Mally's Determinates and Husserl's Noemata


Edward N. Zalta


Ernst Mally - Versuch einer Neubewertung, A.~Hieke (ed.), St. Augustin: Academia-Verlag, 1998, pp. 9-28


In this paper, the author compares passages from two philosophically important texts and concludes that they have fundamental ideas in common. What makes this comparison and conclusion interesting is that the texts come from two different traditions in philosophy, the analytic and the phenomenological. In 1912, Ernst Mally published Gegenstandstheoretische Grundlagen der Logik und Logistik, an analytic work containing a combination of formal logic and metaphysics. In 1913, Edmund Husserl published Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie, a seminal work in phenomenology in which noemata are defined and given a crucial role in directing our mental states. In the passages from these two texts reproduced below, the author shows that the abstract `determinates' postulated by Mally in 1912 are assigned much the same role that Husserl assigned to noemata in 1913. Though Mally's determinates are not as highly structured as Husserl's noemata, they have a feature that explains how they manage to play the role assigned to them. The corresponding feature is missing, or at least, not emphasized in Husserl's account of noemata. Therefore, insights from both philosophers, and thus from both the analytic and phenomenological traditions, are needed to give a more complete account of directed mental states.

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