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Dariusz Lukasiewicz
Brentano’s reception in Poland:
Brentano’s theory of judgment and the Lvov-Warsaw School
Introduction

I will discuss the reception of Franz Brentano’s philosophy in Poland, in particular, the reception of Brentano’s ideas among representatives of the Lvov-Warsaw School. However, I would like to confine myself to some Brentano’s ideas: his conception of judgment and its philosophical consequences.

[Note]
I will do this, firstly, because it might be perhaps interesting to find in Brentano’s heritage one idea which is on the one hand the most characteristic to Brentano and, on the other hand, exerted wide and essential influence on the Polish philosophy. Secondly, the conception of judgment in itself assumes, or, implies theories of truth, values, knowledge, theories of objects, and it also has importance for philosophical foundations of logic.

Metaphysical realism, the classic conception of truth, the absoluteness of truth and the doctrine on the intentionality of consciousness are these Lukasiewicz ideas which were inherited and popularized in Poland by Brentano’s disciple Kazimierz Twardowski.

I would like to trace in a more detail the role of Brentano’s theory of judgment, known in Poland under the name ‘idiogenetic theory of judgment’, as this element of Brentano’s intellectual heritage in Poland which influenced some essential achievements of Polish philosophy.

It is said that the Tarskian semantic definition of truth is the most outstanding single result of the Polish Brentanism and of the Brentanist tradition in general.

[Note]
Let us assume and analyze the hypothesis that the Brentano’s ‘idiogenetic theory of judgment’ is this single ,pers iBrentano’sdea which made wide and essential contribution to the Polish Brentanism and also to the semantic definition of truth proposed by Alfred Tarski.

Brentano

Brentano’s theory of judgment (BTJ-I) is composed of the following statements :

[Note]



(1) An act of judging consists in the acceptance or rejection of an object A;
(2) every predicative judgment (A is B) and every categorical judgment symbolized in logic as a, e, i, o are reducible to negative existential judgments or affirmative existential judgments and judgments a and e have no existential import;
(3) every judgment is based on a simple or a complex presentation;
(4) the object of a judgment “A exists” is identical with the object of the presentation of A.


Additional characteristic of this theory follows from the epistemic presuppositions contained in Brentano’s descriptive psychology: (BTJ-I) is an idealistic and psychologistic conception. It is idealistic because acts of judging and objects of judgments are immanent parts of mind. (BTJ-I) is psychologistic because a judgment is an individual psychic phenomenon. From thesis (4) and Brentano’s semiotic assumptions it follows that (BTJ-I) is the non- propositional theory of judgment, i.e. we refer to the object of a judgment by means of a name and not by a sentence. Brentano proposed this theory after having rejected the broadly accepted conception of judgment rooted in Aristotle’s epistemological and logical considerations.

According to the Aristotle’s theory (ATJ), a judgment is a combination or a separation of a subject and a predicate. However, Brentano demonstrated that the Aristotlian theory was wrong. (ATJ) was wrong because there are impersonal judgments like, for example, ‘It is raining’ which lack a subject and there are existential judgments like ‘Cheetahs exist’ which lack a predicate. Thus, (ATJ) is not able to account for impersonal and existential judgments
After having introduced the new theory of judgment Brentano had to reject the strong version of the classic concept of truth. The strong version of the concept of truth is presented by Aristotle with the help of words ‘combined’ and ‘separated’ as follows:
He who thinks the separated to be separated and the combined to be combined has the truth, while whose thought is in a state contrary to that of the objects, is in error.

[Note]

The strong version of the classic concept of truth could not account for the truth of affirmative existential judgments since they are not a ‘combination’ of subjects and predicates and it could not account for the negative existential judgments since they are not a ‘separation’ of subjects and predicates.
(BTJ-I) was also incoherent with those interpretations of the classic conception of truth which appeal to the notions of ‘conformity’ or ‘correspondence’ of thought with reality. Brentano himself noticed that

[Note]
If the truth of ‘There is no dragon’ were to be reside in a correspondence between my judgment and an object, what would be the object? Certainly not the dragon, since there isn’t any dragon. Nor any other real thing which could count as the corresponding reality.

Thus he was forced to resort in defense of the classic conception of truth to such a statement which neither contains words ‘combination’ and ‘separation’, nor speaks about ‘correspondence’ of thought with reality. Such a statement is delivered by Aristotle in the following form (in recent epistemology called the weak version of the classic conception of truth) :

[Note]

To say of what is that is not, or of what is not that it is, is false, while to say of what is that it is, and of what is not that is not, is true.
[Note]

Surprisingly Brentano, who was an expert on Aristotle’s philosophy, did not employ the Arestotelian weak version of the classic conception of truth. Instead Brentano put forward his own weak version of truth according to which:
A judgment is true if it asserts of some object that is, that the object is, or if it asserts of some object that it is not, that this object is not – and a judgment is false if it contradicts that which is, or that which is not.

