International Phenomenological Society

Husserl and Brentano on Intentionality Author(s): James C. Morrison Source: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 31, No. 1 (Sep., 1970), pp. 27-46 Published by: International Phenomenological Society Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2105978 Accessed: 21/11/2008 12:04
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HUSSERLAND BRENTANO ON INTENTIONALITY
"Finally, many people view phenomenology as a continuation of Brentano's psychology. However highly estimate this work of genius, and however strongly it (and other writings of Brentano's) has affected me in younger years, it must still be said that Brentano has remained far from a phenomenology in our
sense.... Nevertheless, he has gained for himself the epoch-making service

of making phenomenology possible. He presented to the modem era the idea of Intentionality, which he derived out of consciousness itself in immanent
description . . ." 1

The above is generalknowledgein the philosophicalworld. However, it is often assumedon the basis of these facts alone that Husserl'sdoctrine Hence scholarswill of Intentionality essentiallythe same as Brentano's. is study the latter in order to find out what Husserl'sconceptionof it is and critics will attempt to refute Husserl and even phenomenologyin generalby refutingBrentano.This is a mistake.Althoughit is true as a matter of historicalfact that Husserl was Brentano'sstudent and first derivedthis idea from him, it is not true that the meaningand importance I each gives to it is the same, even in fundamentals. believe that a failure and to realizethis has led to a great deal of misinterpretation misunderstandingof Husserl and phenomenology.It is the purpose of this essay to attempt to show that Husserl's phenomenologicalviews are very differentfrom and far more developedthan Brentano's,and that he even most importantdoctrines. rejects(whollyor in part) many of the latter's, In order to clarify this problem I propose to discuss Brentano'swellknown attemptto distinguishmental and physical phenomenain which I Inexistence." will then take Up the he introduces notion of "Intentional Husserl's views on both the general problem of mental vs. physical No phenomenaand on the more specific one of Intentionality. attempt will be made to give a complete account of Husserl's own views on since to do so adequatelywould imply a discussionof his Intentionality, whole philosophy.Also, I will concentratealmost exclusivelyon material since it is here that he makes most from the Logische Untersuchungen, explicitand detailedreferenceto Brentano.
1

Edmund Husserl, Ideen III, Martinus Nijhoff, Haag 1952, p. 59.

27

g. in die Classe physische und in die der psychischen Phinomene.both are called physical phenomena." Note Brentano's use of the term "Erscheinung!'. the seeing of a colored object. are colors. rememare brance.. a color) and a physical object (e.. Further examples of acts include: thinking. 104. the hearing of a tone. expectation. 6 Psych.g. judging. The basic purpose of Brentano'schapter.." He begins by assertingthat "The entire world of what appearsto us falls into two great classes. Husserl's and our point of view the most is important IntenitonalInexistence. (Hereafter: Psych. the clarification of the two terms:physical [physisches]phenomenon. Leipzig 1874. 5 Psych. a characteristic class have and no membersof the otherhave. a landscape) . pp. i. Dunker & Humblot. Thus.) 3 Die gesammte Welt unserer Erscheinungen zerfllt in zwei grosse Classen.on the other hand. fear. the class of physical and that 3 of mentalphenomena. . I. Psych.28 RESEARCH AND PHILOSOPHY PHENOMENOLOGICAL I.Vol.5 Examples of physical phenomena. Psychologie vom Empirischen Standpunkte. figure.mental [psychisches] 2 phenomenon. 103.warmth and cold. Note that Brentano does not distinguish here between a sensequality (e.. . doubt. 4 distinctionbetweenwhat is presented Here Brentanomakes an important the implication being that all mentalphenomena and the act of presenting.althoughhe does not accord all of them equal significance.6 2 Franz Brentano. in that it seriously confuses his analysis... "On the Basic Difference Between Mental and Physical Phenomena" is ". 4 Psych. I believe that Brentano. 102-3. presentation (1) "Every presentation of sensation or fantasies offers an example of mental phenomena: and I understand here by presentation not that which is presented but rather the act of presenting. and pictures(Gebilde)that appearin fantasie.e. a landscape. This ambiguity will be seen to be important later. as well as similar fantasy states are examples . 103. is The first defining characteristic given in terms of the notion of (Vorstellung). acts. 101. and willing.finds altogethereight defining characteristics of mental phenomena. ." Brentanoassumesthis division and its exhaustivenessto be obvious for he never attemptsto arguefor it. the sensing of warm or cold.in the course of his analysis.From his own. The method he adoptsis simplyto find at least one (perhapsseveral)specificdefining that all membersof one of characteristic each class.we will see later that its ambiguities lead him into difficulties.

115.12 This raises certainproblemsabout the "levels"of reflection which Brentanodoes not explicitlygo into. and what we. 117-8. 9 Psych. in hate hated.. 111-2. direction to an object (by which is not to be understood a reality) or immanent objectivity.Also. 92 i1 Further. thoughnot alwaysin the same way. Thus. it is not necessary that the object be an external one (iusserer for Gegenstand). that of desiring. in the judgment something is affirmed or denied.9 Finally.ON AND BRENTANO INTENTIONALITY HEUSSERL 29 (2) "We may accordingly regard it as an indubitably correct determination of mental phenomena that they are either presentations or (in the sense which has been explained) rest on presentations as their basis. . But it is clearly implied that the "object"of a given act (hearing)can be anotheract (the desire to hear). 115.8 rejectsthis solutionbecausehe believes some mental phenomena(tones and smells) are not extended. Conversely. At 12 Psych. duringthe first stages of are the our experience. oppositeholdingfor mentalphenomena. it is possibleto desire not the tone itself but simplythe hearingof it. would call the reference to a content." i."7 way of definingphysicalphenomthe Here Brentanomentions traditional (lrtliche Beena in terms of extension and spatial determinativeness He the stimmtheit)."10 That is. (3) "Every mental phenomenon is characterized by what the Scholastics of the middle ages have called the intentional (or mental mentalle) existence of an object. Psych. objectsof sight and other presentations not experienced as localized in space.e. 7Note that it is neither asserted nor implied that all acts are presentations or that all mental phenomena are presentations. each mental phenomenon "contains [enthfilt] in itself something as an object. in the case of desiringto hear a tone the tone is a (nonof act) object of the act of hearingwhich is itself the '~object" another The point Brentanowishes to make is not that a act. but that every (mental)act has an object. in desire desired. 10 Psych." "In the presentation something is presented. 8 Psych. it something refersto. 114. in love something loved. etc. in our bodies.we tend to locate our own thoughtsin "the space filled by use. although with a not wholly unambiguousexpression. it could be arguedthat. given act cannot be an object. the above definitionis rejectedbecause it gives only a negativecharacterization of mentalphenomena.

