Improper Intentions of Ambiguous Objects: Sketching a New Approach to Brentano’s Intentionality

Brentano Studien:55–80 (2015)
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In this article I will begin by discussing recent criticism, by Mauro Antonelli and Werner Sauer, of the ontological interpretation of Franz Brentano’s concept of intentionality, as formulated by i.a. Roderick Chisholm. I will then outline some apparent inconsistencies of the positions advocated by Antonelli and Sauer with Brentano’s formulations of his theory in several works and lectures. This new evaluation of (unpublished) sources will then lead to a sketch of a new approach to Brentano’s theory of intentionality. Specifically, it will be argued that the notion of “intentional object” is inherently and un- avoidably ambiguous in every act of external perception, due to the fact that we can only have improper intentions directed at the external world.
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