Brentano, Franz Clemens (1838–1917)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DC009-2
Version: v2,  Published online: 2020
Retrieved April 15, 2021, from


1 On Brentano’s life see Kraus (1919) and Binder (2017). I draw on both here.

2 Quoted in Cho (1990).

3 See Wundt (1897: 6–7). See entry on Wundt.

4 References to the German edition in square brackets.

5 See Hillebrand (1891) for work on the reform of logic.

6 Brentano in fact provides a number of further distinctive marks of mental phenomena, but he takes ‘having an object’ to be the most distinctive.

7 See Crane (2001: 2).

8 See Höfler (1897: 412) on so-called ‘objectless’ emotions. Crane (1998) develops a different response to such prima facie counter-examples.

9 See Molnar (2006: chapter 3) for a defence of the positive answer.

10 See PES (197 [II, 30]). See Kriegel (2017b: 99–100) for a good discussion of this approach.

11 See PES (186–7 [II, 7–10]).

12 Sections 19–22 of OKRW are the best exposition of Brentano’s view.

13 See Husserl (1913–21 § 21) and, for example, Chisholm (1967).

14 This seems Brentano’s preferred option in the second edition of Psychology.

15 For a detailed exploration of this option see Priest (2007).

16 In the literature on Brentano this strategy is often ascribed to Höfler and Meinong (1890; see there 1890, 7 and Twardowski (1894 §1)). But it is also among the many things Brentano says in Psychology, see PES (95 [I, 172–3]).

17 See Chisholm (1955/6). Many of the counter-examples in the literature against Brentano’s intentionality thesis are actually counter-examples against Chisholm’s linguistic replacement of intentionality. See for example Martin and Pfeifer (1986) who argue that sentences that report dispositions are intentional sentences. For an overview of Ersatz proposals see part I of Textor (2017).

18 PES (107 [I, 143]).

19 See, for example, Kraus’ comment on Freud in PES, 110n (I, 147, Fn. 2).

20 See Preface to OKRW.

References and further reading


  • Cho, K.K. (1990) ‘Phenomenology as a Cooperative Task: The Husserl-Farber Correspondence During 1936–7’, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 50: 27–43.

  • Crane, T. (1998) ‘Intentionality as the Mark of the Mental’, in A. O’Hear (ed.), Current Issues in the Philosophy of Mind, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 229–252.

  • Fodor, J. (1987) Psychosemantics, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  • Höfler, A. (1897) Psychologie, Prag/Wien: F. Tempsky.

  • Martin, C.B., and Pfeifer, K. (1986) ‘Intentionality and the Non-Psychological’, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 46: 531–554.

  • Molnar, G. (2006) Powers: A Study in Metaphysics, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Priest, G. (2007) Towards Non-Being: The Logic and Metaphysics of Intentionality, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Ryle, G. (1962) ‘Phenomenology versus “The Concept of Mind”’, in his Collected Papers I: Critical Essays, London: Routledge, Taylor& Francis E-Library, 2009, 186–209.

  • Stout, G.F. (1896/7) Analytic Psychology I & II, London: Allen & Unwin.

  • von Hartmann, E. (1869) Philosophie des Unbewussten, Berlin: Carl Duncker.

  • Wundt, W. (1897) Grundriss der Psychologie, 2nd edition, Leipzig: Engelmann.

Some of Brentano’s works

  • Psychologie vom Empirischen Standpunkt, second edition (1924) in two volumes, ed. by O. Kraus, reprint Hamburg: Felix Meiner Verlag, 1971. Translated as Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint (PES), by A.C. Rancurello, D.B. Terell, and L.L. McAlister, Routledge Classics, London: Routledge, 2014. (Brentano’s main work that contains, among other things, his views on the nature of psychology, the theory of intentionality, his view of consciousness and the theory of judgement. If you are interested in Brentano, you should work through this book.)

  • Vom Ursprung sittlicher Erkenntnis, ed. by O. Kraus, reprint Hamburg: Felix Meiner Verlag, 1969. Translated as The Origin of the Knowledge of Right and Wrong (OKRW), by E. Schneewind, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1969. (Contains in condensed form a theory of value that links it to the notion of correctness.)

  • Grundlegung und Aufbau der Ethik, ed. by F. Mayer-Hillebrand, reprint Hamburg: Felix Meiner Verlag, 1978. Translated as The Foundation and Construction of Ethics, by E.H. Schneewind, London: Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2009. (Lectures on practical philosophy that expand on the topics of The Origin of the Knowledge of Right and Wrong.)

Works by Brentano’s contemporaries on Brentanian topics

  • Bergmann, H. (1908) Untersuchungen zum Problem der Evidenz der Inneren Wahrnehmung, Halle a.S.: Verlag von Max Niemeyer. (Reconstruction and defence of the Brentanian view of self-knowledge.)

  • Hillebrand, F. (1891) Die neuen Theorien der kategorischen Schlüsse, Wien: Hölder. (Works out Brentano’s proposal for the reform of logic.)

  • Höfler, A. (1890) Philosophische Propädeutik. Erster Theil: Logik, in Zusammenarbeit mit A. Meinong, Wien: Tempsky/Freitag. (Contains the ‘official’ introduction of the act/content distinction.)

  • Husserl, E. (1913–21) ‘5th Logical Investigation: On Intentional Experiences and their “Contents”’, in his Logische Untersuchungen, Halle: Niemeyer (Eng. trans. of 2nd edn, Logical Investigations, London: Routledge). (Critical expositions of Brentano’s view of intentionality.)

