Brentano on the mind

Mulligan, Kevin 2004. Brentano on the mind. In: Jacquette, Dale (ed.), the Cambridge companion to Brentano. Cambridge (etc.): Cambridge University Press, 66-97.

Brentano attaches great importance to the fact that the answers to even apparently unimportant or minute questions of descriptive psychology often turn out to be heavy with consequences for all parts of metaphysics and epistemology (cf. USP, p. 79, MWO, p. 39). Failure to notice subtle distinctions in descriptive psychology is often the first step in the construction of metaphysical edifices which turn although nothing turns with them. This conviction, like the role of ontological frameworks in his work, reflects the fact that Brentano was primarily a metaphysician and only secondarily a philosopher of mind. (Mulligan 2004: 66)
Turning but nothing turning with the turned edifice is a nice metaphor for unsuccessful innovations. Brentano being primarily a metaphysician makes a lot of sense - especially when considering the work of his students and everyone who follows this line of thought.
Although the practical activity of rooting out conceptual confusion is an important philosophical task, Brentano thought that it was best carried out by developing a theoretical, descriptive psychology which would underpin explanatory psychology, which Brentano calls "genetic psychology." The latter depends on physiology and physics, whereas descriptive psychology is "relatively free" of this dependence. To say that descriptive psychology is, like explanatory psychology, a theoretical discipline, is to say that it consists of a system of interconnected truths. It is not a practical discipline, a collection of truths the unity of which derives from some practical goal external to them - for example that of rooting out conceptual confusions. (Mulligan 2004: 67)
For me it seems that it has rather spawned a lot of conceptual confusion in its "relatively free" theorising.
Descriptive psychology consists in large measure of conceptual truths about and analyses of psychological phenomena in which classifications, the identification of the fundamental types of psychological phenomena, and claims about relations of necessary coexistence are prominent. (Mulligan 2004: 67)
All this seems fine and well but I have an uneasy feeling that the fundamental types of psychology should not be metaphysical.
The first of the two main ontological frameworks emplyed by Brentano is traditional in its commitments: mental phenomena and acts belong to the category of individual accidents, non-repeatable particulars which are not substances (what are today sometimes called "particularized properties" or "tropes"), their bearers to the category of substances. (Mulligan 2004: 68)
I don't know what to do with a notion such as "substance" (is it synonymous with "content"?), but non-repeatable individual accidents can be thought of as episodic private signs. But does Brentano also have something like constant private signs?
Presentings, judgings, lovings, and hatings are "psychological" or "mental phenomena". Brentano sometimes calls these phenomena "acts" (PES-E, p. 79, PES-G, I, p. III) and "activities" although every mental phenomenon has a cause and so belongs to the category of undergoings (passio, Leiden). (Mulligan 2004: 69-70)
Esitamised, hindamised, armastamised ja vihkamised (mis on äkki hindamiste tulemused?) on konkreetsed teadvuse aktid.
Finally, Brentano distinguishes between psychological phenomena and their structures, on the one hand, and psychological dispositions, for example irritability, on the other hand. Such dispositions are bound up with laws, in particular the laws of genetic psychology, and it is important not to lose sight of the relevant laws in talking of dispositions, something it is all too easy to do if one mistakenly takes dispositions to be real entitios (GA, pp. 54-6). (Mulligan 2004: 70)
Again, a bit more concrete. Psychological structures and psychological dispositions are easy to comprehend. Though Mamardašvili and Pjatigorski (thus far) only handle the first.