[Note]

However, Brentano’s weak version of truth implied some ontological postulates. According to Brentano’s famous doctrine on intentionality, all judgments including true negative existential judgments are intentional acts. Thus, the true negative existential judgment ‘A does not exist’ has to refer intentionally to its object but it asserts that the object A lacks existence. Yet, the object A cannot be nothing, since the judgment ‘A does not exist’ refers to it, under assumption, intentionally. In order to solve this trouble Brentano introduced judgment-contents (called by him sometimes ‘irrealia’ or ‘entia rationis’). The true affirmative existential judgment ‘A exists’ would refer, according to him, to the existence of the object A and the negative existential judgment ‘A does not exist’ would refer to the non-existence of the object A. The discovery of judgment-contents led Brentano to the revision of his previous theory of judgment (BTJ-I), since the object of judgment (intentional target of judgment) was not in fact the object of presentation but the judgment-content, i.e. the existence or non-existence of the given object.

Thus (BTJ-I) compelled Brentano to reject the strong view on truth, and the rejection of the strong view on truth led him to correct (BTJ-I) and to replace it by let us called it (BTJ-II): (BTJ-I) minus (4) and plus thesis (4)’: There are judgment-contents which may be taken as the intentional target of a judgment different from the object of a presentation.

In turn, the invention of judgment-contents allowed Brentano to formulate a new version of the previously rejected correspondence notion of truth. He proposed the following definition: A judgment is true if and only if it corresponds with the existence or non-existence of its object.

However, if we take into account judgments-contents, then the last Brentano’s definition could be as follows: A judgment is true if and only if it corresponds with its (relevant) content.

After having discovered judgment-contents Brentano came to the conclusion that the acceptance of such entities as, for example, the existence of an apple or the non-existence of a unicorn could easily lead to counterintuitive or paradoxical consequences. Since it is allowed to speak about the existence of an apple, it is also allowed to speak about the existence of the existence of an apple and about the existence of the existence of the existence of an apple and so on ad infinitum. Also Brentano reasoned that since it is allowed to talk about the non-existence of a unicorn, it is allowed to talk about the existence of the non-existence of unicorn as well. Due to these consequences which seemed to Brentano to be absurd he rejected inter alia judgment-contents, (BTJ-II) and returned to (BTJ-I). However, he was reluctant to return to his previous weak version of the classic conception of truth.

Therefore, Brentano proposed finally the epistemic definition of truth and the first clear step leading to such a definition was the statement: If A is, then whoever accepts or affirms A judges correctly, and if A is not, then whoever rejects or denies A judges correctly. The formula does not at all require that, if there is no A, then there has to be something else – the non-being – to function in its place. A itself is the thing with which our judgment is concerned.

[Note]

One could explain how (BTJ-I) works in the case of the last definition, which directly precedes the Brentano’s epistemic and nominalistic theory of truth, as follows: the true affirmative and predicative judgment ‘A is F’ (for example ‘This house is green’) is, according to (BTJ-I: (2)), transformed into the judgment ‘AF exists’. Next, ‘AF exists’ is, according to (BTJ-I: (1)), transformed into the judgment ‘AF is accepted’. Thus (BTJ-I) works without judgment-contents and reduces predicative judgments to judgments expressing mental attitude to a simple or complex but non-propositional object.
[Note]

One should add that not only (BTJ-J) but (BTJ-II) as well is an idealistic and psychologistic conception of judgment. Idealism of (BTJ-II) is the direct consequence of idealism of (BTJ-I); since an object of a presentation is an immanent object and has being only in a relation to a presentation, so the content of a judgment based on a given presentation, i.e. the existence of a given object also has to be an immanent entity.

Twardowski

It was Twardowski who made Brentano’s ideas known in Poland, included his theory of judgment. For Twardowski one of the most important philosophical problems was the concept of truth. However, he was perfectly aware that any definition of truth presupposes some doctrine on the ‘essence of judgment’. Therefore, on numerous occasions in his scientific and pedagogical activity discussed judgment

[Note]
theories and always defended the views proposed by Brentano.
The first time he touched upon the concept of judgment in his habilitation On the Content and Object of Presentations Brentano.
[Note]
He refers at the very beginning of his work to Brentano’s considerations about judgment-theory, in particular, to the problem of what is the object of judgment.

Twardowskiremarks on this issue are based on Brentano’s Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint and chapter VII of the second Book of his Psychology…. It is, however, striking that the concept of judgment which Twardowski puts forward in On the Content differs from the view on judgment contained in (BTJ-I) and is coherent to a certain degree with the concept of judgment described in (BTJ-II). Although, as we know, (BTJ-I) is based on Brentano’s considerations included in Psychology and (BTJ-II) is based on Brentano’s later texts. Twardowski clearly speaks about judgment-content and understands by it the existence of the object of a judgment or the non-existence of the object of a judgment. He accepts, however, thesis (4) (BTJ-I). The source of the difference concerning the issue of judgment-contents between the two philosophers may be the following one: Brentano in 1874 claims that the assertion of the existence of A amounts to the assertion of A itself (the same can be said about the rejection of A). He does not claim, at least explicitly, that the assertion of A is equivalent to the assertion of the existence of A or that it implies the assertion of the existence of A. Twardowski, contrary to Brentano, postulates that by the assertion of A also the existence of A is asserted. The other reason for the difference between Twardowski and Brentano on judgment-contents may be the terminology used by Brentano in 1874. On the one hand, Brentano often speaks in Psychology about the content of a presentation and about the content of a judgment. On the other hand, however, he talks about the object of a presentation and the object of a judgment. Yet it is clear that Brentano in 1874 by ‘content’ and by ‘object’ meant just the same entity.

