In Fisette Denis & Fréchette Guillaume (eds.), Themes from Brentano. Rodopi (2013)

Arkadiusz Chrudzimski
Université de Fribourg
It is often claimed that Brentano’s rediscovery of intentionality has been strongly influenced by Aristotle. Brentano himself stressed repeatedly his affinity to Aristotle and this self-interpretation was by no means restricted to the theory of intentionality. In fact, Brentano seemed to believe that almost all of what he had discovered during his most influential years (1874–1895) has its more or less remote roots in the philosophy of Aristotle. Yet if we carefully compare the picture of intentionality that is to be found in Aristotle’s De Anima with Brentano’s theory of immanent objects, we find more differences than similarities. The truth is that Brentano developed a quite different ontology of intentionality, and his references to Aristotle should be seen as a conventional homage to his master rather than as something of substance that could help us to understand better Brentano’s own theory. What Brentano in fact took from Aristotle was rather his way of doing philosophy and certain isolated ideas, but certainly not theories in their entirety.
Keywords Intentionality  Franz Brentano  Aristotle  Ontology  Metaphysics  Intentional object  Conceptualism  Duns Scott
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