BRENTANO AND THE ARISTOTELIAN TRADITION

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DEAR FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES,

1) A new Franz Brentano Webpage is almost ready at the link https://www.franzbrentano.eu/en/
in order to facilitate communication. That will offer publicly accessible content and a private portal for researchers to share and comment on work in progress.

2) At the same time we have made the decision to start and launch a journal of Studies in Brentano and the Aristotelian Tradition. An International Journal.
The format is going to be online, a non-profit and electronic publishing venture, Open Access.
It does not charge readers or their institutions for access, it does not charge authors for the submission and publications of their contributions, and the reviewers co-operate on a voluntary basis. All users have the right to “read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles” but the acknowledgement and quotation of authors and papers are mandatory: Studies in Brentano and the Aristotelian Tradition. An International Journal allows third parties to download its works as long as it is credited as the source, but these articles cannot be changed in any way or used commercially (CC BY-NC-ND).
Our Ethic Statements are based on COPE’s Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors.
The contributions are submitted to double-blind peer review quality control.
We will publish biannually.
The journal welcomes scholarly articles in the following areas: Philosophy, Social sciences, and Humanities, Theology.
Apart from articles, the journal publishes a Book Review section.
The journal accepts contributions in English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish.

3) The administrative structure of the journal should be as follows:

Editor-in-chief Antonio Russo (Trieste, Italy)
Co-Editor Antonio Marturano (Roma Tor Vergata, Italy)
Co-Editor Marcello Zanatta (Milano, Italy)

Editorial Board
Angela Ales Bello (Roma, Italy), Victor Coston (University of Michigan, USA), Steve Brock (University of Chicago, USA),  Mauro Ceruti (University of IULM, Milano, Italy), Edoardo Fugali (University of Messina, Italy), Joshua Furnal (Nijmegen, Netherlands), Susan Gabriel (Saint Anselm College, USA), Rogelio García Mateo (Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome), Nicoletta Ghigi (University of Perugia, Italy), Gemmo Iocco (University of Parma, Italy), Mario González Porta (Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, Brazil), Claire Ortiz Hill (Paris, France), Carmelo Pandolfi (Pontificio Ateneo Angelicum, Roma, Italy), Lynn Pasquerella (President of the American Association of Colleges and Universities, Washington, USA), Thérèse Scarpelli Cory (University of Notre Dame, USA), Ion Tanasescu (Institute of Philosophy and Psychology of the Romanian Academy, Romania), David Torrijos-Castrillejo (Universidad Eclesiástica San Dámaso, Madrid, Spain), Richard Schaefer (University of SUNY Plattsburgh, New York, USA)

International Scientific Advisory Board
Evandro Agazzi (Università Panamericana di Città del Messico), Enrico Berti +(Padova, Italy), Marco Buzzoni (University of Macerata, Italy), Arkadiusz Chrudzimski (Jagiellonian University, Poland), Cristina D’Ancona (University of Pisa, Italy), Mario De Caro (University of Roma Tre, Italy and Tufts University, USA), John Goldsmith (University of Chicago, USA), Wolfhart Henckmann (München, Germany), Carlo Ierna (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands), Mikhail Khorkov (Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moskow, Russia), Dermot Moran (Boston College & University College Dublin), Gregor Nickel (University of Siegen, Germany), Zlatica Plašienková (University of Brno, Czech Republic), Ivanka Raynova (University of Sofia/Bulgaria and Vienna/Austria), Max Seckler (Tübingen, Germany), Hans Rainer Sepp (Karls-Universität Prag, Czech Republic), Maria van der Schaar (University of Leiden, Netherlands), Giovanni Ventimiglia (University of Luzern, Swiss), Wilhelm Vossenkuhl (München, Germany), Jan Woleński (Krakow, Poland), Johannes Zachhuber (University of Oxford, UK), Jure Zovko (University of Zadar, Croatia), Ghil‘ad Zuckermann (University of Adelaide, Australia)

Editorial assistant
Giovanna Giurlanda (Roma Tor Vergata, Itay)
Vito Paoletić (Pola, Croatia)
Raffaella Sabra Palmisano (Lecce, Italy)

The journal is addressed to scholars, students, teachers, cultural centres, universities, libraries.