[Note]
If Twardowski did not notice that according to Brentano, content and object is the same item, he could ground his introduction of judgment-contents in 1894 on what he took to be Brentano’s view in 1874.

1Twardowski mentions judgment-contents in the context of the theory of judgment and not in the context of the concept of truth. Twardowski nowhere in On the Content does he provide a definition of truth or considerations on truth. Twardowski’s habilitation is concerned with the concept and ontology of presentation and not with the theory of judgment. However, what Twardowski says about presentations makes essential contribution to his conception of judgment. Both (BTJ-I) and (BTJ-II) were characterized by immanentism and psychologism. In 1894 Twardowski in fact rejects the immanentistic theory of judgment. He argues that there is a clear distinction between act, content and object of presentation. In particular, he demonstrates that the content of a presentation is immanent to the mind and the object of a presentation is transcendent in relation to the mind. However, according to the thesis (4), the object of a presentation is the object of a judgment. Therefore, the object of a judgment is external in relation to the mind too. An intentional relation between judgment and its object ceases to be an immanent relation obtaining between the elements of mind and begins to be a relation between the mind and external world. It also follows from this that the content of a judgment is external not immanent, since the object of a judgment is external, then its existence or non-existence has to be external too. Twardowski does not state it explicitly in 1894, but later on in his lectures dedicated to the theory of cognition he insists that the existence of an object is absolutely separate and independent of mind.

Thus Twardowski in 1894 adopted (BTJ-II) but rejected its immanentism. In that time he could easily formulate one of the weak versions of the classic concept of truth and he did it later on in his lectures which were devoted to the theory of cognition. Twardowski’s further important modification of Brentano’s theory of judgment consists in his abandonment of Brentanian psychologism. Judgment, according to psychologism, is a psychic phenomenon (a changeable, time and mind-dependent entity), and therefore, it cannot be the firm bearer of time-mind-and-place- independent truths. Neither could judgment in psychological sense support stable semantic relation between language and world. Judgment as a mental phenomenon rooted in a conscious life of an individual human can not provide a philosophical basis for development of propositional logic operating on logical abstracts.

Twardowski, as is well known, in 1900 very strongly defended the absoluteness of truth. His main argument against relativism consists in the distinction between expressions (powiedzenia) and judgments. A judgment is regarded here as the product of mental activity (act of judging) and truth is understood by Twardowski as a true judgment.

[Note]
According to Twardowski, judgments, contrary to sentences expressing judgments and implicitly contrary to acts of judging producing, judgments were to be unchangeable, time and mind-independent entities. They had to be such entities since they were to be the bearers of the absolute time-and mind-independent truth. However, they could not be the bearers of the absolute truth because they were individual real products of individual real episodes – acts of judging. Thus, there is a discrepancy between the thesis that the truth is an absolute concept and the thesis that it is predicated of ontologically relative entities which come into existence and very soon pass away.

Twardowski solved the problem of judgments as the bearers of absolute truth in 1912.

[Note]
Judgment is treated here as a double product. Firstly, it is the product of an individual process of judging, as it was in (1900), but, secondly, it is the product of abstraction made on sets of many comparable but in fact different individual judgments. As the product of individual judging a judgment is understood in the psychological sense but as the product of a process of abstraction it is understood as judgment in the logical sense, i.e. as a proposition. Thus in 1912 Twardowski found a much better candidate to the role of the bearer of the absolute truth. It was proposition. Moreover, judgment qua proposition is regarded by Twardowski as the meaning of a sentence and sentences not only express propositions but support their objectivity. This theory of proposition allowed Twardowski to reject definitely Brentanian psychologism connected with (BTJ-I) and (BTJ-II).

If we take into account all what has been said so far, we can summarize Twardowski’s view on judgments in 1912 as follows: Twardowski accepted (BTJ-II) liberated by him from immanentism and psychologism. He abandoned immanentism already in 1894 due to his theory of content of presentation and he abandoned psychologism due to his conception of absoluteness of truth. (BTJ-II) in the form of 1912 provided means to formulate the weak version of the classic concept of truth, supplied ontological basis for propositional logic (it was the concept of an abstract judgment expressed by a sentence as its meaning) and it allowed to ground semantics as the theory of relations between language and world. Twardowski later replaced the name ‘the content of judgment’ with ‘the ground’ of judgment (osnowa).

[Note]

The most systematic treatment of judgments in Twardowski‘s works is contained in his lectures on the theory of cognition which he gave in the years 1924-1925. We may assume that matters and theses presented in these lectures were proposed by Twardowski in his previous lectures before the year 1925 and they represent his mature doctrine on judgments.

