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International Phenomenological Society

Husserl and Brentano on Intentionality Author(s): James C. Morrison Source: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 31, No. 1 (Sep., 1970), pp. 27-46 Published by: International Phenomenological Society Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2105978 Accessed: 21/11/2008 12:04
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"Finally, many people view phenomenology as a continuation of Brentano's psychology. However highly estimate this work of genius, and however strongly it (and other writings of Brentano's) has affected me in younger years, it must still be said that Brentano has remained far from a phenomenology in our
sense.... Nevertheless, he has gained for himself the epoch-making service

of making phenomenology possible. He presented to the modem era the idea of Intentionality, which he derived out of consciousness itself in immanent
description . . ." 1

The above is generalknowledgein the philosophicalworld. However, it is often assumedon the basis of these facts alone that Husserl'sdoctrine Hence scholarswill of Intentionality essentiallythe same as Brentano's. is study the latter in order to find out what Husserl'sconceptionof it is and critics will attempt to refute Husserl and even phenomenologyin generalby refutingBrentano.This is a mistake.Althoughit is true as a matter of historicalfact that Husserl was Brentano'sstudent and first derivedthis idea from him, it is not true that the meaningand importance I each gives to it is the same, even in fundamentals. believe that a failure and to realizethis has led to a great deal of misinterpretation misunderstandingof Husserl and phenomenology.It is the purpose of this essay to attempt to show that Husserl's phenomenologicalviews are very differentfrom and far more developedthan Brentano's,and that he even most importantdoctrines. rejects(whollyor in part) many of the latter's, In order to clarify this problem I propose to discuss Brentano'swellknown attemptto distinguishmental and physical phenomenain which I Inexistence." will then take Up the he introduces notion of "Intentional Husserl's views on both the general problem of mental vs. physical No phenomenaand on the more specific one of Intentionality. attempt will be made to give a complete account of Husserl's own views on since to do so adequatelywould imply a discussionof his Intentionality, whole philosophy.Also, I will concentratealmost exclusivelyon material since it is here that he makes most from the Logische Untersuchungen, explicitand detailedreferenceto Brentano.

Edmund Husserl, Ideen III, Martinus Nijhoff, Haag 1952, p. 59.




I. The basic purpose of Brentano'schapter, "On the Basic Difference

Between Mental and Physical Phenomena" is ". . . the clarification of

the two terms:physical [physisches]phenomenon- mental [psychisches] 2 phenomenon." He begins by assertingthat "The entire world of what appearsto us falls into two great classes, the class of physical and that 3 of mentalphenomena." Brentanoassumesthis division and its exhaustivenessto be obvious for he never attemptsto arguefor it. The method he adoptsis simplyto find at least one (perhapsseveral)specificdefining that all membersof one of characteristic each class, i.e., a characteristic class have and no membersof the otherhave. I believe that Brentano,in the course of his analysis,finds altogethereight defining characteristics of mental phenomena,althoughhe does not accord all of them equal significance.From his own, Husserl's and our point of view the most is important IntenitonalInexistence. is The first defining characteristic given in terms of the notion of (Vorstellung). presentation
(1) "Every presentation of sensation or fantasies offers an example of mental phenomena: and I understand here by presentation not that which is presented but rather the act of presenting. Thus, the hearing of a tone, the seeing of a colored object, the sensing of warm or cold, as well as similar fantasy states are examples .... 4

distinctionbetweenwhat is presented Here Brentanomakes an important the implication being that all mentalphenomena and the act of presenting, acts. Further examples of acts include: thinking, judging, rememare brance, expectation, doubt, fear, and willing.5 Examples of physical phenomena,on the other hand, are colors, figure, a landscape,warmth and cold, and pictures(Gebilde)that appearin fantasie.6
2 Franz Brentano, Psychologie vom Empirischen Standpunkte,Vol. I, Dunker & Humblot, Leipzig 1874, pp. 102-3. (Hereafter: Psych.) 3 Die gesammte Welt unserer Erscheinungen zerfllt in zwei grosse Classen, in die Classe physische und in die der psychischen Phinomene." Note Brentano's use of the term "Erscheinung!';we will see later that its ambiguities lead him into difficulties. Psych. 101. 4 Psych. 103. 5 Psych. 103. 6 Psych. 104. Note that Brentano does not distinguish here between a sensequality (e.g., a color) and a physical object (e.g., a landscape) - both are called physical phenomena. This ambiguity will be seen to be important later, in that it seriously confuses his analysis.



(2) "We may accordingly regard it as an indubitably correct determination of mental phenomena that they are either presentations or (in the sense which has been explained) rest on presentations as their basis."7

way of definingphysicalphenomthe Here Brentanomentions traditional (lrtliche Beena in terms of extension and spatial determinativeness He the stimmtheit), oppositeholdingfor mentalphenomena.8 rejectsthis solutionbecausehe believes some mental phenomena(tones and smells) are not extended.Also, it could be arguedthat, duringthe first stages of are the our experience, objectsof sight and other presentations not experienced as localized in space. Conversely,we tend to locate our own thoughtsin "the space filled by use," i.e., in our bodies.9 Finally, the above definitionis rejectedbecause it gives only a negativecharacterization of mentalphenomena.
(3) "Every mental phenomenon is characterized by what the Scholastics of the middle ages have called the intentional (or mental mentalle) existence of an object, and what we, although with a not wholly unambiguousexpression, would call the reference to a content, direction to an object (by which is not to be understood a reality) or immanent objectivity."10

That is, each mental phenomenon "contains [enthfilt] in itself something

as an object, thoughnot alwaysin the same way."