Brentanoseems to think."13 Here. that becausemental phenomenaare perceivedby inner perception.30 RESEARCH AND PHENOMENOLOGICAL PHILOSOPHY (4) "[Mental phenomena] are perceived [wahrgenommen]only in inner consciousness. 119... while in the case of the physical only outer perception is possible. it is apparent and was explicitly noted by us earlier that no mental phenomenon is perceived by more than one individual.it follows that mental phenomenaare "private. 119. that the class of mentalphenomit Nevertheless.and because only the latter is "genuine"perception. "Inner perception .By implication.the former not. (7) ". rather. is really the only perception in the genuine sense of the word. Psych. seemsthat he is asserting ena is coextensivewith that of objects of inner perceptionor "genuine" perception. but one may assume that the latter involves the bodily sense-organs. Brentanoseems to think of inner perceptionas a kind of "introspection" or inward"reflection... Psych.."1" 13 '4 15 16 17 Psych." The reasonfor the last assertionis that the phenomenaof outerperception cannot be proven as "true and actual.."16 This assertionis closely linked with (5) above. (My italics. Psych.?14 Further. . 120. for it is not clear whether Brentano is saying that this is so for external perceptionin general (all cases) or only for any given case. by (perceivable) more than one person.. Also. They [mental phenomena] are the only phenomena to which an actual as well as intentional existence belongs. perceptionand of evident(non-deceptive) (6) "It is not as if all mental phenomena are internally perceivable by everyone . Psych.) 119."15 A serious ambiguityarises here." (5) "If we thus say that mental phenomena are those which are grasped through inner perception it is thereby implied that its perception is immediately evident."accessible only to the individualperson who and physicalphenomenaare "public" accessible has them. inner and outherperceptionare not defined. 118.

120-2.ON HUSSERLAND BRENTANO INTENTIONALITY 31 Brentanorefersto a view held by Bain that To clarifythis characteristic physical world the notion that an unperceived(and also unperceivable?) Perceptioncannot be the effect acts on the mind is self-contradictory." w Psych. one can have a presentationand make a unity judgmentabout it at the same time. always appear as a unity. they are the objects of a possible perception.20 clearly in the case of two organismseach can have a (different)sensationor perceptionat the Brentanoholds this can also be true for only same time. Note that this seems inconsistent with (3) above.though not simple in the sense of occurringonly one at a time. 20 Psych. Furthermore. how could the belief in externalobjectsexistingindependent of perceptionand "causing"our perceiving of them ever arise? Further. and self-contradictory. 125. while seeing red I can judge. there is no temptationto say (with Bain and Berkeley)that physical objectsare "partof" or "containedin" our perceptionof them.2' It is necessaryto distinguish and simplicity(which Spencer failed to do) and to realize that neither necessarilyexcludes the other. retainsits unity over a periodof time during to be that this consciousness 18 Psych. of (Wirkung) the unperceivedand we cannot say what an object is independent of perception.For example.'9 Brentanodoes not accept this view completely. one organism. i. if it is true. they occur more than one at a time.ie.who also held that the conceptof "material on the other hand.e. 19 Psych."though certainlynot a subjectivistBerkelean kind.'8 To this extent Brentanomay be said to hold some form of "idealism. For Brentano. . "I see red. resists this view. whereasphysicalphenomenaare synchronous.22Mental phenomena.BrentanoaccusesBain of confusingthe sensation(Empfindung) in the sense of what is presentedwith the (act) of sensing. Thus. appearas belongingto one consciousness. charFinally..This view concept of at has the twofold virtue of avoiding the self-contradictory unperceivedand unperceivablephysical ojbect while at the same time distinctionbetweenwhat is perceived the retaining obvious and important and the act of perceivingit. BrentanodiscussesSpencer'sview that a distinguishing acteristicof mental phenomena is that they emerge in consciousness one successively at a time.for he points out that Spencermust be thinkingof the for life (consciousness)of only one organism. a distinction Brentanohimself takes great pains to make. 21 Thus. 123. Brentano.physicalob-o they have only an intentional jects exist outsidethe mind but nevertheless existence. for.Bain's position here seems similar to that of is substance" absurd Berkeley.e. The implicationalso seems i... 122-3.

