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Summary According to Brentano, all mental states are conscious, and relatedly, all are intentionally directed at themselves (in addition to being intentionally directed at distinct objects). Debates in the area often concern what Brentano's position exactly was and how it relates to contemporary self-representational theories of consciousness; they often also concern the plausibility of Brentano's position, often as compared to Husserl's.
Key works Brentano's clearest exposition of his view on consciousness is in the second half of Chapter 2, and the whole of Chapter 3, of Book II of Brentano 1874. Relevant developments appear from his lecture notes of 1890-1, published posthumously as Brentano 1982/1995. Husserl critically discusses Brentano's views in the fifth investigation of Husserl 2000 Vol 2. In modern analytic philosophy of mind, Brentano's ideas were first prominently discussed by David Woodruff Smith in Smith 1986, and have been further developed by Uriah Kriegel, for instance in Kriegel 2003. In recent years, Mark Textor has developed a nuanced interpretation of Brentano on consciousness - see especially Textor 2006 and Textor 2013. A sustained Husserlian critique of these recent Brentanian developments is offered by Dan Zahavi, for example in Zahavi 2004.
Introductions Brentano's own presentation of his take on consciousness is very lucid and still serves as the best introduction - see Chapters 2-3 of Book II of Brentano 1874. In a series of recent papers, Mark Textor offers a thorough exposition of Brentano's account - see especially Textor 2006 and Textor 2013.
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  1. Comments on Denis Fisette, “Franz Brentano and Higher-Order Theories of consciousness".Bruno Leclercq - forthcoming - Argumentos.
  2. Briefwechsel über Psychophysik 1874–1878, written by Franz Brentano and Gustav Theodor Fechner.Denis Seron - forthcoming - Grazer Philosophische Studien.
  3. Consciência e representações meta-psicológicas : um exame das teorias de Franz Brentano e David Rosenthal.Iago Marques Barbosa - 2023 - Dissertation, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco
    Rosenthal descreve a consciência de criatura como o simples fato de uma criatura estar desperta e atenta aos estímulos externos da natureza. Estas criaturas conscientes possuem determinados estados mentais que representam os fenômenos da natureza, isto é, uma certa propriedade mental que estabelece uma relação entre o fenômeno da natureza, e aquilo que percebemos desse fenômeno. Estes estados mentais podem ou não estarem presentes na consciência de criatura. O que é responsável por tornar esses estados mentais conscientes? Para tentar responder (...)
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  4. Why does it matter to individuate the senses: A Brentanian approach.Guillaume Fréchette - 2023 - European Journal of Philosophy 31 (2):413-430.
    How do we individuate the senses, what exactly do we do when we do so, and why does it matter? In the following article, I propose a general answer to these related questions based on Franz Brentano's views on the senses. After a short survey of various answers offered in the recent literature on the senses, I distinguish between two major ways of answering this question, causally and descriptively, arguing that only answers giving priority to description and to the classification (...)
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  5. Structures of inner consciousness: Brentano onward.David Woodruff Smith - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 66 (8):1420-1439.
    For Brentano, an act of consciousness features a presentation of an object joined with an inner presentation – an ‘inner consciousness’ or inner awareness – of that object-presentation. On Mark Textor’s articulation of Brentano’s model, the act has the structure of a single experience directed upon a plurality, viz.: the object and the experience itself. I consider an alternative development of this Brentanian model. Drawing on Husserl’s part-whole ontology, I submit, the act itself has the structure of a whole formed (...)
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  6. Brentano on the Individuation of Mental Acts.Hamid Taieb - 2023 - European Journal of Philosophy 31 (2):431-444.
    This paper aims to present and evaluate Brentano’s account of the individuation of mental acts. In his early works, Brentano assimilated mental acts to tropes; however, he encountered difficulties in explaining their individuation, since the usual solutions for the individuation of tropes were not readily applicable to his theory of mental acts. In a later period, Brentano introduced into his psychology what he called the “soul”, and this allowed him to explain the individuation of mental acts. Finally, after his “reistic” (...)
