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    Brentano’s New Understanding of Psychology in Light of His Reading of English Empiricists

    McDonnell, Cyril (2017) Brentano’s New Understanding of Psychology in Light of His Reading of English Empiricists. Bretano Studien, 15 (1). pp. 263-290. ISSN 0935-7009

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    In his 1866 habilitation thesis Brentano defends Aristotle’s concept of psychology as ‘the science of the soul’, but in his next study Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint (1874) he expounds a ‘modern conception’ of psychology as the natural science of ‘psychical phenomena’. This article argues that although Brentano has become clearly impressed by the rise of the natural sciences, the priority which he attributes to the ‘inner perception of our own psychical phenomena’ as the ‘experiential basis’ for the science of ‘empirical psychology’ in his 1874 study indicates that he is now following a line of enquiry that is advanced from within the tradition of modern philosophical psychology accredited to Descartes and advocated by ‘English empiricists’, such as, Locke, Hume and J.S. Mill, authors whom Brentano read for several years after the completion of his habilitation thesis. This article examines the influence of the ‘English empiricists’ on Brentano’s new understanding of ‘psychology’ and his celebrated discovery of the intentionality of consciousness in his 1874 study, a tenet that is not found in Aristotle or the medieval Aristotelians but one that is found, albeit in embryonic fashion, in those ‘English empiricists’ whom he read.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Brentano; New Understanding; Psychology in Light; Reading; English Empiricists;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Philosophy
    Item ID: 9306
    Depositing User: Dr Cyril McDonnell
    Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2018 14:10
    Journal or Publication Title: Bretano Studien
    Publisher: Verlag
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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