111-15. but only ascribes to it By certain "powers". (1) All mental phenomenaare acts or (2) All are either presentations have these as their basis of (3) All have the characteristic IntentionalInexistence(consciousness = consciousness-of) (4) All are perceivedonly in inner consciousness (5) All are evident(nondeceptive) (6) All are "private" (7) All have actual as well as intentionalexistence (8) All always appearas a unity their respective "subject-matters" Having succeededin distinguishing (the rangeof entitieswhichthey study)Brentanois able to definepsychology and physical science.are the "objects" Psych. Psych... 129. Physical science is the science of physical phenomena(excludingimages). e. psychology is the science of all mental phenomenabut also includes in its subject matter certain nonmentalones.24 implicationphysical phenomena are not these "powers"themselves.though these are consideredonly as the "content"of mental phenomena. the final definingcharacteristic mental is.But as the science of physical phenomenait does not describe the "absolute nature" of this world.such a science assumes that sensain sensation(Empfindung). images. The most plausible interpretationwould seem to be because they lack Intentional Inexistence.25Conversely.e. his assertion above that mental phenomena are the "effects" of a spatiotemporalworld. i. 26 Psych. what reasd~s are there for believing or even assumingthis to be true. for example. The fact that they are "extended"is ruled out since Brentano does not accept nonextendedness as definitive of the mental. 126.g. Note. and this constituting world physicalones? They cersecond.23 what I believe are the basic definingcharacterI will now summarize istics of mentalphenomenafor Brentano.26 Before turningto Husserl I would like to point out what seem to me to be obvious and fundamentalconfusions and inconsistenciesin Brentano's discussion. all those phenomenawhich "emerge Further. 25 Psych.32 RESEARCH AND PHENOMENOLOGICAL PHILOSOPHY of the life of the organism. 24 23 . First. 129-30.: phenomena (8) Mental phenomena always appear to consciousness as a unity. 128. Psych.Thus. It is not clear why images are physical phenomena." spatialand temporalworld on tions are the effect of a three-dimensional our sense organs.

all mental phenomenaare by This. Anotherway of puttingthis same point is that Brentanohas here (and at other places in his analysisalso) lost sight of the notion of intentional existence and inexistence.all reality is "mental".AND ON HuSSERL BRENTANO INTENTIONALITY 33 tainly are not physicalphenomena.and the existence of an In "cause"of phenomena. then." other words.but say nothingaboutits nature." unperceivable when one considershis assertionthat no mental phenomenonis perceivable by more than one person.It is also highlyunlikelythat any indirect knowledgeby inference is possible. includingsome of his explanationsof them. such a view is absurdand would thereforeunknowable! render impossiblea science of both mental and physical phenomena.And further. unperceivable a consistent applicationof the notion of IntentionalInexistence would necessarily deny the possibility of assuming or even thinking of an This situationis made even more serious "world-in-itself." tion is genuineperceptioncomes very close to solipsism. for no one can deny that these phenomenaappearto us in space and time and thus Brentano seems to have fallen into a rather have these characteristics. that in how can we know this?Surelythis assumption that of mental and physical "worlds. realismwhich is subjectto preciselythose crudeform of representational criticismsby Bain (and Berkeley)which he himself had earlierrejected both as being necessarilyvalid in themselvesand as applyingto his own position. Brentano does not assert thereis or can be and he seems to thinkwe are left in completeignorance of it."objects" phenomena? and which implies that no direct knowledge of the world which "causes" physicalphenomenais possible. spatiallyand temporally.a "thing-in-itself. with two "realms" This leads to a radicaldualism of the physical.for it seems to imply that all one can ever perceive are the "contents"of one's own mind. We assumethat such a worldexists. are the objects of a possible perception)he was in effect denyingboth a subjectiveidealism . At least. other than it is three-dimensional producesabsurdity. lead to serious inconsistenciesand confusions.For in ascribingthe latter to all (and only) mentalphenomenaand in asserting(againstBain) that physicalphenomena exist "outside"the mind and have only an intentionalexistence (i.but only that certainother thingshe says. The fact of that Brentanorejectsspace and time as definingcharacteristics physical and mental phenomenarespectivelyis not to the point here.. and that since physical phenomena are unperceivablethey are Needless to say. I . That is.Are we left. togetherwith the assertionthat only innerpercepnature"private." there would be two spatiotemporal phenomenaand that of the world of which they are the effect.I of am not claimingthat any of Brentano'sdefiningcharacteristics mental phenomena((1) to (8) above) are in themselves inconsistentwith one another.e.

it is implicitlyaccepted that only inner perceptionis "worthyof the name.and the 27 It is interesting to note the remarkable similarity of Husseri's "history" with Ryle's account of the "genesis"of the "Myth of the Ghost in the Machine. 2. Halle 1922.while I doubt I cannot doubt that I doubt . and does so on the basis of a distinction of their respective Thus." it he begins by giving a short "history" the develviews about perceptionand opmentof recentscientificand philosophical epistemologyfrom the experiences and beliefs of "naive man. corpus and Locke's distinctionbetween sensationand reflection.by emphasizing evident. Husserlappendeda supplementto the second volume of the Logische called "Outerand Inner Perception.And this bringsus to Husserl and Intentionality. nondeceptivenature of inner perception.) 29 L. the formeris perceptionof externalthings (Dinge). 2. The Concept of Mind.the distinctionbetween the two kinds of perceptionis drawn on the basis of a differencein the way they arise.U. p. Ltd. Pt.28 by Descartes in terms of the dualism of mens vs.e.etc." Since it many of Brentano'sbasic theses fall withinthe scope of this "history" makes a good startingplace for our discussionof Husserl'scriticismand of the development his own conceptionof Intentionality.. propertiesand relations..34 RESEARCH AND PHILOSOPHY PHENOMENOLOGICAL suggestfurtherthat the basic sourceof most (if not all) of these problems graspof IntentionalInexistenceand a consequentfailure is an insufficient to carrythroughits full implications. 3rd ed. i. Logische Untersuchungen. London 1960. 11. 223. I.relations." Gilbert Ryle. 222. Hutchinson & Co.29In addition.Physicaland MenUntersuchungen of In tal Phenomena. 28 Edmund Husserl. II... Further. 30 L. their "objects. . Because of this. II. whereas reflection (inner perception)is turned towardsthe mind and its "ideas" and does not employ the bodily senses. U. and the latter is perceptionof the self and its this naive belief is expressed Philosophically. Vol. Externalperceptionresults from the effects of external thingson the sense organsand innerperceptionthroughreflectionon our own minds. outer perceptionis regardedas intrinsically deceptive(or at least alwayscapableof deception)while innerperception is evident. the sense organs.U." properties. Sensationis the perception of externalthings by means of the body."Throughfindinga descriptivecharacteristic applyingto all instancesof the one class and to none of the other it was believed possible to distinguish psychology from the sciences of the nature. 2. (Hereafter: L. Chap.30Descartes.27 Husserl claims that the naive man distinguishesouter and inner perception.U. Max Niemeyer. 224.