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  7. Deeper into Brentano’s mind: response to critics.Mark Textor - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 66 (8):1440-1462.
    Laura Gow, Uriah Kriegel, Hamid Taieb, and David Woodruff Smith raised help – and insightful points of criticism about my book Brentano’s Mind. In this paper, I will defend and expand on the main claims of the book. My responses are organized around four topics: Psychology without a Soul, Plural Intentionality (and Conceptual Parts), Intentionality and Intentionality Primitivism, Mark of Mental.
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  8. Consciousness and Intentionality in Franz Brentano.Mauro Antonelli - 2022 - Acta Analytica 37 (3):301-322.
    The paper argues against the growing tendency to interpret Brentano’s conception of inner consciousness in self-representational terms. This trend has received support from the tendency to see Brentano as a forerunner of contemporary same-order theories of consciousness and from the view that Brentano models intransitive consciousness on transitive consciousness, such that a mental state is conscious insofar as it is aware of itself as an object. However, this reading fails to take into account the Brentanian concept of object, which is (...)
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  9. Brentano’s psychology and Kazimierz Twardowski School: implications for the empirical study of psychological phenomena today.Amadeusz Citlak - 2022 - Psychological Research 87:1-17.
    The article presents the most important and almost forgotten theses of Franz Brentano's empirical psychology, which have significance for conceptualization and the method of psychological research. The psychology programme, introduced as early as 1874, remains on the fringes of mainstream empirical psychology, but it was the starting point for Kazimierz Twardowski and his students. The continuation and development of Brentano's thought in the twentieth century can significantly enrich and broaden psychology's theoretical and empirical perspective. This applies primarily to reductionism and (...)
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  10. La Philosophie de Franz Brentano.Denis Fisette - 2022 - Paris: Vrin.
    This book is a short presentation of the life, thought and work of Franz Brentano. The first part of the book is a biography of Brentano, the second is a description of the ramifications of Brentano's philosophical program, and the third section offers a succinct description of his main works and of his Nachlaß. Résumé: Cet opuscule est une présentation sommaire de la vie, de la pensée et de l'œuvre de Franz Brentano. L'ouvrage est divisé en trois parties. La première (...)
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  11. La théorie évaluative-attitudinale de la volonté et de l'émotion chez Brentano.Uriah Kriegel - 2022 - In Natalie Depraz & Maria Gyemant (eds.), Phénoménologie des émotions. Hermann.
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  12. A Systematic Reconstruction of Brentano’s Theory of Consciousness.Andrea Marchesi - 2022 - Topoi 41 (1):123-132.
    In recent years, Brentano’s theory of consciousness has been systematically reassessed. The reconstruction that has received the most attention is the so-called identity reconstruction. It says that secondary consciousness and the mental phenomenon it is about are one and the same. Crucially, it has been claimed that this thesis is the only one which can make Brentano’s theory immune to what he considers the main threat to it, namely, the duplication of the primary object. In this paper, I argue that (...)
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  13. Franz Brentano: mente, coscienza, realtà.Mauro Antonelli - 2021 - Roma: Carocci editore. Edited by Federico Boccaccini.
  14. The Relationship between Psychology and Phenomenology: an analysis based on Husserl’s views.Maryam Bakhtiarian & Fatemeh Benvidi - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Investigations 15 (36):245-258.
    The relationship between an independent scientific discipline called psychology with phenomenology that presents the methodology and method together is an excuse for investigating the relationship between Husserl and Brentano’s thoughts. Although their relationship is come from different sources, according to Husserl’s main problem, end, and concern in confronting psychology, a researcher can find a good issue for research. Psychology and phenomenology bond together in favor of philosophy and seek a different intuition. Husserl keeps a type of psychology and uses it (...)
