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Philosophy Research Archives

Volume 12, 1986/1987

Herman Philipse
Pages 293-328

The Concept of Intentionality
Husserl’s Development from the Brentano Period to the Logical Investigations

In this paper an attempt is made to reconstruct the development of Husserl’s conception of intentionality from 1891 up to 1900/01. It is argued that Husserl’s concept of intentionality in the Logical Investigations took shape under the influence of problems originating in two different fields: the philosophy of perception and philosophical semantics. This multiple origin of the concept of intentionality of 1900/01 is then adduced as an explanation of tensions within the text of the Investigations, tensions whieh account for the fact that various contradictory interpretations of Husserl’s concept of intentionality are supported by the texts. The paper starts with a brief and schematic interpretation of Brentano’s Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint. Next, the theory of perception of the ‘Psychological Studies for Elementary Logic’ is compared with that contained in the Investigation’s. On the basis of an analysis of Husserl’s early theory of reference to non-existing referents (‘Intentional Objects’, 1894) and of his criticism of Twardowski, it is concluded that his concept of int.entionality of 1900/01 is not free from ambiguities: Husserl wavers between a non-relational and a relational concept. Finally, it is shown why Husserl’s “official” concept in the Investigations was the non-relational version.

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