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1. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Garth W. Green Fichte’s Critique of Kant’s Doctrine of Inner Sense
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In this paper, the thematic context for Fichte’s early concern with the character of the forms of intuition, and specifically inner intuition, is adumbrated. This context is provided by means of a brief exposition of Kant’s doctrine of time as the form of inner sense, and its dual role; its positive role in the “order of (synthetic) cognition” or ordo cognoscendi, and its negative role in the critique of Seelenlehre or “doctrine of the soul.” It is then argued, on this basis, that Fichte’s critique of Kant’s doctrine can serve as a principle for our understanding both of the context for, and the content of, Fichte’s early, propaedeutic writings, and thus of the character of the development of post-Kantian theoretical philosophy and doctrine of knowledge. The paper develops in three parts; through (1) an introduction, in which the importance of the theme to the development of German idealism is intimated, to (2) an exposition of the basic theses of Kant’s Sinnenlehre in the Critique of Pure Reason, and to (3) a summary of Fichte’s critique thereof, as this is set out in the Grundriss.
2. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Matthew C. Altman, Cynthia D. Coe The Self as Creature and Creator: Fichte and Freud Against the Enlightenment
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The conception of subjectivity that dominates the Western philosophical tradition, particularly during the Enlightenment, sets up a simple dichotomy: either the subject is ultimately autonomous or it is merely a causally determined thing. Fichte and Freud challenge this model by formulating theories of subjectivity that transcend this opposition. Fichte conceives of the subject as based in absolute activity, but that activity is qualified by a check for which it is not ultimately responsible. Freud explains the behavior of the self in terms of biological drives and social pressures, yet both forces are actively interpreted by the subject itself. The tensions that arise from these very different approaches show that both Fichte and Freud are trying to overcome this deeply imbedded dichotomy between freedom and determinism. Although some would respond to these tensions by trying to forge a Hegelian synthesis, such a resolution covers over the paradoxical nature of finite subjectivity.
3. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Kyeong-Seop Choi Philosophy as Rigorous Regional Studies: A Parody of E. Husserl’s Philosophy as Rigorous Science
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The present paper traces the trajectory of the development of Husserl’s phenomenology from its incipient eidetic phase over the transcendental to the lifeworld-phenomenological, and ascertains that, in spite of all their complexities, the idea of Zu den Sachen selbst is the very objective of all those ‘phenomenological’ investigations. The search after the ‘immediately given’ (Vorgegebenheiten) finally discovers that the concrete cultural life-worlds are the authentically ‘immediately pre-given’ and all kinds of knowledge and sciences (higher cultural configurations) are nothing but idealizations of those floor-like concrete life-worlds. Phenomenology previously as rigorous first science is now re-oriented as phenomenology as rigorous (i.e., transcendental) regional studies. Transcendental regional studies (i.e., life-world phenomenology), I’d like to argue, is the very key to the resolution of the ambiguities of the concept of life-world as well as the key to the understanding of the vague future direction of phenomenological philosophizing that Husserl himself left open.
4. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Sebastian Luft The Subjectivity of Effective History and the Suppressed Husserlian Elements in Gadamer’s Philosophical Hermeneutics
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This essay makes two claims. The first, exegetical, point shows that there are Husserlian elements in Gadamer’s hermeneutics that are usually overlooked. The second, systematic, claim takes issue with the fact that Gadamer saw himself in alliance with the project of the later Heidegger. It would have been more fruitful had Gadamer aligned himself with Husserl and the Enlightenment tradition. Following Heidegger in his concept of “effective history,” Gadamer risks betraying the main tenets of the Enlightenment by shifting the weight from subjectivity to effective history as the “agent” in history. This is not a wholesale dismissal of Gadamer’s project, however. The problem in Gadamer’s effective history can be remedied by insisting, with Husserl, on the subjective character of effective history. Gadamer was right to criticize Husserl’s idea of a transcendental genesis, but went too far in giving up the idea of human subjectivity as the agent in history.
5. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Volume 37 Index
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6. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 2
Isabelle Thomas-Fogiel Leibniz or Thomasius?: On the Roots of Kantian Criticism
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The point of this study is to reconsider the roots of German idealism in pre-Kantian German modern philosophy of the seventeenth and early eight eenth centuries, or in pre-Enlightenment philosophy, which paved the way for the Enlightenment. Considered for far too long as depending solely on Leibniz and stigmatized as dogmatic—all too often it is referred to and summed up as “Leibnizo-Wolffian”—modern German philosophy appears, under close examination, to bear the mark of scepticism. This scepticism is precisely embodied by Thomasius, who is in many ways the father of German modern philosophy and a contemporary opponent of Leibniz. The aim of this paper is to reconsider the important series of philosophical transformations from Leibniz to Kant. I will be arguing that the pervasive nature of scepticism in the thought of Thomasius and his followers enabled the striking spread of Hume’s philosophy in modern German philosophy, Wolff included. In this way, I hope to contribute to understanding the sources of modern philosophy through what can be called, with Foucault in mind, an archaeology of the Aufklärung, with the aim of rethinking Kant’s own contribution.
7. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 2
Scott Stapleford Reid, Tetens, and Kant on the External World
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Building on the research of Manfred Kuehn, the author argues that, whatever influence the Scottish Common Sense Philosophy of Thomas Reid may have had on the development of Immanuel Kant’s refutation of idealism, it was filtered through the thinking of Kant’s largely forgotten German contemporary, Johann Nicolaus Tetens. While the importance of Tetens for understanding Kant is examined in connection with only one idea, the aim is to demonstrate that Tetens is a figure worthy of serious historical consideration.
8. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 2
Michael Halley Schelling’s Empiricism: A Transcendentalist’s Conversion
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The viability of Schelling’s Philosophy of Identity depends on the maintenance and cultivation of a reciprocal relationship between internal and objective reality. To stay on course Schelling assiduously checked the conceptual answers he derived from subjective thought against the objective measurements of contemporary physics. As the physicists of his day came to question the materiality of light, Schelling conceptualized it as the outer limit of what the intelligence is capable of grasping intuitively. At the same time he criticized Hegel for ignoring knowledge altogether and for propagating a philosophy of ignorance. More than a century later Jacques Derrida recognized this characteristic in Hegel, but drew a contrary conclusion. Where Schelling counseled that rational philosophy should alter course and set sail toward a higher empiricism, Derrida insisted that in pushing rationality beyond its limits Hegel had sprung a trap of incomprehension andindeterminacy from which no one would or could henceforward escape.This essay evaluates the competing claims of Schelling and Derrida in light of the revolutionary advances of twentieth-century physics. Is this work indeed bringing forth a new world the mind qua mind cannot conceive or measure and liberating man from a prior constraint, or are the emerging physical directives of four dimensional space-time and a flat universe themselves possible only within the cloture de la representation where Derrida presumes to detain human kind indefinitely?
9. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 2
Gaetano Rametta The Speculative Structures of Fichte’s 1807 Wissenschaftslehre
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This paper provides a synthesis and translation of Le strutture speculative della dottrina della scienza; Il pensiero di J.G. Fichte negli anni 1801–1807 (Genova: Pantograf, 1995) by Gaetano Rametta. The 1807 Wissenschaftslehre offers important insight into Fichte’s mittlere Phase (1801–1807). Fichte’s text and Rametta’s work on it remain untranslated into English; this translation, the notes to which offer a running commentary and defi nitions of key terms, intends to make the former known through the latter. Rametta focuses on Fichte’s analysis of vision, and the vision of vision. In his middle-period and later work, Fichte developed this theme far past the early Jena-period doctrine thereof, as treated by Dieter Henrich. Within this thematic context, Rametta also discusses the proof-structure of the 1807 WL, the distinction between Wahrheitslehre and Phänomenologie, and the concept of Weisheit or “wisdom.” The article concludes with a treatment of the significance of Fichte’s later philosophy for the philosophy of religion.
10. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 37 > Issue: 2
Dessislav Valkanov Hegel’s Idea of the Good: The Case of a Relapse
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The study of Hegel’s ethical thought has focused traditionally on the Phenomenology, the early writing or his Philosophy of Right but has mostly ignored the treatment of the idea of the good in the Science of Logic. This paper is an attempt at a close reading of Hegel’s exposition in light of the methodological and foundational claims of speculative logic. It identifies several points of equivocation, in particular the notion of a reversal of the logical movement of the Concept back to the subjective standpoint, and the focus on goal and action which replace the proper logical explication of the notion of the good. The paper tries to assess the meaning and consequences of what we see as points of weakness in Hegel’s exposition and formulate questions for further discussion on a hitherto neglected subject.