Franz Brentano’s higher-order theories of consciousness

  • Joelma Marques de Carvalho


This article aims at giving a brief comment on Denis Fisette’s interpretation of Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness by Franz Brentano, where consciousness has been seen as a form of intransitive self-consciousness being intrinsic to the agent. In agreement with that interpretation, I want to present a few more basic arguments in order to support that assumption such as, for example, some epistemic thoughts by Brentano given in his books Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkte (1874) and Die Deskriptive Psychologie (1982). The present paper has been divided into five sections. The first section deals with the initial understanding of psychology in Brentano. Section two deals with the concepts of consciousness and intentionality. In the third section, the classification of mental phenomena will be presented. Section four refers to the concept of descriptive psychology or phenomenology and finally, I will show the consequences of Brentano’s epistemic and ontological arguments related to his concept of consciousness.

Keywords: Philosophy of mind; Brentano; Higher order theory of consciousness; Consciousness; Descriptive psychology.

Brentano and Philosophy of Mind