Intentionality and God’s Mind. Stumpf on Spinoza

In G.-J. Boudewijnse & S. Bonacchi (eds.), Carl Stumpf: From philosophical reflection to interdisciplinary scientific investigation. Krammer. pp. 51-67 (2011)
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In his Spinozastudien Stumpf dismisses the commonplace interpretation of Spinoza’s parallelism in psychophysical terms. Rather, he suggests to read Ethics, II, Prop. 7, as the heritage of the scholastic doctrine of intentionality. Accordingly, things are the intentional objects of God’s ideas. On this basis, Stumpf also tries to make sense of the puzzling spinozian doctrine of the infinity of God’s attributes. In support of this exegesis, Stumpf offers an interesting reconstruction of the history of intentionality from Plato and Aristotle to the late Scholastics. Besides its intrinsic value, Stumpf’s confrontation with Spinoza is illuminating in explaining his own position concerning a crucial phenomenological question such as intentionality. Actually, Stumpf avoids defining the mental in terms of intentionality and maintains, rather, a moderate but professed dualistic position, thus deeply diverging from both Brentano and Husserl.

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Riccardo Martinelli
Università degli Studi di Trieste


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