Stumpf on Abstraction

In D. Fisette & R. Martinelli (eds.), Philosophy from an Empirical Standpoint: Essays on Carl Stumpf. Brill. pp. 263-292 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX


From the point of view of Husserl's critique of empiricist theories of abstraction in the Logical Investigations, it seems that Brentano and most of his students would have endorsed the presupposition of Locke's theory of abstraction, which Husserl labels as the 'psychological hypostatization of the general'. For Husserl himself, but also for most of his followers, the motivation behind this critique is that the descriptive psychology of the school of Brentano leads to psychologism if one doesn't accept Platonic ideal objects. In the following article, I argue that Husserl's critique doesn't do justice to the accounts of abstraction developed in the school of Brentano. I take here the particular case of Carl Stumpf, showing that not only does Husserl's accusation miss its target, but also that it attributes indirectly to Stumpf a position that he didn't defend. I suggest that even before the Logical Investigations, Stumpf formulated the basis of an account of abstraction in terms of generalization, an account which will later turn out to be in many ways compatible with Husserl's theory of Spezies in the Logical Investigations, and which provide a viable alternative both to Platonism and to empiricism, thereby calling for a reassessment of the positions on abstraction in the School of Brentano.

Author's Profile

Guillaume Fréchette
Université de Genève


Added to PP

46 (#68,171)

6 months
10 (#63,927)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?