Comments on Fisette’s: “Franz Brentano and higher-order theories of consciousness”

  • Pedro M. S. Alves


In this paper, I discuss Fisette’s Interpretation of Brentano’s philosophy of mind in the framework of the modern higher-order theories, especially Rosenthal’s version. While acknowledging the truth of Fisette’s rendering of Brentano’s psychology as a first-order theory, I examine at length the theses that all mental states are conscious states, or can became conscious states, and that the first-order consciousness of some mental states must be accounted for as self-consciousness. I disagree with both theses, and I propose a general picture of mental states and consciousness in keeping with some insights coming from Leibniz, and not from Aristotle or Descartes.

Keywords: Philosophy of mind; Brentano; Psychology; Higher order theory of consciousness; Self-consciousness; Leibniz.

Brentano and Philosophy of Mind