Theory and History of Ontology

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  • "History Logic" and "Bibliographia" are my other websites. "Table of Contents" gives the list of the pages, for other indexes see the "Sitemap". "Modern Ontologists" contains a table with links to the pages on the most important philosophers of the 19th and 20th centuries who have written on ontology. The "Search" function can be used to find a particular author or subject.


Franz Brentano: Editions, Translations, Bibliographical Resources and Selected Texts


"An edition of Brentano's literary production in its entirety is not yet available. At present the available works by Brentano divide between the following two types:

1. Works published during his lifetime.

2. Works in his Nachlass.

The works which Brentano published during his lifetime, in the form of both books and essays, represent only a small part of his total output. The books published from the Nachlass divide between:

1. Books edited by orthodox pupils, for instance 0. Kraus, A. Kastil and F. Mayer-Hillebrand, which afford numerous personal insights.

2. Books published since the 1970s.

(See F. Mayer-Hillebrand, "Franz Brentanos wissenschaftlicher Nachlass", Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung 6, 1951-52, 599-603, and by the same author, "Rückblick auf die bisherigen Bestrebungen zur Erhaltung und Verbreitung von Fr. Brentanos philosophischen Lehre und kurze Darstellung dieser Lehren", Zeitschrift fur philosophische Forschung 17, 1963, 146-169; also "Remarks Concerning the Interpretation of the Philosophy of Franz Brentano. A Reply to Dr. Srzednicki", Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 23, 1962-3, 438-44; see also J.C.M. Brentano, "The Manuscripts of Franz Brentano", Revue internationale de philosophie 78, 1966, 477-482).

The books belonging to the first category were compiled according to debatable philological criteria, with additions and collages of writings produced in different periods. The considerable arbitrariness of these constructs and the interpretative interpolations made by the editors have not generally benefited the understanding and diffusion of Brentano's thought. In particular, collections of the posthumously-published essays and dictations have often adopted the method of interpreting earlier texts as anticipations of later ones.

Moreover, one should read a huge body of correspondence (1400 letters with Marty alone) which has been published only in part, while some of the corpus, including letters from Brentano's period in Italy (1895-1916), is entirely unpublished. Brentano's philosophical correspondence is of great interest, not least because a letter sent to one scholar was then passed on to others, who read it, commented on it, and then sent it back, in a sort of epistolary colloquium. Only a tiny part of Brentano's correspondence has been published from the Nachlass.

Apropos the Nachlass, its first classification was produced by T. Masaryk, who founded a Brentano Archive in Prague for the purpose of organizing and publishing items. In 1939, at the beginning of the Second World War, the Archive was transferred first to Manchester, then to Oxford (the Bodleian Library), and finally to the United States.

Brentano's unpublished writings and dictations have undergone successive cataloguing by F. Mayer-Hillebrand, W. Baumgartner and T. Binder. They can currently be consulted at diverse universities. In the USA at the University of California (Berkeley), Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island), Cornell University (Ithaca, New York), Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.), University of Minnesota (Minneapolis); Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.), and at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. In Australia they can be consulted at Melbourne University (Victoria); in Europe at the Bodleian Library of Oxford, the Staatsbibliotek of Munich, the University of Innsbruck, the University of Vienna, and the Goethemuseum of Frankfurt; in France at the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; in Latin America at the University of Mexico City (Mexico D.F.) and the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The Brentano Archive originally deposited at Brown University included Brentano's personal library. It can now be consulted at the Forschungsstelle and Dokumentationszentrum far österreichische Philosophie of Graz."

From: Liliana Albertazzi, Immanent Realism. An Introduction to Brentano, Dordrecht, Springer, 2006, pp. 341-342.


  1. Brentano, Franz. 1862. Von Der Mannigfachen Bedeutung Des Seienden Nach Aristoteles. Freiburg im Breisgau: Herder.

    Neuauflage herausgegeben von Werner Sauer, mit einem Vorwort von Thomas Binder und Arkadiusz Chrudzimski zur Ausgabe der veröffentlichten Schriften, eingeleitet von Mauro Antonelli und Werner Sauer, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2014.