4) Main purposes:
a. the intention to clarify from a biographical standpoint the early formation of Brentano’s thinking, concerning some central elements of his reflection. These early years of education, the family environment, and the whole milieu, whence Brentano drew the vital nourishment for the rest of his lifelong journey, may be reconstructed through new documents and accounts.

b. the intention to investigate the essential theoretical and historical traits that undergird the framework of Franz Brentano’s (1838-1917) project of renewing Thomism through a new understanding of Aristotle. Franz Brentano received his first education in the firm conviction of “the conciliation of catholic dogmas with the results of unprejudiced scientific research”. This is why, in a letter to his aunt Gunda von Savigny on the 29th June 1859, he tells that he wants to draw from “Saint Thomas more than anyone else the strength” to carry on his studies and follow his path. In another of his first letters, on 23 December 1859, he declares, always to his aunt, “For Christmas, my mother promised me the works of St. Thomas Aquinas and I rejoice to have them, because he is always my patron saint and my guidance, and so he is almost my alpha and omega”.

c. To discuss and clarify the central issues regarding his determination of the most fundamental principles of Ethics. It is important to raise these questions with regard to his Moral Philosophy, because it is clear that no suffìcient attention has been given to Brentano’s theory concerning the nature of good and right.” It is unfortunate that Brentano’s later views, both on ethics and in other areas of philosophy, which are so original and suggestive and so very much in the spirit of the early analytical movement in England, did not receive the degree of attention which has been accorded to his earlier views and which influenced Meinong and Husserl so strongly” (L.McAlister).

d. Moreover, just to select one question, it appears clear, then, that Brentano wishes to escape from the “undeniable evils of a capitalist economy”, taking significant steps in the direction of a middle road between the purpose of the division of the available goods among everyone (collective property) and the absolute sovereignty of private property. “From the moral point of view – which may never be set aside-, he writes, I am an administrator rather than an absolute master, and as such I am bound, not by duties and justice, but by duties of love towards the supreme practical good”.

e. To discuss Brentano’s intention of the necessity of advancing the renewal of philosophy and theology beyond Saint Thomas and his School. More precisely, Brentano argued that some parts of Aquinas’ thought remained almost unelaborated. That was true especially “for the part pertaining the principles of knowledge, which had been already treated by Aristotle in Book IV of Metaphysics; even more in modern times this has become the main ground of philosophical discussions or, to use a modern expression, of the transcendental part of metaphysics.” Thomism, instead, became the shadow of a great name. All of this entailed, for Brentano, the necessity to extract some fundamental propositions and let them bear their fruits in a context very different from the Medieval one, a context rife with incredulity and skepticism, as well as a conspicuous advancement of natural sciences. Brentano was fully conscious of being called to a very peculiar mission, that of opening the road for a new rebirth of philosophy, which would accomplish, on a higher and more rigorous level, the great traditions of Antiquity and the Middle Age, after its modern decadence with Kant and the German Idealism. Husserl recalls that he felt just like “the creator of a philosophia perennis […] With no hesitation, he had the inner certainty of being on the right way towards the foundation of the only scientific philosophy”.

f. Brentano sees the Aquinas as someone who continued Aristotle’s tradition, just as Aristotle had done with Plato. Thanks to these convictions, throughout young Brentano’s thinking, the relationship between Aristotle and Saint Thomas assumes a privileged role, which is capable of responding authentically to the requirements of modern times, and, even more, of offering a solution to the problems that Kant and the German Idealism with its ramifications were not able to overcome. Since his early writings, then, Brentano’s primary intent was to provide a complete answer to the critics of the Stagirite; after that, he intended to point out and justify, from a strictly philosophical point of view, recourse to the Aristotelic philosophy and its most important commentator and medieval disciple. His purpose was to contribute to find, on a more stable speculative basis than what the degenerated Scholastics had done, a “catholic science.” Brentano, with unexpected energy, put forward again the critical realism of the perennial philosophy, and assumed, as a term of reference and constant comparison in his studies and publications, Aristotle and the great Scholastics.

g. Investigating to what extent Brentano has influenced Analytical Philosophy: while Brentano’s famous notion of intentionality is a widely studied subject in Analytical Philosophy, it is indeed not fully understood how deeply Brentano and his school impacted Analytical Philosophy, especially in philosophy of logic and language, linguistic and metaethics, fields which are in fact at the core of Analytical Philosophy. Finally, as Dummett suggested, would Brentano’s studies be bridging among the most important contemporary schools of philosophy, and, especially, it would cast new light for a reduction of the “modern” divide between continental and analytical tradition.

h. Furthermore, we would like to specify this by subject matter, rather than by authors. The main intention is “to combine a longue durée approach – focusing on the long-term evolution of philosophical concepts rather than restricting itself only to a specific author– with systematic analysis in the history of philosophy. By studying Brentano and the Aristotelian authors with theoretical sensitivity, it also aims to contribute to our understanding of the Contemporary Aristotelian Tradition”(H. Taieb, Relational Intentionality: Brentano and the Aristotelian Tradition).

Looking forward to receiving your feedback and suggestions, let me offer my best regards
Antonio Russo