"In the presentation something is presented, in the judgment something is affirmed or denied, in love something loved, in hate hated, in desire desired,
etc. 92 i1

Further, it is not necessary that the object be an external one (iusserer

for Gegenstand), it is possibleto desire not the tone itself but simplythe hearingof it.12 This raises certainproblemsabout the "levels"of reflection which Brentanodoes not explicitlygo into. But it is clearly implied that the "object"of a given act (hearing)can be anotheract (the desire to hear). Thus, in the case of desiringto hear a tone the tone is a (nonof act) object of the act of hearingwhich is itself the '~object" another The point Brentanowishes to make is not that a act, that of desiring. given act cannot be an object, but that every (mental)act has an object, it something refersto.
7Note that it is neither asserted nor implied that all acts are presentations or that all mental phenomena are presentations. 8 Psych. 111-2. 9 Psych. 114.

Psych. 115.


Psych. 115. Psych. 117-8.



(4) "[Mental phenomena] are perceived [wahrgenommen]only in inner consciousness, while in the case of the physical only outer perception is possible."13

Here, inner and outherperceptionare not defined, but one may assume that the latter involves the bodily sense-organs,the former not. Also, Brentanoseems to think of inner perceptionas a kind of "introspection" or inward"reflection."
(5) "If we thus say that mental phenomena are those which are grasped through inner perception it is thereby implied that its perception is immediately evident.?14

"Inner perception ... is really the only perception in the genuine sense of the word."

The reasonfor the last assertionis that the phenomenaof outerperception cannot be proven as "true and actual."15 A serious ambiguityarises here, for it is not clear whether Brentano is saying that this is so for external perceptionin general (all cases) or only for any given case. that the class of mentalphenomit Nevertheless, seemsthat he is asserting ena is coextensivewith that of objects of inner perceptionor "genuine" perception. perceptionand of evident(non-deceptive)
(6) "It is not as if all mental phenomena are internally perceivable by everyone ...; rather, it is apparent and was explicitly noted by us earlier that no mental phenomenon is perceived by more than one individual."16

This assertionis closely linked with (5) above. Brentanoseems to think, that becausemental phenomenaare perceivedby inner perception,and because only the latter is "genuine"perception,it follows that mental phenomenaare "private,"accessible only to the individualperson who and physicalphenomenaare "public" accessible has them.By implication, by (perceivable) more than one person.
(7) "... They [mental phenomena] are the only phenomena to which an actual as well as intentional existence belongs."1"


15 16 17 Psych.

Psych. Psych. Psych. Psych.

118. 119. (My italics.)

119. 119.




Brentanorefersto a view held by Bain that To clarifythis characteristic physical world the notion that an unperceived(and also unperceivable?) Perceptioncannot be the effect acts on the mind is self-contradictory. of (Wirkung) the unperceivedand we cannot say what an object is independent of perception.Bain's position here seems similar to that of is substance" absurd Berkeley,who also held that the conceptof "material on the other hand, resists this view, and self-contradictory. Brentano, for, if it is true, how could the belief in externalobjectsexistingindependent of perceptionand "causing"our perceiving of them ever arise? Further,BrentanoaccusesBain of confusingthe sensation(Empfindung) in the sense of what is presentedwith the (act) of sensing, a distinction Brentanohimself takes great pains to make. For Brentano,physicalob-o they have only an intentional jects exist outsidethe mind but nevertheless existence,ie., they are the objects of a possible perception.This view concept of at has the twofold virtue of avoiding the self-contradictory unperceivedand unperceivablephysical ojbect while at the same time distinctionbetweenwhat is perceived the retaining obvious and important and the act of perceivingit. Thus, there is no temptationto say (with Bain and Berkeley)that physical objectsare "partof" or "containedin" our perceptionof them.'8 To this extent Brentanomay be said to hold some form of "idealism,"though certainlynot a subjectivistBerkelean kind. charFinally, BrentanodiscussesSpencer'sview that a distinguishing acteristicof mental phenomena is that they emerge in consciousness one successively at a time, whereasphysicalphenomenaare synchronous, i.e., they occur more than one at a time.'9 Brentanodoes not accept this view completely,for he points out that Spencermust be thinkingof the for life (consciousness)of only one organism,20 clearly in the case of two organismseach can have a (different)sensationor perceptionat the Brentanoholds this can also be true for only same time. Furthermore, one organism.For example, one can have a presentationand make a unity judgmentabout it at the same time.2' It is necessaryto distinguish and simplicity(which Spencer failed to do) and to realize that neither necessarilyexcludes the other.22Mental phenomena,though not simple in the sense of occurringonly one at a time, always appear as a unity, The implicationalso seems i.e., appearas belongingto one consciousness. retainsits unity over a periodof time during to be that this consciousness
18 Psych. 120-2. 19 Psych. 122-3.

Note that this seems inconsistent with (3) above.

