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Reports on Philosophy, 22 (2004), 121-142

Roman Ingarden: Ontology from a phenomenological point of view
Arkadiusz Chrudzimski* (Zielona Góra and Salzburg)

Ontology is doubtless the most important part of Roman Ingarden’s (1893-1970) philosophy.1 Contrary to Husserl, Ingarden always believed that any serious philosophical investigation must involve an ontological basis and he tried to formulate a solid ontological framework for his philosophy. There are several reasons why this ontology deserves our attention. For those who are interested in Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology, Ingarden’s ontology could be treated as an ingenious attempt to analyse the conceptual structure and hidden ontological assumptions of Husserl’s transcendental idealism. (Cf. Ingarden 1967) For those who want to understand the immanent dialectics of the post-Brentanian development of the ontology of intentionality, Ingarden’s conception of the purely intentional object could be a very valuable tool. (Cf. Chrudzimski 2003) But Ingarden’s ontology has also independent value, and hence it is also interesting for those who pursue ontology for its own sake. In this paper, I will investigate the basic scheme of Ingarden’s ontology, including pure qualities, individual real objects, purely intentional objects and ideas.2 This schema will prove to be in many aspects generated by his phenomenological, i.e. descriptive and anti-reductionist, ideology.

1. Things and their properties The problem that since Plato has been regarded as the ontological problem par excellence is
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I should like to thank Alison Braus and Richard Van de Water for brushing up the English of this essay. Ingarden’s ontology is presented in his 1925a, 1931 and 1964/65. For a general introduction to his philosophy This is by no means a complete inventory of Ingarden’s ontology. Further important categories that will not be

see Küng 1982.
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analysed here are: event, state of affairs, process, system and causality.

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the famous puzzle of one over many. How can we explain (or explain away) the (alleged) fact that many individually different things often have “the same” property (e.g. they all are red)? There are in the history of philosophy many answers to this question and I have neither sufficient space nor erudition to treat them all. Allow me therefore to examine only three positions that are particularly relevant for Ingarden’s theory. (I) There are philosophers (commonly called Platonists) who maintain that the property RED exists separately and independently from all red things. According to this view, all red things have their colour by virtue of a peculiar relation (Plato himself wrote of a kind of “imitation”) that they all bear to the universal property RED. But the universal property in question exists fully independently of its individual “imitations”.3 Many aspects of the Platonic view seem to fly in the face of common sense. Still, it is deeply rooted in a cluster of very important philosophical intuitions concerning the traditional problems of necessity and apriority. Many philosophers feel convinced that there exist general and necessary truths, and that we can know at least some of these truths a priori, i.e. independently of any experience of their individual instances. Consequently, it is tempting to suppose that there must be a cognitively accessible realm of special entities that is independent of the contingency of individual things and that contains “ontological grounds” (i.e. the semantics) for all necessary truths. The typical Platonic explanation of the a priori knowledge of necessary truths refers to the realm of universal properties, and could be summed up as follows:

We can justifiably formulate a modal statement of the form: “Necessary: whatever is F is G”, if and only if we grasp the relevant relation (of entailment) between the universal properties F and G. 4

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A classical contemporary exposition of such a Platonic position is to be found in Chisholm. Chisholm tries to define four “basic relations” between properties:

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“D.1 P implies Q =Df. P is necessarily such that if it is exemplified, then Q is exemplified. [...] D.2 P includes Q =Df. P is necessarily such that whatever exemplifies it, exemplifies Q. [...] D.3 P involves Q =Df. P is necessarily such that whoever conceives it, conceives Q. [...] D.4 P entails Q =Df. P is necessarily such that, for every x and every y, if y attributes P to x, than y attributes Q to y.”, Chisholm 1989, p. 143 f.

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as stated in (2) and (4). is spatial”. M. There are. nonetheless there is no such thing in the world as a property without a bearer. although several things really can have the same property. because they all exemplify the same property. according to this theory. The intuition states that. and “Whatever is coloured is extended”. we are told. The only places where the properties could be found are concrete. If the correlative relations between Platonic properties. Cf. This view is commonly referred to as Aristotelian. But the explanation of how it is possible that several things are red still involves the assumption that the numerically same universal property is literally present in several individual things. The Aristotelian theory gives us a tool by means of which we can dispense with the Platonic heaven of uninstantiated properties. were not known. no uninstantiated properties. 3 . Chisholm 1977. 38) (II) The second classical theory of one over many denies a part of the Platonic intuition. could not (at the same place) be green”. and the modal statement: (3) “Necessary: whatever is coloured. the property RED cannot be found elsewhere than in red things. Nonetheless. True enough. We could at most justify general statements that: “Whatever is red. if we state an appropriate relation between properties. we can plausibly claim that this relation must hold for all individuals that instantiate these properties. the modal statement: (1) “Necessary: whatever is red could not (at the same place) be green”. as its justification. then. Armstrong. it is literally one in all those things. p. Each property is still construed as literally one in many individual things and therefore. (Cf. we could not justifiably formulate modal statements. individual things in which the properties in question are instantiated.5 This theory is supported by a very important common-sense intuition. and at the same time retain the quasi-Platonist explanation of necessary truths. either in Plato’s heaven or anywhere else. could be justifiably stated if and only if we know that: (2) “The property RED excludes the property GREEN”. his 1978 and 1989. The red things are red. and our entire justification for the general statements were inductive. The main disadvantage of the Aristotelian theory in comparison with its Platonist counterpart is the unavailability of a similar simple explanation of counterfactual 5 A contemporary partisan of this kind of Aristotelian position is D. the statement: (4) “The property COLOUR includes the property SPATIALITY”. assumes.For example.

