Husserl and Brentano on presentations and judgments

Daniel Peluso Guilhermino


The aim of this paper is to shed some light on Husserl’s draft of a theory of judgment in the 5th Logical Investigation. Since this Investigation seems to stand in an immediate dialogue with Brentano’s distinction of “fundamental classes” of psychic phenomena, I proceed by comparing the topics and problematics therein with Brentano’s views on the same theme. I start by making a brief review of the brentanian classification focusing on his dictum about the priority of presentations. This dictum places presentations (Vorstellungen) as the grounding phenomena of the other classes of phenomena. Then I move forward to the critique made by Husserl to this dictum: Husserl assumes the brentanian premises and shows that they entail a limitation with respect to presentations’ ability of reference. Finally, I show Husserl’s own solution to maintain the brentanian dictum, albeit changing it in a considerable way. This change allows an outline of a theory of judgment that differs very much from Brentano’s, since it enables a propositional treatment of judgments. It also allows a disambiguation of the concept of presentation, topic which will be treated only breafily at the end of the paper.


Presentation. Judgment. Intentionality.

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ISSN 2179-9180