Kantian Journal

2014 Issue №1(47)

Anniversary

Kant’s theoretical philosophy

J. N. Tetens’s ‘transcendental philosophy’ as a basic science¬ and criti¬cal propaedeutics to metaphysics

Abstract

In his treatise On General Speculative Philosophy, J. N. Tetens sets out to justify the possibility and necessity of metaphysics as a general speculative science. His primary objective is to defend metaphysics against the opponents, the most serious of which, in Tetens’s opinion, is D. Hume. In this connection, Tetens sharply criticises traditional empiricism and develops a new perspective on experience and the bases of its certainty. The main target of his critique is ‘popular philosophy’, which appeals to common understanding; he seeks to defend it from the criticism of systemic knowledge in general and metaphysics in particular. In the argument between the advocates of the Leibniz-Wolff geometric philosophy and their opponents — enlighteners-eclecticists and pietists, Tetens manages to take a neutral position conducting a synthesis of the British observingphilosophy, French ‘reasoning philosophy’, and the Leibniz-Wolff ‘geometric philosophy’. Tetens attempts to show the limitedness of common understanding and the supremacyof scientific reason. In this relation, he is an advocate of the Leibniz and Wolff’s philosophy oriented towards the ideal of scientific reason. He identifies to major branches of metaphysics: intellectual metaphysics based on internal experience and dealing with incorporeal entities and the ‘philosophy of the corporeal’ dealing with the things corporealand their properties (physics, mathematics, etc.). Both branches of metaphysics require a common basic science, which would define their status of theoretical sciences. Tetens calls such science ‘transcendental philosophy’, since its notions are transcendental. Having rejected reductionism and the related metaphysical premises of traditional empiricism, Tetens creates the framework for a new, phenomenological methodologyaimed at such study of consciousness that would exclude attitudes based on the prejudices of the metaphysical and common understanding.

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The notion of necessity in the German philosophy of the¬ Enlighten¬ment

Abstract

Necessity is a key philosophical notion, which is used in different disciplines from logic to ontology. In the German philosophy of the Enlightenment, this concept was centralto the work of many thinkers. For them, necessity is related not only to logic but rather to the disciplines of general and special metaphysics. It is explained by that the principle of sufficient reason introduced by Leibniz is closely linked to the notion underconsideration. The recognition of this principle as one of the two basic principles of philosophy inevitably raises the question about the necessity of all things, since all that exists has a sufficient reason behind its existence. In this case, any statement, any action, any object would be predetermined by its reason. Such state of affairs excludes any possibility of any accidents or free actions, which undermines the foundation of ethics. Many philosophers tried to avoid such fatalism through expanding and refining the concept of necessity and identifying its different types, for example, conditional and unconditional,absolute and hypothetical, moral, natural and others. The article considers the concept of necessity in the major philosophical works of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Christian Wolff,Immanuel Kant, August Christian Crusius and other authors, as well as their attempts at harmonizing the principle of sufficient reason with freedom. It is demonstrated that, in the 18th century, necessity was understood very broadly, it held a special place in metaphysics in general and, in particular, in such metaphysical disciplines as cosmology, psychology, theology, and also ethics.

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The receptions of Kant’s philosophy

A. A. Fet as a theoretical and practical adherent of pure art¬ and the prob-lem of the nature of poetry

Abstract

This article is devoted to A. A. Fet’s philosophy of art. He is a representative of ‘pure art’ in Russian poetry, whose works were opposed to tendentious art serving the socio-political agenda ofthe time. However, the objective logic of nature of art made A. A. Fet’s poetry complimentary to revolutionary-democratic poetry. A. Fet was guided by Kant’s principle of aesthetics stating that the function of art is constituting the world of values. It does not and cannot replace either science, which is meant to cognise the world, or morality, which is meant to organise the world of the social. The principle of purity characteristic of Kant’s philosophy was applied by A. Fet to art. It means that art for art’s sake is not limited to aesthetic values but includes their whole range. A. Fet gives the role of the ultimate end and value to poetry and thus philosophical poetry. The poet-thinker is his ideal of a poet.

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Neo-Kantianism

S. I. Hessen and the history of Russian Neo-Kantianism

Abstract

This article attempts, on the one hand, to inscribe the works of the Russian philosopher Hessen into the Neo-Kantian tradition and, on the other hand, to emphasise the originality of his philosophical position in the framework of Neo-Kantianism. The author identifies two important aspects in the analysis of the Russian thinker’s works: his attention to the philosophical practice and the evolution of his philosophical views towards Platonism. As to the problem of philosophical practice, when analyzing Hessen’s works — unlike the works of other Russian philosophers, one faces the acute problem of separation between the concepts of practical philosophy and philosophical practice or ‘concrete philosophy’. If practical philosophy is ethics, philosophical practice is pedagogy. Thus, the Russian philosopher spares no effort to develop a pedagogical theory criticizing, at the same time, Natorp’s position for reducing pedagogy to ethics. The author believes that the later works of Hessen set an example of the evolution of the understandingof the key importance of religion for the solidity of a philosophical position, which leaves philosophy and religion isolated. The stimulus for this evolution was his interest in the philosophical ideas of Solovyov and Dostoyevsky. Hessen found the foundation for the religious perspective of his position in the Platonic tradition.

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Social philosophy and philosophy of culture

Language as mimesis (lyric poetry in H.-G. Gadamer’s herm¬e¬neutics)

Abstract

This article deals with the essence of art in Gadamer’s philosophy, including his critical approach to Kantian aesthetical consciousness and subjectification of aesthetical experience in Kant’s philosophy. According to Gadamer, art deals with the notion of truth and should be associated not with aesthetics, but rather with ontology. Thus, art is the experience of truth. In Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics, the basis of art is the notion of mimesis, which is not the Platonic copy of idea, but an increase in being. Gadamer uses lyrical poetry to show that mimesis should be regarded as transformation into structure (Verwandlung ins Gebilde) and addresses the world as a significant whole. He explains mimesis in poetry by analogy with the “inner word” doctrine and comes to the conclusion that the finite human language is rooted in the infinite whole of the world’s experience, which makes a lyrical poem a hermeneutical process and an event of truth.

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