© 2006

Immanent Realism

An Introduction to Brentano

  • The only monograph on Brentano to cover almost all aspects of his scientific production

  • The first book on Brentano to take into account the scientific roots of his thought and its relation to psychophysics, and to analyse his thought in relation to cognitive science

  • Offers a philosophical framework, particularly with regard to perception, for people working in cognitive science


Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 333)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XII
  2. Liliana Albertazzi
    Pages 1-3
  3. Liliana Albertazzi
    Pages 5-41
  4. Liliana Albertazzi
    Pages 43-82
  5. Liliana Albertazzi
    Pages 83-121
  6. Liliana Albertazzi
    Pages 123-154
  7. Liliana Albertazzi
    Pages 155-187
  8. Liliana Albertazzi
    Pages 189-231
  9. Liliana Albertazzi
    Pages 233-267
  10. Liliana Albertazzi
    Pages 313-333
  11. Liliana Albertazzi
    Pages 335-340
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 341-378

About this book


In many respects, Brentano conducted pioneering analyses of problems that are currently in the focus of cognitive science and artificial intelligence: from the problem of reference to that of representation, from the problem of categorial classification to ontology and the cognitive analysis of natural language.

Brentano, in fact, dealt with and wrote on questions concerning the auditory stream (temporal apprehension), visual perception (continua, point of view, three-dimensional construction of phenomenal objects), intentionality, imagery, and conceptual space, considering these pertaining to a metaphysical enquiry. Moreover, Brentano displayed clear awareness of the complexity of problems and of the interrelations among different areas of inquiry. From this point of view, his theory, however complex, offers elements for the treatment of problems currently under investigation.

Brentano's work is an antidote against physicalism and logicism, which dominated the 20th century epistemology, and as such appears to be a good philosophy candidate for cognitive science.

"A set of knotty questions are implied in the very title of Brentano's work "Psychology from an empirical standpoint". To solve them, Albertazzi guides us systematically through Brentano's life and works, investigating into the inherent complexity of both his view of mental life and the related methodology. In so doing, she discloses a number of threads into the open texture of modern philosophy of mind." Lia Formigari, Ordinary professor of Philosophy of Language, La Sapienza, Rome, Italy


Aristotle artificial intelligence cognitive science epistemology ethics history of philosophy language metaphysics philosophy

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Trento UniversityRoveretoItaly

Bibliographic information


"Liliana Albertazzi's recent book presents Brentano's life and work in an unmatched synthesis of clarity and richness. [...] The book is fascinating because of its content, pleasurable because of its style, and unique in its cross-combination of historical and theoretical perspectives. [...] There are books that must be read and books that are a pleasure to read. This book is both."

Riccardo Manzotti, Institute of Human and Environmental Science, University of Language and Communication, Milan, Italy, in Mind & Matter Vol. 4(1), pp. 115-119

"I can vouch unequivocally for the rich conceptual rewards that await those with some background and interest in foundational issues concerning perception, language and philosophy of mind. The book should be essential reading for philosophers seeking a presentation of Brentano's work in English that does not come through the lens of analytic or continental philosophy."

Dhanraj Vishwanath, Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, USA, in TRENDS in Cognitive Sciences Vol. 10 No. 12, pp. 536-537

"Albertazzi's analysis of Brentano's work and the development of his thoughts is based on a thorough study of his work and on her extensive knowledge of the 19th century German scholars and philosophers in general. She gives many new and interesting insights in Brentano's thoughts and the book is worth the mental effort it demands."

Beatrice Centi & Geert-Jan Boudewijnse, in Gestalt Theory 29(4), 2007, pp. 351-357