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  15. Reflexivity Without Noticing: Durand of Saint-Pourçain, Walter Chatton, Brentano.Charles Girard - 2021 - Topoi 41 (1):111-121.
    According to Franz Brentano, every mental act includes a representation of itself. Hence, Brentano can be described as maintaining that: reflexivity, when it occurs, is included as a part in mental acts; and reflexivity always occurs. Brentano’s way of understanding the inclusion of reflexivity in mental acts entails double intentionality in mental acts. The aim of this paper is to show that the conjunction of and is not uncommon in the history of philosophy. To that end, the theories of two (...)
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  16. Brentano on consciousness, intentionality, value, will, and emotion: Reply to symposiasts.Uriah Kriegel - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 31 (2):486-493.
    It is a regrettable feature of this book symposium that it appears only after the book itself. If I could solicit from three outstanding philosophers detailed analyses of substantial portions of the book before publishing it, the book would have been far better. Below, I indicate some of the ways the book would have been better.
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  17. Brentano on Phenomenal and Transitive Consciousness, Unconscious Consciousness, and Phenomenal Intentionality.Angela Mendelovici - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 31:458-467.
    In Brentano’s Philosophical System: Mind, Being, Value, Uriah Kriegel argues that Brentano’s work forms a “live philosophical program” (p. 14, italics omitted) that contemporary philosophy has much to learn from and that is promising and largely correct. To this end, Kriegel argues that Brentano’s notion of consciousness is the contemporary notion of phenomenal consciousness, that Brentano’s rejection of unconscious mentality is a grave mistake that can be fairly neatly excised from his overall view, and that Brentano’s notion of intentionality is (...)
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  18. The Mind’s Presence to Itself: In Search of Non‐intentional Awareness.Jonathan Mitchell - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (3):659-675.
    According to some philosophers, the mind enjoys a form of presence to itself. That is to say, in addition to being aware of whatever objects it is aware of, it is also (co-presently) aware of itself. This paper explores the proposal that we should think about this kind of experiential-presence in terms of a form of non-intentional awareness. Various candidates for the relevant form of awareness, as constituting supposed non-intentional experiential-presence, are considered and are shown to encounter significant problems. The (...)
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  19. Die räumliche Sprache der Erfahrung. Die innere Zeit und der innere Raum.Viktor Molchanov - 2021 - Investigaciones Fenomenológicas 7:499.
    This investigation addresses the internal experience as a spatial phenomenon. Ascertaining the difference between internal and external experience as a space metaphor leads to the question of the source of the space metaphors in principle. The analogy between time and space and the space metaphors in Husserl’s conception of time are considered. The question of the temporality of consciousness, evidence, and internal experience are brought to the fore by comparing Brentano’s and Husserl’s conceptions. The difference between the direct and indirect (...)
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  20. Décrire: La psychologie de Franz Brentano.Massin Olivier & Mulligan Kevin - 2021 - Paris: Vrin.
    L'enseignement viennois de Brentano a faconne les philosophies exactes du XXe siecle, au travers de ses eleves Husserl, Meinong, Twardowski, Stumpf, Ehrenfels ou Marty. Si la theorie de l'intentionnalite, l'ontologie et la logique de Brentano ont fait l'objet de discussions approfondies, son anatomie d'une grande variete d'actes mentaux - choisir, hair, juger, percevoir, preferer, remarquer, savoir, sentir, souffrir, toucher, voir - demeure encore trop ignoree. Ce livre est consacre a cette analyse descriptive minutieuse et foisonnante. Outre son interet historique, celle-ci (...)
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  21. Phenomenal intentionality, inner awareness, and the given.David Woodruff Smith - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):10059-10076.
    Responding to the myth of a purely sensuous “given”, we turn to phenomenology, to the structure of consciousness in an everyday perception of an everyday object. We first consider Brentano’s model of an act of consciousness: featuring the presentation of an object “intentionally” contained “in” the act, joined by the presentation of that object-presentation in “inner consciousness”. We then dig into Husserl’s intricate “semantic” theory of intentionality: featuring “noematic” meaning within a “horizon” of implicated meaning regarding the object of perceptual (...)
