Franz Clemens Brentano

Franz Clemens Brentano

Born: 1838. Died: 1917.


Franz Brentano studied philosophy at the universities of Munich, Würzburg, Berlin (with Trendelenburg) and Münster. He had a special interest in Aristotle and scholastic philosophy. He wrote his dissertation in Tübingen On the manifold sense of Being in Aristotle.

Subsequently he began to study theology and entered the seminar in Munich and then Würzburg, preparing to become a Roman Catholic priest (ordained August 6, 1864). In 1865 - 1866 he writes and defends his habilitation essay and theses and begins to lecture at the university of Würzburg. His students in this period include among others Carl Stumpf and Anton Marty.

Between 1870 and 1873 Brentano is heavily involved in the debate on papal infallibility. As strong opponent of such a dogma, he eventually gives up his priesthood. Following his religious struggles, also Stumpf (who was studying at the seminar at the time) is drawn away from the church.

In 1874 he publishes his major work: "Psychology from an empirical standpoint" and from 1874 to 1895 he teaches at the university of Vienna. Among his students are Edmund Husserl, Alexius Meinong, Christian von Ehrenfels and many others (see School of Brentano for more details). While beginning his career as a full ordinary professor, he is forced to give up his Austrian citizenship and his professorship in 1880 to be able to marry. He is permitted to return to the university only as a Privatdozent.

After his retirement he moves to Florence in Italy and at the outbreak of the First World War he transfers to Zürich, where he dies in 1917.

Major Books of Franz Clemens Brentano

- Aristoteles und seine Weltanschauung (Aristotle and his World View), 1911
- Descriptive Psychology, 1982
- Die Klassifikation von Geistesphänomenen (The Classification of Mental Phenomena), 1911
- Die Psychologie des Aristoteles (The Psychology of Aristotle), 1867
- The Foundation and Construction of Ethics, 1952
- The Four Phases of Philosophy and Its Present Status, 1926
- The Origin of our Knowledge of Right and Wrong, 1889
- Philosophical Investigations on Space, Time, and the Continuum, 1976
- Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt, Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint, 1874
- The Theory of Categories, 1933
- The True and the Evident, 1930



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