  2. 1866. Ad Disputationem Qua Theses Gratiosi Philosophorum Ordinis Consensu Et Auctoritate Pro Impetranda Venia Docendi in Alma Universitate Julio-Maximiliana Defendet [...]. Auschaffenburg: J. W. Schniper.

    Three pages; reprinted in: Über die Zukunft der Philosophie (1929).

  3. 1867. Die Psychologie Des Aristoteles Insbesondere Seine Lehre Vom Nous Poietikós. Nebst Einer Beilage Über Das Wirken Des Aristotelischen Gottes. Mainz: F. Kirchheim.

    Reprinted from Wissenschaftliche Buchgsellschaft, Darmstadt 1967.

  4. 1874. Psychologie Vom Empirischen Standpunkte. Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot.

    "This was the title of the first edition: subsequently the final dative "e" was dropped to give the more commonly cited Standpunkt. The 350-page first edition was designated as Volume 1; this too was dropped." (English translation: Introduction to the Second Edition, p. XIII).

    Second edition with introduction and notes by Oskar Kraus Leipzig, 1924; reprinted Meiner, Hamburg, 1974.

    New edition of Psychologie I & II (1874/1911) as volume I of the Sämtliche veröffentlichte Schriften with the title: Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt. Von der Klassifikation psychischer Phänomene Frankfurt, Ontos Verlag, 2008.

  5. 1874. Über Die Gründe Der Entmutigung Auf Philosophischem Gebiete. Wien: Braumüller.

  6. 1876. Was Für Ein Philosoph Manchmal Epoche Macht. Wien, Pest, Leipzig: Hartleben.

  7. 1879. Neue Rätsel Von Änigmatias. Wien: C. Gerold's Sohn.

    Second expanded edition with the title: Änigmatias. Neue Rätsel - Beck, München 1909

  8. 1882. "Über Der Creationismus Des Aristotels." In Stzungsberichte Der Kaiserlichen Akademie Der Wissenschaften. Philosophisch-Historische Klasse. Band 100, 95-126. Wien: C. Gerhold's Sohn.

  9. 1883. Offener Brief an Herrn Prof. Dr. Eduar Zeller Aus Anlass Seiner Schrift Über Die Lehre Des Aristoteles Von Der Ewigkeit Des Geistes. Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot.

  10. 1889. Vom Ursprung Sittlicher Erkenntnis. Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot.

    Second expanded edition by Oskar Kraus Meiner, Leipzig, 1921 reprinted 1969

  11. 1892. Das Genie. Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot.

  12. 1892. Das Schlechte Als Gegenstand Dichterischer Darstellung. Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot.

  13. 1893. Über Die Zukunft Der Philosophie. Wien: Alfred Hölder.

    Edited and introduced by Oskar Kraus. New edition edited by Paul Weintgartner Meiner, Hamburg, 1968

  14. 1895. Die Vier Phasen Der Philosophie Und Ihr Augenblicklicher Stand. Stuttgart: Cotta.

    Reprinted with a new introduction by Oskar Kraus and the addition of essays on Plotinus, Thomas Aquinas, Kant, Schopenhauer and Auguste Comte Meiner, Leipzig, 1926.

    New edition edited by Franziska Mayer-Hillebrand, Meiner, Hamburg, 1968

  15. 1907. Untersuchungen Zur Sinnespsychologie. Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot.

    Second expanded edition edited by Roderick Chisholm and R. Fabian, Meiner, Hamburg, 1979.

    New edition as volume II of the Sämtliche veröffentlichte Schriften with the title Schriften zur Sinnespsychologie edited with a Preface and an Index by Thomas Binder und Arkadiusz Chrudzimski, Frankfurt, Ontos Verlag, 2009.

  16. 1911. Aristoteles Und Seine Weltanschauung. Leipzig: Quelle & Meyer.

    New edition edited by Roderick Chisholm, Meiner, Hamburg, 1977

  17. 1911. Aristoteles' Lehre Vom Ursprung Des Menschlischen Geistes. Leipzig: Quelle & Meyer.