it was discussed by the schoolmen. Grossmann 1974. Two things cannot thus have a literally common property. but also that every individual subject has its individual properties that must be individually different from the properties of any other subject. his 1921/1922. Cf. p. however. G. then its properties of being made of wood or being comfortable will vanish together with it. All properties are exactly as individual as their bearers. (Cf. 1923. or. and consequently no such property as (being) PEGASUS. as they persist even in the case of the above-mentioned destruction. and it is the only concept of property accepted by Franz Brentano and his followers like Carl Stumpf or Anton Marty. C. Williams 1953. Each individual thing. e. Facing this sad consequence. 1936 and 1940. otherwise. 5) One thing can therefore be red only if it has its own individual redness. but these properties. say that this view amounts to the claim that there are really no properties but only instances. (III) Still other philosophers hold a theory to the effect that there is really no one over many. If I destroy my chair.6 The philosophical intuition at the behind this theory says not only that there is no property without its concrete subject. because within the Aristotelian framework there are no uninstantiated properties. In the Aristotelian theory. his Categories 1a 20–1b 9). Notice that within the framework of the Platonist theory we can say not only that: (3) “Necessary: whatever is coloured. is spatial”. how can we explain the (alleged) fact that two 6 Such individual properties are nowadays commonly called “tropes”. F. But if we accept this argumentation. Cf. the proponent of the Aristotelian view must claim that any property that can be used in our explanations of necessary statements must be either itself instantiated. One can. it must be somehow reducible to a logical construction of instantiated properties. Of course another chair can be made of wood or be comfortable. This rather misleading name was introduced by D. 4 . but also: (5) “Necessary: whatever is Pegasus is winged”. we are assured.conditionals. if one wishes.g. Stout is frequently referred to as the “father” of this ontological position. have to be treated as individually different from the properties of my chair. (In our case to a conjunction of the properties WINGED and HORSE). But in point of fact the concept of an individual property can be traced back to Aristotle (cf. has its own individual properties that in principle cannot be “had” by another thing. Williams. the truth of (5) can no longer be explained by the statement: (6) “The Platonic property PEGASUS includes (entails) the Platonic property WINGED”.

So if I destroy my chair. for if it were to be treated as a particular (as an instance). and the respects in question seem to be nothing other than properties. Grossmann 1974. what this exemplification results in is that each red thing has its own redness. then. blueness or being made of wood. is the relation of similarity that obtains between them. or made of wood? What is there about the particular things that makes them belong to these groups? Proponents of the theory of individual properties typically refer to the relation of similarity. green. and the theory would invite a spectacular infinite regress. 2. as it assimilates in a sense all three theories referred to above. If an individual thing is red. Other chairs can be made of wood as well. 54. All red things are red because they exemplify the same pure ideal quality. p. exemplified by all the sets of similar objects. then there must be a pure ideal quality RED that corresponds to this thing. p. 5) Consequently. rather than as an particular. Secondly. called pure ideal qualities. but this comes down to the mere fact that they are similar. in the frame of this theory. 1. it would have to be similar to the other similarities. both are red). Ingarden’s theory of one over many Ingarden’s theory of one over many proves to be perfectly ecumenical. First of all. but rather of the similarity between their individual properties. Unsurprisingly. And if two things have the same colour (e.g. (Cf. one has to speak not of the similarity between individual concrete things. Several things are red. and secondly one has to construe this similarity not as a normal relation but rather as a kind of primitive nexus that in principle cannot be explained further.different material things can be both justifiably classified as red. then they must both correspond to the same pure ideal quality. (III’) Yet. the main difficulties of this theory concern the very notion of similarity used. According to Ingarden: (I’) There is a realm of universal Platonic entities. in order to be an instance of the similarity at all. blue or made of wood if each of them has its own instance of redness. What makes two instances into instances of “the same property”. the relation of similarity must be conceived as a universal. that is wholly independent of the world of real individuals. Armstrong 1978. (II’) But this relation of correspondence is defined as a relation of exemplification or instantiation. things are similar in some respects and not in others. which is individually different from the 5 . then its property of being made of wood will really vanish with it. vol.

