Brentano and Mathematics

In Ion Tănăsescu (ed.), Franz Brentano's Metaphysics and Psychology. Zeta (2012)

Authors
Carlo Ierna
Radboud University Nijmegen
Abstract
Franz Brentano is not usually associated with mathematics. Generally, only Brentano’s discussion of the continuum and his critique of the mathematical accounts of it is treated in the literature. It is this detailed critique which suggests that Brentano had more than a superficial familiarity with mathematics. Indeed, considering the authors and works quoted in his lectures, Brentano appears well-informed and quite interested in the mathematical research of his time. I specifically address his lectures here as there is much less to be found about mathematics in his published works. Besides Brentano’s own work, it is quite remarkable to see that practically all of his better-known students sooner or later produced a work on the philosophy of mathematics. This also encourages the supposition not just of a common interest in the matter, but of a common theoretical core. All this prompts the question: Can we speak of a Brentanist philosophy of mathematics?
Keywords Franz Brentano  Edmund Husserl  Carl Stumpf  Christian von Ehrenfels  Philosophy of mathematics
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