as effects of (transof cendent)bodies on our souls throughthe sense organs.For Husserl. deceptiveness not simplya matterof our defecthe is 31 32 L. 35 L. 226. 2. i.U. Husserlsays that Brentanoholds that: (a) inner perception (b) outer perception = mental = evident.e. but not the objects in themselveswhich we suppose to "support" them. physical = nonevident (truigerisch). 2.35 His example is that certain mental states (Zustdnde)are not evident since they are perceivedas having a location in the body.Furthermore.the same being true for the class denotedby the three terms in (b). 232. 2.33 The avoidingany referenceto a transcendent"metaphysical" mental and the physical are conceived of as phenomenagiven through But as appearancesthey appearances (Gegebenheitder Erscheinungen). 227.HUSSERL ANDBRENTANO INTENTIONALITY ON 35 of unreliability the senses. First. these views apply to a great extent to Brentano.inner and outerperceptiondo not have completely "the same epistemologicalcharacter.U. One might suppose that Husserl has in mind here the fallibility of "introspection. II. 2."Not every perception of the I (des Ichs) is evident.This is a of purely descriptive characteristicand thus has the obvious virtue of world.34 Although Brentanois here in accord with much of the philosophicaltraditionHusserlfeels convincedthat not all these equivalences are valid.a pain is experiencedas in my tooth and not (say) in my foot.32As should be we obvious. and any possibilityof deceptionin one aspect is immediatelycarriedover to the other. HI. the class of entities denotedby each of the three terms in (a) is coextensive. That is. inner and outer perceptionare intimatelyand intrinsicallybound up in the total experience or perception. was led to the conclusionthat the objects of outer perception have only a phenomenal or "intentional" existence. II. Here.that is. L. II. For instance. 34 L. The latter are "transcendent" on the the level and of pure description make no judgmentsabout them.U.U. souls and bodies (Seelen and Kirper).if by I we mean the commonsense notion of one's own empiricalpersonality.This may suffice of tradition views and the philosophical as a general"history" Brentano's in whichthey were deveoped. II. 231.31 We can thus divide phenomenainto two classes..U. are thoughtof as appearances something. 2." . 33 L. 225. and Husserl makesexplicitreferenceto him by sayingthat Intentional Inexistencewas given as a positive characteristic inner mental phenomena.Let us now turn to Husserl'scriticismsand of transformations them.

on the other hand. there being a radical "gulf' between these.we do turn our attentionto these sensiblecontentswe can be mistaken.U. the perceptionis evident. We have seen above that it is not clear whether for Brentano outer perception can be of a house. a physical object. . Thus. II.g..as a physicalphenomenon.my perceivingthe house I am turnedtowardthe sensiblecontentof my perception(not the house itself). of a house) is not evident..The latter are the presentingsensations and (Empfindungen) since.i.37However. the second characterizesthe fundamental epistemological opposition which we have L. is that since the sensible contents are physical phenomenahere is case of an evident outer perception. Ordinarily.36 PHILOSOPHY PHENOMENOLOGICAL AND RESEARCH of tive "interpretation" what is "given"(e. 36 37 39 L. and in makinga judgmentI judgenot aboutthe house but aboutits mode of appearance("The house looks red").36 As the converseof his criticismof the equivalencebetweeninner perceptionand evidenceHusserlcriticizesthat betweenouter perceptionand nonevidence. it does not follow from this that all outer perceptionas such is not evident.and not as an objective property. however one may now separate them.39The point.But since I am not judgingabout the house as it reallyis.. when perceivinga physicalobjectwe make no judgmentabout them. Objects are the transcendent cause of phenomena and not (say) logical constructions out of them. "It is certain that the sphere of concepts inner and outer. AlthoughHusserldoes not here give an examplewhat he seems to have in mind is the following. If.and perceptionas related to the "lived sensible contents" (erlebten sinnlichenInhalteri). the redness is conceived of as a sensation.U.g. Having denied Brentano's equivalences between inner and evident and outer and nonevidentperceptionHusserlgoes on to make perception a fundamental revisionof Brentano'saccount. 232. 38 We judge about the house. am "directedupon" the house and not my I perceivingof it. "The house is red.It is physical(and not mental)in the sense that it is neitheran act nor is it intentional.e.When perceivinga house I have a sensationof its color (say red). however. Thus. 2. in makinga judgmentI would say. Brentanois rightin sayingthat much outer perception(e. evident and nonevident perception do not coincide. I am concernedwith how the house appearsto me. a. 2." However. or whether it is always and only of physical phenomena. Here.38we cannot be deceived about them. a careless introspection). but only about how it looks to me. 237. The first pair is determined through the concepts of mental and physical.if I turn my attention. Brentano fails to make a distinction betweenthe perceptionas relatedto the object(Gegenstand) the house . I cannotbe mistaken.reflect upon .