The objects of thought The second problem that is crucial for the development of Ingarden’s ontology is the ontological status of so-called objects of thought. as we know. this similarity is very easy to explain.e.. in spite of the fact that the identity: (9) “Zeus = the Lord of Olympus” is. According to Husserl’s famous principle of all principles (cf. contexts that are placed in the scope of the socalled intentional operators. e.”. Castañeda. “Jack thinks of.. Two individual properties are similar if and only if they are exemplifications of the same pure ideal quality. The introduction of such special objects is forced upon us above all by the well-known puzzle commonly referred to as the nonextensionality of intentional contexts (i. The phenomenological point of view essentially involves an attempt to reconcile as many different and often apparently incompatible philosophical and pre-philosophical intuitions as possible.) every object that presents itself in a philosophical or pre-philosophical intuition is in an important sense given and.e. Thus. even if (7) “Jack admires Zeus”. 6 .. Husserl 1913.. Needless to say. the ecumenical character of Ingarden’s theory results from his phenomenological methodology.redness of any other red thing. and the first rule of any phenomenological philosophy is that a detailed description and analysis of such “given” facts must precede any attempt to build a “theory” to explain them. a phenomenological explanation very seldom amounts to merely “explaining away” certain theoretically unwanted entities.”. No doubt. 43 f. granted Ingarden’s rich ontology. for the validity of the inference from (7) to (8) 7 A good illustration of the phenomenological method can be found in the writings of H. we could not infer that (8) “Jack admires the Lord of Olympus”. his 1977. it is to be taken at its face value.. The main obstacle for a consistent extensional treatment of such contexts is the apparent failure of two important logical rules.). Cf. 3.7 Moreover. (i) the rule of the mutual substitutivity of identicals salva veritate (i. like “John believes that. p. these two individual instances of redness are similar. and... were true. true. “Mary wonders if. N.g.” etc. consequently. Every such intuition concerns something that is prima facie “given”. without change of truth-value) and (ii) the rule of existential generalisation.

These are. the reasons why we are tempted to postulate some special objects that could restore the logical regularity of intentional contexts. We want to find (or invent) some category of objects such that. the phenomenological description of this situation essentially involves a reference to O. and our (8) does not imply that there exists something else that Jack admires. and secondly. (Cf. Brentano rejected his earlier theory after 1904. Their history can be traced back to Plato and Aristotle. Similarly. have been proposed as appropriate objects of thought is very long. In his Psychology from the empirical point of view (1874) Brentano introduced objects of thought construed as peculiar mind-dependent entities that are in a rather obscure sense immanent to the mind of the relevant subject. Consequently. in a nutshell. because Zeus does not exist. but the object of thought O*. The list of objects that. the identity of these objects must be strong enough to allow us to apply the rule of the substitutivity of identicals salva veritate. The reasoning leading to the introduction of the ontological category of objects of thought goes as follows. in the history of philosophy. and that O* somehow “represents” O. such that the subject in question “uses” O* in his (successful or non-successful) intentional reference to O. we might infer the existence of an object of this category from any intentional idiom. we are tempted to conclude that there must be some counterpart of O that we can call object of thought O*.unfortunately depends not on the truth of (9) but on the question of whether Jack actually believes (9) to be true or not. first of all. 124 f. the existential generalisation (10) “There is something that Jack admires” could turn out false.9 It is then of no surprise that even in Brentano’s school his theory was gradually modified. As is well known. but for our purpose it is reasonable to start with Brentano.8 It goes without saying that this position was in many psychological as well as ontological aspects counterintuitive.) Brentano claims that each mental phenomenon is directed at such an immanent object. Brentano 1874. so that the entity that the subject has “before his mind” when he refers to O is in point of fact not O. 7 . p. Although the fact that a subject S intentionally refers to an object O does not imply that there is a genuine object of reference. One of the first important steps was taken by Twardowski 8 9 For the rather complicated story concerning Brentano’s immanent objects see Chrudzimski 2001.

