Repository | Book | Chapter


Husserl's early theory

John Drummond

pp. 26-45

Husserl's criticisms of Brentano's theory of the intentional object as immanent to experience move Husserl—as we have already seen—toward a new view of intentionality and the intentional object. Smith and McIntyre argue that this new view sees the intentional object as a mediating abstract entity, the "ideal" or "intentional" content of an act, rather than an intended objectivity either immanent or transcendent to the act. We have seen, furthermore, that Frege's semantics appeals to a notion of sense as an abstract entity which, in ordinary contexts, mediates between the linguistic expression and its referent. Smith and McIntyre suggest that this theory of sense can be employed—even if Frege had no influence whatsoever on Husserl—to elucidate Husserl's theory of the intentional content of an act, and it is to Husserl's first formulation in LU of the theory of intentional contents that we must now turn. Our concern is to understand the development of his thought as he moved from Brentano's object-theory to his own theory of intentionality. This theory reaches its mature form no earlier than 1913 and the publication of Ideen I,1 although even then the doctrine of the noema requires further clarification and there are themes, e.g. the notions of horizon and genetic analysis, which still require much development.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-009-1974-7_3

Full citation:

Drummond, J. (1990). Intentionality: Husserl's early theory, in Husserlian intentionality and non-foundational realism, Dordrecht, Kluwer, pp. 26-45.

This document is unfortunately not available for download at the moment.