Judgings come in two basic kinds - accepting and rejecting. To judge that Jules is jubilant is for a presenting of jubilant Jules to be qualified by an accepting. To judge that Jules is not jubilant is for a presenting of the same type to be qualified by a rejecting. Later, Brentano added to the distinction between accepting and rejecting a further distinction between attributing (Zuerkennen) and denying (Absprechen) something of something. Judging, then, is not a propositional attitude. Throughout all the developments of his analysis of judging he almost always retains the claim that the presentations which provide judgings with their "matter" do not contain negation. Like judgings, affective relations (Gemütsbeziehungen) come in polarly opposed kinds - loving and hating. But within the class of presentings no such porarly opposed kinds are to be found. (Mulligan 2004: 70)
I likewise am trying to build a scheme that involves proxemic accepting and rejecting: presence(-seeking) and avoidance. Vastuvõtmine/tunnustamine vs tagasilükkamine/hülgamine; omistamine vs eitamine.
External perception does not give us the right to assume that physical phenomena exist. On the other hand, external perception does not tell us that colors cannot exist without being presented (PES-E, p. 93, PES-G, I, p. 130). (Mulligan 2004: 71)
Väärt point. Sama lugu on märkidega, millega seoses tõstatub küsimus: kas märgid "on" või nad "on meie jaoks". Lihtne vastus on, et märk on alati kellegi joaks märk, aga mis saab siis märgikandjatest? Kui ma saan aru, et tegu on märgiga, aga ei tea selle märgi tahendust, kas see ei ole siis märk?
Is inner perception itself not a psychological phenomenon? Is inner perception, for example, of hearing a tone not just as much a psychological phenomenon as the hearing? In 1874 Brentano combines an affirmative answer to this question and his claim that every psychic phenomenon is given in inner perception in the following way:
The presentation of the sound and the presentation of the presentation of the sound form a single mental phenomenon, it is only by considering it in its relation to two different objects, one of which is a physical phenomenon and the other a mental phenomenon, that we divide it conceptually into two presentations. In the same mental phenomenon in which the sound is present to our minds we simultaneously apprehend the mental phenomenon itself. (PES-E, p. 127, PES-G, I, p. 179)
When I hear a sound the sound is the "primary" object of the hearing and the hearing is its own "secondary" object:
Apart from the fact that it presents the physical phenomenon of sound, the mental act of hearing becomes at the same time its own object and content, taken as a whole. (PES-E, p. 129, PES-G, I, p. 182)
Since inner perceiving is a judging, there are no judgment-free mental phenomena. (Mulligan 2004: 71)
Ma olen ilmselt juba lootusetu juhtum, sest see meikib isegi senssi. Nt Pjatigorski semiootika fenomenoloogilistes eeldustes vastab sellele asja "omadus olla kaks erinevat asja", ehk kaksuse omadus. Esimeses M. ja P. seminaritekstis oli ka selline väike vihje, et teadvus on igasuguste teadvuse aktide kõrval olemas, st metateadvus käib teadvusega kaasas, aga ma ei leia momendil seda katkendit üles, et seda kinnitada. // Siin samal leheküljel on selle idee Brentano versioon: "Every mental act is conscious, it includes within it a consciousness of itself."
To notice is to judge, it is therefore not to be confused with being struck by something, which is an affective state, or with something's being conspicuous. Something can be noticed without being conspicuous. But nothing strikes us without being noticed. Being struck by something is not to be confused with attending or paying heed, which is a desire. Attention ar paying heed differs from keeping or bearing in mind. Noticing admits of no degrees, unlike being struck by something and keeping or bearing something in mind (DP-E, pp. 37ff., DP-G, pp. 35ff.). (Mulligan 2004: 73)
Ohjummel. Kui seda segaputru hakata lahti harutama ja võtta arvesse ka Polanyi tähelepanu-filosoofia ja Kantori mälu-psühholoogia, siis saaks sellest isegi täitsa põhjaliku teadvuse-semiootika ehitada.
It is also very useful in his campaign to show that mental phenomena - but not the psychological dispositions mentioned above - are always conscious. Some of the phenomena which are said to be unconscious are merely unnoticed but conscious (PES-E, pp. 102ff., PES-G, I, pp. 143ff.). (Mulligan 2004: 73)
Fuuuuu, see on kõige selgemõistuslikum väide "alateadvuse" kohta mida ma olen üle tüki aja kohanud. Sellest eelistan ma ise rääkida "mittemärkamise" ja "automaatsuse" võtmes.