then. (Cf. according to Twardowski. and Husserl 1901. 11 The works of Husserl that were a direct source of inspiration for Ingarden’s theory of intentionality belong to this broadly-construed “Brentanian” tradition. 386 f. contrary to Twardowski and Meinong. while the objects of acts are. the (in)famous claim from Meinong’s programmatic ‘Über Gegenstandstheorie’ (1904): “[E]s gibt Gegen- stände. Twardowski felt forced to assume that every mental act has both its content and object. 8 . he terms them noemata. comes down to this: From the phenomenological (or descriptive) point of view there always seems to be 10 11 The obvious exception are acts that are directed to mental states of the relevant subject. was that there must be a sense in which there are non-existent objects. Even such acts as thinking of a golden mountain or of a triangular circle have. pp. and if there happens to be no such referent. von denen gilt. Only the mental content is claimed to be immanent in a relatively clear psychological sense. As early as in his Vorlesungen über Bedeutungslehre (Husserl 1908) Husserl believes himself forced to modify this position. sadly enough. but. If there is a real referent of the mental act. pp. Every mental act is intentional in virtue of its having such a content. 336 ff. The puzzle of how an objectless act could nonetheless be said to be intentional is answered by reference to Twardowski’s content. mind-dependent entities that function as the target of intention. He introduces an important distinction between the object and the content of a mental act. Cf. The reason why Husserl abandoned his early theory was. Meinong 1904.10 However. but nevertheless it did not survive very long. contained in his 1908 lectures. In his Logical Investigations (1900/1901) Husserl accepts Twardowski’s content-object distinction. 332 ff. their objects. ontologically puzzling. The entire argumentation. The consequence of this view. the act has no object at all.”.in the work On the Object and Content of Presentation (Twardowski 1894). 317. In his 1908 lectures he calls them ontic meanings (ontische Bedeutungen). then it is its object. in his Ideas (1913). No special kind of object is then needed. 439) This theory seems to be perfectly consistent and indeed very interesting. Twardowski proposes an important modification of Brentano’s picture. 490. He introduces a new category of peculiar. p. Husserl 1894. daß es dergleichen Gegenstände nicht gibt. as should be clear. phenomenological. in the normal case.. transcendent to the subject’s mind. fully developed by Meinong. and later. he introduces no special entities “beyond being and non-being” that are to fulfil the function of the target of intention.

The result was his theory of purely intentional objects. „Eine Gegenständlichkeit (im Sinne von irgend etwas überhaupt) existiert autonom (ist seinsautonom). I. hallucinate. „Wird durch den Bewusstseinsakt ein rein intentionaler Gegenstand (z. so to say. sondern wenn er außerdem ihm gegenüber ein zweites seinautonomes Ganzes darstellt. we need some entity beside the mental content that can function as a phenomenologically given target of intention in all typical cases of a direct reference. (Cf.14 The purely intentional object O* 12 Ingarden says that purely intentional objects exist heteronomously. Das intentional geschaffene Ding ‘ist’ – im strengen. II/1. Nonetheless. but at the same time he tries to situate this object in the framework of his systematicaly developed ontology. vol. „Ein Gegenstand ist dem ihn betreffenden Bewusstseinsakte gegenüber auf stärkere Weise strukturell transzendent.”. This actualisation is not an instantiation (or an exemplification). They are. (Ingarden 1964/65. 35 f. bloß intentionale Gegenstand. II/1.12 but it also has a content that represents a certain mind-independent object. Damit es das sein 9 . noema-like entity. 225 13 14 Save when the subject is intentionally directed to his own mental states. Husserl 1908.”.B. vol. p. wenn sie in sich selbst etwas immanent Bestimmtes ist. Und sie hat es in sich selbst. Ingarden 1964/65. nicht ‘rot’. In diesem Sinne dem Bewusstseinsakte gegenüber transzendent ist sowohl der seinsautonome als auch seinsheteronome. seinsautonomen Sinne – z. vol. 211 f. p. the contents of our intentions are normally not placed “before” but. and Küng 1973) 4. when I perceive. i. fancy or speak about an object. Eine Gegenständlichkeit ist dagegen seinsheteronom (existiert heteronom). 79. wenn nicht nur keine seiner Eigenschaften und kein Moment eine Eigenschaft oder ein Moment des betreffenden Aktes bildet. wenn sie in sich selbst ihr Seinsfundament hat.13 This representation consists in the fact that a certain set of pure ideal qualities is actualised in the content of a purely intentional object. He contrasts this kind of existence with autonomous existence. Ingarden’s theory of purely intentional objects Ingarden’s theory of intentionality emerged from an attempt to clarify Husserl’s later position. ‘ein Ding’) geschaffen. Such objects have an interesting double-sided structure.) Every purely intentional object is something created by a mental act.e.B.something that is placed “before my mind”. Cf. Ingarden accepts Twardowski’s content-object distinction and treats the object of intention as a mind-dependent. pp. und umgekehrt. “inside” our minds. Ingarden claims that purely intentional objects have an important kind of transcendence. Cf. cognitively accessible exclusively by a rather sophisticated process of reflection. so ver- mag die in ihm enthaltene Intention keine echte Realisierung irgendeiner idealen Wesenheit hervorzubringen. for in that case the content in question would have to be an individual real entity. Cf. only in relation to a mental act. Consequently. Ingarden 1964/65. wenn sie ihr Seinsfundament außerhalb ihrer selbst hat. according to Husserl. However. p.