20 Psych. 123. 21 Thus, while seeing red I can judge, "I see red."

w Psych. 125.



of the life of the organism.Thus, the final definingcharacteristic mental is.: phenomena
(8) Mental phenomena always appear to consciousness as a unity.23

what I believe are the basic definingcharacterI will now summarize istics of mentalphenomenafor Brentano. (1) All mental phenomenaare acts or (2) All are either presentations have these as their basis of (3) All have the characteristic IntentionalInexistence(consciousness
= consciousness-of)

(4) All are perceivedonly in inner consciousness (5) All are evident(nondeceptive) (6) All are "private" (7) All have actual as well as intentionalexistence (8) All always appearas a unity their respective "subject-matters" Having succeededin distinguishing (the rangeof entitieswhichthey study)Brentanois able to definepsychology and physical science. Physical science is the science of physical phenomena(excludingimages), i.e., all those phenomenawhich "emerge Further,such a science assumes that sensain sensation(Empfindung)." spatialand temporalworld on tions are the effect of a three-dimensional our sense organs.But as the science of physical phenomenait does not describe the "absolute nature" of this world, but only ascribes to it By certain "powers".24 implicationphysical phenomena are not these "powers"themselves.25Conversely, psychology is the science of all mental phenomenabut also includes in its subject matter certain nonmentalones, e.g., images,though these are consideredonly as the "content"of mental phenomena.26 Before turningto Husserl I would like to point out what seem to me to be obvious and fundamentalconfusions and inconsistenciesin Brentano's discussion. Note, for example, his assertion above that mental phenomena are the "effects" of a spatiotemporalworld. First, what reasd~s are there for believing or even assumingthis to be true, and this constituting world physicalones? They cersecond,are the "objects"
Psych. 126. Psych. 128. 25 Psych. 129. 26 Psych. 129-30. It is not clear why images are physical phenomena. The most plausible interpretationwould seem to be because they lack Intentional Inexistence. The fact that they are "extended"is ruled out since Brentano does not accept nonextendedness as definitive of the mental. Psych. 111-15.




tainly are not physicalphenomena.Are we left, then, with two "realms" This leads to a radicaldualism of the physical,"objects" phenomena? and which implies that no direct knowledge of the world which "causes" physicalphenomenais possible.It is also highlyunlikelythat any indirect knowledgeby inference is possible. At least, Brentano does not assert thereis or can be and he seems to thinkwe are left in completeignorance of it. We assumethat such a worldexists,but say nothingaboutits nature, spatiallyand temporally.And further, other than it is three-dimensional producesabsurdity, that in how can we know this?Surelythis assumption that of mental and physical "worlds," there would be two spatiotemporal phenomenaand that of the world of which they are the effect. The fact of that Brentanorejectsspace and time as definingcharacteristics physical and mental phenomenarespectivelyis not to the point here, for no one can deny that these phenomenaappearto us in space and time and thus Brentano seems to have fallen into a rather have these characteristics. realismwhich is subjectto preciselythose crudeform of representational criticismsby Bain (and Berkeley)which he himself had earlierrejected both as being necessarilyvalid in themselvesand as applyingto his own position. Anotherway of puttingthis same point is that Brentanohas here (and at other places in his analysisalso) lost sight of the notion of intentional existence and inexistence.For in ascribingthe latter to all (and only) mentalphenomenaand in asserting(againstBain) that physicalphenomena exist "outside"the mind and have only an intentionalexistence (i.e., are the objects of a possible perception)he was in effect denyingboth a subjectiveidealism - all reality is "mental"- and the existence of an In "cause"of phenomena,a "thing-in-itself." other words, unperceivable a consistent applicationof the notion of IntentionalInexistence would necessarily deny the possibility of assuming or even thinking of an This situationis made even more serious "world-in-itself." unperceivable when one considershis assertionthat no mental phenomenonis perceivable by more than one person. That is, all mental phenomenaare by This, togetherwith the assertionthat only innerpercepnature"private." tion is genuineperceptioncomes very close to solipsism,for it seems to imply that all one can ever perceive are the "contents"of one's own mind, and that since physical phenomena are unperceivablethey are Needless to say, such a view is absurdand would thereforeunknowable! render impossiblea science of both mental and physical phenomena.I of am not claimingthat any of Brentano'sdefiningcharacteristics mental phenomena((1) to (8) above) are in themselves inconsistentwith one another,but only that certainother thingshe says, includingsome of his explanationsof them, lead to serious inconsistenciesand confusions. I



suggestfurtherthat the basic sourceof most (if not all) of these problems graspof IntentionalInexistenceand a consequentfailure is an insufficient to carrythroughits full implications.And this bringsus to Husserl and Intentionality. II. Husserlappendeda supplementto the second volume of the Logische called "Outerand Inner Perception- Physicaland MenUntersuchungen of In tal Phenomena." it he begins by giving a short "history" the develviews about perceptionand opmentof recentscientificand philosophical epistemologyfrom the experiences and beliefs of "naive man." Since it many of Brentano'sbasic theses fall withinthe scope of this "history" makes a good startingplace for our discussionof Husserl'scriticismand of the development his own conceptionof Intentionality.27 Husserl claims that the naive man distinguishesouter and inner perception, and does so on the basis of a distinction of their respective Thus, the formeris perceptionof externalthings (Dinge), their "objects." properties,relations,etc., and the latter is perceptionof the self and its this naive belief is expressed Philosophically, propertiesand relations.28 by Descartes in terms of the dualism of mens vs. corpus and Locke's distinctionbetween sensationand reflection. Sensationis the perception of externalthings by means of the body, i.e., the sense organs, whereas reflection (inner perception)is turned towardsthe mind and its "ideas" and does not employ the bodily senses. Further,the distinctionbetween the two kinds of perceptionis drawn on the basis of a differencein the way they arise. Externalperceptionresults from the effects of external thingson the sense organsand innerperceptionthroughreflectionon our own minds.29In addition, outer perceptionis regardedas intrinsically deceptive(or at least alwayscapableof deception)while innerperception is evident. Because of this, it is implicitlyaccepted that only inner perceptionis "worthyof the name."Throughfindinga descriptivecharacteristic applyingto all instancesof the one class and to none of the other it was believed possible to distinguish psychology from the sciences of the nature.30Descartes,by emphasizing evident, nondeceptivenature of inner perception- while I doubt I cannot doubt that I doubt - and the
27 It is interesting to note the remarkable similarity of Husseri's "history" with Ryle's account of the "genesis"of the "Myth of the Ghost in the Machine." Gilbert Ryle, The Concept of Mind, Hutchinson & Co. Ltd., London 1960, Chap. I. 28 Edmund Husserl, Logische Untersuchungen, Vol. II, Pt. 2, 3rd ed., Max Niemeyer, Halle 1922, p. 222. (Hereafter: L.U.) 29 L.U. 11, 2. 223. 30 L.U. U, 2. 224.



