Dr Cyril McDonnell


Gaeilge agus fáilte


Arts Building
(01) 708 3698


Research Interests

One of my main areas of research is Heidegger’s controversial development in the early decades of the twentieth century of Husserl’s idea of phenomenology. This has led me to investigate (i) Brentano’s re-introduction and modification of the scholastic concept of intentionality into a root- concept of his novel science of ‘descriptive psychology’ in the mid-1870s (and ff.), taking into account his engagement with British empiricists (Locke, Hume, Mill); (ii) Husserl’s advancement of Brentano’s new science of descriptive psychology into a descriptive-eidetic psychology of the intentionality of consciousness in the Logical Investigations (1900–01) and subsequent definition of transcendental phenomenology as a version of post-Kantian transcendental idealism in Ideas I (1913); (iii) Heidegger’s re-direction of phenomenology in his first major, albeit unfinished publication in philosophy and phenomenology Being and Time (1927), towards raising anew the question of the meaning of being from within the horizon of temporality grounded in an Kierkegaardian-existentialist approach to ontology that deploys Diltheyean hermeneutics as a methodological consideration for this task. This required (iv) further investigation into the unfolding of hermeneutic methods of enquiry in the origins of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century phenomenology, with reference to Schleiermacher and Dilthey, and their influence on Heidegger’s reconfiguration of Husserl’s version of transcendental phenomenology into a ‘hermeneutic’ phenomenology.  I also have research interests in Kant’s objections to natural theology and subsequent post-Kantian philosophy of religion elaborated by Hegel, Schleiermacher, Kierkegaard, Levinas, and Desmond, as well as research interests in three topics in moral philosophy: (i) the relation of morality to law; (ii) the concept and moral justification(s) of punishment; (iii) the history and concept of rights.


Year Publication
2015 McDonnell, Cyril (2015) Heidegger’s Way Through Phenomenology To the Question of the Meaning of Being. A Study of Heidegger’s Philosophical Path of Thinking from 1909 to 1927. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann.
2010 McDonnell, Cyril (ed.) (2010) Yearbook of the Irish Philosophical Society (2009). Dublin: Irish Philosophical Society.
2008 McDonnell, Cyril (ed.) (2008) Maynooth Philosophical Papers Issue No. 4 (2007). Dublin: Philosophy Department NUIM.

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2007 McDonnell, Cyril (2007) 'Heidegger, Dilthey, and “the Being-Question”: Towards a Critical Appraisal of Heidegger's Use of Hermeneutic Phenomenology' In: Transcendence and Phenomenology. London : SCM-Canterbury Press. [Link] [Full-Text]
2022 McDonnell, C. (2022) 'Hume's Bundle of Perceptions and the Problem of the I in Brentano's Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint' In: Brentano And The Positive Philosophy Of Comte And Mill: With Translations Of Original Writings On Philosophy As Science By Franz Brentano. [Link] [DOI]

