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1. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 2
Igor Hanzel McDowell and Hegel: A Comparison
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I shall compare John McDowell’s Mind and World with Hegel’s later philosophy in the Science of Logic and the Encyclopedia of Philosophical Sciences in Outline. I begin by presenting McDowell’s epistemology. I then delineate the most important aspects of Hegel’s epistemology and, because McDowell claims that he draws on Kant’s views on the relation between receptivity and spontaneity, their relation to Kant’s epistemology. Here, I suggest that even if Hegel’s epistemology displays idealistic features which determine the construction of the category-clusters in the Science of Logic and Encyclopedia, these clusters can make a valuable contribution to epistemology once subjected to a realistic reinterpretation. Next I compare Hegel’s epistemology with that of McDowell and show that under this reinterpretation Hegel’s epistemology can be used to overcome the limitations of the epistemology presented by McDowell. Finally I propose a return to the reconstruction of categories as the direction towards which the future development of epistemology should go.
2. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 2
Jennifer Marra The Phenomenological Function of Humor
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In this paper, I seek to explore the increasing popular claim that the performance of philosophy and the performance of humor share similar features. I argue that the explanation lies in the function of humor—a function which can be a catalyst for philosophy. Following Ernst Cassirer’s philosophy of symbolic forms and utilizing insights from various philosophical and scientific perspectives on the nature and origins of humor, I argue that the function of humor is to reveal faulty belief or error in judgment. Once such errors are revealed the mind demands resolution, and this is the work of philosophy. But philosophy cannot solve a problem unless it recognizes that there is a problem to solve. That is, the move from ignorance to philosophy requires a mediating step. Humor can act as that step, and, as such, humor can serve as a catalyst for philosophy while being necessarily distinct from it.
3. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 2
Richard McDonough A Gestalt-Model of Zettel 608
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Most scholars understand para. 608 of Zettel (Z608) to suggest that language and thought might arise from chaos at the neural centre. However, this contradicts Wittgenstein’s signature view that the philosopher must not advance theories. The paper proposes an alternative model of Z608 based on the Austrian Gestalt-movement that influenced Wittgenstein. Z608 does not suggest that language and thought might arise from chaos in the brain but that they may arise in a different non-causal sense from the “chaos” of activities in forms of human life on analogy with the way a Gestalt-image “arises” from a “chaos” of perceptions. The concepts of chaos and the centre in Z608 are not neurophysiological concepts but refer to aspects of forms of human life. The Gestalt-interpretation also clarifies why Wittgenstein’s later philosophy is quite different from “ordinary language philosophy.” Finally, the Gestalt-interpretation clarifies why Wittgenstein is not, as is often believed, making an attack on legitimate empirical psychological investigations.
4. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 2
Seung-Ug Park Mathematical Conception of Husserl’s Phenomenology
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In this paper, I have attempted to make the role of mathematical thinking clear in Husserl’s theory of sciences. Husserl believed that phenomenology could afford to provide a safe foundation for individual sciences. Hence, the first task of the project was reorganizing the system of sciences and to show the possibility of apodictic knowledge regarding the world. Husserl was inspired by the progress of mathematics at that time because mathematics is the most logical discipline and deals with abstract objects. It was the most suitable model for Husserl’s project. In fact, we can find structural similarities between his project and F. Klein’s Erlangen Program; further, the procedure of the essence intuition can be explained by a mathematical induction. Mathematics is certainly a new path for understanding Husserl’s phenomenology. In order to clarify the relation between Husserl’s theory of sciences and mathematics, this study focused on the problem of classification. Lastly, another implication of Husserl’s phenomenology as a theory of sciences is that his work is still meaningful for today’s dynamic reality of sciences.
5. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 2
Nahum Brown Aristotle and Heidegger: Potentiality in Excess of Actuality
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Aristotle claims in book 9 of the Metaphysics that potentiality is distinct from actuality yet also that potentiality exists only for the sake of actuality. This essay presents the relationship between potentiality’s existence and actuality’s priority as an aporia, where potentiality remains distinct from and exists in excess of actuality, even though it exists only as actuality. I claim that this aporia helps the early Heidegger of Being and Time to conclude, contrary to Aristotle, that potentiality stands higher than actuality.
6. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 1
Nicholas Rescher On Kinds of Things and Cognitive Idealism
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Whatever we can appropriately claim about reality has to be presented via a construct built from materials provided by our minds—our thought and deliberation—rather than something mandated unilaterally by reality itself. Our epistemic situation is such that neither reality alone and therefore rigorous realism nor yet our view of it (and therefore unfettered idealism) has the entire story to itself. Their entanglement is such that in the end there has to be a negotiation that acknowledges their inseparable interlinkage in the constitution of our knowledge.
7. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 1
Tereza Matějčková Hegel and Arendt on a Key Term of Modernity: The Creativity and Destructiveness of Labor
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Since the early modern age, labor has gained centrality in both the social order and the conception of man. This study undertakes an attempt to evaluate this ascent by comparing the concept of labor in Hegel’s thought, as presented mainly in the Phenomenology of Spirit, with the conception of labor in the thought of Hannah Arendt. While Hegel linked labor closely to spirituality, Arendt argued that in the process of labor assimilating all human activities, man in fact forfeits spirituality. The peculiar destructiveness of labor seemed to be confirmed by twentieth-century totalitarian regimes elevating labor to a unique source of values. In addition to comparing Hegel and Arendt’s conceptions, the aim of this study is to ask whether Hegel’s concept of labor is susceptible to the dangers inherent in the ideological conceptions of totalitarian regimes.
8. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 1
Martin Sticker Experiments in Ethics?: Kant on Chemistry and Practical Philosophy
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I discuss two puzzling and neglected passages in the Critique of Practical Reason, namely, V:92 and V:163. In these passages Kant claims that practical philosophers should follow the paradigm of the chemist and conduct experiments on common human reason. I explain Kant’s conception of the chemical experiment, provide a detailed interpretation of the two passages in question, and conclude by applying the structure of the chemical experiment to the Analytic of the Critique of Practical Reason. Chemical experiments as a model of ethics should be understood as a method of confirming that a philosophical theory systematizes and defends ideas that ordinary rational agents are already committed to.
9. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 1
Gerard Kuperus The Self as a Becoming Work of Art in Early Romantic Thought
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For the Jena Romantics the idea of a self is always in a process, never fully completed. It develops itself as an acting I that interacts with the world, an ongoing interchange between what I am and what I am not. In order to grasp how the self develops and is educated, this paper compares this idea of the self to Schlegel’s account of irony. Both irony and the I exist as an ongoing process. In this comparison the self is found to be a work of art, which is never what it is since its identity always still has to become completed.
10. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 1
Joseph Carew Describing The Rationality of Human Experience: The Anthropological Task of Hegel’s Logic
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I argue that Hegel’s logic is an anthropology. Appealing to the fact that we, as the kind of beings we are, search for meaning in our sensory encounter with things and in our actions, it articulates the rationality that guides this search and explains the fundamental shape of human experience. This has three implications for his logic. First, since this rationality is first and foremost an instinctive activity, it is an elaboration of our unconscious knowledge of the rules of thinking. Second, it is an account of the universe of meaning that we create in order to make sense of what is around us and our lives, a theory of the discourses through which we engage in the project of world-interpretation. Third, I contend that it is a work of human self-knowledge and cannot be understood in isolation from the rational form of life whose basic normative structure it distills.