Building Objective Thoughts: Stumpf, Twardowski and the Late Husserl on Psychic Products

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Some Austro-German philosophers considered thoughts to be mind-dependent entities, that is, psychic products. Yet these authors also attrib- uted “objectivity” to thoughts: distinct thinking subjects can have mental acts with “qualitatively” the same content. Moreover, thoughts, once built, can exist beyond the life of their inventor, “embodied” in “documents”. At the beginning of the 20th century, the notion of “psychic product” was at the centre of the debates on psychologism; a hundred years later, it is rather at the margins of the history of philosophy. While Twardowski’s theory of products has been fre- quently studied, those of Stumpf and the late Husserl have been much less dis- cussed. A presentation of the Austro-German debates about psychic products is all the more important since these discussions might be of direct interest for contemporary philosophy of mind and epistemology. This paper examines the Austro-German notion of psychic products in Stumpf, Twardowski, and the later Husserl.
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Phenomenology.Smith, David Woodruff

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