Kantian Journal

2014 Issue №2(48)

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



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.


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