Ion Tanasescu (ed.), Franz Brentano’s Metaphysics and Psychology, Zeta Books, 2012
Metaphysics and psychology are two of Brentano’s main areas of interest in philosophy. His first writings, the dissertation On the Several Senses of Being in Aristotle (1862) and the habilitation thesis, The Psychology of Aristotle (1867), bear witness to the duality of his concerns. As such, these works were not only significant contributions to the German Aristotelianism of the second half of the XIXth century, but they also played an important role in the development of Brentano’s later philosophy and in defining his school of thought. At the same time, the dissertation, now celebrating the sesquicentennial of its first publication, was received beyond the immediate sphere of the Brentanian school, for its reading played a significant role in young Heidegger’s thought on being, and thus in his development of a new type of phenomenology, distinct from the Husserlian one. The studies comprising this volume examine the relevance of Brentano’s dissertation, of his metaphysics and psychology for contemporary philosophical research. Generally, the papers emphasize a tendency in Brentanian research, which has become more conspicuous in the last two decades, and can be described as a gradual shift in focus from the specific problems of Brentano’s late philosophy, towards his earlier philosophy, especially his first writings and manuscripts. Taking into account both Brentano’s published works, and the manuscripts of the dissertation and the Psychology, the contributions of this volume manage to emphasise unexplored aspects of Brentano’s philosophy and stand witness to the complexity and the historical dimension of a legacy whose richness still awaits full discovery.