Brentano and Aesthetic Intentions

Brentano Studien 4:235-249 (1992)
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Brentano's philosophy of art, contained primarily in his book, Grundzuge der Ästhetik, is the result of an original theory of intrinsic value that was derived from Brentano's philosophical psychology. In his aesthetics, Brentano endeavored to find an objective ground for the value of aesthetic contemplation through his theory of the intentional objects of emotions and desires. The lack of attention Brentano's aesthetics has received is surprising, given that two of the many students Brentano influenced, Husserl (through the development of the phenomenological movement) and Ehrenfels (through the development of Gestalt psychology) have had an extraordinary influence on twentieth century perceptions of art. In this paper I will attempt to redress some of this neglect by outlining Brentano's analysis of aesthetic intentions and the relationship his aesthetics bears to his overall philosophical system.



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