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Polish Journal of Philosophy

Volume 10, Issue 2, Fall 2016

Ryan J. Johnson
Pages 45-69

Homesickness and Nomadism
Traveling with Kant and Maimon

Solomon Maimon argues that while Kantianism does venture quite a way toward the establishment of an immanent critical project that more satisfyingly addresses real experience, it does not fulfill the aims of its own project. In order to negotiate Maimon’s claim, I utilize the primary metaphorics of the First Critique: homesickness. The Kantian longing for home is an insatiable yearning, a striving for the end of something that cannot end, namely, the end of the search for home (Zuhause). According to Maimon, although home is unattainable, there is a different sense of home: home is the path itself, a sort of nomadism, a roving life of the path that never leads home. The Kant of the first Critique did not fully realize that the project could not reach an actual final resting place; in fact, this realization, that home is a transcendental ideal, might be the very motivation for the third Critique. Thus, in order not merely to justify the possibility of synthetic a priori knowledge, but also to allow the application of such knowledge to reach the facts themselves, actuality as such, the “well-groundedness” of the critical project requires some re-direction from Maimon. To do this, Maimon renders Kantian transcendental conditions truly genetic.

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