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Idealistic Studies

Volume 45, Issue 1, Spring 2015

G. Anthony Bruno
Pages 81-102

Varieties of Transcendental Idealism
Kant and Heidegger Thinking beyond Life

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.

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