Is Brentano's Method a Unifying Element of the Brentano School?

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Among historians of philosophy it is often taken for granted that the “Brentano school” was one of the influential philosophical movements at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century – but Brentano’s own contributions are often eclipsed by that of his direct students. This invites to reflect on the nature of and the unity within the school. Since Brentano’s conception of a rigorous, scientific philosophy had a strong impact on his students, it has been argued that this conception constitutes a unifying element in an otherwise heterogeneous group. The scope of this article is to shed light on this thesis and to show its limits. I argue for a differentiated view: the Brentano school is best seen not as a compact movement, but as a heterogeneous group of scholars who approached, in a given historical and geographical period, similar topics in very similar ways.
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First archival date: 2020-01-03
Latest version: 2 (2020-04-30)
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