Mauro Antonelli

Brentano´s Intentionality Thesis. A new objection to the nonsense that was dreamt up and attributed to him

Brentano’s intentionality thesis has been traditionally interpreted as a theory of the “intentional relation”, i.e., of the (ordinary binary) relation between the mental act and its intentional or “immanent” object. This object is immanent in the sense that it is in fact contained in the mind (whether as target-object, or as bridge-entity to the transcendent object), and with an ontological status that is distinct from that of the transcendent (existent or non-existent) object. On the basis of Brentano’s Aristotelian-Scholastic sources, in particular with reference to Aristotle’s and Aquinas’ theory of perception and knowledge and their account of relations, I will bring new arguments against the view of the immanent object as a consciousness-immanent, ontologically diminished entity and highlight the continuity that exists between Brentano’s earlier and later (so-called reistic) view of intentionality.