An apodictic judging is always a denying of something as impossible. An assertonic judging is an accepting or denying without any such modal moment. It is either a mere opinion (presumption) or assured (LRU, p. 112). The features of self-evidence is simple and so can only be introduced by means of examples and by contrasting self-evidence with the vastly more frequent phenomenon of the blind, instinctive tendency to believe something which is typical of external perception and memory; the latter but not the former exhibits differences of degrees (SNC, pp. 4ff., 15, PES-G, III, pp. 3ff., 19-20). (Mulligan 2004: 74)
This is the first of Brentano's six distinctions. I'm not sure about the other ones yet, but this can be quite applicable in my own field, especially in relation to dubious statements about body language.
In external perceiving one sees, hears, or otherwise senses a sensory object - something which is colored, a tone, or something warm (PES-E, p. 9, PES-G, I, p. 13). Brentano follows the tradition which says that inner perceivings of such sensings are themselves sensory. Similarly, if such a sensing is the primary object of memory, the latter too is a sensory act. Sensory objects, then, may be either physical or psychological. Presentings are either sensory (intuitions) or conceptual. (Mulligan 2004: 75)
There's a speck of truth in this. For my purposes it relates to somatoception or oneiroception, but the idea is very general indeed: mental actions are sometimes very close to physical actions. E.g. the case of a runner who continues to practice while laying in bed with a broken bone but can run very well when the cast is removed, because he had been "practicing in his mind" the whole time.
To imagine is to enjoy presentings which are not the bases of judgings. What is the difference between seeing a man and imagining a man? Sensations and phantasy presentations differ, Brentano thinks, in that they have different objects, although their objects may seem to be the same. Most phantasy presentations are not intuitive but conceptual presentings with an intuitive kernel (GA, pp. 82, 83). (Mulligan 2004: 76)
Relevant for my interests. But what about phantasy presentings that are intuitive? E.g. ideas and images that just pop into one's mind?
"A person who affirms something as past or future," runs Marty's summary of Brentano's lectures, "affirms the same matter but the type of affirmation is in each case different." But Brentano's assumption that present, past, and future are three discrete types of judgment had as a consequence, he thought, that time cannot be a continuum. His second account of time-consciousness, developed between 1870 and 1894, therefore, locates time-consciousness within the matter of presentations. Marty summarizes the view as follows:
If you have a presentation of this pencil that I am now moving around in a circle, you do not merely have a presentation of it as at a point (for then you would have a presentation of it at rest), rather you have a presentation of it as being situated at different points on its path, but not as simultaneously so situated (for then your presentation would be of a body as long as the stretch through which the pencil moves) but rather you have a presentation of it as having been at various points on the stretch longer and longer ago. And, to be sure, that the body was there longer and longer ago is something that is, in a peculiar way, intuitively present to you. This intuition is a thing pertaining to a peculiar activity of the imagination (Phantasie), but not an activity of the imagination in the usual sense of the word, for the latter is not really original, but is productive only through experineces and acquired dispositions; in the presentation of the past, on the other hand, we have something that is absolutely new, for which there is no analogue whatsoever in experience ... Brentano therefore called this activity of the imagination original association in contrast to acquired association.
This innate original association Brentano calls "proteraesthesis." Now Marty's account of Brentano's analysis is only a first approximation. Brentano does not think that a moving pencil can be the object of a sensory presentation for it is not a physical phenomenon (which, for Brentano, as we have noted, are colours, sounds, and their ilk). (Mulligan 2004: 78-79)
So, the past is constructed in the present? Proteraesthesis is explained in the Standford Encyclopedia as "a part of the act that keeps likely what was exprienced a moment ago." E.g. in music you hear the first note and then the second, but by the second note you haven't forgotten the first, and so on. Brentano supposedly explains how we can perceive temporally extending objects and events with this concept.