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  22. Brentano on the Characteristics of Sensation.Hamid Taieb - 2021 - In Mauro Antonelli & Thomas Binder (eds.), The Philosophy of Brentano. Brill. pp. 192-208.
    In this paper, I present Brentano’s account of sensation. In the first part, I focus on Brentano’s positive views on sensation, according to which it is an intuitive fundamental presentation of a real physical phenomenon. In the second part, I discuss the way Brentano distinguishes sensation from other mental acts, namely, outer perception, inner perception, acts of interest, proteraesthesis, memory, conceptual presentations, and imagination.
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  23. Psychologie, Seiendes, Phantasie bei Franz Brentano.Ion Tănăsescu - 2021 - De Gruyter.
    Das Buch betrachtet Brentanos Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt als eine methodologische Schrift, die einen wichtigen Beitrag zur positiven Philosophie des 19. Jahrhunderts leistet und gegenüber seiner Deskriptiven Psychologie ein selbstständiges Projekt ausmacht. Es untersucht auch Themen Brentanos, die für die Phänomenologie Heideggers und Husserls relevant sind: das veritative Seiende, die Phantasievorstellung und die Intentionalität.
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  24. The Phenomenology of Mentality.Arnaud Dewalque - 2020 - In Denis Fisette, Guillaume Frechette & Hynek Janoušek (eds.), Franz Brentano’s Philosophy after Hundred Years – From History of Philosophy to Reism. New York: Springer. pp. 23-40.
    This chapter offers a phenomenological interpretation of Brentano’s view of mentality. The key idea is that mental phenomena are not only characterized by intentionality; they also exhibit a distinctive way of appearing or being experienced. In short, they also have a distinctive phenomenology. I argue this view may be traced back to Brentano’s theory of inner perception. Challenging the self-representational reading of IP, I maintain the latter is best understood as a way of appearing, that is, in phenomenological terms. Section (...)
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  25. Descriptive Psychology: Brentano and Dilthey.Guillaume Fréchette - 2020 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 10 (1):290-307.
    Although Wilhelm Dilthey and Franz Brentano apparently were pursuing roughly the same objective—to offer a description of our mental functions and of their relations to objects—and both called their respective research programs ‘descriptive psychology’, they seem to have used the term to refer to two different methods of psychological research. In this article, I compare analyses of these differences. Against the reading of Orth but also against a possible application of recent relativist accounts of the epistemology of peer disagreement to (...)
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  26. BRENTANO, FRANZ, Psicología desde el punto de vista empírico (traducción y presentación de Sergio Sánchez-Migallón), Ediciones Sígueme, Colección Hermeneia, Salamanca, 2020, 318 pp. [REVIEW]Miguel Martí-Sánchez - 2020 - Anuario Filosófico:581-583.
  27. Sound Ontology and the Brentano-Husserl Analysis of the Consciousness of Time.Jorge Luis Méndez-martínez - 2020 - HORIZON. Studies in Phenomenology 9 (1):184-215.
    Both Franz Brentano and Edmund Husserl addressed sound while trying to explain the inner consciousness of time and gave to it the status of a supporting example. Although their inquiries were not aimed at clarifying in detail the nature of the auditory experience or sounds themselves, they made some interesting observations that can contribute to the current philosophical discussion on sounds. On the other hand, in analytic philosophy, while inquiring the nature of sounds, their location, auditory experience or the audible (...)
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  28. Brentano’s Philosophical System: Mind, Being, and Value and Brentano’s Mind.Michelle Montague - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (3):473-480.
  29. From psychology to phenomenology : A controversy over the method in the school of Twardowski.Witold Płotka - 2020 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 19 (1):141-167.
