Brentano, Cartesianism and Jan Patocka

Brentano Studien 5:69-87 (1994)


In what follows, I wish to give a summary of Jan Patocka's views on one of the main features of Franz Brentano's thought, on what is usually called "Cartesianism". In order to make the subject-matter clear, I shall briefly discuss secondary aspects of the problem, too, such as Husserl's relationship to Patocka and Brentano, and the general characteristics of Patocka's thought. I shall, thus, consider (I) the nature of the relationship between Husserl and Brentano in general, and the one between Patocka and Brentano in particular; I shall summarize (II) the content of the term "Cartesianism", its relevance to Brentano's thought, and its definition given by Patocka; I shall also analyze (III) Patocka's criticism of Brentano's Cartesianism, and, finally, outline (IV) a criticism of Patocka's standpoint, with special emphasis on his negligence of the unique character of the unity of the mind.

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