Gerade dieses reelle Enthaltensein. Es bleibt immer nur bei dem früher beschriebenen vortäuschenden Quasi-Enthaltensein und bei der Quasi-Realisation. In such a case the subject that has mentally “projected” the purely intentional object O* intentionally refers to the real mind-independent entity O. containing pure ideal qualities. 388 (the page reference is to the 4th edition. (Cf. real individuals and purely intentional objects. extra-mental world an entity that exemplifies the same set of pure ideal qualities that are actualised in the content of the purely intentional object in question. otherwise the act is unsuccessful. die einerseits auf das intentionale sic iubeo des Bewusstseinssubjektes. having only its purely intentional object and no genuine real mind-independent reference. p. p. Such a descriptive theory of reference is nowadays commonly criticised. Frege 1892.15 We see that Ingarden’s theory of intentionality seems to be a version of the so-called description-theory of reference that is commonly attributed to Frege and Russell. if and only if the subject S performs a mental act and in the content of the purely intentional object of this act the pure ideal quality F is actualised. Ingarden 1964/65. (Cf. I mean Ingarden’s Ideas – the entities that have proved to be extremely difficult to understand and to assess philosophically. In Chrudzimski 1999b. This act is “successful” if and only if there is in the extra-mental world something that is F. for in addition to pure ideal qualities. Ingarden introduces a further kind of Platonic entities. Kripke 1980. 253.”. pp. müsste es eine echte Realisation der Wesenheit ‘Röte’ in sich reell enthalten. Chrudzimski 1998. Tübingen 1972). Putnam 1975. 22-25. Chrudzimski 2002 and Chrudzimski 1998 I argue that Ingarden’s theory of a specific linguistic reference is not a descriptive one. könnte. Chrudzimski 1978. (Cf. The general scheme of Ingarden’s ontology But even this highly liberal ontology.corresponds to some real mind-independent entity O if and only if there is in the mindindependent. Cf. p. Russell 1905) The description-theory of reference claims that entity X can represent entity Y only if entity X specifies some set of properties that makes it possible to identify entity Y. §§ 20-22. 10 . 15 16 On purely intentional objects cf. 252) Ingarden’s version of this theory reads as follow: A subject S is intentionally directed at something that is F. §§ 46-48 and Ingarden 1931. andererseits auf die entsprechende ideale Wesenheit zurückweist.16 5. Putnam 1989. is not the complete story. Ingarden 1931. dieses Immanentsein der Realisation einer idealen Wesenheit in einer Gegenständlichkeit und andererseits auch diese Realisation selbst vermag der reine Bewusstseinsakt nicht hervorzubringen.

In his theory Ingarden developed ideas of Jean Hering. individual properties of an individual object. the relation is simple to define. Haefliger 1994.17 (That the pure ideal qualities are concretised means that they are neither instantiated nor actualised. The content of an idea consists of a concretisation of a certain collection of pure ideal qualities. 18 The foundations of Ingarden’s ontology of pure qualities and ideas are formulated in Ingarden 1925a and in Ingarden 1964/65. vol.) An idea I corresponds to an individual object O (O “falls” under I) if and only if O has a concrete essence that is an exemplification of the same set of pure ideal qualities that is concretised in the content of I. Ingarden 1964/65. for the corresponding sets of pure ideal qualities can be also actualised in the content of such objects. the same pure ideal qualities could (but need not) be particularised (instantiated) as the concrete. „Jede Idee zeichnet sich durch eine eigentümliche Doppelseitigkeit in ihrem formalen Aufbau aus. granting this framework. 39. II/1. Consequently we obtain the following general scheme: 17 Cf. and finally. An idea I is the idea of an object O (O falls under I) if and only if the same set of pure ideal qualities Q that is particularised as essential features of O is concretised as the content of I. on the second level these qualities are concretised as the content of an idea. 231 f. Hering 1921). andererseits birgt sie einen Gehalt in sich. 100) On the first level we have pure ideal qualities that correspond roughly to Platonic universal properties.18 If we also take into consideration purely intentional objects we immediately get the fourth level. die sie qua Idee charakterisieren. And.”. p. 11 . vermöge derer die Idee einen Bezug auf mögliche individuelle Gegenständlichkeiten gewinnt. also ibid. Ingarden proposes a rather complicated three-level ontology. The relation of “falling under an idea” between concrete individual objects and “their” ideas is possible only in virtue of the contents of ideas. I. on the third level. pp. Consequently. It has properties qua idea and content.Like a purely intentional object. Cf. § 6 and §§ 49-51. p. Einer- seits hat sie einen Bestand an Eigenschaften. an idea is also double-sided. cf. (Cf. vol. in welchem ideale Konkretisierungen in einer bestimmt umgrenzten Mannigfältigkeit von reinen Qualitäten auftreten.

