1st Edition

The Brentano Puzzle

Edited By Roberto Poli Copyright 1998

    Even if the width and the depth of Brentano’s intellectual legacy are now quite well known, those asked to list the principal philosophers of the 19th century, very rarely do mention his name. We may call this puzzle the problem of Brentano’s 'invisibility'. One component of the Brentano’s puzzle is that a number of Brentano’s outstanding pupils achieved their own success and founded their own schools. Suffice to mention Husserl’s phenomenology, Twardowski’s Lvov-Warsaw school and Meinong’s Graz school. The personal success and academic recognition attained by these exponents of Brentano’s school (in the broad sense) have come to obscure their common origins. The oblivion into which Franz Brentano’s thought fell was in part due also to the subsequent split between analytic philosophy and phenomenology. The book reconstructs elements of the 'map' of the Brentanists, revitalizing knowledge of the theoretical complexity of their debates, of their unitariness, and of their style. Last but not least, analyses of the relevance of those discussions for contemporary philosophical and scientific debate are also considered.

    Contents: The Brentano Puzzle: an introduction; Who needs Brentano? the wasteland of philosophy without its past; Introduction to Paul Linke’s Gottlob Frege as Philosopher; Gottlob Frege as philosopher; Franz Brentano and the University of Vienna Philosophical Society 1888-1938; On agents and objects. Some remarks on Brentanian perception; Perceptual saliences and nuclei of meaning; Brentano and the thinkable; From empirical psychology to phenomenology. Edmund Husserl on the Brentano Puzzle; Brentano and Boltzmann: the Schubladenexperiment; Johannes Daubert’s Theory of Judgement; On Alexius Meinong’s Theory of Signs; Linguistic expressions and acts of meaning: comments on Marty’s Philosophy of Language.


    Roberto Poli