    New edition edited by Rolf George, Meiner, Hamburg, 1980

  18. 1911. Von Der Klassifikation Der Psychischen Phänomene. Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot.

    Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkte vol. II. Second edition with new unpublished essays edited by Oskar Kraus (1925)

  19. 1920. "Zur Lehre Vom Raum Und Zeit." Kant Studien no. 25:1-23.

    Edited by Oskar Kraus

  20. 1922. Die Lehre Jesu Und Ihre Bleibende Bedeutung, Mit Einem Anhange: Kurze Darstellung Der Christlichen Glaubenslehre. Leipzig: Felix Meiner.

    Edited by Alfred Kastil

  21. 1925. Versuch Über Die Erkenntnis. Leipzig: Meiner Verlag.

    Edited by Alfred Kastil; Second revised edition edited and introduced by Franziska Mayer-Hillebrand, Meiner, Hamburg, 1970

  22. 1928. Psychologie Vom Empirischen Standpunkte Vol. Iii. Vom Sinnlichen Und Noetischen Bewusstsein; Äussere Und Innere Wahrnehmung, Begriffe. Leipzig: Felix Meiner.

    Edited by Oskar Kraus. .

    New edition revised by Franziska Mayer-Hillebrand (1968).

  23. 1928. Vom Sinnlichen Und Noetischen Bewusstseins. Leipzig: Meiner.

    Edited by Oskar Kraus reprinted by Mayer/Hillebrand, Hamburg, Meiner, 1968, 1974.

  24. 1929. Vom Dasein Gottes. Leipzig: Felix Meiner.

    Edited by Alfred Kastil; reprinted Meiner, Hamburg, 1980

  25. 1930. Wahrheit Und Evidenz. Erkenntnistheoretische Abhandlungen Und Briefe. Leizig: Felix Meiner.

    Edited by Oskar Kraus; reprinted Meiner, Hamburg, 1974

  26. 1933. Kategorienlehre. Leipzig: Felix Meiner.

    Edited and introduced by Alfred Kastil; reprinted Meiner, Hamburg, 1985

  27. 1946. "Briefe Franz Brentanos an Hugo Bergmann." Philosophy and Phenomenological Research no. 7:83-158.

    Edited by Hugo Bergmann

  28. 1954. Religion Und Philosophie: Ihr Verhältnis Zueinander Und Ihre Gemeinsamen Aufgaben. Bern: A. Francke.

    Edited by Franziska Mayer-Hillebrand

  29. 1956. Die Lehre Vom Richtigen Urteil. Nach Den Vorlesungen Über Logik, Mit Benützung Anderer Manuskripte Aus Dem Gebiete Der Erkenntnistheorie, Aus Dem Nachlass. Bern: A. Francke.

    Edited by Franziska Mayer-Hillebrand

  30. 1959. Grundlegung Und Aufbau Der Ethik. Bern: A. Francke.

    From the unpublished lessons on "Praktische Philosophie". Edited by Franziska Mayer-Hillebrand

  31. 1959. Grundzüge Der Ästhetik. Aus Dem Nachlass. Bern: A. Francke.

    Edited by Franziska Mayer-Hillebrand

  32. 1963. Geschichte Der Griechischen Philosophie. Bern-München: A. Francke.

    From the lessons on history of philosophy of the Nachlass. Edited by Franziska Mayer-Hillebrand

  33. 1966. Die Abkehr Vom Nichtrealen. Bern-München: A. Francke.

    Letters and essay from the Nachlass edited and introduced by Franziska Mayer-Hillebrand

  34. 1975. "Was an Reid Zu Loben. Ueber Die Philosophie Von Thomas Reid." Grazer Philosophische Studien no. 1.

  35. 1976. Philosophische Untersuchungen Zu Raum, Zeit, Und Kontinuum. Hamburg: Meiner.

    Edited and introduced by Stephen Körner and Roderick Chisholm

  36. 1980. Geschichte Der Mittelalterlichen Philosophie Im Christlichen Abendland. Hamburg: Felix Meiner.