We find in these lectures one crucial complement of Twardowski’s account of judgment. This is the definition of true and false judgments which is fully compatible with Brentano’s theory of judgment. It states that: An affirmative judgment is true, if its objects exists, a negative judgment is true, if its object does not exist; an affirmative judgment is false, if its object does not exist, and a negative judgment is false, if its object does exists.

[Note]

From the philosophical point of view, however, the most interesting part of Twardowski’s lectures on epistemology from 1925 was his refutation of the Bertrand Russell’s theory of judgment, facts as specific propositional correlates of judgments, and, in consequence, the disapproval of the strong version of the classic concept of truth implied by the Russelian theory of judgment.

According to Russell, a judgment consists in the relation between mind and object. If an object of a judgment were a simple, nominal entity like for example Desdemona’s love to Cassio, then false judgments would be impossible. It is so because, if Desdemona’s love to Cassio does not exist, then there is no relation of mind to Desdemona’s love to Cassio. However, if there is no relation of mind to object, then there is no judgment at all. Thus, there would be only true judgments and no false judgments. In order to avoid such a conclusion one should postulate that the object of judgment should be a complex syntactically structured entity composed of more than one constituent. Thus the judgment ‘Desdemona loves Cassio’ refers to the complex built of three objects: Desdemona, Cassio and Desdemona’s love to Cassio. In the case of false judgments like in our example, judgment refers to existing objects and combines them into a complex which does not exist. According to this conception, judgment can combine concepts referring to objects and bring them together into one complex (state of affairs) because there is a relation between a judging mind and objects. This relation, however, is possible because there exist objects which can be composed into one complex in a judgment although they in fact (as in the case of a false judgment) need not constitute any complex (for example there is no complex consisting of Desdemona, Cassio and their love but there exist Desdemona and Cassio).

The general conclusion from Russell’s theory of judgment is the following one: a judgment consists in combination or separation of concepts (ideas) and the object of a judgment differs from the object of a presentation; it has a propositional nature. If it were not the case, then , according to Russell, there would be no false judgments, since there are of course false judgments, then judgments consist in combination of ideas. It follows from this too that the truth should be grasped as the correspondence between a judgment and a fact, i.e. that one should accept the strong version of the classic conception of truth .

[Note]
It is obvious that Russell’s theory of judgment is incompatible with Brentano’s and Twardowski’s views on judgments. Therefore, it is not surprising that Twardowski analyzed it in detail in his lectures. The conclusion which Twardowski drew was firm and explicit: Russell’s conception of judgments, facts and truth were false because they were based on a false assumption. The assumption in question concerns the nature of relation: the relation between some terms A and B obtains if and only if A and B exist. According to Twardowski, this assumption is false because we can think about something which does not exist.
[Note]
The Russellian assumption had to look false to Twardowski who accepted the Brentanian doctrine on intentionality and believed that non-existent objects may have properties. He claimed that general objects, including mathematical objects (numbers and geometrical figures), do not exist but they are nonetheless subjects of properties. Therefore, there are relations among them for example 7 > 5, although numbers 7 and 5 do not exist. Twardowski’s reasoning could be as follows: if there are relations between two non-existent terms, then it is possible, that there are relations between one existent and one or more non-existent terms. The last case is illustrated by the judgment ‘The round square does not exist’; there exists a mental act (the presentation of the round square upon which this judgment is based) related intentionally to the non-existent object, i.e. round square.

Thus for Twardowski a relation is not a complex object (a fact or a state of affairs). According to him, the proposition ‘aRb’ is reducible to an existential form ‘(Relation) R exists’. However, the existence of R does not presuppose the existence of objects a and b, hence there is no complex object composed of a, b and R. If the assertion of the R’s existence implied the assertion of the existence of objects a and b, then it would follow that general objects exist but it would be inconsistent with Twardowski’s ontology. And if for some relations the existence of their terms is an irrelevant property, then, with regard to philosophical universality, for all relations it is not a relevant property.

Twardowski’s dismissal of facts and states of affairs is peculiar because it is not motivated by ontological considerations, as it was in the case of the later Brentano or Kotarbiński but, on the contrary, it has as its basis a rich and bold ontology embracing non-existent general objects like numbers, figures, and fictitious entities like unicorns.

In this context a comment may be needed to Twardowski’s view presented in his letter of 1897 to Alexius Meinong. In that letter Twardowski insisted that it would be convenient to introduce the distinctions between content and object of presentation on the one hand and between content and object of judgment (called by Twardowski Sachverhalt (‘state of affairs’)) on the other.

[Note]
By the content of judgment Twardowski meant in the letter to Meinong the existence or non-existence of the state of affairs, and by a state of affairs he understood either an absolute datum, or relation, or both together. However, he neither developed this idea later, nor propagated it among his disciples.

It was so is presumably because he never gave up Brentano’s theory of judgment and because of his ontological assumptions which we discussed above.