  • Katkov, G. (1939/40) ‘The Pleasant and the Beautiful’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 40: 177–206. (Exposition and defence of Brentano’s view of aesthetic value.)

  • Kraus, O. (1919) Franz Brentano: Zur Kenntnis seines Lebens und Lehre, München: C.H. Beck’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Oskar Beck. (Introduction to Brentano’s life and work by a student of Brentano’s student Anton Marty.)

  • Moore, G.E. (1903) ‘Review of F. Brentano The Origin of Our Knowledge of Right and Wrong’, The Journal of Ethics 14: 115–123. (In-depth discussion of Brentano’s account of value.)

  • Twardowski, K. (1894) Zur Lehre vom Inhalt und Gegenstand der Vorstellungen: Eine Psychologische Untersuchung, Wien: Alfred Hölder. Translated as On the Content and Object of Presentations by R. Grossmann, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1977. (In-depth discussion of the notion of an immanent or intentional object.)

Monographs about Brentano and the Brentano School

  • Kriegel, U. (2018) Brentano’s Philosophical System: Mind, Being, Value, Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Argues that Brentano’s thought forms a unified system.)

  • Smith, B. (1995) Austrian Philosophy: The Legacy of Franz Brentano, Chicago: Open Court Publishing. (Introduces the main thinkers of the Brentano School in detail.)

  • Tassone, B.G. (2012) From Psychology to Phenomenology: Franz Brentano’s Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint and Contemporary Philosophy of Mind, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan. (Historically informed introduction and overview of Brentano’s philosophy of mind.)

  • Textor, M. (2017) Brentano’s Mind, Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Explores Brentano’s views of intentionality and consciousness.)

Articles and monographs on aspects of Brentano’s thought

  • Anscombe, E. (1978) ‘Will and Emotion’, Grazer Philosophische Studien 5: 139–148. (Assesses Brentano’s view that will and emotion belong to the same kind of mental phenomena.)

  • Baldwin, T. (1999) ‘La valeur intrinsèque chez Brentano et Moore’, Philosophiques 19: 231–243. (Compares Brentano’s and Moore’s metaphysics of intrinsic value.)

  • Binder, T. (2017) ‘Franz Brentano: Life and Work’, in Kriegel (2017a: 15–21). (Does what it says on the tin.)

  • Chisholm, R. (1955/6) ‘Sentences about Believing’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society: 125–148. (Introduced the linguistic reconstruction of intentionality.)

  • Chisholm, R. (1967) ‘Intentionality’, in P. Edwards (ed.), Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Vol. III, New York/London: Macmillan, 201–204. (Offers a particular take of the immanence view of intentionality.)

  • Chisholm, R. (1986) Brentano on Intrinsic Value, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Crane, T. (2001) Elements of Mind, Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Chapter 1 provides a reconstruction of the view that intentionality is the mark of the mental.)

  • Kriegel, U. (2003) ‘Consciousness as Intransitive Self-Consciousness: Two Views and an Argument’, Canadian Journal of Philosophy 33(1): 103–132. (Defends and develops Brentano’s argument for the ‘one-level’ theory of consciousness.)

  • Kriegel, U. (2017b) ‘Brentano’s Classification of Mental Phenomena’, in Kriegel (2017a: 97–103). (Introduces the ideas that animate Brentano’s ‘map of the mind.’)

  • Moran, D. (1996) ‘Brentano’s Thesis’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society. Supp. Volume 70: 1–27. (Criticism of contemporary, propositional readings of Brentano’s remarks about intentionality.)

  • Mulligan, K. (2004) ‘Brentano on the Mind’, in Jacquette (2004: 66–97). (Introduction to Brentano’s philosophy of mind.)

  • Olson, J. (2017) ‘Two Kinds of Ethical Intuitionism: Brentano’s and Reid’s’, The Monist 100(1): 106–119. (Introduces and compares Brentano’s meta-ethics with Reid’s.)

  • Parsons, C. (2004) ‘Brentano on Judgement and Truth’, in Jacquette (2004: 168–196). (Introduction and reading of Brentano’s view of judgement and its connection to truth.)

  • Sauer, W. (2006) ‘Die Einheit der Intentionalitätskonzeption bei Brentano’, Grazer Philosophische Studien 73: 1–27. (Develops a reading of Brentano’s view of intentionality that contrasts with Chisholm’s.)

  • Smith, D.W. (1986) ‘The Structure of (Self-)Consciousness’, Topoi 5: 149–156. (Influential reconstruction of Brentano’s argument for the so-called ‘one-level’ theory of consciousness.)

  • Taieb, H. (2018) Relational Intentionality: Brentano and the Aristotelian Tradition, Springer: Chams. (Relates Brentano’s view of intentionality to Aristotle and authors in the Aristotelian tradition.)

Edited volumes covering Brentano’s work

  • Jacquette, D. (ed.) (2004) Brentano: Cambridge Companions to Philosophy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Contains several helpful overview articles.)

  • Kriegel, U. (ed.) (2017a) Routledge Handbook to Brentano and the Brentano School, London: Routledge. (Contains introductions into main topics of Brentano’s philosophy as well as introductions to main figures of Brentano’s school.)

  • Fisette, D. and Frechette, G. (eds) (2013) Themes from Brentano, Amsterdam: Rodopi. (Covers themes from Brentano’s philosophy of mind and metaphysics and contains two previously unpublished ms. and letter between Brentano and Marty.)

Online articles

Citing this article:
Textor, Mark. Bibliography. Brentano, Franz Clemens (1838–1917), 2020, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DC009-2. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
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