Volume 45, Issue 1, Spring 2015
G. Anthony Bruno
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.