    From the Nachlass. Edited by Klaus Hedwig

  37. 1982. "The Brentano-Vailati Correspondence." Topoi no. 1:3-29.

    Edited by Roderick Chisholm and Michael Corrado.

  38. 1982. Deskriptive Psychologie. Hamburg: Felix Meiner.

    Edited by Roderick Chisholm and Wilhelm Baumgartner

  39. 1986. Über Aristoteles. Nachgelassene Aufsätze. Hamburg: Felix Meiner.

    Edited by Rolf George

  40. 1987. Geschichte Der Philosophie Der Neuzeit. Hamburg: Felix Meiner.

    From the Nachlass. Edited and introduced by Klaus Hedwig

  41. 1987. "Von Der Natur Der Vorstellung." Conceptus:25-31.

    With a Vorwort (Preface) by Johannes Brandl pp. 19-23

  42. 1988. Über Ernst Machs 'Erkenntnis Und Irrtum': Mit Zwei Anhängen, Kleine Schriften Über Enrst Mach, Der Brentano-Mach-Briefwechsel. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

    Edited and introduced by Roderick Chisholm and Johann Marek

  43. 1993. "Zur Kategorienlehre. Ein Unveröffentlichter Text." Brentano Studien no. 4:251-272.

    Edited and introduced by Mauro Antonelli

  44. 1993. "Von Der Substanz." Axiomathes no. 4:25-40.

    Unpublished text (Palermo, March 1900) with an Introduction by Wilhelm Baumgartner and a letter by Anton Marty

  45. 1994. "Zur Grundlegung Der Tonpsychologie (1913)." Brentano Studien no. 5:219-236.

    Franz Brentano über Geza Révész - With comments by Wilhelm Baumgartner

  46. 1994. "Diktate Über Die Zeit (1907 Und 1915)." Axiomathes no. 5 (2-3):325-344.

    Unpublished text; with an introduction by Liliana Albertazzi

  47. 2002. Briefe an Carl Stumpf, 1867-1917. Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt.

    Edited and introduced by Gerhard Oberko

  48. 2009. Schriften Zur Sinnespsychologie. Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag.

    Sämtliche veröffentlichte Schriften - Vol II.

    Edited, with a Preface and an Index, by Thomas Binder and Arkadiusz Chrudzimski.

  49. 2010. Schriften Zur Ethik Und Ästhetik. Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag.

    Sämtliche veröffentlichte Schriften III.

    Herausgegeben, mit einem Vorwort und einem Index versehen von Thomas Binder und Arkadiusz Chrudzimski.

Brentano's writings published during his lifetime will be reprinted by Ontos Verlag (now De Gruyter) in ten volumes:

Franz Brentano: Sämtliche veröffentlichte Schriften in zehn Bänden (Herausgegeben von Arkadiusz Chrudzimski und Thomas Binder).

I. Abteilung: Schriften zur Psychologie.

1. Band: Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt (1874/1911) [2008]

2. Band: Untersuchungen zur Sinnespsychologie [2009]

II. Abteilung: Schriften zur Ethik und Ästhetik.

3. Band: Schriften zur Ethik und Ästhetik [2010]

III. Abteilung: Schriften zu Aristoteles.

4. Band: Von der mannigfachen Bedeutung des Seienden nach Aristoteles (1862) [2014]

5. Band: Die Psychologie des Aristoteles (1867)

6. Band: Aristoteles Lehre vom Ursprung des menschlichen Geistes (1911)

7. Band: Aristoteles und seine Weltanschauung (1911)

8. Band: Kleinere Schriften zu Aristoteles

IV. Abteilung: Vermischtes

9. Band: Vermischtes

V. Abteilung: Nicht-Philosophisches.

10. Band: Nicht-Philosophisches: Theologisches - Juristisches - Schachschriften - Rätsel - Dichtung


  1. Brentano, Franz. 1975. On the Several Senses of Being in Aristotle. Berkeley: University of California Press.

    Edited and translated by Rolf George.