of unreliability the senses, was led to the conclusionthat the objects of

outer perception have only a phenomenal or "intentional" existence.31

We can thus divide phenomenainto two classes, but not the objects in themselveswhich we suppose to "support" them, i.e., souls and bodies (Seelen and Kirper). The latter are "transcendent" on the the level and of pure description make no judgmentsabout them.32As should be we obvious, these views apply to a great extent to Brentano, and Husserl makesexplicitreferenceto him by sayingthat Intentional Inexistencewas given as a positive characteristic inner mental phenomena.This is a of purely descriptive characteristicand thus has the obvious virtue of world.33 The avoidingany referenceto a transcendent"metaphysical" mental and the physical are conceived of as phenomenagiven through But as appearancesthey appearances (Gegebenheitder Erscheinungen). are thoughtof as appearances something,that is, as effects of (transof cendent)bodies on our souls throughthe sense organs.This may suffice of tradition views and the philosophical as a general"history" Brentano's in whichthey were deveoped.Let us now turn to Husserl'scriticismsand of transformations them. First, Husserlsays that Brentanoholds that:
(a) inner perception (b) outer perception

mental = evident. physical = nonevident (truigerisch).

That is, the class of entities denotedby each of the three terms in (a) is coextensive,the same being true for the class denotedby the three terms in (b).34 Although Brentanois here in accord with much of the philosophicaltraditionHusserlfeels convincedthat not all these equivalences are valid.For Husserl,inner and outerperceptiondo not have completely "the same epistemologicalcharacter."Not every perception of the I (des Ichs) is evident,if by I we mean the commonsense notion of one's own empiricalpersonality.35 His example is that certain mental states (Zustdnde)are not evident since they are perceivedas having a location in the body. For instance,a pain is experiencedas in my tooth and not (say) in my foot. Here, inner and outer perceptionare intimatelyand intrinsicallybound up in the total experience or perception, and any possibilityof deceptionin one aspect is immediatelycarriedover to the other.Furthermore, deceptiveness not simplya matterof our defecthe is


L.U. II, 2. 225. L.U. II, 2. 226. 33 L.U. II, 2. 227.

34 L.U. HI, 2. 232.

35 L.U. II, 2. 231. One might suppose that Husserl has in mind here the fallibility of "introspection."



of tive "interpretation" what is "given"(e.g., a careless introspection).36 As the converseof his criticismof the equivalencebetweeninner perceptionand evidenceHusserlcriticizesthat betweenouter perceptionand nonevidence. Brentanois rightin sayingthat much outer perception(e.g., of a house) is not evident.37However, it does not follow from this that all outer perceptionas such is not evident. Brentano fails to make a distinction betweenthe perceptionas relatedto the object(Gegenstand) the house - and perceptionas related to the "lived sensible contents" (erlebten sinnlichenInhalteri).The latter are the presentingsensations and (Empfindungen) since, when perceivinga physicalobjectwe make no judgmentabout them,38we cannot be deceived about them. If, on the other hand,we do turn our attentionto these sensiblecontentswe can be mistaken.39The point, however, is that since the sensible contents are physical phenomenahere is case of an evident outer perception. AlthoughHusserldoes not here give an examplewhat he seems to have in mind is the following.When perceivinga house I have a sensationof its color (say red). Ordinarily, am "directedupon" the house and not my I perceivingof it. Thus, in makinga judgmentI would say, "The house is red." However,if I turn my attention- reflect upon - my perceivingthe house I am turnedtowardthe sensiblecontentof my perception(not the house itself). Thus, I am concernedwith how the house appearsto me, and in makinga judgmentI judgenot aboutthe house but aboutits mode of appearance("The house looks red"). Here, the redness is conceived of as a sensation- as a physicalphenomenon- and not as an objective property.It is physical(and not mental)in the sense that it is neitheran act nor is it intentional.But since I am not judgingabout the house as it reallyis, but only about how it looks to me, I cannotbe mistaken,i.e., the perceptionis evident. Having denied Brentano's equivalences between inner and evident and outer and nonevidentperceptionHusserlgoes on to make perception a fundamental revisionof Brentano'saccount.
"It is certain that the sphere of concepts inner and outer, evident and nonevident perception do not coincide. The first pair is determined through the concepts of mental and physical, however one may now separate them; the second characterizesthe fundamental epistemological opposition which we have L.U. II, 2. 232. We have seen above that it is not clear whether for Brentano outer perception can be of a house, a physical object, or whether it is always and only of physical phenomena, there being a radical "gulf' between these. Objects are the transcendent cause of phenomena and not (say) logical constructions out of them. 38 We judge about the house.


