Understanding intentionality structure: development of hermeneutics F. Brentano

Vira Dubinina


The author of research points out at philosophical heritage of F. Brentano, famous Austrian philosopher and psychologist considered to be founder of phenomenology. In particular, philosophy of language and theory of intentionality are regarded in connection with development of hermeneutic ideas in the context of phenomenological school.

The interaction between this concept and representatives of different linguistic theories of the end of XIX century – the early XX century is shown. The concept of intentionality is presented as key element of process of understanding and interpretation, as criterion of differentiation of mental and physical phenomena, as theoretical and cognitive principle that expresses an orientation to, on the one hand, objective sense of phenomena, and, on the other hand, intention of subject-interpreter.

Intentionality becomes fundamental structure of mind that lies deeper than any concrete, local mental state. From the point of view of Brentano, any psychic act is directed at something, what makes it intentional. Such position had a great influence on development of ideas of modern hermeneutics.

One more vector of development of hermeneutic problematic is described. This vector connects hermeneutic problematic with couple of the most important theories of given period and directly leads to appearance of E. Husserl’s phenomenology that is an origin of modern hermeneutics. Intentionality is examined as initial model that makes sense of hermeneutic interpretation.

Understanding, which is injected in hermeneutic as a basic target, is an isomorphic structure to intentionality. Intentional object with its nature, indifferent to valid existence of a thing, becomes the most important feature of mind and major element of hermeneutic discourse.


intentionality; hermeneutic; understanding; interpretation; language; internal form of the word; model; sens


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