inadequate perception.. . e This absurdity is the converse of the "realist"one of a thing-in-itself.ON HUSSERLAND BRENTANO INTENTIONALITY 37 studied in Investigation VI: the opposition between adequate perception (or intuition [Anschauung] in the narrowest sense) .. for of Husserl. II. that is. that the whereasthe opposite is oppositeof the evident.. of an object that unperceivable.in perspectives (Abschattungen) and there are an infinitenumber which are perceivable. fulfillment" (unvolikommene of the adequateis "incomplete Erfifllung).43 perceptionis obvious betweenadequateand inadequate The distinction in the case of the perceptionof a physical object.41 To say that a perceptionis inadequateis simply to say that what is perceived is not perceivedcompletely.That is. 239 ff.e. L. 42 Of course. 239. as in the case of Brentano) Husserl says.just as it is. . inadequateperception. Thus. II. at a given time there is some aspector propertyof the objectwhich is not "given"or presentedto me. 43 L.there is no problemof the "reliability" the senses in general.U. Further. for Husserl: inner perception mental = adequate outer perception= physical= inadequate To clarify the distinctionbetween evidence and adequacy (which can easily be confused." 40 What Husserl wants to do is to replace Brentano's set of incorrect equivalenceswit hanotheron the basis of the notions of adequate vs. II.Thus. but these considerations are not relevant here. the deceptive(triigerisch). 2.U.though this does not imply that we could be deceived at all times. Conversely. i. as there was for Descartes. 2. This amounts to asserting that the distinction between the mental and the physical is not to be drawn in terms of evidencebut ratherin termsof adequacy.(Husserlwould no doubt agree that the possibilitythat we can be deceivedin some cases implies that there must be L.U.to say (as Husserl does) that outer perceptionof physical objects is not evidentis simplyto say that at any giventime I could be deceived. what it is independent. it might appear at a later occasion and must be able (in principle) to appear at some occasion.To say that a physicalobject of such perspectives could be perceivedadequatelywould amountto saying (for Husserl)that at a given time it could be seen from all possible (an infinitenumberof) points of view.42 perceivedcompletely. of perception in 40 41 general . The lattes cannot in principlebe perceivedadequatelyfor it is always seen from a point of view . 239.44And this is obviouslyimpossibleboth in itself and for a perceiver(like ourselves)who is himself located in space. and the merely supposed.in adequateperceptionthe object is that does not appear.

also. 1. perceive)it. is like the contents of sensations(Empfindungsinhalten)of smoothness.' 46 of (b) "Consciousnessas inner awareness [Gewahrwerden] one's own [psychischenErlebnissen]. II. 346. anotheris to make a judgmentabout it.and feelings.. HK." mental lived-experiences designationfor every kind of (c) 'Consciousnessas the comprehensive lived-experience. . II. for Brentanothere are three basic classes of mental phenomena:presentations. 50 L.45 permanenceof is (a) Consciousness the "total actual phenomenological the mental J. Such a feeling. for it is here I think. 46 "Bewusstsein als der gesamte reelie phinomenologische Bestand des empirischen Ich. 388 ff.A pain (say) can be located to in the body.red.U. X."' 'mentalact' or 'intentional I would like first to take up relevantaspectsof (c). Is consciousnecsessentiallyan between conscious acts and what Brenact and what is the relationship tano means by mental phenomena?Husserl mentionstwo basic criteria of the mentalfor Brentano. Moreover. Husserl interpretsthese as ways of intending an object. Husserl does not assert nor does he imply that this threefold division is exhaustive. all intentional phenomena are acts. 364.U. nor does he identify his own position with any one of them. 366. 1. Urteilen and Gemfithsbewegungen.38 PHILOSOPHY RESEARCH AND PHENOMENOLOGICAL in principleat least one case in which we are not deceived). 45 L. and roughness.that they are evident. 1.U. 1.U. We are faced with a twofold problemat the start.. and in this loose sense "refers" an object (say my tooth). and hence not all are intentional.48Thus. 48 Vorstellungen. (c) We saw above that Brentano accepted this as a defining characteristic of mental phenomena(designatedas (1) in our list above). II.49 Laterin his discussion Husserl uses the example of a feeling of being burned to illustratethis point. Husserl'sfirst objectionto this is that not all mental phenomenaare 50 acts. II of the Logische three different tradiHusserl begins by distinguishing Untersuchungen tional conceptionsof consciousness. he says. of that the most important Husserl'scriticismsof Brentanoemerge. The first is IntentionalInexistence.which by implicationhe believes are the most importantfor him.U. Husserl rejects what we have designated as Brentano'sfifth defining of characteristic mentalphenomena. The implication seems to be that if a mental phenomenon is an act then it is necessarily intentional. 1I. etc. 367. one way of intendingan objectis to present(e. In Chapter I of the Fifth Investigationin Vol..g. In short. L. judgments." 47 L. A close study of his important works shows that he appropriates elements from all three but goes far beyond them in developing his own highly original views. 49 L.

