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FROM THE HISTORY OF PHENOMENOLOGY IN SLOVENIA

Phenomenology not only finds itself inscribed in the history of contemporary Slovene philosophy but also takes an active part in it.

Indeed, the very beginning of the phenomenological research is marked by an important event for the Slovene science and culture: the establishment of the University inLjubljanain 1919 with the chair for philosophy. On the recommendation of Alexius Meinong its place was taken by one of his most talented students France Veber (1890-1975), who was of Slovene origin. Taking the object-theoretical doctrine (Gegenstandstheorie) of his teacher as his springboard, he began to develop his own philosophical line of thought. He expressed his affiliation to the phenomenological movement in one of his last articles in 1943, where he speaks of Martin Heidegger: “Heidegger is one of the youngest and most successful students of the renownedHusserlSchool. His thought is undoubtedly one of the contemporary hallmarks of the “new philosophy” inEuropeas well as the world. Its basis was laid by two men: Bernard Bolzano (1781-1848) and Franz Brentano (1839-1917). We need not hesitate to call the former the real father of the truly new and modern logic (Wissenschaftlehre, 1837) and the latter the real father of likewise new and modern psychology (Psyhologie vom empirischen Standpunkt, 1874). As Meinong’s student I am myself a member of this school, which has till this very day preserved the genuine spirit of Bernard Bolzano and Franz Brentano. This spirit is such that its followers are first and foremost expected to meet the demand for their own personal growth. It is a school that expects its followers to think and not just possess knowledge, to undertake continuous research and not just accumulate already established facts.”

In the 20s, in the heyday of his power, Veber published fourteen books and several articles for journals (see complete bibliography of his works in Stock, Mechthild & Stock, Wolfgang: Psyhologie und Philosophie der Grazer Schule. Band 1.; Internationale Bibliographie zur Oesterreichischen Philosophie, Sonderband); Amsterdam-Atlanta: Rodopi 1990).

His last published book The Question of Reality dating from 1939, which opens up a heated debate with Meinong and Husserl, clearly exposes the question of reality as the inner impulse of Veber’s approach to the problem of intentionality or directedness, as Veber renders it in Slovene, taken in psychological, cognitive, ethical, religious, anthropological and, finally, ontological sense. The analysis of the problem of intentionality marks the shift of Veber’s thought from the “theory of the object” to the “question of reality”, or in his own terminology, from “analytical psychology” to “dynamic ontology”. In the latter, the subject of intentionality seems to have reached its true fulfillment and completion. Or in Veber’s own words: “That we should always feel and observe something when we feel and observe and furthermore, that every thought is a thought of something and directed towards something that can be placed at an optional distance, in short: that we should have ‘experiences’ which are by their very nature ‘directed’ towards this or that; all these and similar issues in the new and old psychology point only to the outlined, objective, objectological type of this inner, psychological directedness, regardless of the question as to the way any of the older or younger psychologists understand it, be it according to the ancient Aristotle or the later Thomas Aquinas or even Franz Brentano or the later Meinong and Husserl. However, we can now see that this object-objectological directedness of life in the narrowest sense of the word has to be completed with its specific, i.e. dynamic or spheral directedness, and that this second directedness of life is even superior to the first one.”