39 L.U. a,

2. 237.



studied in Investigation VI: the opposition between adequate perception (or intuition [Anschauung] in the narrowest sense) . . and the merely supposed, inadequate perception... ." 40

What Husserl wants to do is to replace Brentano's set of incorrect equivalenceswit hanotheron the basis of the notions of adequate vs. inadequateperception. This amounts to asserting that the distinction between the mental and the physical is not to be drawn in terms of evidencebut ratherin termsof adequacy.Thus, for Husserl:
inner perception mental = adequate

outer perception= physical= inadequate To clarify the distinctionbetween evidence and adequacy (which can easily be confused, as in the case of Brentano) Husserl says, that the whereasthe opposite is oppositeof the evident. the deceptive(triigerisch), fulfillment" (unvolikommene of the adequateis "incomplete Erfifllung).41 To say that a perceptionis inadequateis simply to say that what is perceived is not perceivedcompletely.That is, at a given time there is some aspector propertyof the objectwhich is not "given"or presentedto me, Conversely,in adequateperceptionthe object is that does not appear.42 perceivedcompletely,just as it is.43 perceptionis obvious betweenadequateand inadequate The distinction in the case of the perceptionof a physical object. The lattes cannot in principlebe perceivedadequatelyfor it is always seen from a point of view - in perspectives (Abschattungen) and there are an infinitenumber which are perceivable.To say that a physicalobject of such perspectives could be perceivedadequatelywould amountto saying (for Husserl)that at a given time it could be seen from all possible (an infinitenumberof) points of view.44And this is obviouslyimpossibleboth in itself and for a perceiver(like ourselves)who is himself located in space. Further,to say (as Husserl does) that outer perceptionof physical objects is not evidentis simplyto say that at any giventime I could be deceived,though this does not imply that we could be deceived at all times. Thus, for of Husserl,there is no problemof the "reliability" the senses in general, as there was for Descartes.(Husserlwould no doubt agree that the possibilitythat we can be deceivedin some cases implies that there must be
L.U. II, 2. 239. L.U. II, 2. 239. 42 Of course, it might appear at a later occasion and must be able (in principle) to appear at some occasion, but these considerations are not relevant here. 43 L.U. II, 239 ff. e This absurdity is the converse of the "realist"one of a thing-in-itself, i.e., of an object that unperceivable, that is, what it is independent. of perception in
40 41




in principleat least one case in which we are not deceived). In short, Husserl rejects what we have designated as Brentano'sfifth defining of characteristic mentalphenomena,that they are evident. In Chapter I of the Fifth Investigationin Vol. II of the Logische three different tradiHusserl begins by distinguishing Untersuchungen tional conceptionsof consciousness.45 permanenceof is (a) Consciousness the "total actual phenomenological
the mental J.'

of (b) "Consciousnessas inner awareness [Gewahrwerden] one's own [psychischenErlebnissen]." mental lived-experiences designationfor every kind of (c) 'Consciousnessas the comprehensive lived-experience."' 'mentalact' or 'intentional I would like first to take up relevantaspectsof (c), for it is here I think, of that the most important Husserl'scriticismsof Brentanoemerge. (c) We saw above that Brentano accepted this as a defining characteristic of mental phenomena(designatedas (1) in our list above). We are faced with a twofold problemat the start. Is consciousnecsessentiallyan between conscious acts and what Brenact and what is the relationship tano means by mental phenomena?Husserl mentionstwo basic criteria of the mentalfor Brentano,which by implicationhe believes are the most importantfor him. The first is IntentionalInexistence. Moreover, for Brentanothere are three basic classes of mental phenomena:presentations, judgments,and feelings. Husserl interpretsthese as ways of intending an object.48Thus, one way of intendingan objectis to present(e.g., perceive)it, anotheris to make a judgmentabout it, etc. Husserl'sfirst objectionto this is that not all mental phenomenaare 50 acts, and hence not all are intentional.49 Laterin his discussion Husserl uses the example of a feeling of being burned to illustratethis point. Such a feeling, he says, is like the contents of sensations(Empfindungsinhalten)of smoothness,red, and roughness.A pain (say) can be located to in the body, and in this loose sense "refers" an object (say my tooth),
45 L.U. II, 1. 346. Husserl does not assert nor does he imply that this threefold division is exhaustive; nor does he identify his own position with any one of them. A close study of his important works shows that he appropriates elements from all three but goes far beyond them in developing his own highly original views. 46 "Bewusstsein als der gesamte reelie phinomenologische Bestand des empirischen Ich..." 47 L.U. HK, 366. X. 48 Vorstellungen, Urteilen and Gemfithsbewegungen. L.U. II, 1. 367. 49 L.U. 1I, 1. 364. The implication seems to be that if a mental phenomenon is an act then it is necessarily intentional; also, all intentional phenomena are acts. 50 L.U. II, 1. 388 ff.