1.We saw earlier that he introducedthe terms adequate-inadeto quate perceptioninstead of evident-nonevident bring out an essential differencebetween mental and physical phenomena. 54 L.when I perceive a thing (e. the box. However. a box) I perceive it and not my sensationsor experiencesof it. If I am perceivingat differenttimes my sensationsmay (and do) change. Now he suggests that the term mentalphenomenonbe avoided altogetherand in its place (intentionaleErlebnisse). 382 ff.. be confusedwith the acts of e.ON HUSSERLAND BRENTANO INTENTIONALITY 39 is but such a "referring" not at all act-like in character.53 The latter are immanent"contents"of my consciousness. II. 1.-and the (say) perceivedobject on the other. All it means in the present context is that the object is not a lived-experience. II. 52 51 . is not "mental. The object is in no sense a content or constitutivepart of my consciousnessor of my lived-experiences.. as the objectof an intentionalact of consciousness is not the same as.g. We thus have the following rough schema: act-contentobject. nor is it reducibleto. 380-1. 378. my experiencesand sensations of it. a mere possibility. Hence we must deny that all mental phenomena are acts. pain sensationsand some other feelings are not acts.just as lived-experiences contents of consciousness from the object or objective of consciousness. Again Husserl thinks it necessaryto revise radicallyBrentano'sterminology. existing object. 1.51To be pleased is to be pleased about something.g. II.of course." 55 The relation between contents (Inhalten) of consciousness and lived-experiences (Erleibnisse)is not wholly clear. 1. are both acts? 56 L.52 be used that of intentionallived-experiences A furtherdistinctionmust be made between the constitutivecontents of consciousnessand lived-experienceson the one hand. Thus. that act of perceivingthe box.56 consciousness.that of being pleased (Gefallen). For instance. though we shall see later other senses in which he is sympathetic to this view..In short. L. II.U. the formeris transcendent. some feelings are acts. a fact.> e.U. would have to conthey clude.But Husserl thinks this are not to be obviouslyfalse.. To say that an object is transcendent does not mean (for Husserl) that it is beyond the possibility of experience.or whatever. 388.Brentano.54 5& and In addition..so must be distinguished not contentsmust be sharplydistinguished. Husserlnow points out that it is very misleadingto speak as Brentano does of the object which is perceived as "enteringinto" (treten) conL.whetherthis be a real.g.U. 53 In this sense Husserl is not a phenomenalist.that because some sensationsand feelings are nonintentional acts and hence not mental phenomena.U.For instance. but I am neverthelessperceivingthe same box.

1.the second is that a presentationis the matter of an act (Actmaterie). 458.is a content of consciousnessbut the colored object is not.e. every intentionalconsciousact has a matter about or wished for.or wishing. in Brentano's as its ena are either presentationsor are based on them only the second is meaningof presentation used. II. then his view is acceptableto Husserl..If.pains. II. e. L. 347. . acts of thinking. 456.g. 59 L.i."The entire world falls into two great clasof what appearsto us [unsererErscheinungen] 57 58 60 61 62 Psych.. but I will here cite only one small part of it. L. perceived or imagined. relationship judgment. 1. contents and lived-experiences the I are real occurrences(Vorkomnisse)and are constantlychanging. they are not the objectof the act.U.i.. 1..e. IL 1.coming into being and passing away. L. I do not see color sensations or color experiencesbut colored things.60 which Brentano However.as being "takenup. 371-5.&7 expressions or the intentional between the content and the object. 115-6. II.U. the distincThe first distinctionis that tion betweentwo conceptionsof presentation. L.it is always The immanentcontents which belong to the constituents transcendent.61 of Accordingto this view.U." "contained" blur the distinction Such lived-experience. a color sensation. what is judged Now." For example.Only the acts and contentsof consciousnessare immanent. A perceived physical object (or is "phenomenon") not "in" consciousnessor a "part"of it . is a presentation an act.62 But again Husserl warns these consciousmentalexperiences that we must be carefulto distinguish from their "objects.U. It that Brentanobegan his discussionof the difference will be remembered betweenmentaland physicalphenomenaby asserting. etc." We should avoid all talk of immanent objects. doubt.&9 thesis that all mentalphenomobject or objective.what is needed is an analysisof presentation. Examples are perceptions. (a) Consciousnessis the total phenomenalcontent of the mental I.act. of judging. of an intentionallived-experienceare not themselves intended by the latter.40 RESEARCH AND PHILOSOPHY PHENOMENOLOGICAL (enthalten)in consciousness sciousness. The thing is thus not a "bundle or of impressions" an "idea. II. the.U. Husserlundertakesa laborito its ous and difficultanalysisof the notion of presentation. 1.&8 To concludethe discussionof consciousnessas act or lived-experience I will mentionbriefly a point made by Husserl in regardto Brentano's or doctrinethat all mentalphenomenaare eitherpresentations are based (2) on them (definingcharacteristic above).etc. 346. certainlydoes not give.fantasy presentations.

354 ff. 349 ff. II." One gets the impressionin reading Brentano that phenomenaand appearancemean basicallythe same thing.he says. Psych. L." 63 The use of the ambiguousterm "appearance" misleading. Expressed a bit differently. 1.ON HUSSERLAND BRENTANO INTENTIONALITY 41 can be very ses. and also leads one to posit a thing-in-itself them. the thing that appears is not. 68 Consciousness is conceived here as an "inner light. 64 66 101. but what I perceiveis not the appearance (of the thing) but the thing. 1.as perhapseven "causing" Husserl.and we saw that Brentanohimself was not free of confusion natureof the in this respect.Husserl.Husserl. in his failureto realizethe transcendent object and his tendency to reduce the physical to the mental physical by speakingof the latter as being "containedin" consciousness.69 term Brenconsciousness tano frequentlyused.they are experienced." Accordingto this.U. The the lived-experience.and as It into" consciousness. 1.and prefers to subsitutefor them the concepts of adequate vs. ."and what I perceive are not them but simply the thing that appears. thingsexist when I (or anyone else) do not perceivethem.Also.which simply means that to but "appearances" say that it is being perceivedby someone in a certainway. can mean either the appearing (erscheinen)of an object or the appearing(erscheinende)object. is quite clear on this point. or the "behind" apearances phenomena.when I perceive a thing the thing appearsto me (in a certainway).e.64 is reasonableto assumethat a failure "entering the to distinguished differentmeaningsof appearanceis (at least partly) at the source of these confusions. T L..g. stronglyobjectsto the termsinnerand outerperception.65By implication. "The appear66 ances themselvesdo not appear. .67On this view (perhapsthe most familiarin naive thought)conand is related the scious "accompanies" contents and lived-experiences 68 to them in such a way that they are its "objects. inadequate 63 Psych. on the other hand. II. latter not. (b) Consciousis the inner awarenessof one's own mental lived-experiences.U.U.appearancesare not "things. Appearance. 346. 65 L." 69 L. exist only in perception. 115. Such a view tends towards subjectiveidealism and untimatelysolipsism. 1. 350. The appearanceof formeris a "mental" but is a thing(Dingerscheinung) a lived-experience. . II. on the other hand. a means much the same as inner perception. II.in denying that objects are appearancesor phenomena.avoids fallinginto this position. and which we gave as his fourth defining characteristic of mental phenomena. as wei have alreadyseen.U.

