The Formal Structure of the Intentional: A Metaphysical Study

Brentano Studien 1:11-18 (1989)
What is the metaphysical significance of what Brentano has shown us about intentionality? It is the fact that intentional phenomena have logical or structural features that are not shared by what is not psychological. It was typical of British empiricism, particularly that of Hume, to suppose that consciousness is essentially sensible. The objects of consciousness were thought to be primarily such objects as sensations and their imagined or dreamed counterparts. In the Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt, Brentano makes clear that intentional phenomena need not be sensible. He is aware that, even if intentional phenomena are always accompanied by sensible or sensational phenomena, they are not themselves sensational or sensible phenomena. And the presence of certain intentional attitudes is at least as certain and indubitable for us as is the presence of our sensations. If I make a certain judgment or ask myself a certain question, then I can know directly and immediately that I make that judgment or ask that question. (This is not to say, of course, that every intentional attitude may be the object of such certainty. Perhaps there is a sense in which you may be said to like or to dislike a certain thing without realizing that you like or dislike that thing.) If I can know directly and immediately that I am making a certain judgment, then, I can know what it is to make such a judgment. And if I know what it is to make a judgment, then, in making the judgment I can know directly and immediately that there is a certain individual thing - namely, the one who makes the judgment. Arid I, of course, am the one who makes my judgments and does my thinking. The same is true, obviously, of my other intentional activities - such activities as wondering, fearing, hoping, desiring, considering, liking and disliking.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 35,830
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Are Only Mental Phenomena Intentional?Anders Nes - 2008 - Analysis 68 (3):205–215.
Belief-That and Belief-In: Which Reductive Analysis?Uriah Kriegel - forthcoming - In Alex Gzrankowski & Michelle Montague (eds.), Non-Propositional Intentionality. Oxford University Press.
Chisholm on Brentano's Thesis.David H. Sanford - 1997 - In Lewis Edwin Hahn (ed.), The Philosophy of Roderick M. Chisholm. Chicago: Open Court. pp. 25--201.
Intentional Objects.Tim Crane - 2001 - Ratio 14 (4):298-317.
On a Causal Theory of Content.Lynne Rudder Baker - 1989 - Philosophical Perspectives 3:165-186.
Die Einheit der Intentionalitätskonzeption Bei Brentano.Werner Sauer - 2006 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 73 (1):1-26.
Resisting Normativism in Psychology.Georges Rey - 2007 - In Brian P. McLaughlin & Jonathan D. Cohen (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell.
Objects as Intentional and as Real.Alberto Voltolini - 1991 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 41:1-32.
Intensionality and Intentionality.Stephen F. Barker - 1982 - Philosophy Research Archives 8:95-109.


Added to PP index

Total downloads

Recent downloads (6 months)

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes

Sign in to use this feature