One version of his theory of judgment (BTJ-II) admits some specific entities like judgment-contents, i.e. the existence or non-existence of something, but it does not permit complex entities formed in predicative judgment as ‘a is b’, or in the relational judgment as ‘aRb’. Propositional entity called ‘state of affairs’ and understood as a combination or a complex of objects bound by some relation could be only constituted - Twardowski might have reasoned - in a predicative or in a relational judgment. This, however, would mean that at least some judgments consist in combination or separation of concepts but it would be incoherent with both Brentano’s theories.

One may ask, why, according to Brentano and Twardowski, propositional entities cannot be constituted by propositionally articulated presentations? I think that there is at least one reason why it is not possible. It is cognitive and semantic atomism shared by Brentano and Twardowski(Twardowski’s case, however, is more complicated because of his theory of concepts, according to which, concepts are constructed by means of presented judgments).

According to cognitive atomism, in order to make a judgment, one must have knowledge about the judged object. This means, however, that one has to bring the object before the mind and contemplate it in a presentation. In order to know what is a certain complex object of a complex presentation, for example a ‘green tree’ one should know before what is ‘green’ and what is ‘tree’. But in order to know all that, one must have a separate presentation of ‘a tree’ and a separate presentation of ‘green’. These simple presentations, however, have no propositional articulation and are expressed in language by names. The same can be said about a presentation of a relation R between objects a and b. Thus all propositional knowledge is based on non-propositional knowledge and is reduced to such a knowledge. Therefore we refer to judgments correlates by means of names, and not sentences. This claim is expressed by thesis (3) contained in Brentano’s theory of judgment.

It is worth to note here that J. Daubert - one of Husserl’s disciples - criticized Anton Marty for such atomistic views. The latter upheld Brentano's theory of judgment. Daubert claimed that terms used in judgments make sense only as inserted into their judgmental complexes. Karl Schumann explains Daubert’s position as follows: Names do not possess an independent basic meaning which must first be modified appropriately in order that they be capable of functioning satisfactorily in the context of a judgment. Rather, and in contrast to such atomistic views, priority must be awarded to the judgment as a whole, the structure of which determines the concrete way in which the terms it contains must be understood, and the way the corresponding objects are to be delineated.

[Note]

The strong belief in the non-propositional character of knowledge prevented Brentano and Twardowski from accepting the view that although judging would not consist in combination of concepts, nonetheless, the judged object could have a propositional structure articulated by a sentence and be a complex of more than one object (Twardowski for short time, as was said above accepted such a view). A judgment could consist in the assertion of the existence of some propositionally articulated entity, e.g. ‘S is P’ and be represented by the form +p or – p where ‘p’ would be a symbol of an indicative sentence, ‘+’be a symbol of affirmation and ‘–’ a symbol of rejection.

[Note]
Such a propositional theory of presentation could lead to the following definition of truth:
A proposition p is true if and only if there exists the state of affairs described by p.
Another reason why they did not develop more sophisticated theory of state of affairs was their belief that all judgments are reducible to existential judgments .
[Note]

The case of The case of Czeżowski

Tadeusz Czeżowski studied in Lvov and attended Twardowski’s and Łukasiewicz’s lectures. He wrote in his dissertation about the theory of class (Teoria klas) and his habilitation on variables and functions (Zmienne i funkcje). It is not, however, easy to find in his early works clear evidence of the Brentanian influence. It concerns also his theory of judgment. In his dissertation Czeżowski assumed that the basic form of judgment is a relational judgment. According to Czeżowski, every judgment existential judgments including can be transformed to a relational judgment. Thus in the existential judgment ‘A exists’ one ascribes to the object A the existence understood as the most universal and fundamental primitive feature of A, and the judgment ‘A exists’ is reducible to the judgment ‘A is such as whatsoever’. Every judgment concerning some object may be reduced to the judgment which asserts that A belongs to a certain class . At that time Czeżowski, as far as the theory of judgment is concerned, was under the influence of Couturat and Russell as well who held the principle of reducibility saying that every judgment may be transformed into the assertion of object’s membership in a certain class.

[Note]
In Czeżowski’s another early work on names and sentences (Imiona i zdania) he introduces the concept of state of affairs, or ‘objective facts’, and says that an objective fact consists in obtaining a relation between objects. Such an ontology of facts is coherent with the relational conception of judgment held by Czeżowski in that time and with his definition of truth given in O zdaniach bez treści (On contentless sentences (1918)). The definition in question says that:
The sentence ‘aRb’ is true if and only if the object a is in a relation R to the object b, and it is false if and only if the object a is not in a relation R to the object b.
[Note]

Czeżowski in his early works treated states of affairs as truth-makers and as the meanings of sentences, and he distinguished the meaning of a sentence from its content. He understood by the content of a sentence a judgment (proposition) expressed in a sentence.
[Note]
The only Brentanian element to be found in Czeżowski’s early writings may be his statement that a judgment is affirmation or negation .
[Note]
It could be related to Brentano’s thesis that judging consists in acceptance or rejection of something but it also could just mean only that judgments are divided into affirmative or negative and, accordingly, true or false.