    This paper seeks to define the main trends, arguments and problems regarding the question of method formulated by Twardowski and his students. In this regard, the aim of the paper is twofold. First, I situate Brentano’s project of descriptive psychology within the context of disputes in the school of Twardowski concerning the method of both psychology and phenomenology, arguing that descriptive-psychological analysis was dominant in this respect. Second, the study explores the notion of eidetic phenomenology, as founded on a methodological (...)
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  30. Brentano's mind. [REVIEW]Giuliano Bacigalupo - 2019 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 27 (1):238-239.
  31. La questione filosofica dell'inconscio: inconscio e autocoscienza non riflessiva da Brentano a Husserl.Michele Di Martino - 2019 - Milano: Mimesis.
  32. Ontology of touch: from Aristotle to Brentano.Gregor Moder - 2019 - In Mirt Komel (ed.), The Language of Touch: Philosophical Examinations in Linguistics and Haptic Studies. Bloomsbury Publishing.
  33. On external and internal experience: Franz Brentano and Meister Eckhart.Yaroslav Slinin - 2019 - HORIZON. Studies in Phenomenology 8 (2):442-459.
  34. Que peut Freud que Brentano ne peut pas?Hamid Taieb - 2019 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de L’Etranger 144 (2):183-201.
    Dans quelle mesure l'outillage conceptuel de Brentano peut rendre compte des processus psychiques dont la découverte est usuellement attribuée à Freud ? Il y a, entre le maître Brentano et l'élève Freud, une opposition fondamentale : le premier rejette l'existence de processus psychiques inconscients, tandis que le second les érige en principe majeur d'explication de la vie psychique. Après le rappel des arguments de Freud en faveur de l'inconscient, deux concepts brentaniens négligés, ceux d'association et de disposition, sont présentés, qui (...)
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  35. Natural Classes in Brentano's Psychology.Arnaud Dewalque - 2018 - Brentano‐Studien: Internationales Jahrbuch der Franz Brentano Forschung 16:111-142.
    This article argues that Brentano’s classification of mental phenomena is best understood against the background of the theories of natural classification held by Auguste Comte and John Stuart Mill. Section 1 offers a reconstruction of Brentano’s two-premise argument for his tripartite classification. Section 2 gives a brief overview of the reception and historical background of the classification project. Section 3 addresses the question as to why a classification of mental phenomena is needed at all and traces the answer back to (...)
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  36. Phenomenology and descriptive psychology: Brentano, Stumpf, and Husserl.Denis Fisette - 2018 - In Dan Zahavi (ed.), Oxford Handbook of the History of Phenomenology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 88-104.
    Entry on the influence of Stumpf et Brentano on Husserl's early phenomenology during the Halle period.
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  37. Brentano's Mind by Mark Textor. [REVIEW]Carlo Ierna - 2018 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 56 (4):763-764.
    Marx Textor's Brentano's Mind begins with a short, illuminating introduction which clearly sets out the author's main aims. The two questions Textor wants to consider are, "What is the nature of mind?" and, "What is the structure of consciousness?" From the outset, Textor explicitly states that his intent is not to provide a historically plausible exegesis of "Brentano's often dense and difficult texts", but to take his "bold, suggestive, and influential" answers to these questions as an inspiration for new systematic (...)
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  38. Brentano's Dual‐Framing Theory of Consciousness.Uriah Kriegel - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (1):79-98.
    Brentano's theory of consciousness has garnered a surprising amount of attention in recent philosophy of mind. Here I argue for a novel interpretation of Brentano's theory that casts it as more original than previously appreciated and yet quite plausible upon inspection. According to Brentano's theory, as interpreted here, a conscious experience of a tree is a mental state that can be simultaneously thought of, or framed, equally accurately as an awareness of a tree or an awareness of an awareness of (...)
