Brentano’s Works

Bibliographic Notes on Franz Brentano

Bibliographic notes


University of Trento, Italy

For a complete and annotated bibliography of Brentano’s works and the relevant critical literature see W. Baumgartner, F.P. Burkard, International Bibliography of’Austrian Philosophie 1983/83 – Internationale Bibliographie zur Österreichischen Philosophie, Amsterdam, Rodopi 1982/83, 54-159.

For an overview of recent critical studies see also the bibliography in B.Smith, Austrian Philosophy. The Legacy of Franz Brentano, Chicago and La Salle, III., Open Court 1994, and in L. Albertazzi, M. Libardi, R. Poli (eds.), The School of Franz Brentano, Dordrecht, Kluwer 1996.

See also the website:


An edition of Brentano’s literary production in its entirety is not yet available. At present the available works by Brentano divide between the following two types:

1.Works published during his lifetime.

2.Works in his Nachlass.

The works which Brentano published durino his lifetime, in the form of both books and essays, represent only a small part of his total output. The books published from the Nachlass divide between:

I. Books edited by orthodos pupils, for instance O. Kraus, A. Kastil and F. Mayer-Hillebrand, which afford numerous personal insights.

2. Books published since the 1970s.

(See F. Mayer-Hillebrand, “Franz Brentanos wissenschaftlicher Nachlasss”Zeitschrift fìir philosophische Forschung 6, 1951-52, 599-603, and by the same author, “Rückblick auf die bisherìgen Bestrebungen zur Erhaltung und Verbreitung von Fr. Brentanos philosophischen Lehre und kurze Darstellung dieser Lehren”Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung 17, 1963, 146-169; also “Remarks Conceming the Inteipretation of the Philosophy of Franz Brentano. A Reply to Dr. Srzednicki”Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 23, 1962-3, 438-44; see also J. C. M. Brentano, The Manuscripts of Franz BrentanoRevue internationale de philosophie 78, 1966, 477-482).

The books belonging to the first category were compiled according to debatable philological criteria, with additions and collages of writings produced in different periods. The considerable arbitrariness of these constructs and the interpretative interpolations made by the editors have not generally benefited the understanding and diffusion of Brentano’s thought. In particular, collections of the posthumously-published essays and dictations have often adopted the method of interpreting earlier texts as anticipations of later ones. Moreover, one should read a huge body of correspondence (1400 letters with Marty alone) which has been published only in part, while some of the corpus, including letters from Brentano’s period in Italy (1895-1916), is entirely unpublished. Brentano’s philosophical correspondence is of great interest, not least because a letter sent to one scholar was then passed on to others, who read it, commented on it, and then sent it back, in a sort of epistolary colloquium. Only a tiny part of Brentano’s correspondence has been published from the Nachlass. A propos the Nachlass, its first classification was produced by T. Masaryk,who founded a Brentano Archive in Prague for the purpose of organizing and publishing items. In 1939, at the beginning of the Second World War, the Archive was transferred first to Manchester, then to Oxford (the Bodleian Library), and finally to the United States. Brentano’s unpublished writings and dictations have undergone successive cataloguing by F. Mayer-Hillebrand, W. Baumgartner and T. Binder. They can currently be consulted at diverse universities. In the USA at the University of California (Berkeley), Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island), Cornell University (Ithaca, New York), Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.),  University of Minnesota (Minneapolis); Northwestem University (Evenston, III.), and at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. In Australia they can be consulted at Melbourne University (Vittoria); in Europe at the Bodleian Library of Oxford, the Staatsbibliotek of Munich, the University of Innsbruck,the University of Vienna, and the Goethemuseum of Frankfurt; in France at the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; in Latin America at the University of Mexico City (Messico D.F.) and the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The Brentano Archive originally deposited at Brown University included Brentano’s personal library. It can now be consulted at the Forschungsstelle und Dokumentationszentrum für Österreichische Philosophie of Graz.

In the absence of a critical edition of Brentano works, division of his oeuvre by topic is notyet feasible, with the exception of that part of it published by Brentano himself.