l*. j.) In our scheme these qualities build the set {j.realm of the pure ideal qualities idea concretisation f g h j k content f g h j k j* k* l* m* n* l m n abstraction instantiation abstraction actualisation f g h mental content subject j k l m n content purely intentional object j k l m n properties real object p q r essence The real object of intention instantiates a set of pure ideal qualities {f. after all. it must instantiate an appropriate set of Platonic properties. h. we find in our schema a further set of pure ideal qualities. q. n. As our notation suggests. essential properties of the object of reference. r}. m*. as it results “through” the purely intentional object in a “descriptive” way. h. This specification amounts to the actualisation of an appropriate set of pure ideal qualities in the content of the purely intentional object. The intentional reference to the real object. also an individual structure. k}. g. p. h. j. l*. l. must specify some properties of the referent by means of which it can be identified. Since the immanent mental content is. k} of this set is essential for the object in question. m. the pure ideal qualities {j*. but the problem seems to be important enough to be treated here. g. m*. (We can “mentally describe” a horse as: an animal with the nature N. k*. j. Consequently the idea of this object contains (as its content) the concretisations of only those five qualities {f. Only the subset {f. Ingarden says nothing about these qualities. g. k. l. n*} that we obtain by applying a procedure of abstraction to the immanent content of the mental act. k. These qualities could be both essential as well as non-essential to the real object in question. Consequently. but not all. n*} that are instantiated in the immanent content of the mental act correspond to the pure ideal qualities 12 . m. k*. but also as: my favourite animal. n} that contains some. That is the set {j*.

l. In consequence. then it is immediately clear that it refers to something that is n (naturally. It goes without saying that the same kind of reasoning is active in the generation of Ingarden’s theory of purely intentional objects. p. then our notation “n*” turns out to mean nothing more than “to refer intentionally to something determined as n”. the qualities {j. m. „Jeder rein intentionale Gegenstand hat einen ‘Gehalt’ [. which in turn correspond to the instances of the same pure ideal qualities that must build the subset of the properties of the object of reference (if there is such an object at all). l. We remember however that Husserl himself rejected this conception. 〈n..19 then there must be a kind of relationship or correlation between the sets {j*. k. p. We can call the ordered pairs of the correlative qualities 〈m.. 13 . k*. 219 f. Now.oder mehrdeutig bestimmt [. n*〉.. ibid.. l*. If we assume. der in dem Meinungsakte enthalten ist. somehow preestablished in the immanent content of the mental act. vol. n}.. then we can perfectly do without purely intentional objects. If we take seriously Ingarden’s claim that the content of a mental act determines completely the content of its purely intentional object. the intentional-correlative-properties-pairs (ICPPs). k.”. and we recall that he made this move under pressure of phenomenological reasons. j*〉 etc. it seems that if we have such an IC-relation. n} that are actualised in the content of the purely intentional object. as it were. l. „Nur diejenigen ‘Seiten’ seines Gehalts sind ein. die durch ausdrückliche Intentionsmomente des unanschaulichen Inhalts des zugehörigen Meinungsaktes intentional entworfen werden. that the concrete mental content of intention is not a mysterious entity beside or in the intention.. if there is something that is n at all). Seinen ‘Gehalt’ bestimmt der unanschauliche Inhalt des zugehörigen Meinungsaktes sowie der betreffende Modus des Momentes der Erfassung seiner Existenz [. m.]. n} that are actualised in the content of the purely intentional object must be. or.”. and the relation that is defined by the set of these pairs the intentional-correlative relation (IC-relation). Precisely such a theory was presented in Husserl’s Logical Investigations. as we should.]. if our mental intention is n*. For. 〈j.{j. m*〉. 19 Cf. Ingarden 1964/65. Put differently: if we have our ICPPs. but instead that the word “content” signifies this very intention conceived as referring to such-and-such a determined object. we seem to have eo ipso intentionality. n*} and {j. k. 211. II/1. m*. So we need no supplementary purely intentional entities that would be intentionally projected by mental acts and that should mediate the intentional access to genuine objects of reference. in Chisholm’s “adverbial” phrase.]. m. “to mean n-ly”.

. if the introduction of ideas were to be phenomenologically warranted. which became particularly important in the Frege-Husserl’s discussions of the (in)famous challenge of psychologism. if there is a justification for the introduction of Ingarden’s ideas. They justify the modal discourse that many philosophers regard as metaphysically indispensable. Husserl at the time of his Logical Investigations answered: “Two subjects mean the same. Now. The Fregean answer was: “Two subjects mean the same. Haefliger 1994. and Ingarden proposes the theory to the effect that: „Two subjects mean the same. Now. Moreover. of apriority and necessity and of intentional presence in absence in terms of pure ideal qualities. As we have seen. Ingarden’s explanation of the ontological status and explanatory role of his ideas leaves much to be desired. 6. Platonic properties (in Ingarden’s system: pure ideal qualities) and the relations between them have a very important function. pp. 89 f. it is not clear what explanatory function Ingarden’s ideas have. if and only if the contents of the purely intentional objects of their acts are actualisations of the same set of pure ideal qualities”. The problem of form We can guess however that. it must be phenomenological. 81 f. But according to the phenomenological line of thought we are descriptively acquainted with both structures. if we neglect Ingarden’s puzzling distinction between the pure quality as such and the quality concretised in the content of an idea. It seems prima facie that we could do without them and explain all the questions of one over many. then either (i) ideas would have to present themselves to the phenomenologist’s mind in a way that is not reducible to the ways in which the other entities 14 . the apparatus of Platonic entities allows us to explain the next important puzzle of the one over many. seems to be simply a collection of those pure qualities that are essential to some object (consequently the contents of ideas seem to be subsets of the domain of pure ideal qualities). when applied to mental contents or purely intentional objects. if and only if they mentally grasp the same Platonic ideal entity that Frege called sense”.) The content of an idea.From a purely theoretical point of view we need either the immanent mental content or the special purely intentional target-entity. (Cf. Ideas as theories. The puzzle reads: “How could two subjects have the same thought”. if and only if their mental contents are instantiations of the same set of ideal species”.

