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Displaying: 51-60 of 1078 documents


51. 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.
52. 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.
53. 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.
54. 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.
55. 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.
56. 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.
57. 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.
58. 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.
59. 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.
60. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 1
G. Anthony Bruno Varieties of Transcendental Idealism: Kant and Heidegger Thinking beyond Life
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In recent work, William Blattner claims that Heidegger is an empirical realist, but not a transcendental idealist. Blattner argues that, unlike Kant, Heidegger holds that thinking beyond human life warrants no judgment about nature’s existence. This poses two problems. One is interpretive: Blattner misreads Kant’s conception of the beyond-life as yielding the judgment that nature does not exist, for Kant shares Heidegger’s view that such a judgment must lack sense. Another is programmatic: Blattner overstates the gap between Kant’s and Heidegger’s positions, for both are ontological, not ontic. I solve these problems by showing that Heidegger’s analysis of Dasein contains the core of Kant’s argument for transcendental idealism: the apriority of space and time. I conclude that Heidegger exemplifies Kant’s view that empirical realism just is transcendental idealism.