Brentano on phenomenal and transitive consciousness, unconscious consciousness, and phenomenal intentionality

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Abstract
In Brentano’s Philosophical System: Mind, Being, Value, Uriah Kriegel argues that Brentano’s work forms a “live philosophical program” (p. 14, italics omitted) that contemporary philosophy has much to learn from and that is promising and largely correct. To this end, Kriegel argues that Brentano’s notion of consciousness is the contemporary notion of phenomenal consciousness, that Brentano’s rejection of unconscious mentality is a grave mistake that can be fairly neatly excised from his overall view, and that Brentano’s notion of intentionality is the contemporary notion of phenomenal intentionality. This paper raises some doubts about these claims, suggesting that Brentano’s notion of consciousness might more closely align with the contemporary notion of transitive consciousness than with that of phenomenal consciousness, that Brentano’s rejection of unconscious mentality cannot be so easily excised from his overall view but that it is not such a grave mistake, and that Brentano’s notion of intentionality may not be that of phenomenal intentionality but rather that of generic abountness. I wrap up by considering the extent to which we might agree with Kriegel that Brentano’s work forms a live philosophical program that contemporary philosophy has much to learn from.
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First archival date: 2021-04-10
Latest version: 2 (2021-07-17)
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