A relational theory of the act

Topoi 5 (2):115-130 (1986)

Authors
Barry Smith
State University of New York, Buffalo
Abstract
‘What is characteristic of every mental activity’, according to Brentano, is ‘the reference to something as an object. In this respect every mental activity seems to be something relational.’ But what sort of a relation, if any, is our cognitive access to the world? This question – which we shall call Brentano’s question – throws a new light on many of the traditional problems of epistemology. The paper defends a view of perceptual acts as real relations of a subject to an object. To make this view coherent, a theory of different types of relations is developed, resting on ideas on formal ontology put forward by Husserl in his Logical Investigations and on the theory of relations sketched in my "Acta cum fundamentis in re". The theory is applied to the notion of a Cambridge change, which proves to have an unforeseen relevance to our understanding of perception.
Keywords Husserl  dependence relations  ontology
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DOI 10.1007/BF00139225
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References found in this work BETA

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford University Press.
Intentionality.John Searle - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
The Varieties of Reference.Louise M. Antony, Gareth Evans & John McDowell - 1987 - Philosophical Review 96 (2):275.

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Citations of this work BETA

Ontological Dependence.Fabrice Correia - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (5):1013-1032.
Daubert's Naive Realist Challenge to Husserl.Matt Bower - forthcoming - Grazer Philosophische Studien.

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