Kantian Journal

2014 Issue №2(48)

Anniversaries

Kant’s theoretical philosophy

Kant’s transcendentalism as a transcendental paradigm of philo¬so¬phiz¬ing

Abstract

This paper considers Kant’s transcendental philosophy as a special transcendental paradigm (a special type of philosophical research) differing from both the "objective" metaphysics of Antiquity and the "subjective" metaphysics of Modernity (the metaphysics of an object (transcendent metaphysics; meta—physics) — experience (transcendental metaphysics) — the metaphysics of the subject (immanent metaphysics; meta—psychology)). For this purpose, the author introduces suchnew methodological concepts as “transcendental shift” and “transcendental perspective” (see CPR, B25) and “transcendental constructivism” or “pragmatism” (see “acts of pure thinking" (CPR, B81)). This interpretation of transcendentalism is based on the cognitive-semantic reading of the Critique in the light of Kant’s question formulated in a letter to M. Herz (of February 21, 1772): “What is the ground of the relation of that in us which we call “representation” to the object?” (R. Hanna) and the modern interpretation of Kant that was called the “two aspects” interpretation (H. Allison). Whereas classical metaphysics interprets knowledge as a relation between the (empirical) subject and the object, the transcendental metaphysics understands "possible experience”(Erfahrung) as a relation between the transcendental subject (transcendental unity of apperception) and the transcendental object. At the same time, unlike contemplative classical metaphysics, Kant’s transcendentalism is an "experimental" metaphysics, whereas the “transcendental” is defined as a borderline ontological area between the immanent and the transcendent, an “instrumental” element of our cognition and consciousness (cf. E. Husserl’s intentional reality andK. Popper’s three worlds).

Download an article

I. Kant and J. Jungius: on the development of critical tradition in the 17th century German philosophy

Abstract

This article presents a comparative analysis of the “critical programmes” of Joachim Jungius and I. Kant. J. Jungius’s “criticism” is characterised as methodological, whereas that of Kant as reflective. Kant’s “transcendental criticism” is based on transcendental reflection, whereas J. Jungius’s “methodological criticism” requires that critique is grounded in immediate rather than reflective knowledge. Kant is a subjectivist, whereas J. Jungius is an objectivist and realist. For J. Jungius, the basic science is protonoetic philosophy (philosophia protonoetica), whose major task is to identify the elemental operations of mind and the underlying laws. These laws serve as the basis for critique, which is aimed against the critique of reasoning and is of logical nature. However, according to Jungius, it is not traditional but mathematical logic — which he interprets inthe manner of constructivism — that should be the instrument of critique. Traditional logic is a reflective science and thus cannot serve as the basis for the whole system of knowledge. It itself requires reconstruction. On the contrary, I. Kant believes that traditional logic is a complete science, which acts as a basis for identifying pure concepts of the understanding. J. Jungius considers the question about the limits of our cognition reflective and forbids posing it in the beginning of research.J. Jungius formulated the basis of German methodological tradition through reorienting theory of science towards the search for rational bases of scientific experience and emphasising the fundamental role of mathematical knowledge. J. Jungius’s epistemological doctrine contains the following principles adopted by Kant: sensible experience and reason are necessary components of cognition, the initial object of cognition is the phenomena of sensible experience, sensible intuitions are a necessary but insufficient basis for the validity of our knowledge; the bases of validity of natural science knowledge are to be found within reason; only the principles of reason can guarantee the universal and essential nature of both theoretical and empirical knowledge.

Download an article

Kant's practical philosophy

Kant — a leap out the world of Enlightenment

Abstract

Leaping beyond the limits of one’s time with the help of imagination is a rather common procedure; however, such leap made with the help of rational philosophical principles and taking one 150 years into the future to a precisely designed landing ground is unprecedented. Kant preformed this intellectual feat through understanding the true essence of human nature. All the novelties and discoveries that he introduced into philosophy are the results of this initial achievement. Whereas the Enlightenment formulated the principle of naturalism as a basic one for the comprehensive understanding of the world, Kant juxtaposed it with the principles of transcendental anthropology. As a result, it requires a new understanding of 1) the nature and its relation to human consciousness and 2) the active and, thus, tirfucntional, structure of human consciousness.