II. 353. but the reverse does not necessarily follow.U. 1. it is reducible to laws.7' Thus.. Thus. the law of causality. but always 70 71 72 73 LAU. causes.II. (Cf.42 RESEARCH AND PHILOSOPHY PHENOMENOLOGICAL perception.g. but need not be. e. The empirical I can perceive itself just as it can external things . Opposed to the empirical I are external physical things which are intended by the I. II. L.) .70 Further. for Husserl. that is. but are given as objects. Thus. psychology studies the contents and lived-experiences of consciousness in order to determine their origins. In other words. the I. The Berkeley-Hume doctrine that bodies (Korper) are ideas (Ideen) or "bundles" of ideas is false.72 There is thus no "pure" I "floating above" the empirical contents of consciousness. The latter also persists through time and remains a unity through its several appearances. But we can distinguish the momentary I (the empirical contents of consciousness at a given time) from the I as that which remains and persists through time. is an empirical object (empirischer Gegenstand).U.U. lies in the fact that the unity of the physical thing is not phenomenal. to the community of I's the social world and to the community of knowers the world in itself. The complex of mental livedappearances of the physical thing: physical experiences: mental I thing. but the latter are the only things of which adequate perception is possible. We may define the physical world as the intentional correlate of all mental perceptions and judgments. 1. We may now compare Husserl's views about psychology and its relationship to natural science with those of Brentano.there is no need of a pure I (which cannot perceive itself) to do this. 353-4. Note 75. L. then. for bodies are never perceived "inwardly" (innerlich) and adequately as the former are. such awareness can be adequate. As such. II. 73 there is no primitive I as the "center" of the relationships to all lived-experiences. It thus studies the empirical I which is nothing but the unity of the relationships of these livedexperiences to one another. however. if our perception is adequate then it is of my own lived-experiences. laws. This distinction is analogous to that (in the physical world) between the appearance of a thing and the thing that appears. L. we can construct the following proportion. For Husserl. 1. 354-5. it is "reducible" to the contents and unity of consciousness. A basic difference between these two kinds of unity. They are not reducible to mere presentations. 361. I can fail to have an adequate perception of a given lived-experience. 1. In regard. to our awareness of our lived-experiences. etc. to the individual I corresponds the individual world.

the contents and experience phenomena("sense-data"). More specifically. It does not appear in the second and third editions. empiricismin general).probablybecause of a was lack of ultimateclarityabout the intentionalnatureof consciousness. led to hold certain views which are ultimatelyinconsistentwith its true submeaning. principally in the Ideen where the notion of a transcendentalphilosophy and hence of a transcendentalego is fully developed. I think it fair to say that.e. Of course. 421-5. II. Chap.then (one whichBrentanocertainlystrovefor) is a psychology "without a soul. avoided. the Let us now conclude and attemptto summarize resultsof our diswarnsthat there are two errorsthat must. A phenomenalistic psychology. Husserl ultimatelyrejects phenomenalism. To say that an object is intentional is to say simply that it is the object (referent) of an actual or possible act of consciousness.U.. inadequately. I." i. This does not imply that all intentional objects are external physical ones. Husserl according theory(Bildertheorie). he fell at times into a form of representationalism. defines here as the view that the distinctionbetween the mental and the physical lies in a correlationof laws. the intentional object is the transcendent. par. external object. 76 L. on this ground (and alone he rejects phenomenalism. above. jective idealism. essences (Wesen)) are intentional objects. Phenomenology and phenomenalism should not be confused. 1900-01. tenet of phenomenalism And since this is a fundamental of consciousness.g. and perhapseven solipsism.The second error is that the intentionalobject is immanent. 7.The first is the representational to which the physicalthing is "outside"consciousand its representatives (Bilder.75 'III.. 1.i.g. he committed(or came very close to committing)both the errors Husserl warns against above. e. The intentionalobject is not These views are both fundamentally an "internal representation" and the external thing is not something "represented.we can summarizeour discussionof Husserl's 74 This material is taken from the first edition of the Logische Untersuchungen. since "ideal" objects (e. is a sign (Zeichen)or representation. It implies nothing about the objects "reality"l or "mode of being. after the Logische Untersuchungen he rejects this view. avoiding any referenceto "metaphysical" entities like souls (Seele) and bodies.76 I have attemptedto show above that Brentano..e. above all.That is. he clearly rejects any attempt to "reduce"physical objects to or appearances. be cussion. a psychology of mental phenomena.. 75 Another sense in which Husserl is sympathetic to phenomenalism is his defining the I in terms of empirical contents and his denial of a "pure"I." . Vertreter)are "in" consciousness. false.ON HUSSERL AND BRENTANO INTENTIONALITY 43 which he Thus.as we have seen extent Husserlwould agreewith phenomenalism.74 To this though." Rather.