For example. A full analysis of Ingarden’s conception of form cannot be carried out here. then forms could be found exclusively in the concrete. and consequently formal investigations could be pursued only on the basis of empirical experience – a consequence that certainly would not have been welcomed by Ingarden. It shows whether it is an object. An idea also shows the formal aspects of the entity in question. individual objects. and consequently in its content there is no constant corresponding to some determinate colour. but they seem to be structures systematically and intelligibly arranged in order to make the world of individuals as rationally accessible as possible. not mere sets of items somehow determining all the wildest combinatory possibilities. Now. depending on the point of view.20 Now. there must be in the content of its idea the variable: “some colour”. such a segregation and ordering of the properties of some object into essential and non-essential ones can be accomplished only from some point of view. it seems that if there were no ideas. an event. but it is important to keep in mind that an idea is not a mere reduplication of the pure ideal qualities that are essential to an entity. it seems that both conditions (i) and (ii) are fulfilled. as there are no forms in the realm of pure ideal qualities. They are. Even for the most realistic of the realists. Secondly. Swiderski 1975. then. a process. Ideas. First of all. it is not exactly the case that the contents of ideas are simply subsets of the realm of pure ideal qualities. there are 20 In addition to the constant items of the content of an idea (concretisations of pure ideal qualities and formal moments) there are also. or (ii) they would have to present the phenomenologist’s mind with some important aspects that otherwise were not accessible. seem to show the formal structure and important relationships of the essential aspects of the real world. Ingarden writes that the content of an idea also includes correlates of the objectual forms. Indeed. Cf. the idea of horse contains no determinate colour. variable ones. The content of an idea should “contain” concretisations of precisely those pure ideal qualities that are (or at least could be) instantiated as the essence of some real individual object. 15 . and. according to Ingarden. for Ingarden’s theory of ideas the distinction between the essential and non-essential properties of an object is important. but as each horse necessarily must be of some colour. contrary to the mere recombinations of pure ideal qualities. a state of affairs etc. formal ontology is a very important branch of Ingarden’s philosophy. as we have seen. it should be clear that.present themselves.

Cf. p.. then they would be. according to Ingarden. that the last claim is without controversy. Radical transcendence is defined as follows: „Ein individueller Gegenstand ist dem Bewusstseinsakte gegenüber.]. the actualisations of the pure ideal qualities stand. 225. p. Ingarden writes: „Die Ideen sind mitsamt ihrem Gehalte den Erkenntnisakten gegenüber radikal transzendent [. Chrudzimski 1998. The concretisations of pure ideal qualities in the content of an idea “list” the essential features of an object and this “list” is put in a clear. (Cf. from dependence on the transcendentally construed “Peircean” society (or. This reservation frees ideas from dependence on an individual mind. 23 Of course. p.different aspects of each object that are essential.Ingarden 1964/65. vol II/1. as it were. wenn dieser Akt weder durch irgendeines seiner Momente noch durch die Tatsache seines Vollzugs in ihm irgendeine Veränderung hervorzurufen imstande ist.”. Chrudzimski 2003) But this analogy between ideas and theories is undercut by an important claim made by Ingarden. but rather something like an ideal limit of a complete. however. we must keep in mind that if ideas were to be interpreted as theories at all. as for example in cases of hallucination or fiction. radikal transzendent. and that the very concept of an essential aspect involves the concept of a point of view.. we are told that ideas are totally mind-independent. complete theory that would eventually be reached if the scientific investigation were pursued long enough.. (Cf. ibid. as it seems. we need an intentionality that will focus on some important aspects of reality. for that matter. I am toying here with the well-known Peircean idea. Ingarden 1964/65.”.22 Now. Ideas therefore become structures that resemble something like true theories of individual objects. but not. 251) This means that the content of an idea differs significantly from the content of a purely intentional object.23 If the differentiation of the essential and non-essential properties needs some intentionality. 254 f.21 So if we want to have such a segregation. on the 21 22 I do not want to insinuate. pp. vol II/1. true theory that could be ideally reached by scientific investigation “in the long run”. We should assume that the property is essential if it occurs essentially in the framework of an idealised. p. Hence they build a kind of reduplication of the object of reference. how should this independence be understood? First. at any rate. in the appropriate objectual form. Peirce 1868. so that a purely intentional object can. not our fallible and incomplete hypothetical constructions. in dem er gegeben oder bloß vermeint ist. Surprisingly enough. “stand for” a genuine target of reference. 16 . then such an intentionality should not be conceived as idiosyncratic. In the content of a purely intentional object. 253. 52. intelligible relation to the formal aspects of the object that are similarly “listed”.