Download an article

Kant's philosophical ideas in Rober Nozik's political theory

Abstract

Robert Nozik's political theory contains an attempt to utilize Kant's notion of individual freedom and the second formula of his categorical imperative (“the principle of humanity as an end in itself”) for the justification of his libertarian “minimal state”. This article analyses and criticizes this attempt on the following grounds: a) the anthropological models of Kant's and Nozik's theories are incommensurable; b) different notions of human nature result in different understandings of freedom — for Nozik it is the basic property of human nature, for Kant it is the result of entering the civil condition; c) the incommensurability of anthropological presuppositions and basic notions distorts the meaning of Kantian formula of categorical imperative when transplanted into an alien philosophical context.

Download an article

Neo-Kantianism

Aesthetics in the system of Paul Natorp’s philosophy

Abstract

This article considers the key aspects of P. Natorp’s aesthetics in the system of his philosophy and identifies the legitimate position of aesthetics in the structure of philosophical disciplines: logic, ethics, and philosophy of religion. The author analyses the understanding of aesthetics and philosophyof arts and creative works in line with the Neo-Kantian tradition. The article focuses on the thinker’s contribution to the philosophy of the Marburg School and the justification of idealism. Philosophical aesthetics serves as a science and a link between the laws of nature and the moral world. The Neo-Kantian gives the lost connection to the sensible intuition back to aesthetics thus linking its significance to the field of the individual, inimitable, and singular manifestation of thecreative spirit. He sees the completion of Kant’s critical philosophy in the psychological bases of subjectivity of consciousness aimed at understanding the patterns of the scientific, moral, and artistic cognition. In the context of history of transcendentalism, art is perceived as a form of spiritualcreativity that is subject to its own generating laws of cultural creation. It is emphasised that, in P. Natorp’s system, the aesthetic has its own creative dynamics based on the feelings of the individual immediately connected with the aesthetic experience: it is only in the field of the aesthetic that individuality can assume its true significance. Aesthetics is interpreted by the German philosopher as a uniting and final element in the context of the teaching of being in general. The articlepresents two projects of constructing the system of P. Natorp’s philosophy that relate to the history of the development of his philosophical views. The early period is influenced by the teaching of consciousness developed by H. Cohen, the head of the Marburg School of Neo-Kantianism. The later period is interpreted as original, independent, and determined by the search for the fundamental of philosophical systematics. It is proposed that the subjective-objective disposition is replaced by the individual understanding of uninterrupted correlation between the being and the meaning generated by the act of philosophical questioning. P. Natorp sees the task of philosophical systematics in the opportunity of constitution of the contents of the meaning of being and the search for concrete fields of knowledge immediately related to philosophy. It is shown that, in the late work Philosophical systematics, he identifies autonomous fields of knowledge — those of theory and practice, language and poiesis, creative and artistic work. Each of these fields has its own direction of development,but the common ground between them is the world of expressing the creative and free within spiritual activities. In philosophical systematics, aesthetics is a “fundamental” of the law of philosophical reflection.

Download an article

Kistyakovsky on the nature of law

Abstract

This article explores the contribution of the Russian philosopher and theorist of law, neo-Kantian Kistyakovsky, to the understanding of the essence of law. He supported methodological pluralism and identified four theoretical and two practical concepts of law. The neo-Kantian motive in Kistyakovsky's theory manifested itself in the reference to the normative nature of legal rules and law in general and its independence of any external authorities or internal motivations of human behavior. According to Kistyakovsky, the rational element of legal rules is their key characteristic. Not unlike concepts, law is created by reason, without which legal rules cannot be formulated. Legal rules are an expression of the normal (typical) human consciousness and behavior. However, law is also a fact of social life. In effect, law is exercised through legal relations and, therefore, an important role is played by the understanding of subjective law. Legal relations are realized through personal rights and legal responsibilities; they are concrete, singular, and individual.

Download an article

Reviews