In his Psychology, Brentano notes that language suggests that certain emotions relate to objects - we say we are sad or upset about this or that. In such cases emotions "relate to what is presented in" the presentation they are based on (PES-E, p. 90, PES-G, p. 126). In other words, the intentionality of emotions is inherited from that of their bases, presentations and, in some cases, judgings. (Mulligan 2004: 81)
Of course Brentano relates emotion and intention. So does Marty. This is one of the main reasons I'm tracking down this line of thought. So-called "genetic psychology" would probably not agree unconditionally with this view, because we know that emotions don't necessarily demand an "object". In fact, a lot of the times we say something like "I'm [insert emotion] about [insert cause or object]" it's a rationalization of something that is inexplicable.
Brentano also says that every movement of the heart (Gemütsbewegung), or emotion, is a mental phenomenon and gives as examples: joy, sorrow, fear, hope, courage, despair, anger, love, hate, desire, act of will, intention, astonishment, admiration, contempt (PES-E, p. 78, PES-G, I, p. 112),). There are differences between these phenomena, in particular between, say, sadness, and acts of the will but these differences are not as great as the differences between what brentano calls the class of emotions, on the one hand, and all other psychic phenomena, or between presentation and judgment (PES-E, pp. 235-8, PES-G, II, pp. 83-6). (Mulligan 2004: 81)
You don't have to be very specific when conducting metaphysics. I disagree completely with the statement that emotions are mental phenomena. They are affective phenomena. Although related to cognition and "judgment", emotions have a life of their own. But actual emotions are too much invested in neurochemical processes, e.g. "genetic psychology" to be of any interest to phenomenologists.
Oppositions, Brentano says, "pervade" the class of emotions (PES-G, II, p. 102, PES-E, p. 248). He mentions joy and sorrow, hope and fear, desire and aversion, and willing and not-willing. In a note Kraus says that not-willing, "Nichtwollen," "is not to be understood as the negation of willing but as a willing that something not exist" (PES-G, II, p. 290 n. 8). (Mulligan 2004: 82)
It almost sounds like Brentano read Darwin's Expressions and took the antithesis principle to the heart. Nichtwollen actually makes sense, although not for Mulligan, in that it is willing not to do something, not to create something. (andreas w kirjutamajäetud teosed on hea näide.)
Other notable revisions are the arguments of Geiger and Scheler that affective phenomena, both episodes and enduring non-dispositional sentiments, may be unconscious; the rejection, by the early Husserl and Scheler, of the view that inner perception is infallible; the rejection by Stumpf and Husserl of the view that all psychological phenomena are intentional. (Mulligan 2004: 90)
Is it possible that Hadamard's episodic and constant private signs are an elaboration of episodic and enduring "non-dispositional sentiments" in Geiger and/or Scheler?
Through all the more or less radical transformations of Brentano's analyses of the mind, the vivisections of Husserl, Pfänder, and Scheler, still unfortunately the most thorough descriptions of the mind we possess, it is possible, for those with earl to hear, to discern variations on the Austrian melody initially composed by Brentano. (Mulligan 2004: 91-92)
Njah. Ka meie ei ole sellest meloodiast puutumatud. See jõuab meieni ühest käest mööda rada Brentano -> Marty -> Jakobson -> Lotman ja teisest käest mööda rada Brentano -> Scheler -> Bahtin -> Lotman.
On his early view, every mental phenomenon contains a representation or presentation of itself. On his later view, every sufferer and lover, for example, is an internal presenter of himself.
All my external perception and all my conceptual thinking is, Brentano thinks, in the first instance, about me. For all such mental activity contains an inner perceiving by me of myself albeit an inner perceiving which involves no direct acquaintance with myself. (Mulligan 2004: 92)
Mine võta näpust - isegi natuke autokommunikatsioonile lahenevat arutlust. Midagi sellist, et kogedes maailma koged iseennast, sest sa koged maailma läbi iseenda.


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