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2023 Cyril McDonnell (2023) 'On the Idea of a Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint: Brentano’s Understanding of Post-Kantian Philosophy and Nineteenth-Century Science'. Revue Roumaine de Philosophie, 67 (1):45-74. [Link]
2018 McDonnell, Cyril (2018) 'The Origins of the Husserl-Heidegger Philosophical Dispute in Twentieth-Century Phenomenology'. MAYNOOTH PHILOSOPHICAL PAPERS, 9 :81-112. [Link] [DOI]
2017 McDonnell, Cyril (2017) 'Brentano’s New Understanding of Psychology in Light of His Reading of English Empiricists'. Brentano Studien. Internationales Jahrbuch der Franz Brentano Forschung, XV/1 :263-290. [Link]
2015 McDonnell, Cyril (2015) 'Understanding and Assessing Brentano's Thesis in Light of His Modification of the Scholastic Concept of Intentionality'. Brentano Studien. Internationales Jahrbuch der Franz Brentano Forschung, 13 :153-182. [Link] [Full-Text]
2012 McDonnell, Cyril (2012) 'The Significance of Heidegger’s Analysis of Death in His Advancement of Husserl’s Idea of Phenomenology Towards the Question of the Meaning of Being in Being and Time'. Yearbook of the Irish Philosophical Society, 2011 :85-110. [Link] [Full-Text]
2011 McDonnell, Cyril (2011) 'The Task and Significance of Philosophical Reflection on the Relation of the Finite to the Infinite after Kant, in Husserl, Heidegger and Schleiermacher'. Yearbook of the Irish Philosophical Society, 2010 :93-116. [Link] [Full-Text]
2011 McDonnell, Cyril (2011) 'Husserl's Critique of Brentano's Doctrine of Inner Perception and its Significance for Understanding Husserl's Method in Phenomenology'. MAYNOOTH PHILOSOPHICAL PAPERS, 6 :73-109. [Link] [Full-Text]
2010 McDonnell, Cyril (2010) 'The Causal Link Between Teaching and Learning: Some Metaphysical, Ethical and Political Considerations'. Yearbook of the Irish Philosophical Society, 2009 :43-63. [Link] [Full-Text]
2009 McDonnell, Cyril (2009) 'Why Punish the Guilty? Towards a Philosophical Analysis of the State’s Justification of Punishment'. MAYNOOTH PHILOSOPHICAL PAPERS, 5 :21-34. [Link] [Full-Text]
2008 McDonnell, Cyril (2008) 'Understanding and Assessing Heidegger's Topic in Phenomenology in Light of his Appropriation of Dilthey's Hermeneutic Manner of Thinking'. MAYNOOTH PHILOSOPHICAL PAPERS, 4 :31-52. [Link] [Full-Text]
2006 McDonnell, Cyril (2006) 'Brentano's Modification of the Medieval-Scholastic Concept of Intentional Inexistence in Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint (1874)'. MAYNOOTH PHILOSOPHICAL PAPERS, 3 :56-75. [Link] [Full-Text]
2006 McDonnell, Cyril (2006) 'Brentano's Revaluation of the Scholastic Concept of Intentionality into a Root-Concept of Descriptive Psychology'. Yearbook of the Irish Philosophical Society, 2006 :124-171. [Link] [Full-Text]

Other Journal

Year Publication
2004 McDonnell, Cyril (2004) 'Heidegger's Recovery of the Being-Question in Light of His Interpretation and Evaluation of Husserl's Transcendental Reduction' NUI Postgraduate Research Record: Proceedings of the Colloquium, x :128-136. [Link] [Full-Text]

Book Review

Year Publication
2019 McDonnell, Cyril (2019) Review: The Intimate Universal by William Desmond. Dublin: [Book Review] [Link]
2018 McDonnell, Cyril (2018) Review: William Desmond and Contemporary Theology. LONDON: [Book Review] [Link] [DOI] [Full-Text]
2009 McDonnell, Cyril (2009) Review: Between System and Poetics: William Desmond and Philosophy after Dialectic, ed. by Thomas A.F. Kelly (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007). [Book Review] [Link] [Full-Text]
2009 McDonnell, Cyril (2009) Review: God and the Between, by William Desmond (Oxford: Blackwell, 2008). [Book Review] [Link] [Full-Text]
2002 McDonnell, Cyril (2002) Review: Being and Dialectic: Metaphysics and Culture, ed. by William Desmond & Joseph Grange (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2000). [Book Review] [Link] [Full-Text]
1999 McDonnell, Cyril (1999) Review: Being and the Between, by William Desmond (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995). [Book Review] [Link] [Full-Text]
1988 McDonnell, Cyril (1988) Review (in Comhar): Transitions: Narratives in Modern Irish Culture by Richard Kearney (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1988). [Book Review] [Link] [Full-Text]

Magazine Article

Year Publication
1996 McDonnell, Cyril (1996) Asking the Right Question. Maynooth: [Magazine Article] [Link] [Full-Text]
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