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  39. Brentano's Philosophical System: Mind, Being, Value.Uriah Kriegel - 2018 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Uriah Kriegel presents a rich exploration of the philosophy of the great nineteenth-century thinker Franz Brentano. He locates Brentano at the crossroads where the Anglo-American and continental European philosophical traditions diverged. At the centre of this account of Brentano's philosophy is the connection between mind and reality. Kriegel aims to develop Brentano's central ideas where they are overly programmatic or do not take into account philosophical developments that have taken place since Brentano's death a century ago; and to offer a (...)
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  40. Brentano's early philosophy of mind.Robin D. Rollinger - 2018 - In Sandra Lapointe (ed.), Philosophy of mind in the nineteenth century. Routledge, Taylor & Francs Group.
  41. Review of the key of Franz Brentano’s psychology: the agent intellect. [REVIEW]Juan Fernando Sellés - 2018 - Bajo Palabra 18.
    _Abstract_ In this work we study the treatment of F. Brentano over the agent intellect in three of his works. We conclude that, for him, it is an immaterial and non-cognitive ‘power’ of the human soul, an ‘active force’ not pre-existent to it, but subsisting with it post-mortem; Its role is abstractive, not activation of the possible intellect, reason or intelligence. _Keywords:_ F. Brentano, agent intellect, psychology, non-cognitive immaterial power of the human soul.
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  42. Briefwechsel über Psychophysik 1874–1878, written by Franz Brentano and Gustav Theodor Fechner. [REVIEW]Denis Seron - 2018 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (1):153-157.
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  43. Brentano on the Unity of Consciousness.Dainton Barry - 2017 - In U. Kriegel (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Franz Brentano and the Brentano School. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 61-74.
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  44. Brentano on Phenomenal Unity and Holism.Barry Dainton - 2017 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 142 (4):513.
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  45. Brentano's Project of Descriptive Psychology.Seron Denis - 2017 - In U. Kriegel (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Franz Brentano and the Brentano School. New York: Routledge. pp. 35-40.
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  46. Brentano's Mind: Unity Without Simplicity.Arnaud Dewalque - 2017 - Rivista di Filosofia 108 (3):349-64.
    This paper offers a reconstruction of Franz Brentano’s mereological solution to the problem of the unity of consciousness and explores some implications of this solution for the ontology of the mind. In section 1 I sketch Brentano’s ontological distinctions between things, collectives, and divisives. In section 2 I present Brentano’s mereological solution and in section 3 I review his main pro-arguments. Eventually, in section 4 I consider some Jamesian objections to the mereological approach. I argue the notion of ‘mental parts’ (...)
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  47. Stumpf and Brentano.Denis Fisette - 2017 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Franz Brentano and the Brentano School. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 264-271.
    Overview of the complex relationship between Brentano and Stumpf.
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  48. Brentano on Self-Knowledge.Soldati Gianfranco - 2017 - In U. Kriegel (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Franz Brentano and the Brentano School. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 124-129.
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  49. Conscious Unity from the Top Down: A Brentanian Approach.Anna Giustina - 2017 - The Monist 100 (1):16-37.
    The question of the unity of consciousness is often treated as the question of how different conscious experiences are related to each other in order to be unified. Many contemporary views on the unity of consciousness are based on this bottom-up approach. In this paper I explore an alternative, top-down approach, according to which (to a first approximation) a subject undergoes one single conscious experience at a time. From this perspective, the problem of unity of consciousness becomes rather the problem (...)
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  50. Brentano on Time-Consciousness.Fréchette Guillaume - 2017 - In U. Kriegel (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Franz Brentano and the Brentano School. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 75-86.
    For many years, the importance and significance of Brentano’s conception of time-consciousness in contemporary philosophy was closely tied with Husserl’s adaptation of this conception in his own lectures on time-consciousness. These lectures, which Husserl held in Göttingen in 1904-05, were edited in the 1920s by the brilliant phenomenologist Edith Stein and are the source of many of the central ideas of transcendental phenomenology. In April 1926, Stein’s work was then taken over by Martin Heidegger, a young careerist who, after spending (...)
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