is but such a "referring" not at all act-like in character.In short, pain sensationsand some other feelings are not acts. However, some feelings are acts,> e.g.,,that of being pleased (Gefallen).51To be pleased is to be pleased about something,whetherthis be a real, existing object, a fact, a mere possibility,or whatever.Brentano,of course, would have to conthey clude,that because some sensationsand feelings are nonintentional acts and hence not mental phenomena.But Husserl thinks this are not to be obviouslyfalse. Hence we must deny that all mental phenomena are acts. Again Husserl thinks it necessaryto revise radicallyBrentano'sterminology.We saw earlier that he introducedthe terms adequate-inadeto quate perceptioninstead of evident-nonevident bring out an essential differencebetween mental and physical phenomena. Now he suggests that the term mentalphenomenonbe avoided altogetherand in its place (intentionaleErlebnisse).52 be used that of intentionallived-experiences A furtherdistinctionmust be made between the constitutivecontents of consciousnessand lived-experienceson the one hand,-and the (say) perceivedobject on the other. The object is in no sense a content or constitutivepart of my consciousnessor of my lived-experiences.For instance,when I perceive a thing (e.g., a box) I perceive it and not my sensationsor experiencesof it. If I am perceivingat differenttimes my sensationsmay (and do) change, but I am neverthelessperceivingthe same box. Thus, the box, as the objectof an intentionalact of consciousness is not the same as, nor is it reducibleto, my experiencesand sensations of it.53 The latter are immanent"contents"of my consciousness, the formeris transcendent.54 5& and In addition,just as lived-experiences contents of consciousness from the object or objective of consciousness,so must be distinguished not contentsmust be sharplydistinguished,, be confusedwith the acts of e.g., that act of perceivingthe box.56 consciousness, Husserlnow points out that it is very misleadingto speak as Brentano does of the object which is perceived as "enteringinto" (treten) conL.U. II, 1. 388. L.U. II, 1. 378. 53 In this sense Husserl is not a phenomenalist, though we shall see later other senses in which he is sympathetic to this view. 54 L.U. II, 1. 382 ff. To say that an object is transcendent does not mean (for Husserl) that it is beyond the possibility of experience. All it means in the present context is that the object is not a lived-experience, is not "mental." 55 The relation between contents (Inhalten) of consciousness and lived-experiences (Erleibnisse)is not wholly clear. For instance, are both acts? 56 L.U. II, 1. 380-1. We thus have the following rough schema: act-contentobject.




(enthalten)in consciousness sciousness,as being "takenup," "contained" blur the distinction Such lived-experience.&7 expressions or the intentional between the content and the object. A perceived physical object (or is "phenomenon") not "in" consciousnessor a "part"of it - it is always The immanentcontents which belong to the constituents transcendent. of an intentionallived-experienceare not themselves intended by the latter,i.e., they are not the objectof the act. I do not see color sensations or color experiencesbut colored things. The thing is thus not a "bundle or of impressions" an "idea." We should avoid all talk of immanent objects.Only the acts and contentsof consciousnessare immanent.&8 To concludethe discussionof consciousnessas act or lived-experience I will mentionbriefly a point made by Husserl in regardto Brentano's or doctrinethat all mentalphenomenaare eitherpresentations are based (2) on them (definingcharacteristic above). Husserlundertakesa laborito its ous and difficultanalysisof the notion of presentation, relationship judgment,etc., but I will here cite only one small part of it, the distincThe first distinctionis that tion betweentwo conceptionsof presentation. is a presentation an act, e.g., of judging,or wishing;the second is that a presentationis the matter of an act (Actmaterie),i.e., what is judged Now, every intentionalconsciousact has a matter about or wished for.&9 thesis that all mentalphenomobject or objective.If, in Brentano's as its ena are either presentationsor are based on them only the second is meaningof presentation used, then his view is acceptableto Husserl.60 which Brentano However,what is needed is an analysisof presentation, certainlydoes not give. (a) Consciousnessis the total phenomenalcontent of the mental I.61 of Accordingto this view, the;act, contents and lived-experiences the I are real occurrences(Vorkomnisse)and are constantlychanging,coming into being and passing away. Examples are perceptions,fantasy presentations, doubt, acts of thinking,pains, etc.62 But again Husserl warns these consciousmentalexperiences that we must be carefulto distinguish from their "objects." For example, a color sensation, perceived or imagined,is a content of consciousnessbut the colored object is not. It that Brentanobegan his discussionof the difference will be remembered betweenmentaland physicalphenomenaby asserting,"The entire world falls into two great clasof what appearsto us [unsererErscheinungen]
58 60 61 62

Psych. 115-6. L.U. II, 1. 371-5. L.U. II, 1. 458. L.U. II, 1. 346. L.U. IL 1. 347.

59 L.U. II, 1. 456.



can be very ses. . ." 63 The use of the ambiguousterm "appearance" misleading,and we saw that Brentanohimself was not free of confusion natureof the in this respect,e.g., in his failureto realizethe transcendent object and his tendency to reduce the physical to the mental physical by speakingof the latter as being "containedin" consciousness,and as It into" consciousness.64 is reasonableto assumethat a failure "entering the to distinguished differentmeaningsof appearanceis (at least partly) at the source of these confusions.Husserl, on the other hand, is quite clear on this point. Appearance,he says, can mean either the appearing (erscheinen)of an object or the appearing(erscheinende)object. The the lived-experience, latter not. The appearanceof formeris a "mental" but is a thing(Dingerscheinung) a lived-experience, the thing that appears is not. Expressed a bit differently,when I perceive a thing the thing appearsto me (in a certainway), but what I perceiveis not the appearance (of the thing) but the thing.65By implication,appearancesare not "things,"and what I perceive are not them but simply the thing that appears.Also, thingsexist when I (or anyone else) do not perceivethem, exist only in perception,which simply means that to but "appearances" say that it is being perceivedby someone in a certainway. "The appear66 ances themselvesdo not appear,they are experienced." One gets the impressionin reading Brentano that phenomenaand appearancemean basicallythe same thing. Such a view tends towards subjectiveidealism and untimatelysolipsism, and also leads one to posit a thing-in-itself them. or the "behind" apearances phenomena,as perhapseven "causing" Husserl,in denying that objects are appearancesor phenomena,avoids fallinginto this position. (b) Consciousis the inner awarenessof one's own mental lived-experiences.67On this view (perhapsthe most familiarin naive thought)conand is related the scious "accompanies" contents and lived-experiences 68 to them in such a way that they are its "objects." Accordingto this, a means much the same as inner perception,69 term Brenconsciousness tano frequentlyused, and which we gave as his fourth defining characteristic of mental phenomena.Husserl, on the other hand, as wei have alreadyseen, stronglyobjectsto the termsinnerand outerperception,and prefers to subsitutefor them the concepts of adequate vs. inadequate
63 Psych.
64 66