Czeżowski explicitly mentioned Twardowski’s and eo ipso Brentano’s theory of judgment in his Teoria pojęć Kazimierza Twardowskiego (The Theory of Concepts of Kasimir Twardowski(1925) ). It was Czeżowski’s review of Twardowski’s work on concepts. Czeżowski summarized Twardowski’s theory of judgment by appealing to Twardowski’s formula from 1907 which says that the act of judging is a specific and a simple psychic phenomenon consisting in the assertion or rejection of the existence of objects or of the existence of a relation between objects.

[Note]
Czeżowski noticed that such a psychological theory of judgment is fully compatible with propositional logic where a proposition is an elementary logical entity and cannot be taken as a combination of other elements.
[Note]
Czeżowski in the footnote to his logical considerations on syllogistic (1927) made a remark that Brentano’s psychological analysis of judgment presented by Hillebrand led to the correct conclusion, according to which, general categorical propositions do not have existential import. Brentano was mentioned there besides J.S. Mill and C.Sigwart.
[Note]
In the both papers (of 1925 and 1927) Czeżowski rather neutrally, as it seems to me, points out some elements of Brentano’s theory of judgment and stressed that they correspond with the results of modern logic. Presumably the facts that the Brentanian theory was accepted by his teacher and master K. Twardowski, and also that Czeżowski found this theory to be fully compatible with modern logic determined that he accepted it as his own.

The first clearly demonstrated Czeżowski’s access to Brentano-Twardowski theory of judgment appears in 1933 in his paper on perceptions and recollections .

[Note]
He observed that in Brentano’s theory the distinction is made between presentations and judgments parallel to the distinction between two meanings of the word ‘think’: one can ‘think of …’ and one can ‘think that…’. Presentations are represented by ‘thinking of…’ and judgments by ‘thinking that…’. Czeżowski stressed that ‘thinking that…’ is always based on ‘thinking of…’. This observation is certainly equivalent to the thesis (3) (BTJ). Yet, according to him, ‘thinking that…’ or judging consists in the acceptance or rejection of the existence of an object which is thought of in the presentation. In 1938 Czeżowski completed his concept of judgment and formulated the weak version of the classic definition of truth:
“A belief in which I assert that what exists, or I reject that what does not exist, is true”.
[Note]

The case of Czeżowski is interesting because it shows how the Brentanian view on judgments competes with other conceptions known to =Czeżowski and finally prevail over them.

Theory of Judgment and Values

Twardowski in his lectures on ethics introduced the conception of evaluations which is similar in some respects to the postulates of his theory of judgment. According to him, evaluation is an act of emotion which is irreducible to any other kind of mental act. It is an emotional attitude toward an object and is based on (but not composed of) the existential judgment asserting the existence of an evaluated object. The object of the evaluation is identical with the object of presentation upon which the relevant existential judgment is based. According to Twardowski, if the object induces a positive emotion, then it has a positive value, and if it induces a negative emotion, then it has a negative value. Thus Twardowski’s theory of values was, like Brentano’s, a kind of axiological reductionism: talking about positive and negative values can be replaced by talking about positive and negative emotions. From ontological point of view values are for Twardowski relative properties of objects, although they are absolute in the axiological sense, if they are based on correct emotions.

However, Brentano’s theory of judgment was also the theoretical basis for the development of a non-reductionist and an objectivistic theory of value. It was elaborated by Czeżowski. According to him, the act of judging consists in the assertion or rejection of the existence of an object, and, analogically, evaluation consists in accepting or rejecting the value of an object. In his conception values are not reduced to emotions but emotions are distinct from evaluations and are based upon them. Czeżowski supported his teaching about values with a simple logical analysis. The linguistic expression of an existential judgment is the sentential scheme ‘a exists’ that is: ‘There is such an x that x=a’. The linguistic expression of an evaluation is a sentential scheme ‘a is good’, that is: ‘It is good that there is such an x that x=a.’ According to this analysis, the existence is not a predicate of an object a, since the existence is symbolized logically by the existential quantifier ‘there is such an object x that…’, and not by a predicate symbol. Analogically the value of an object is not a predicate, since value (goodness) is logically symbolized by the sentential functor ‘it is good that…’ and not by a predicate symbol. According to Czeżowski, existence, values and also modalities (necessity and possibility) are not predicates but modes of being (modi entis) which cannot be given in a presentation but only in assertive, axiological or apodictic judgments expressed in a language by adequate sentences.

[Note]
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Czeżowski also believed that emotions like pleasure and pain depend on evaluations and not conversely: a positive evaluation induces pleasure and a negative evaluation induces pain.

[Note]

Thus Czeżowski’s doctrine on values was non-reductionist and objectivistic, and both his treatment of evaluations as separate intentional acts, as well as the non-predicative notion of values were fully compatible with Brentano-Twardowski theory of judgment. However, Czeżowski’s conception was based on the logical analyses and drew conclusions (especially about values) not discovered by his predecessors.

