The Relationship of the Psychological to the Logical

Part of the LEP Library of Exact Philosophy book series (LEP, volume 11)


To carry our inquiry further, we must take up again a problem that has impelled the thinking of a whole series of contemporary philosophers to enter upon strange paths. The insight that concepts and other logical structures are not mental realities has led these philosophers to ascribe a special kind of “being” to them, and like Plato to counterpose the realm of real being and the realm of ideal being as two quite different and separate spheres. In acts of thought, however, the two realms must somehow come into connection or communication with one another; and thus the problem consists precisely in giving an account of how this is possible. The metaphorical, Platonist solution, according to which ideas are simply “intuited” by our mind, no longer satisfies us today.


Logical Structure Logical Relation Intentional Object Phenomenological Method Absolute Precision 
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  1. 32.
    K. Twardowski, Zur Lehre vom Inhalt und Gegenstand der Vorstellungen, Vienna 1894.Google Scholar
  2. 33.
    One of them, for example, is Bertrand Russell, who prefers to say of concepts that “they subsist or have being” rather than that “they exist” (The Problems of Philosophy, p. 156).Google Scholar
  3. 34.
    See, for instance, P. Natorp, Allgemeine Psychologie, Volume I, Tübingen 1912, Chapter 3, § 3 and § 4.Google Scholar
  4. 35.
    Logische Untersuchungen, Volume I, p. 128.Google Scholar
  5. 36.
    Ibid., p. 129.Google Scholar
  6. 38.
    One can also use the expression ‘the given’ in an entirely different sense. This is what Paul L. Linke, for example, does in his Die phänomenale Sphäre und das reale Bewußtsein (Halle 1912). By the “given” he understands “intentional objects” — for instance, that which is given in perception as the thing perceived, in memory as the thing remembered. What he has in mind is the object of an idea or image, regardless of whether a real object or only an imaginary one corresponds to the something perceived or remembered. So understood (op. cit., p. 5), “no given as such is eo ipso real”; it is not real “in the sense of a real component part of our consciousness”. On the other hand, we designate as the given only the actualities of consciousness, that is, experiences or real occurrences. In doing this, we find ourselves in the best agreement with ordinary usage, which, however, is not an especially happy circumstance inasmuch as the word ‘given’ suggests a donor and a receiver and thus readily evokes undesirable associations. Still these can be fended off by a suitable warning to which we herewith give utterance. Linke, moreover, designates the realm of the “given” (in his sense) as the “phenomenal sphere” and contrasts it with the sphere of reality: “These are two completely separated domains; there is no essential connection between them.” (Op. cit., pp. 29 ff.) He does not solve the problem of their mutual relationship, with which we are concerned here; he says only that the phenomenal sphere is not suspended in midair, since, to the given, mental processes correspond as real correlates. That the former cannot exist without the latter, we already know on the basis of experience (§6). The word ‘given’ is used in this same sense by R. Herbertz (Prolegomena zu einer realistischen Logik, p. 174) who, in a highly original turn of phrase, adds that all “given”, all intentional objects (hence even mathematical objects, centaurs, nymphs), are real.Google Scholar
  7. 39.
    Husserl, Logische Untersuchungen, Volume I, pp. 50, 51.Google Scholar
  8. 40.
    This example is used by Husserl, op. cit., Volume I, §§ 50, 51.Google Scholar
  9. 41.
    H. Poincaré, Der Wert der Wissenschaft, 2nd edition, 1910, p. 50. (French original, La Valeur de la Science, 1927, p. 68.)Google Scholar

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© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1974

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