101. Psych. 115.

65 L.U. II, 1. 349 ff.

L.U. II, 1. 350. T L.U. II, 1. 346. 68 Consciousness is conceived here as an "inner light." 69 L.U. II, 1. 354 ff.



perception. In regard, then, to our awareness of our lived-experiences, such awareness can be adequate, but need not be. Thus, if our perception is adequate then it is of my own lived-experiences, but the reverse does not necessarily follow. In other words, I can fail to have an adequate perception of a given lived-experience, but the latter are the only things of which adequate perception is possible.70 Further, the I, for Husserl, is an empirical object (empirischer Gegenstand). As such, it is "reducible" to the contents and unity of consciousness. But we can distinguish the momentary I (the empirical contents of consciousness at a given time) from the I as that which remains and persists through time. This distinction is analogous to that (in the physical world) between the appearance of a thing and the thing that appears. The latter also persists through time and remains a unity through its several appearances. A basic difference between these two kinds of unity, however, lies in the fact that the unity of the physical thing is not phenomenal, that is, it is reducible to laws, e.g., the law of causality.7' Thus, we can construct the following proportion. The complex of mental livedappearances of the physical thing: physical experiences: mental I thing.72 There is thus no "pure" I "floating above" the empirical contents of consciousness; 73 there is no primitive I as the "center" of the relationships to all lived-experiences. The empirical I can perceive itself just as it can external things - there is no need of a pure I (which cannot perceive itself) to do this. We may now compare Husserl's views about psychology and its relationship to natural science with those of Brentano. For Husserl, psychology studies the contents and lived-experiences of consciousness in order to determine their origins, laws, causes, etc. It thus studies the empirical I which is nothing but the unity of the relationships of these livedexperiences to one another. Opposed to the empirical I are external physical things which are intended by the I. They are not reducible to mere presentations, but are given as objects. We may define the physical world as the intentional correlate of all mental perceptions and judgments. Thus, to the individual I corresponds the individual world, to the community of I's the social world and to the community of knowers the world in itself. The Berkeley-Hume doctrine that bodies (Korper) are ideas (Ideen) or "bundles" of ideas is false, for bodies are never perceived "inwardly" (innerlich) and adequately as the former are, but always
70 71


LAU.II, L.U. II, L.U. II, L.U. II,

1. 1. 1. 1.

354-5. 353-4. 361. 353. (Cf. Note 75.)



which he Thus, Husserl ultimatelyrejects phenomenalism, inadequately. defines here as the view that the distinctionbetween the mental and the physical lies in a correlationof laws, avoiding any referenceto "metaphysical" entities like souls (Seele) and bodies. A phenomenalistic psychology,then (one whichBrentanocertainlystrovefor) is a psychology
"without a soul," i.e., a psychology of mental phenomena.74 To this

though,as we have seen extent Husserlwould agreewith phenomenalism, above, he clearly rejects any attempt to "reduce"physical objects to or appearances, the contents and experience phenomena("sense-data"), tenet of phenomenalism And since this is a fundamental of consciousness. empiricismin general), I think it fair to say that, on this ground (and alone he rejects phenomenalism.75 'III. the Let us now conclude and attemptto summarize resultsof our diswarnsthat there are two errorsthat must, above all, be cussion. Husserl according theory(Bildertheorie), avoided.The first is the representational to which the physicalthing is "outside"consciousand its representatives (Bilder, Vertreter)are "in" consciousness.The second error is that the intentionalobject is immanent,i.e., is a sign (Zeichen)or representation. false. The intentionalobject is not These views are both fundamentally
an "internal representation" and the external thing is not something "represented." Rather, the intentional object is the transcendent, external

object.76 I have attemptedto show above that Brentano,probablybecause of a was lack of ultimateclarityabout the intentionalnatureof consciousness, led to hold certain views which are ultimatelyinconsistentwith its true submeaning, e.g., he fell at times into a form of representationalism, jective idealism, and perhapseven solipsism.That is, he committed(or came very close to committing)both the errors Husserl warns against above. More specifically,we can summarizeour discussionof Husserl's
74 This material is taken from the first edition of the Logische Untersuchungen, 1900-01, Chap. I, par. 7. It does not appear in the second and third editions. 75 Another sense in which Husserl is sympathetic to phenomenalism is his defining the I in terms of empirical contents and his denial of a "pure"I. Of course, after the Logische Untersuchungen he rejects this view, principally in the Ideen where the notion of a transcendentalphilosophy and hence of a transcendentalego is fully developed. Phenomenology and phenomenalism should not be confused. 76 L.U. II, 1. 421-5. This does not imply that all intentional objects are external physical ones, since "ideal" objects (e.g., essences (Wesen)) are intentional objects. To say that an object is intentional is to say simply that it is the object (referent) of an actual or possible act of consciousness. It implies nothing about the objects "reality"l or "mode of being."