[. then. of the items that could be intentionally meant.. could be subjects of predication. but nonetheless the formal constituents of ideas are dependent on the form of the theorising mind – on the general form of intentionality.e. could be quantified etc. Still. Just for this reason.”. 28. is constructed rather from an epistemological point of view. Notice that Ingarden’s definition of form strongly suggests the ineffability of the formal structure of the world. If all specification that makes any material difference refers to the qualitative determination of the world. and if each quality must stand in some form. needless to say.Husserlian world of inter-subjectively interacting transcendental egos). From this point of view we can understand more easily the conception of form that is involved in Ingarden’s ontology. Hence the ideas are not “materially” mind-dependent in the sense in which mentally projected purely intentional objects are. as – I want to claim – the mirror image of the intentional nature of the mind. But the fact that these theories are formulated as theories and that they are theories of something (i. it is quality and nothing else. i. and as something “in which” any quality must stand.e. it turns out to be in a sense a correlate of the general form of scientific cognition. and precisely for this reason it specifies the form of its objects so that it is a theory of something. quality is everything that makes any material difference. This place is the logical syntax that builds the 24 Ingarden defines: „Form im Sinne der formalen Ontologie: das radikal Unqualitative als solches. If we assume. Ingarden 1964/65. then it seems that for the form we have only one place. Imagine then that Ingarden’s idea is really an ideal theory that could be formulated by an ideal society of impartial scientists “in the long run”. if they are to be classified as scientific theories at all. must in some non-trivial sense be controllable by certain mechanisms of falsification. In this respect it seems that not only Ingarden’s concept of the purely intentional objects. as we should.24 Now. Whatever the content of our theories. II/1. 17 .] Materie: das Qualitative im weitesten Sinne. the idea has the form of a theory.. He defines form as something radically non-qualitative. formally. of objects formally construed). in dem das Qualitative steht. that such theories. then an idea construed this way would finally (“in the long run”) turn out to be materially dependent exclusively on the objective structure of reality. belongs to the formal structure of the world that must be phenomenologically interpreted. p. die reine Qualität als Ausfüllung einer Form. vol.. but also his ontology of ideas. I suggest that we should accept this last dependence.

Brentano. vol. D. Chisholm. 1874: Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt. NJ: Prentice-Hall. I want to assure that I do not want to claim that Ingarden himself would accept my last suggestions without reservations. 1978: Universals and Scientific Realism. 2nd ed. 18 . Synthese. construed as something like “a system of scientifically important axioms that when closed under logical implication gives us a scientifically complete description of the world”. von O. Almost certainly he would protest. both for the understanding of Ingarden’s concept of idea and for a proper understanding of his concept of form. Kraus. pp. R. hrsg. is that such an interpretation could be very illuminating. and is hence in this respect rather anti-Ingardenian.25 I suggest that this syntactical structure.. The analogies of this interpretation with the philosophy of the early Wittgenstein and a broadly construed Kantian tradition should be obvious for the reader. What I want to claim however. 1989: Universals. Armstrong. Boulder . 1977: ‘Perception. N. Bd. Already in his early work Über die Stellung der Erkenntnistheorie im System der Philosophie (Ingarden 1925) he claims that ontology is to be pursued in full independence of any epistemological considerations. Leipzig: Meiner 1924. F. 25 Such a description need not be complete in Laplace’s sense of strictly determining all events in the world. and indeed. explaining the ontological status of ideas and the formal structure of the world by reference to the intentional activity of theorybuilding. and the Structure of Physical Objects and Consciousness’. Castañeda. 1977: Theory of Knowledge. 26 cognition as such and with its thesis of privileged access in the form of the theory of Intuition des Durchlebens should be interpreted in this way. The full working out of this fascinating theme must be left for some future work. should be interpreted as a mirror-image of the intentional nature of the mind. 1/2. H. if it were to be treated phenomenologically at all. In In Chrudzimski 1999a I argue that Ingarden’s pure epistemology with its central concept of the general idea of the world there can be room for indeterminacy and freedom. M. 285-351. I have noticed that a similar technique could be fruitful in the interpretation of Ingarden’s entire concept of form.London: Westview Press. M.San Francisco . Literature: Armstrong. The last part of the present paper is but a further suggestion in this direction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. In this work. Englewood Cliffs. seems to relate ontology to such considerations. M.formal framework (the “formal conditions”) of all material determination and that eventually culminates in the form of a theory. D. formal generality. 35 (1977). My interpretation. Belief.26 To close. granted that this intentional nature is construed in extreme. I.

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