A Paleo-Criticism of Modes of Being: Brentano and Marty against Bolzano, Husserl, and Meinong

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Abstract
Brentanians defend the view that there are distinct types of object, but that this does not entail the admission of different modes of being. The most general distinction among objects is the one between realia, which are causally efficacious, and irrealia, which are causally inert. As for being, which is equated with existence, it is understood in terms of “correct acknowledgeability.” This view was defended for some time by Brentano himself and then by his student Anton Marty. Their position is opposed to Bolzanian, Husserlian, and Meinongian ontologies, in which a distinction in the (higher) types of object implies a distinction in their mode of being. These Austro-German discussions anticipate much of the contemporary debate between Quineans, who accept only differences in objects, and neo-Meinongians or other ontological pluralists, who accept different modes of being. My paper first presents the Brentanian view in detail and then evaluates its philosophical significance.
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Archival date: 2020-05-22
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