to criticismof Brentanoby referring our list of the latter'seight defining of characteristics mental phenomena. and certain feelings are clearly "mental"yet do not refer to an object that other than themselves.He accepts (2) with the importantreservation presentationbe taken in the sense of act only (in which case (2) is triviallytrue). He accepts (3) - all act-mentalphenomenahave Intentional Inexistence- only in its bare form, i.e., all consciousnessis consciousness=of. But he goes on to develop his own highly originalnotion denying many of the basic aspects of Brentano'sown of Intentionality, for Husserlrejects (4) and (5) by substituting the term inner analysiS,.77 perceptionthat of adequateperception and by distinguishingadequate to perceptionfrom evidence. (8) is accepted (with certain clarifications) the extent that consciousnesscan be conceived of as identical with the and that the latter are always experienced unity of "mentalphenomena" as a unity persistingthroughtime. Husserlaccepts (7) in that he defines the physicalworld as the correlateof intentionalacts of consciousness.78 Thus, the physicalworld is not "actual"in the sense that it must be conceived as the object of a possible consciousness,whereas consciousness itself is actual in the sense that its object need not be real or existent (6) and its acts, qua acts, are not intentionalobjects.79Characteristic of all mental phenomena- was not explicitly disthat of the "privacy" cussed, though I think we may supposethat Husserl would not reject it you since i one sense it is triviallytrue. For instance,. cannot altogether, have my pain since if you did it would be your pain and not mine. And the converseis true in regardto my having your pains. In my discussion I have concentratedon Husserl'sdetailed criticism I of Brentanoin the Logische Untersuchungen. would now like to conclude with a short statement of what I think his most fundamental from a objectionis, based on the later developmentsof phenomenology to in psychology"' the Logische Untersuchungen the mature "descriptive philosophyin the Ideen as statementof phenomenology a transcendental differentmotivesand (1913). One must be clear about the fundamentally aims of each thinker.Brentanowas concernedto groundpsychologyon
77 It should be onted that Brentano never uses the term "Intentionality" and Husserl never uses that of "Intentional Inexistence" except when referring to Brentano or Scholasticism. This fact by itself should give pause to critics and interpretersof Husseri who think his views to be the same as Brentano's and hence can refute him by refuting Brentano. 78 To this extent Husserl rejects traditional "realism," which for him is committed ultimately to the existence of a thing-in-itself. 79 Of course, an intentional act can become the "object of anotheract; e.g., one can htink about thinking.

Husserl denies (1)

all mental phenomena are acts

since sensations



principlesand to delineate its own peculiar subject empiricist-naturalist matter as opposed to that of the natural physical sciences. Thus, for him, the notion of IntentionalInexistencewas significantas a defining of characteristic mental phenomena. For Husserl, on the other hand, not psychology but philosophy was his central concern. More specifically, the significanceof Intentionalitylay in its implicationsfor the of establishing philosophyas a "rigorousscience."Such a science is possible only on the basis of a radical critique of knowledge, which critique

would strive to trace all our knowledgeback to its original sources in immediateexperience,to the evident self-givennessof all beings. This is the basic meaningof: To the things themselves(Zu den Sachen selbst)! And since the things themselvesare first "given"- constituted- in subjectivity,the intentionalityof consciousnessbecomes the guiding "clue" philosophy. All this, of course, for the project of a phenomenological lies very far from Brentano. In the view of the later developmentsin the Ideen it becomes clear psychologyand philosophy,and hence his that Huserl regardsBrentano's notion of IntentionalInexistence,as a naive and dogmaticNaturalism.80
That is, Brentano conceived consciousness

mental phenomena - as

and inner-worldly mundane.They are thus part of naturejust as physical phenomenaare. To this extent, the laws of psychologyare naturallaws, whetheror not they are ultimatelyreducibleto the laws of physics. In other words, for Husserl, Brentano's fundamentalmistake lay in not seeing that the intentionalstructureof consciousnessultimatelyimplies that all beings in the world are relative to consciousnessin so far as they must be conceivedas a possible correlateor object of consciousness, and that thereforethe latter itself cannotbe part of the world or nature, The final justificationand clarificationof but must be transcendental.8' idealismmust be left to Husserlhimthe meaningof this transcendental self and his writings.Suffice it to say here that Brentano'sbasic error of implications his notion the consistsin not understanding transcendental of IntentionalInexistenceand hence the inadequacyof any "naturalization of consciousness." On the other hand, perhaps his greatest contri-

bution was in seeing the formal structureof consciousnessas consciousof ness-of and the inadequacy the traditionalconceptionof consciousness and the mind as "thinkingsubstance"(Cartesianrationalism)and/or a Closely allied with this insightis that of "bundleof ideas" (empiricism). the differencebetween a descriptiveand genetic psychology,which dis-


Cf. Husserl's Ideen III, Martinus Nijhoff, Haag 1952, p. 156. This, for Husserl, is the utlimate meaning of Descartes' Cogito.



inction opened the path for Husserl'sown radicallyoriginalconception psychology. phenomenological of a transcendental
"... However much I see in the [Brentano's]transformation of the Scholastic concept of Intentionality a great discovery, through which alone phenomenology has become possible, one must still essentially distinguish the pure psychology, in my sense, implicitly contained in phenomenology and the psychology of Brentano."82

is And, of course, such an "essentialdistinction" even more necessaryin as phenomenology a whole. to Husserl'stranscendental regard JAMES C. MORRISON.


Ideen HI. p. 155.