    Contents: Editor's Preface XI; Preface XV; Introduction 1; I. The Fourfold Distinction of Being 3; II. Accidental Being 6; III. Being in the Sense of Being True 15; IV. Potential and Actual Being 27; V. Being According to the Figures of the Categories 49; Notes 149-197.

  2. 1977. The Psychology of Aristotle, in Particular His Doctrine of the Active Intellect. With an Appendix Concerning the Activity of Aristotle's God. Berkeley: University of California Press.

    Edited and translated by Rolf George.

    Contents: Editor's Preface IX; Preface XIII; Introduction 1; Book I. Survey of Earlier Explanatory efforts 4; Book II. Development of the Aristotelian Doctrine of the Active Intellect 25; Review; Guidelines for the Investigation 25; Part I. Of the Soul and the Powers of the Soul in General 28; Part II. Of the Parts of the Soul in Particular, and First of the Vegetative Soul 50; Part III. Of the Sensitive Soul 54; Part IV. Of the Intellectual soul 74; Appendix. Of the Activity, Especially the Creative Activity, of Aristotle's God 162; Notes 181; Index 265-266.

  3. 1973. Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint. New York: Humanities Press.

    Edited by Linda L. McAlister; translated by Antos C. Rancurello, D.B. Terrell and Linda L. McAlister.

    Second edition with a new introduction by Peter Simons, London, New York, Routledge 1995.

    Book One: Psychology as a science (translation of Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt - vol I).

    Book Two: Mental phenomena in general (translation of Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt - vol II).

  4. 1981. Sensory and Noetic Consciousness. Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint Vol. Iii. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

    Edited by Oskar Kraus. English edition edited by Linda L. McAlister; translated by Margarete Schättle and Linda L. McAlister.

  5. 1902. The Origin of the Knowledge of Right and Wrong. Westminster: A. Constable & Co. Ltd.

    Translated by Cecil Hague (now obsolete: see the new translation by Roderick M. Chisholm and Elizabeth H. Schneewind).

  6. 1969. The Origin of Our Knowledge of Right and Wrong. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

    Edited by Oskar Kraus; English edition edited by Roderick M. Chisholm.

    Translated by Roderick M. Chisholm and Elizabeth H. Schneewind.

    Reprint: New York, Routledge, 2009.

  7. 1998. The Four Phases of Philosophy and Its Current State. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

    Appendix to: The Four Phases of Philosophy, by Balázs M. Mezei and Barry Smith.

  8. 1978. Aristotle and His World View. Berkeley: University of California Press.

    Edited and translated by Rolf George and Roderick M. Chisholm.

  9. 1987. On the Existence of God. Lectures Given at the Universities of Würzburg and Vienna (1868-1891). Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff.

    Edited and translated by Susan F. Krantz.

  10. 1966. The True and the Evident. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

    Edited by Oskar Kraus.

    English edition edited by Roderick M. Chisholm; translated by Roderick M. Chisholm, Ilse Politzer, and Kurt R. Fischer.

    Reprint: New York, Routledge, 2009.

  11. 1981. The Theory of Categories. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.

    Translated by Roderick M. Chisholm and Norbert Guterman.

  12. 1973. The Foundation and Construction of Ethics. New York: Humanities Press.

    Compiled from His Lectures on Practical Philosophy by Franziska Mayer-Hillebrand.

    Edited and translated by Elizabeth Hughes Schneewind.

    Reprint: New York, Routledge, 2009.

  13. 1988. Philosophical Investigations on Space, Time, and the Continuum. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

    Translated by Barry Smith.

    Reprint: New York, Routledge, 2009.

  14. 1995. Descriptive Psychology. London: Routledge.

    Edited and translated by Benito Müller.

  15. 1960. "The Distinction between Mental and Physical Phenomena." In Realism and the Background of Phenomenology, edited by Chisholm, Roderick M., 39-61. Atascadero: Ridgeview.

    Selection from Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt vol. I Book II chapter 1.

