal and external perception can be considered as a special case of this opposition, which Husserl seeks (...)
  11. Duas teses de Franz Brentano sobre a consciência.Denis Fisette - 2011 - Phainomenon, Revista de Fenomenologia 22:9-30.
  12. Le " cartésianisme " de Franz Brentano et le problème de la conscience.Denis Fisette - 2015 - In S. Roux (ed.), Le corps et l'esprit: problèmes cartésiens, problèmes contemporains. Paris: Éditions des archives contemporaines. pp. 163-208.
    Cette étude a pour double objectif de retracer quelques éléments cartésiens dans la philosophie de Brentano et d'évaluer sa théorie de la conscience à la lumière des débats actuels dans la philosophie de l'esprit contemporaine. Les deux premières parties de cette étude évaluent la dette de Brentano à l'endroit de la philosophie de Descartes. Dans la première, je montre que Descartes est associé à plusieurs principes fondamentaux de la psychologie de Brentano, tandis que dans la deuxième, je propose une interprétation (...)
  13. Brentano's Theory of Consciousness Revisited. Reply to My Critics.Denis Fisette - 2015 - Argumentos 7 (3):13-35.
    Reply to eight critical reviews of my paper "Franz Brentano and Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness" in the same issue of the journal Argumentos.
  14. Franz Brentano and Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness.Denis Fisette - 2015 - Argumentos 7 (3):9-39.
    This article addresses the recent reception of Franz Brentano's writings on consciousness. I am particularly interested in the connection established between Brentano's theory of consciousness and higher-order theories of consciousness and, more specifically, the theory proposed by David Rosenthal. My working hypothesis is that despite the many similarities that can be established with Rosenthal's philosophy of mind, Brentano's theory of consciousness differs in many respects from higher-order theories of consciousness and avoids most of the criticisms generally directed to them. This (...)
  15. 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.
  16. Qu'est-Ce Qu'un Phénomène Physique? Sur la Théorie des Sensations Dans la Psychologie du Point de Vue Empirique de Franz Brentano Et Ses Conséquences Pour la Scientificité de la Psychologie.Maria Gyemant - 2015 - Revue Philosophique De Louvain 113 (1):63-83.
    Dans sa Psychologie du point de vue empirique Brentano fonde le caractère scientifique de la psychologie sur le geste qui délimite le domaine particulier de cette science aux seuls phénomènes psychiques, en excluant les phénomènes physiques. La distinction entre ces deux types de phénomènes devient ainsi essentielle pour le projet brentanien d’une psychologie scientifique. L’objectif de ce travail est de montrer d’une part que la critique que Husserl fait à la fin de ses Recherches logiques de la distinction brentanienne entre (...)
  17. 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 (...)
  18. 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. (...)
  19. Briefwechsel Über Psychophysik 1874–1878, Written by Franz Brentano and Gustav Theodor Fechner.Denis Seron - forthcoming - Grazer Philosophische Studien.
  20. Brentano's Act Psychology Was Not Aristotelian (or Else, Not Empirical).Benjamin Sheredos - 2016 - Brentano Studien 14:157-189.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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 (...)
  24. 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 (...)
  25. Brentano's Mind: Unity Without Simplicity.Arnaud Dewalque - forthcoming - Rivista di Filosofia.
    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’ (...)
  26. 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 (...)
  27. 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.
  28. 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, (...)
  29. 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 (...)
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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 (...)
  33. 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.
  34. 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 (...)
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. Brentano y Quine: modalidades psicológicas de re e indeterminación de la traducción.Thomas M. Simpson - 1977 - Critica 9 (27):23-34.
  39. Sensory and Noetic Consciousness: Psychology From an Empirical Standpoint III. [REVIEW]John J. Drummond - 1985 - Review of Metaphysics 39 (1):141-142.
  40. Franz Brentano’s Mereology and the Principles of Descriptive Psychology.Flávio Vieira Curvello - 2016 - Dialogue and Universalism 26 (3):109-123.
  41. Franz Brentano: Psychologie Vom Empirischen Standpunkt. [REVIEW]W. Caldwell - 1926 - Philosophical Review 35 (2):189.
  42. Comments on Denis Fisette, “Franz Brentano and Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness”.Bruno Leclercq - unknown
  43. Ist die Empfindung intentional? Der Brentanosche Hintergrund einer Kritik Husserls.Ion Tãnãsescu - 2003 - Studia Phaenomenologica 3 (1):75-95.
  44. 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 (...)
  45. Bewußtsein, Gegenstand, Sachverhalt. Eine Brentanostudie.Georg Katkov - 1930 - Archiv Für Die Gesamte Psychologie 75 (3-4):459-544.
  46. Brentano or Husserl? Intentionality, Consciousness, and Self-Consciousness in Contemporary Phenomenology of Mind.Federico Boccaccini - 2015 - Archivio Di Filosofia (3):189-202.
  47. Über das Verhältnis Edmund Husserls zu Franz Brentano.Maria Brück - 1933 - Triltsch.
  48. 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 (...)
  49. 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 (...)
  50. Judgmental Force and Assertion in Brentano and Early Husserl.Hynek Janoušek - 2015 - Studia Phaenomenologica 15:105-128.
    The goal of the present article is to describe the Brentanian background of several topics concerning judgments and assertions in Husserl’s Logical Investigations. Why did Husserl abandon Brentano’s theory of two judgmental forces? Is the “is true/false” to be understood as an expression of judgmental force or as a logical predication? Is a “common expression” of the objective validity of judgment equivalent with our expression of our belief in that validity? Does the linguistic sign of the logical force manifest this (...)
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