The Theory of Categories

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This book contains the definitive statement of Franz Brentano's views on meta physics. It is made up of essays which were dictated by Brentano during the last ten years of his life, between 1907 and 1917. These dictations were assembled and edited by Alfred Kastil and first published by the Felix Meiner Verlag in 1933 under the title Kategorienlehre. Kastil added copious notes to Brentano's text. These notes have been included, with some slight omissions, in the present edition; the bibliographical references have been brought up to date. Brentano's approach to philosophy is unfamiliar to many contemporay readers. I shall discuss below certain fundamental points which such readers are likely to find the most difficult. I believe that once these points are properly understood, then what Brentano has to say will be seen to be of first importance to philosophy. THE PRIMACY OF THE INTENTIONAL To understand Brentano's theory of being, one must realize that he appeals to what he calls inner perception for his paradigmatic uses of the word "is". For inner perception, according to Brentano, is the source of our knowledge of the nature of being, just as it is the source of our knowledge of the nature of truth and of the nature of good and evil. And what can be said about the being of things that are not apprehended in inner perception can be understood only by analogy with what we are able to say about ourselves as thinking subjects.

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Contents

Franz Brentano after 1905
1
THE AMBIGUITY OF IS AND THE UNITY OF THE CONCEPT
15
REAL AND FICTIVE PARTS OF BEING
34
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About the author (1981)

An analytic philosopher, Roderick M. Chisholm is a meticulous epistemologist, although he also addresses historical figures and basic issues in metaphysics. He was born in Massachusetts, educated at Brown and Harvard universities, and in 1947 returned to Brown, where, with the exception of many visiting appointments, he has spent his academic career. Three important influences on Chisholm were Thomas Reid, Franz Brentano, and George Moore whose close attention to detail he owes something of his own style. All three were deeply concerned with perception, which is a major theme of Chisholm's work. His 1957 book, Perceiving, is a discussion of philosophical puzzles of perception and an attempt to resolve them. He also has written important studies of Brentano and of abstract concepts in philosophy of mind.

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