all act-mentalphenomenahave Intentional Inexistence. And the converseis true in regardto my having your pains." which for him is committed ultimately to the existence of a thing-in-itself. though I think we may supposethat Husserl would not reject it you since i one sense it is triviallytrue. the physicalworld is not "actual"in the sense that it must be conceived as the object of a possible consciousness.e. He accepts (3) . In my discussion I have concentratedon Husserl'sdetailed criticism I of Brentanoin the Logische Untersuchungen.78 Thus.77 perceptionthat of adequateperception and by distinguishingadequate to perceptionfrom evidence.He accepts (2) with the importantreservation presentationbe taken in the sense of act only (in which case (2) is triviallytrue). all consciousnessis consciousness=of. i. one can htink about thinking.was not explicitly disthat of the "privacy" cussed. qua acts. and certain feelings are clearly "mental"yet do not refer to an object that other than themselves.. are not intentionalobjects.Brentanowas concernedto groundpsychologyon 77 It should be onted that Brentano never uses the term "Intentionality" and Husserl never uses that of "Intentional Inexistence" except when referring to Brentano or Scholasticism. based on the later developmentsof phenomenology to in psychology"' the Logische Untersuchungen the mature "descriptive philosophyin the Ideen as statementof phenomenology a transcendental differentmotivesand (1913). (8) is accepted (with certain clarifications) the extent that consciousnesscan be conceived of as identical with the and that the latter are always experienced unity of "mentalphenomena" as a unity persistingthroughtime. for Husserlrejects (4) and (5) by substituting the term inner analysiS..only in its bare form. an intentional act can become the "object of anotheract. e.79Characteristic of all mental phenomena.. One must be clear about the fundamentally aims of each thinker. would now like to conclude with a short statement of what I think his most fundamental from a objectionis.whereas consciousness itself is actual in the sense that its object need not be real or existent (6) and its acts. This fact by itself should give pause to critics and interpretersof Husseri who think his views to be the same as Brentano's and hence can refute him by refuting Brentano.g. But he goes on to develop his own highly originalnotion denying many of the basic aspects of Brentano'sown of Intentionality. have my pain since if you did it would be your pain and not mine.. For instance. 79 Of course. cannot altogether.44 RESEARCH AND PHILOSOPHY PHENOMENOLOGICAL to criticismof Brentanoby referring our list of the latter'seight defining of characteristics mental phenomena. Husserlaccepts (7) in that he defines the physicalworld as the correlateof intentionalacts of consciousness. 78 To this extent Husserl rejects traditional "realism. Husserl denies (1) - all mental phenomena are acts - since sensations .

the notion of IntentionalInexistencewas significantas a defining of characteristic mental phenomena.as a naive and dogmaticNaturalism.Suffice it to say here that Brentano'sbasic error of implications his notion the consistsin not understanding transcendental of IntentionalInexistenceand hence the inadequacyof any "naturalization of consciousness. not psychology but philosophy was his central concern. This is the basic meaningof: To the things themselves(Zu den Sachen selbst)! And since the things themselvesare first "given". the significanceof Intentionalitylay in its implicationsfor the of establishing philosophyas a "rigorousscience. In other words.to the evident self-givennessof all beings. Haag 1952. In the view of the later developmentsin the Ideen it becomes clear psychologyand philosophy.They are thus part of naturejust as physical phenomenaare. The final justificationand clarificationof but must be transcendental. perhaps his greatest contri- bution was in seeing the formal structureof consciousnessas consciousof ness-of and the inadequacy the traditionalconceptionof consciousness and the mind as "thinkingsubstance"(Cartesianrationalism)and/or a Closely allied with this insightis that of "bundleof ideas" (empiricism).constituted. Brentano's fundamentalmistake lay in not seeing that the intentionalstructureof consciousnessultimatelyimplies that all beings in the world are relative to consciousnessin so far as they must be conceivedas a possible correlateor object of consciousness. for him.8' idealismmust be left to Husserlhimthe meaningof this transcendental self and his writings. and that thereforethe latter itself cannotbe part of the world or nature. whetheror not they are ultimatelyreducibleto the laws of physics. To this extent. for the project of a phenomenological lies very far from Brentano. For Husserl. which critique would strive to trace all our knowledgeback to its original sources in immediateexperience. More specifically. is the utlimate meaning of Descartes' Cogito. This.in subjectivity.80 That is."Such a science is possible only on the basis of a radical critique of knowledge.which dis- 80 81 Cf. All this. on the other hand. Brentano conceived consciousness - mental phenomena . Martinus Nijhoff.ON HUSSERLAND BRENTANO INTENTIONALITY 45 principlesand to delineate its own peculiar subject empiricist-naturalist matter as opposed to that of the natural physical sciences.and hence his that Huserl regardsBrentano's notion of IntentionalInexistence." On the other hand. for Husserl.the intentionalityof consciousnessbecomes the guiding "clue" philosophy. the laws of psychologyare naturallaws. of course. 156. for Husserl. Husserl's Ideen III. p. the differencebetween a descriptiveand genetic psychology. Thus.as and inner-worldly mundane. .

. MORRISON. through which alone phenomenology has become possible."82 is And. 82 Ideen HI. in my sense. one must still essentially distinguish the pure psychology. However much I see in the [Brentano's]transformation of the Scholastic concept of Intentionality a great discovery.46 RESEARCH AND PHENOMENOLOGICAL PHILOSOPHY inction opened the path for Husserl'sown radicallyoriginalconception psychology. to Husserl'stranscendental regard JAMES C. such an "essentialdistinction" even more necessaryin as phenomenology a whole. implicitly contained in phenomenology and the psychology of Brentano. OF UNIVERSITY TORONTO. .. phenomenological of a transcendental ". of course. p. 155.

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