  16. 1960. "Presentation and Judgment Form. Two Distinct Fundamental Classes." In Realism and the Background of Phenomenology, edited by Chisholm, Roderick M., 62-70. Atascadero: Ridgeview.

    Selection from Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt vol. I Book II chapter 7.

  17. 1960. "Genuine and Fictitious Objects." In Realism and the Background of Phenomenology, edited by Chisholm, Roderick M., 71-75. Atascadero: Ridgeview.

    Selection from Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt vol. II Supplementary Essay IX.


  1. Brentano, Franz. 2000. Aristote. Les Significations De L'être. Paris: Vrin.

  2. 2004. "Sur Aristote." In Aristote Au Xix Siècle, edited by Thouard, Denis, 295-312. Villeneuve d'Asq Cédex: Presses Universitaires du Septentrion.

  3. 2008. Psychologie Du Point De Vue Empirique. Paris: Vrin.

    Traduction par Maurice de Gandillac; nouvelle édition revue et présentée par Jean-François Courtine (première édiiton: Paris, Aubier, 1944).

  4. 2009. "Deux Études De Psychologie Descriptive." Annales de Phénomenologie no. 8:181-204.

    Traduction et Introduction de Antonio Mazzù pp. 181-182; Psychognosie et psychologie génétique, pp. 183-190; "Éléments de la conscience" pp. 191-204.

    Extrait de Deskriptive Psychologie. Aus dem Nachlass herausegegeben und eingeleitet von Roderick M. Chisholm und Wilhelm Baumgartner, Felix Meiner, Hamburg, 1982, pp. 1-27.

  5. 2003. L'origine De La Connaissance Morale Suivi De La Doctrine Du Jugement Correct. Paris: Gallimard.

    Traduit de l'allemand par Marc de Launay et Jean-Claude Gens.

    Préfacé par Jean-Claude Gens.


  1. Brentano, Franz. 1995. Sui Molteplici Significati Dell'essere Secondo Aristotele. Milano: Vita e Pensiero.

    Prefazione, introduzione, traduzione dei testi greci, progettazione e impostazione editoriale di Giovanni Reale; traduzione del testo tedesco e indici di Stefano Tognoli.

  2. 2007. La Psicologia Di Aristotele Con Particolare Riguardo Alla Sua Dottrina Del Nous Poietikos. Con Un'appendice Sull'operare Del Dio Aristotelico. Macerata: Quodlibet.

    A cura e con un saggio introduttivo di Stefano Besoli.

    Nuova edizione interamente riveduta e corretta (Prima edizione: Bologna, Pitagora, 1989).

  3. 1913. La Classificazione Delle Attività Psichiche. Lanciano: Carabba.

    Con appendice dell'Autore e con prefazione e note del traduttore Mario Puglisi.

  4. 1989. Psicologia Dal Punto Di Vista Empirico. Trento: Reverdito.

    Traduzione del primo volume a cura di Lilana Albertazzi (ristampata nella traduzione completa in tre volumi pubblicata da Laterza nel 1997).

  5. 1997. La Psicologia Dal Punto Di Vista Empirico. Bari: Laterza.

    A cura di Liliana Albertazzi.

    Vol. I; Vol. II: La classificazione dei fenomeni psichici; Vol. III: Coscienza sensibile e coscienza noetica.

  6. 1966. Sull'origine Della Conoscenza Morale. Brescia: La Scuola.

    Traduzione, introduzione e note di Adriano Bausola.

Brentano Studien. Internationales Jahrbuch der Franz Brentano Forschung (in German, but with some articles in English)

N.B. Original titles are in German.

  1. "Franz Brentano's Descriptive Psychology and His Actuality. Vol. I." 1988. Brentano Studien no. 1.

    Contributions to the Franz Brentano's Conference Würzburg, 27-30 April 1988.

  2. "Franz Brentano's Descriptive Psychology and His Actuality. Vol. Ii." 1989. Brentano Studien no. 2.

    Contributions to the Franz Brentano's Conference Würzburg, 27-30 April 1988.

  3. "Intentionality." 1991. Brentano Studien no. 3.

