, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 99–108 | Cite as

The unpublished “History of Philosophy” (1866–1867) by Franz Brentano

  • Pietro TomasiEmail author
Original Paper


There are many difficulties with the existing interpretation of Brentano’s works. The problem stems from the fact that Brentano’s works, letters, manuscripts, memoir’s, etc. remain unpublished or undiscovered. Moreover some Brentano’s scholars, namely Kastil and Mayer-Hillebrandt, were incorrect in their method in publishing the philosopher’s works. Namely, they misinterpreted his earlier works by incorporating numerous interpolations from different time periods as being the philosopher’s final thoughts. More importantly, as evidenced by Antonio Russo’s recent discovery, they also failed to realise the fact that Brentano’s own theoretical views or works were mostly based on Aristotle and Thomas thoughts on metaphysics, that Brentano’s main intention was to develop a scientific demonstration on this topic, and that this issue occupied his mind until his death.

It is hoped that this paper goes some way in resolving the said errors and coupled with the continue discovery of new material that the jigsaw of Brentano’s works and thinking shall someday be correctly completed.


History of philosophy History of theology Critical edition of the Brentano’s writings Epistemology and transcendental philosophy Aristotelism and modern philosophy in the 19th century 


A. Brentano’s works quoted in this paper:

1. Unpublished writings

  1. Geschichte der Philosophie von Franz Brentano (WS 1866/67), handwritten bound volume (pp. 1–952) in the library of the Dominican Convent “St. Anna” of Graz (Austria)Google Scholar
  2. Transzendentalphilosophie, Manuscript n. 96, 1868 (pp. 31753–31921), Universitätsbibliothek Innsbruck, HandschriftenabteilungGoogle Scholar

2. Edited by himself:

  1. Die Psychologie des Aristoteles, insbesondere seine Lehre vom nous poietikos. Nebst einer Beilage über das Wirken des Aristotelischen Gottes, Mainz, Kirchheim 1867; anast. repr. Darmstadt, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft 1967Google Scholar
  2. Von der mannigfachen Bedeutung des Seienden nach Aristoteles, Freiburg i. Breisgau, Herder’sche Verlagshandlung 1862, anast. repr. Hildesheim, Olms 1984Google Scholar
  3. Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkte, Leipzig, Duncker&Humblot 1874; 2. ed. with an introduction and annotations by O. Kraus, Leipzig 1924–25; repr. Hamburg, Meiner 1973Google Scholar
  4. Aristoteles und seine Weltanschauung, Leipzig, Quelle&Meyer 1911; repr. ed. bz R. M. Chisholm, Hamburg, Meiner 1977Google Scholar

3. Edited by F. Mayer-Hillebrand:

  1. Brentano F, Geschichte der griechischen Philosophie, Bern-München, Francke 1963; Meiner 1988Google Scholar

4. B. Critical Studies

  1. Albertazzi L, Libardi M, Poli R (eds) (1996) The School of Franz Brentano. Kluwer, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  2. Albertazzi L (2006) Immanent Realism. SpringerGoogle Scholar
  3. Chrudzimski A (2001) Intentionalitätstheorie beim frühen Brentano. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht/Boston/LondonGoogle Scholar
  4. Mayer-Hillebrand F (1963) A reply to Dr. Srzednicki, in «Philosophy and Phenomenological Research», XXIII, n. 3Google Scholar
  5. McAlister L (1982) The development of Brentano’s ethics. Rodopi, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  6. Poli R (ed.) (1998) The Brentano Puzzle. Ashgate, AldershotGoogle Scholar
  7. Russo A (2004) Franz Brentano e Heinrich Denifle: alla scuola di Aristotele. In: La filosofia come santità della ragione. Scritti in onore di Xavier Tilliette. Edizioni Università di Trieste, TriesteGoogle Scholar
  8. Smith B (1994) Austrian Philosophy, The Legacy of Franz Brentano. Open Court Publishing Company, Chicago—La Salle, IllinoisGoogle Scholar
  9. Srzednicki JTJ (1962) Remarks concerning the interpretation of the philosophy of Franz Brentano, in «Philosophy and Phenomenological Research», XXII, n. 3Google Scholar
  10. Srzednicki JTJ (1963) A reply to professor F. Mayer-Hillebrand, in «Philosophy and Phenomenological Research», XXXIII, n. 3Google Scholar
  11. Walter P (1988) Die neuscholastische Philosophie im deutschsprachigen Raum. In: Coreth E, Neidl WM, Pfligersdorfer G, hrsg. von, Christliche Philosophie im katholischen Denken des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts. Bd. 2, Graz, Verlag StyriaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Trieste—ItalyTriesteItaly

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