The origins of the phenomenology of pain

Brentano, Stumpf and Husserl

Saulius Geniusas

pp. 1-17

The following investigation aims to determine the historical origins of the phenomenology of pain. According to my central thesis, these origins can be traced back to an enthralling discussion between Husserl and two of his most important teachers, Brentano and Stumpf. According to my reconstruction of this discussion, while Brentano defended the view that all feelings, including pain, are intentional experiences, and while Stumpf argued that pain is a non-intentional feeling-sensation, Husserl of the Logical Investigations provides compelling resources to resolve the polemic between his teachers by showing how pain can be conceived as a pre-intentional experience. According to my argument, this largely forgotten discussion is of significance not only because it enriches our understanding of pain, but also because it modifies the phenomenological conception of consciousness. Thus in the concluding section, I show why the Husserlian resolution of the controversy between Brentano and Stumpf is of importance for our understanding of the central phenomenological theme—intentionality.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/s11007-014-9283-3

Full citation [Harvard style]:

Geniusas, S. (2014). The origins of the phenomenology of pain: Brentano, Stumpf and Husserl. Continental Philosophy Review 47 (1), pp. 1-17.

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