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1. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 3
Dale Jacquette Berkeley's Unseen Horse and Coach
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Berkeley’s immaterialism depends on a correct answer to the question whether, in experiencing what is described as hearing a coach in the street, a perceiving subject really only immediately perceives certain sounds, auditory sensible ideas that are partly constitutive of the carriage as a sensible thing, or in immediately experiencing the associated sounds immediately perceives the carriage itself. Much hangs on how the word ‘perceive’ is thought to be propery used, and how wide and deeply penetrating its intentionality is conceived to be, whether we can perceive sensible things like carriages or only carriagey sensible ideas. There are problems with answers on both sides of the inevitable opposition, and hence a number of related dilemmas running through and sometimes across one another in this part of Berkeley’s philosophy. The coach and horse argument in Berkeley’s Three Dialogues affirms radical phenomenalism as the strictly philosophically correct thesis that all perceiving is immediately perceiving sensible ideas, to the exclusion of sensible things as total congeries of sensible ideas. Relevant passages in Berkeley’s text set in an interpretative framework and proper context of philosophical exchange between Berkeley’s dialogue partners reveals the carriage argument as more subtle in structure and more powerfully supportive of a radical idealist phenomenalism in Berkeley’s empiricist epistemology than is exemplified elsewhere in Three Dialogues.
2. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 3
Philip J. Kain Hegel on Sovereignty and Monarchy
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Hegel is not a democrat. He is a monarchist. But he wants monarchy because he does not want strong government. He wants to deemphasize power. He develops an idealist conception of sovereignty that allows for a monarch less powerful than a president—one whose task is to expresses the unity of the state and realize the rationality inherent in it. A monarch needs to be a conduit through which reason is expressed and actualized, not a power that might obstruct this process.
3. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 3
Gregory Scott Moss The Synthetic Unity of Apperception in Hegel’s Logic of the Concept
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Hegel repeatedly identifies rational self-consciousness as a real example of the concept, and its tripartite constituents: universality, particularity, and individuality. In what follows I will show that the concept as such, along with its tripartite constituents, are constitutive of rational self-consciousness. On the one hand, by showing how Hegel’s concept of the concept applies to rational self-consciousness, I aim to provide a concrete example of the concept of the concept in a real being whose being is not merely logical. On the other hand, I aim to show that Hegel’s application of the concept to rational self-consciousness is motivated by a problem within the philosophy of mind. For this reason, Hegel’s application of the concept of the concept to the mind is not arbitrary, but motivated by significant philosophical problems.
4. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 3
Sebastian Ostritsch German Idealism as Post-Kantianism
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The German idealists—Fichte, Hegel, and Schelling—are often dubbed post-Kantians. However, most readings one-sidedly emphasize one of the two aspects of this term and neglect the other. The result is ether a post-Kantian or a post-Kantian understanding of German idealism. This paper sketches the outlines of a neglected interpretation of German idealism that takes both elements of ‘post-Kantianism’ seriously. Such a reading, it is argued, leads to a view that sees the German idealists as moving beyond Kantianism, and thus becoming post-Kantians, precisely because they stay true to the spirit of Kant’s critical transcendental idealism.
5. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 3
Chelsea C. Harry On the Fundamental Dissimilarity of Aristotelian and Kantian Time Concepts
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In Aristotle’s Physics iv 10–14, Aristotle argues for a time concept derived with, on a weak version, sense perception, and, on a strong version, from sense perception along with intellection (nous), from change in nature. On both accounts, actualized time for Aristotle requires cognitive faculties. Aristotle’s time concept has thus been linked with Kant’s treatment of time in the Transcendental Aesthetic of his First Critique. More importantly, the conclusion that time is “unreal” for Aristotle elicits charges of adulterating Aristotle’s conclusions by reading Aristotle’s Physics with a Kantian lens. In this paper, I examine the context of Kant’s conclusions about time and, by way of a contrast between the Aristotelian and Kantian projects, argue for a fundamental dissimilarity of their accounts. And yet, I reserve the possibility that one both ascent to this fundamental dissimilarity and hold that Aristotle was not a temporal realist.
6. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 3
Thora Ilin Bayer Nicholas of Cusa’s Maximum as a Renaissance Precursor to Hegel’s True Infinity
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Hegel does not cite Nicholas of Cusa in his Lectures on the History of Philosophy or in any of his other works. Yet Cusanus was the founder of German philosophy and was a significant influence on Bruno who Hegel does discuss and who was read by Schelling through which he enters German Idealism. In systematic terms, Cusanus’ treatment of the Absolute and his mathematical symbolism of infinity offer a unique perspective from which to comprehend Hegel’s metaphysical principle of true infinity as the ground of the Hegelian dialectic.
7. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 3
Juan Manual Garrido Wainer A Kantian Account of the Knowledge of Life and the Life Sciences
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This paper offers an interpretation of Kant’s philosophy of biology in the context of current debates concerning experiment and causality in scientific practice. My interpretation is strongly indebted to Neo-Kantian contributions, and does not intend to provide a historically exhaustive reconstruction of Kant’s philosophy of biology. My aim is to show that the third Critique offers a relevant theoretical framework to explore the limits and scopes of experimental practice in life sciences. From a Kantian (and Neo-Kantian) point of view, biology is causal research that objectifies causal systems; it neither proposes nor presupposes a theoretical understanding of the idea of “life.” Therefore, fundamental concepts such as “program,” “gene,” “organicism,” etc., should be referred to causal entities or processes that have no meaning outside concrete experimental contexts. Kantian and Neo-Kantian approaches reject any mode of knowing living nature based on vitalistic intuitions of inner life and indirect lived experience.
8. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 3
Volume 45 Index
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9. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 2
Gary E. Overvold Editor's Preface
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10. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 2
Mark Cauchi Unconditioned by the Other: Agency and Alterity in Kant and Levinas
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Much philosophy of the last few decades has witnessed a turn toward otherness and a corresponding calling into question of the autonomy of the agent. In my paper I attempt to re-conceive what agency is in light of this emphasis placed on otherness. I undertake this reconsideration through an analysis of the concepts of unconditionality in Kant and of conditioning by the other in Levinas. Through these analyses I arrive at a new concept: the unconditioning of the agent by the other. I then provide some description of this concept by considering the interpretation of the theological concept of creation in Augustine, Kant, and Levinas.
11. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 2
Gilad Sharvit Schelling and Freud on Historicity and Freedom
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This article suggests a rereading of Schelling’s theory of freedom in the through Freud’s psychoanalytic theory. Schelling’s philosophy of freedom manifested a latent essentialism of the idealistic formulation of human freedom. In Schelling’s scheme, free was “what acts only in accord with the laws of its own being.” In practice, Schelling theory of freedom was based on an intelligible act in the “beginning of creation” which set an eternal unreachable essence to the subject. I propose to read “Schelling through Freud” as a way to revisit this theoretical structure. I argue that Freud’s theory of early libido formation should be recognized as a naturalistic formulation of the intelligible unconscious act. This allows Freud to restructure Schelling’s unconscious eternal essence. Freud’s shift from the metaphysical to the metapsychological drama suggests a human intervention in place of divine redemption, and, thus transpires as a modern articulation of German Idealism.
12. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 2
Simon Truwant Cassirer's Functional Conception of the Human Being
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Since the publication of The Metaphysics of Symbolic Forms, scholars have insisted that Cassirer’s account of human consciousness can only be found in this posthumous ‘fourth volume of the philosophy of symbolic forms.’ I will argue, however, that Cassirer’s philosophy of culture was already from the beginning essentially also a philosophy of the human being: as I see it, Cassirer consistently holds a ‘functional conception of human consciousness’ that can serve as a foundational element of his thought precisely by remaining in the background of his writings. In his published works, Cassirer adopts Natorp’s reconstructive approach to consciousness within the framework of his philosophy of culture. On this basis, he develops a transcendental, ‘functional’, conception of subjectivity that forms the exact counterpart of his view of objectivity. Cassirer’s metaphysics translates this conception in the language of his contemporaries, but does not substantially alter it.
13. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 2
Sanja Dejanovic Freedom for Letting-Become: Heidegger after Schelling, Schelling after Heidegger
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In his treatise on the essence of human freedom, Schelling recognizes that any true philosophical articulation must begin with the experience of freedom. If freedom as he tells us is the center with respect to which the grounding of all beings emerges, then, the relationship of the human and non-human, along with their taken for granted distinction, must be thought in light of the question of freedom. If such an orientation is to be made within Schelling’s philosophy, the central aspect of the spirit of freedom must be directed away from Heidegger’s generality that “freeing man to himself is a setting free of man in the middle of beings as a whole,” towards the notion that the setting free of the human being in the middle of beings, supposes as its mutual determinant the letting-be free of beings in light of which the human being arrives at a freedom for something. Through a focused evaluation of some of Heidegger’s key texts, this paper seeks to pave the way for an alternative conception of freedom as mutually reflected affirmation, one that would prompt a return to Schelling after Heidegger.
14. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 2
Merve Ertene The Embodied Reminder of Death: Physical Pain
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When one attempts to understand and grasp the seemingly simple fact of pain within the realm of human being, it may be inevitable for one to be caught by the question “why do I suffer from pain?” This question, like every other “why” question, belongs to a basic human attitude which cannot accept what is as it is. Considering pain as a manifestation of such an attitude is also determining it as intolerable and reading the experience of pain as an act of rebellion. However, in order to grasp and make sense of the experience of pain, one should first determine against what this act of rebellion is. To this end, this paper tries to articulate the experience of pain within the Hegelian system by focusing on pain’s relation to pleasure, life, death, desire and self-consciousness and infers that any form of reaction to pain is an act of rebellion against death.
15. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 2
Christopher Fox "Is Judea, Then, the Teutons’ Fatherland?": Tacitus’s Star-Crossed Germani and Jews
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I read Tacitus’s valorizing of the Germani (the proto-‘Germanic’ peoples) in Germania and his depiction of Jews in the Annals and Histories as sources of post-medieval Germany’s identity crisis. Tacitus compares German and Jewish sexuality, marriage, morality, religion, superstition, and women. Most importantly, he devises contrasting German and Jewish models of freedom that prefigure this concept’s development in Kantian and Post-Kantian philosophy. This leads to a paradox: although Tacitus denounces Jews for what he praises in the Germani, he admires Jewish anti-idolatry and freedom. But ultimately, Tacitus denounces the Jews in unequivocal terms. Their practices are “quite opposed to those of all other religions,” and they “regard as profane all that we hold sacred . . . they permit all that we abhor.” It will be this slander that is epochal.
16. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 1
Peter Thielke The Spinozistic Path to Skepticism: Maimon, Novalis, and the Demands of Reason
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The Absolute Idealism that arose in the 1790s is often seen as an attempt to combine elements of Fichte and Spinoza in order to overcome the various dualisms that lie at the heart of Kant’s Critical Idealism. What is less recognized is that a peculiar form of skepticism also emerged from a commitment to Spinozistic rationalism, and in this paper I explore how both Salomon Maimon and Novalis can be fruitfully seen as apostate rationalists, who are led to a distinctive skeptical position by way of Spinoza.
17. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 1
Andreea Smaranda Aldea Spinoza's Imagination: Rethinking Passivity
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This paper seeks to elucidate the nature and import of the imagination as Spinoza discusses it in his Ethics. This is an attempt to go beyond the apparently predominant negative tone that seems to permeate Spinoza’s discussion of the imagination as passivity and as epistemic stage that needs to be overcome. As such the focused goal of this present inquiry is to unravel the ways in which the imagination and passivity play a positive role in Spinoza’s epistemology and ethics. This other angle of approaching the topics of imagination and passivity, which have not taken center stage in mainstream Spinoza scholarship, is primarily made possible through Spinoza’s conception of the human condition as potentia agendi et patiendi. Beyond this, however, the paper also aims at emphasizing facets of Spinoza’s rationalism that are all too often overlooked—these include his interest in and positive evaluation of the body, senses, imagination, and the emotions.
18. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 1
Florian Demont Self-Consciousness and Moral Responsibility
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For Kant and the German Idealists, self-consciousness is a central notion and can be used to explain the concept of moral responsibility. The paper begins with Sebastian Rödl’s notion of self-consciousness and explains how self-consciousness is related to freedom. A distinction between spontaneity and the causality of thought will be drawn. The first, spontaneity, is used to explain how self-consciousness allows human beings to have unmediated knowledge of their thoughts. The second, the causality of thought, is used to explain what forms of rational action and belief we find in human beings. It is argued that Rödl’s conception of spontaneity is sound, but that his conception of a causality of thought should be rejected. Based on Friedrich Schelling’s essay on freedom, the moral dimension of thought and talk will be introduced in order to derive a conception of moral responsibility.
19. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 1
Simon Skempton Kant, Hegel, and the Moral Imagination
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This article addresses the question of whether Kantian moral formalism (Moralität) or Hegelian concrete ethical life (Sittlichkeit) is more relevant to the understanding of revolutionary changes in the moral attitudes of society. As Sittlichkeit conceives of morality as immanent to the existing conventions of society and Moralität involves principles that transcend any particular community, the former initially appears to be more conservative and the latter more potentially revolutionary. However, Moralität involves an individualized form of moral reasoning, whereas Hegelian modern Sittlichkeit involves a social form of moral reasoning based on relations of reciprocal recognition. It is argued here that Sittlichkeit so understood has the potential to overcome the limitations placed on the moral imagination (the ability to envisage contexts of suffering and repression) by abstract individualized reasoning.
20. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 1
J. Colin McQuillan Kant's Critique of Baumgarten's Aesthetics
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This article considers three objections Immanuel Kant raises against Alexander Baumgarten’s plan for a science of aesthetics at different points in his career. Although Kant’s objections appear to be contradictory, this article argues that the contradiction is the result of an anachronism in the composition of Kant’s Logic. When the contradiction is resolved, it becomes apparent that Kant’s main reason for rejecting Baumgarten’s aesthetics during the pre-critical period—the lack of a priori principles for a critique of taste—loses its force after Kant develops a kind of critique that yields a priori principles and then discovers a priori principles of aesthetic judgment. Instead of withdrawing his objections, Kant finds different reasons to deny that aesthetics can be a science, based on the distinction between determining and reflective judgments.