The Soul and Its Parts: Varieties of Inexistence

Brentano-Studien 4:35–51 (1992)
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From the point of view of Brentano’s philosophy, contemporary philosophy of mind presupposes an over-crude theory of the internal structures of mental acts and states and of the corresponding types of parts, unity and dependence. We here describe Brentano’s own account of the part-whole structures obtaining in the mental sphere, and show how it opens up new possibilities for mereological investigation. One feature of Brentano’s view is that the objects of experience are themselves parts of mind, so that there is a sense in which for him (as e.g. for Leibniz) ontology is a proper part of rational or descriptive psychology.

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Barry Smith
University at Buffalo


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