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81. 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.
82. 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.
83. 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.
84. 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.
85. 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.
86. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 1
David J. Zoller Moral Theory and Moral Motivation in Dilthey’s Critique of Historical Reason
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Dilthey’s moral writings have received scant attention over the years, perhaps due to his apparent tendency toward relativism. This essay offers a unified look at Dilthey’s moral writings in the context of his Kantian-styled “Critique of Historical Reason.” I present the Dilthey of the moral writings as an observer of reason in the spirit of Kant, watching practical reason devolve into error when it applies itself beyond the bounds of possible experience. Drawing on moral writings from across Dilthey’s corpus, I retrace Dilthey’s argument that moral theories from Kantianism and utilitarianism to natural law theory suffer significant motivational problems because of the way they transcend the “synthesis” of moral perception. Dilthey’s argument suggests that abstract moral theory is always bound to seem unmotivating and unreal from the standpoint of lived experience, and perhaps that, to avoid this, moral philosophy should confine itself to more situated, case-specific judgments.
87. 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.
88. 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.
89. 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.
90. 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.
91. 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.
92. 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.
93. 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.
94. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 3
Volume 45 Index
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95. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 2
Gary E. Overvold Editor's Preface
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96. 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.
97. 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.
98. 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.
99. 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.
100. 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.