• The Four Phases of Philosophy Mezei, Balász M. | Smith, Barry 1998 Studien zur Österreichischen Philosophie , Vol. 27 ( Serie ) Leiden; Boston : BRILL 9789004458314 | 9789042005440 | BRILL9789004458314 Abstract

    Brentano's Four Phases of Philosophy, first published in 1895 and here translated into English for the first time, presents a dramatic account of the history of philosophy in terms of a succession of cycles of renewal and decline. Phases of renewal are associated with the rediscovery of science, of empiricism, of rigour and clarity. Phases of decline are associated with competing schools and sects, with mysticism and obfuscation, and with relativisms and idealisms of various sorts. Each final phase of decline, with its ultimate collapse into nonsense, gives rise to the call for a new phase of renewal, and Aristotle, in Brentano's eyes, represents the ideal type of this renewal phase of philosophy. Brentano exploits his cyclical theory to provide a guiding path through the history of Western philosophy from the beginnings in the Presocratics to what was from his perspective the final phase of decline in the work of Kant and the German idealists. In an extensive introduction, Balász Mezei and Barry Smith present a detailed account of Brentano's method in the history of philosophy. They demonstrate its roots in the work of August Comte, and compare it to other methodologies in the historiography of philosophy, including that of Kant. Most interestingly, however, they seek to bring up to date Brentano's account of the cycles of renewal and decline in the history of philosophy. They show how Brentano's method can be applied to the histories of twentieth-century analytic and Continental philosophy, from their auspicious beginnings in the work of Frege and Husserl (and Brentano) himself to their ultimate decline in the work of Rorty, Levinas and Derrida.



Mezei, Balász M.
Smith, Barry

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