Leśniewski

In 1911 Leśniewski wrote his dissertation on existential propositions.

[Note]
It was inspired to a certain degree by Cornelius’s considerations on existential judgments (Leśniewski attended Cornelius’s lectures in Germany). Leśniewski criticized Brentano’s thesis that every judgment can be reduced to the existential form without any change of the meaning and the truth-values because negative existential judgments are, according to Leśniewski, self-contra

However, more important are Brentano’s elements in later Leśniewski’s works. In particular, the logical calculus elaborated by Leśniewski in the early twenties of the last century and called by him ‘elementary ontology’ can be interpreted as logically equivalent to the enlarged Brentano’s calculus of categorical propositions. The enlargement of Brentano’s reformed traditional logic rests, as P. Simons demonstrated, on the addition to it term quantification.

[Note]

Moreover, in Leśniewski’s ontology singular, plural and empty names (included fictitious names like ‘Pegasus’) are allowed to occur, and this could be also an echo of Brentano’s reform of traditional logic (true universal categorical propositions do not have existential import). However, admission of empty and fictitious names by Leśniewski was also inspired in part by Twardowski whose ontology embraced non-existent objects.

[Note]

Leśniewski’s ontology can be viewed as a very sophisticated version of traditional logic, what makes it more similar to Brentano’s reformed Aristotelian syllogistic. But, one must stress that Leśniewski’s calculus is elaborated with much more precise logical apparatus than Brentano’s theory of categorical propositions was made.

Kotarbiński

In 1912 in the controversy with Leśniewski over absoluteness of truth Kotarbiński argued that some truths are not preeternal. In the formulation of his argument he defined truth in the Brentanian way as follows:
A proposition A asserting an object O is true if and only if O exists .

[Note]

Later the influence of Brentano’s theory of judgment on Kotarbinski’s philosophy was rather negative. This influence was negative in such a sense that Kotarbiński worked out his own views by the rejection of various Brentanian conceptions (first of all, Twardowski’s doctrine on general objects) .

[Note]

The Brentanian theory of judgment (BTJ-II) postulated such entities like judgments and judgment-contents which seemed to Kotarbiński (like to Leśniewski) to be superfluous and spurious.

[Note]
Kotarbiński, however, was inclined to treat judgment (understood in his reistic sense as a kind of behavior of a concrete person) in terms of acceptance or rejection that ‘it is so and so’.
[Note]

However, more important is that Kotarbiński’s disagreement with Twardowski’s theory of judgments and judgment-contents led him to discover yet another formula for the weak version of the classic concept of truth. He says that: John thinks truly if and only if John thinks that things are so and so, and things are indeed so and so.

[Note]

A similar formulation is given by Alfred Tarski as an intuitive explanation of the classic concept of truth.Tarski states that: A true sentence is one which says that things are so and so, and things indeed are so and so.

[Note]

Tarski consciously and explicitly based his intuitive definition of truth on Kotarbiński’s formula although there is one evident difference between Tarski’s and Kotarbiński’s definitions. Kotarbiński employed the adverbial mode of speaking on truth (X truly thinks:..) andTarski did not.

[Note]

Ajdukiewicz

Ajdukiewicz discussed Brentano’s theory of judgment several times. In the lectures on epistemology (1931) Ajdukiewicz refuted thesis (BTJ (2)) because the reduction of any judgment to existential form implies change in the meaning of the word ‘is’. In 1938 in the book Propedeutyka filozofii (An Introduction to Philosophy) he presented the Brentanian theory of judgments without any objections against it. However, before 1938 Ajdukiewicz understood the sense of ‘acceptance’ or ‘assertion’ and ‘rejection’ differently than Brentano and Twardowski. For Twardowski ‘to accept’ means ‘to believe in the existence ’ and for Ajdukiewicz it means only ‘to be convinced that…’. According to Twardowski and (BTJ-II), that what is asserted in a judgment is the existence of an object (according to (BTJ-I) it is an object itself). On Ajdukiewicz’s view, what is asserted is a propositional content, i.e. proposition in the logical sense. Therefore, it has no sense to accept non-propositional objects like tables or trees: one cannot be convinced about this green tree but one can be convinced that this tree is green. Ajdukiewicz, however, always agreed with the Brentanian approach to judgments, namely that judgments are specific mental phenomena and such fundamental concepts to Brentano’s theory as acceptance and rejection are contained in Ajdukiewicz’s semiotic conceptions.

In particular, accepting of sentences according to the rules of meanings is the essential element of Ajdukiewicz’s conception of language. Ajdukiewicz employed the idea of acceptance and rejection of sentences in his project of radical conventionalism and after he abandoned it. But, he made use of these Brentanian concepts (of acceptance and rejection) in relation to language and imposed upon them a pragmatic sense instead of a psychological one as it was in the case of Brentano’s theory. By an asserted or rejected object Ajdukiewicz understood a linguistic entity, i.e. a sentence and proposition as the logical meaning of a sentence.

His treatment of a proposition as an objective logical content associated with a sentence of a certain language is rooted in Twardowski’s works concerning also judgments and it is possible, as Jan Woleński observed, only when language is treated as a product.