  4. "Essays on Parts and Whole." 1993. Brentano Studien no. 4.

  5. "Hungary and the Brentano's School." 1994. Brentano Studien no. 5.

    Contributions to the Conference held in Budapest, 1-3 April 1993.

  6. "Reception of Franz Brentano's Descriptive Psychology in Germany and Italy." 1996. Brentano Studien no. 6.

    Based on the Conference held in Villa Vigoni, Italy, 1992.

  7. "On the Development and Meaning of the Würzburg's School." 1997. Brentano Studien no. 7.

  8. "Brentano's Legacy. Acts of the Conference "the Legacy of Brentano" Held in Crakow." 1999. Brentano Studien no. 8.

  9. "Acts of the Conference on Carl Stumpf." 2001. Brentano Studien no. 9.

  10. "Essays on Carl Stumpf and Franz Brentano." 2003. Brentano Studien no. 10.

  11. "Values." 2005. Brentano Studien no. 11.

  12. "The Philosophy of Anton Marty." 2009. Brentano Studien no. 12.

    Edited by Wilhelm Baumgartner, in collaboration with Robin Rollinger and Dagmar Fügmann.


"Being is a homonym. Its several senses fit into the fourfold distinction of accidental being, being in the sense of being true, being of the categories, and potential and actual being.

'Being is said in various ways', says Aristotle in the beginning of the fourth book of his Metaphysics [IV, 2, 1003a33]. He repeats this in Books VI and VII and several more times in other places. In these passages he enumerates a number of concepts, each of which, in different ways, is called a being. In Met. IV. 2. 1003b6 he says 'one thing is said to be because it is substance, another because it is an attribute of substance, still another because it is a process toward substance, or corruption of substance, or privation of substantial forms or quality of substance, or because it produces or generates substance or that which is predicated of substance, or because it is a negation of such a thing or of substance itself. For this reason we also say that non-being is nonbeing." The various sorts of being which are here enumerated can be reduced to four kinds: (1) Being which has no existence whatever outside the understanding (privation, negation); (2) The being of movement and of generation and corruption (process toward substance, destruction); for though these are outside the mind, they do not have complete and perfect existence (cf. Physics III 1. 201a9); (3) Being which has complete but dependent existence (affections of substance, qualities, things productive and generative) (4) The being of the substances ( ousia)." (p. 3).

"Thesis I: The categories are not merely a framework for concepts, but they are themselves real concepts, extramental independent being.

This is Aristotle's opinion which he states clearly and repeatedly, so much so that, as I said, I cannot believe that there are more than verbal differences between his interpreters. If, to begin with, there is no doubt that being itself, of which the metaphysician must treat, is a concept, indeed a real concept, since what merely exists objectively in the mind was previously set aside, there can also be no doubt with respect to the categories." (p. 57)

"Thesis II: The categories are several senses of being which is asserted of the analogically, indeed in a twofold manner, i.e. as analogy of proportionality, and as analogy to the same terminus.

This sentence contains a further confirmation of the preceding one. It contains three assertions: (1) that being which is divided according the schema of the categories is divided not like a univocal concept, i.e., as a genus into species, but rather in the manner of a homonym which is differentiated according to its various senses; (2) that the use of 'being' for the different categories, even though an a homonym, is not a mere accidental likeness of names,; rather, that there is among them a unity of analogy; and, finally, (3) that the analogy among them is a twofold one, namely, not only an analogy of proportionality, but also an analogy to the same terminus. We hope to secure this result fully by establishing it, point by point, from the various utterances of our philosopher." (pp. 58-59).

"Thesis III. The categories are the highest univocal general concepts, the highest genera of being.

In the previous section we have considered the categories in relation to being, which is superordinate to them and designates them jointly, though it is not, properly speaking, common to them. Their unity was a unity of analogy; nothing applied to them in one and the same way (Met. VII 4 1030a32), i.e., univocally. It has already been shown that there is no higher univocal concept. We now turn to a consideration of the relation between the categories and the things subordinate to them, and here we find, by contrast, that all things belonging to the same category are things univocally named. The categories are general concepts in the proper sense, and genera of things." (p. 66).

"These XIV. There is a harmony between the categories of Aristotle and the grammatical differences of noun and adjective, verb and adverb.

When Trendelenburg (1) advanced his now famous hypothesis about the grammatical origin of Aristotle's categories he wanted to find, to begin with, something which could have guided Aristotle in the determination of the highest genera. He was concerned with rejecting the objection of Kant and Hegel that Aristotle haphazardly raked together a round number of general concepts. We hope to have met this objection in a different way.

It must be admitted that a procedure which lacks an ontological principle and thus has to rely on mere agreement with grammatical relations as a guarantee for the validity of this important division cannot escape being reproached for its superficiality.

Still it is a phenomenon welcome to sound philosophy to find itself in agreement with common sense and with the general consciousness which is exhibited particularly also in language. Thus it is a recommendation for Aristotle's categories that there is a considerable kinship between his categories and certain linguistic forms. It seems to me that Trendelenburg has shown that this is undeniable, no matter how many objections have been raised. He has also shown that Aristotle was well aware of this agreement with grammar. Here as everywhere he knew how to make use of the speculations of earlier thinkers and the speculative content of common opinions. He noticed, above all, that if one thing is essentially predicated of another so that name and concept of the predicate applies to it, the this occurs in a grammatically different form than if the predicate merely give its name to the subject without being of the essence of the subject." (pp. 123-124).

(1) Adolf Trendelenburg - Geschichte der Kategorienlehre (History of the theory of Categories) - Berlin, 1846 [Note added]

"Thesis XV. The preceding investigation concerning the principle and meaning of the categories resolves objection raised from various quarters against the division of the categories.

Aristotle's division of categories has withstood the passage of time in an admirable way. If one follows the history of the doctrine of categories he can see that even its opponents pay unconscious tribute to it, an one is often inclined to smile on discovering that those who consider themselves its decided opponents are essentially guided by it.

The present era no longer has an Aristotelian doctrine of categories. When we now speak of categories we do not think of the what, how, how much, in relation to what. But none of the more recent systems has been able to establish a lasting reputation. More recent theories which investigate categories non longer pursue the same goal as Aristotle, and one cannot possibly claim that they have put anything into the place of the old categories.

The question if now whether one can suppose that something with has lived so long can lack all vitality, or whether it is rather the case that it meet its purpose, the thru purpose of the table of categories. We hardly need to say that our opinion inclines toward a favourable judgment, and in out investigation we have generally attempted to let the doctrine of categories develop with a kind of internal necessity -- presupposing the correctness of other Aristotelian doctrines." (p. 130).

"This now complete the domain of our inquiry, Step by step we have ascended from what has been called being in a lesser sense to proper being. Of the four senses into which being is initially divided, being in figures of the categories was the most distinguished. The course of this chapter has shown that the categories bear the name of 'being' all with respect to one being, namely, with respect to their being of the first category.

It would be more proper to say of every other category that it is of a being than it is a being. Hence it is substance which has being in the preeminent sense, i.e. which is not only something, but simply is. There are many sense in which something ca be first, but substance is among all being the first in every sense, in concept, in cognition, as well as in time. Its being in the terminus to which all stand in analogy, just as health is the terminus with respect to which everything that is healthful is called healthful, either because it has it, or because it bring about it, or shows it, etc. If now metaphysics is the science of being as such, the it is clear that its main objects is substance. For in all cases of such analogies science treats mainly of the first, upon which the others depend, and form which they receive their name. Hence the first philosopher must research the principles and grounds of substance. His primary, most distinguished, and in a sense only, task is to consider what it is." (p. 148).

From: Franz Brentano - On the several senses of Being in Aristotle - Berkeley: University of California Press 1975 (Greek words and notes omitted).



Roderick M. Chisholm, Bibliography of the Published Writings of Franz Brentano, Linda Mc. Alister, The Philosophy of Franz Brentano, London: Duckworth, pp. 240-247.