[Note]

Łukasiewicz

Łukasiewicz in 1910 proposed the definition of truth very similar to the definition given by Twardowski in 1925. Łukasiewicz claims that:
A true sentence or a false is one which says that something is, or is not.

[Note]

If one takes into account that, according to Łukasiewicz, sentence is, a linguistic expression of the Meinongian objectiv, then one may assume that objectiv is a thought that something is or is not. Such a conception would be similar to the Brentanian concept of judgment as acceptance or rejection of the existence of something. Jan Woleński noticed that if in Łukasiewicz’s definition the word ‘sentence’ were replaced by the word ‘judgment’, then it would lead to the definition equivalent with the formula postulated by Twardowski in 1925.

[Note]
Łukasiewicz in 1910 explicitly refuted the conception of judgment as combination or separation of concepts and also objected to psychologism which treated judgment as a mental state of belief.
[Note]
According to him, judgment is a sequence of words saying that something is, or is not.
[Note]
Thus, Łukasiewicz deos not speak about psychological acts, i.e. judgments, but about meaningful sentences or propositions.
The Łukasiewiczian conception of judgments is in some respect coherent with Brentano-Twardowski’s approach but its direct sources lie rather in some Aristotle’s formulations and in the Meinongian theory of ‘objectives’.
Łukasiewicz elaborated the conception of logical abstracts which can be objects of manipulation in the propositional logic and formulated the weak version of the classic concept of truth. It was made in the wide context of the Brentanian theory of judgment.

Conclusions

Brentano’s theory of judgment (the version (BTJ-II)) was fully accepted by Twardowski and Czeżowski. They, however, liberated Brentano’s theory from immanentism and psychologism. The other most prominent Polish philosophers from Twardowski’s circle accepted the Brentanian doctrine on judgments selectively or in a modified way (Ajdukiewicz adopted fully the propositional view on the foundation of knowledge).

But undoubtedly the Brentanian conception of judgments exerted wide and significant influence upon Polish philosophy. First of all, to its philosophical consequences belongs the fact that Twardowski and his disciples accepted the weak version of the classic concept of truth not defined by the concept of state of affairs or fact. In case of Leśniewski and Kotarbiński the reluctance to states of affairs was also motivated by ontological considerations. Yet, their reservation to such categories as judgments, contents, and states of affairs was induced by ontological claims supporting or following from the Brentanian theory of judgment. It cannot be surprising in this context that Tarski adopted as the intuitive basis for his semantic definition of truth the weak formula of truth and that he treated with suspicion the concept of state of affairs. One could even say that Tarski gave logical interpretation of the Brentanian and eo ipso the classic concept of truth.It is a characteristic feature of Polish Brentanism that it did not develop the ontology of state of affairs and one of reasons why it did not happen was, in my view, the dominant position of Brentano’s ‘idiogenetic theory of judgment’. Those Brentano’s students who rejected his teaching on judgments among others Husserl and his school (Ingarden, Reinach, Daubert), and Meinong built more or less sophisticated theories of Sachverhalte.

Moreover, the idiogenetic theory of judgment liberated from immanentism and psychologism delivered the philosophical foundation for the development of propositional logic because it allowed to treat judgments as separate, irreducible to concepts, abstract items which can be objects of logical manipulations. Brantano’s postulate that categorical general propositions interpreted existentially can also be true if they contain empty names could have motivated Leśniewski to construct a sophisticated calculus of names called by him ‘elementary ontology’. The influence of ‘idiogenetic theory of judgment’ can be found in ethical considerations of Twardowski and Czeżowski as well. Czeżowski’s concept of value as a kind of an item asserted in evaluations, in analogy to the existence asserted in judgments is perhaps the best evidence of the impact exerted by Brentano’s theory of judgments on ethics in Poland.

According to the idiogenic conception, only the ‘assertive force’ (as Frege would say) makes a difference between judgment and presentation; presentation has no assertive force. It follows from this that the syntactic difference between a name which expresses a presentation and a sentence which expresses a judgment cannot be adequately grasped in language. Thus the Brentanian doctrine on judgment could have stopped the development of syntactic analyses of language in Poland. However, it did not take place. Leśniewski and Ajdukiewicz (inspired by Husserl) worked out the fundamental distinctions between different syntactic categories. Ajdukiewicz proposed even special fractional notation illustrating differences between nominal and sentential arguments (names or sentences) and nominal and sentential functors. The case of Leśniewski and Ajdukiewicz is important because it shows that although Brentano’s approach to judgments had wide acceptance in Poland, especially before the second world war, it was not the only source of inspirations and that foreign ideas coming to Twardowski’s school were subject to logical, critical and frequently original analyses.

The synthesis of logic and Brentanism is perhaps the most distinct feature of the Lvov -Warsaw School. One should always keep in mind that Brentano was reluctant to modern logic and his contribution to its development was rather modest. One must estimate also in this context the role of Brentano’s doctrine on judgments in the Polish philosophy.

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