Kantian Journal

2015 Issue №1(51)

Kant’s theoretical philosophy

Kant and new mathematics 100 years later

Abstract

Cassirer’s critique of Russell’s philosophy of mathematics and the Neo-Kantian philosophy of science and mathematics as a whole is of special relevance in the context of modern mathematics and mathematical physics. The fact that the modern standard axiomatic architecture of mathematical theories does not take into account the object-based character of mathematical knowledge, which was stressed after Kant by Cassirer, complicates the application of new mathematical theories in natural sciences and technology. In particular, this can explain why modern physical string theory is empirically unverifiable; it can be adjusted to accommodate a wide range of possible outcomes of observations and experiments. At the same time, there are reasons to believe that certain recent ap-proaches in foundations of mathematics such as category theory, topos theory, and Univalent Foundations may help to improve the situation in the near future. The problem of applicability of new mathematical knowledge in science and technology shows that the Kantian approach in phi-losophy of mathematics is at least partly relevant to today’s mathematics.

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Immanuel Kant and the problem of communicative constructivism

Abstract

This article focuses on the relation between the subject and object in theory of cognition. Special attention is paid to the role of social communication in the construction of the real world. The author stresses that the language communication plays an important role in this process. Thereby, it affects human cognition as well as all existence. When discussing this phenomenon, the author uses the methodology that was symbolically described by Kant as the Copernican turn. Wilhelm von Humboldt was one of the first to apply and develop Kant’s method in the theory and philosophy of language. He assumed that language had a priori roots and that it was energeia rather than ergon. The active theory of language (social communication) was further developed in the 20th century within the concept of language symbolism, namely, Ernst Cassirer’s system of symbolic forms. It suggests that communicative structures are independent from real facts, since they participate in the construction of these very objective facts. In the conclusion, the author examines several American theories of language (social communication), namely, relativism (Edward Sapir, Benjamin L. Whorf) and generative grammar (Noam Chomsky). Both systems presuppose language activism.

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Receptions of Kant’s philosophy

On the nature of thinking without representation

Abstract

This article focuses on Deleuze’s attempt to describe so-called thinking of differences, which severs any connection with the premises of natural pre-philosophical thinking and good will tending towards good and truth. The author believes that Deleuze’s thinking of differences does have a rather evident premise. For Deleuze, thinking is an energy flow or sensual “vitality”.Another approach to analysing the fundamentals of thinking can be found in Kant’s article “What Does It Mean to Orient Oneself in Thinking?” where he speaks of the “need of reason”. Since the “need of reason” is necessary for the practical interest of reason itself, it directs, according to Kant, not only practical reason, but also general systematic and critical thinking. It is “common sense”, as the location of this “need of reason”, that can and must be accepted as a valid and ra-tional premise for thinking.As a follower of the tradition of Kant’s transcendental philosophy, the founder of Marburg School of Neo-Kantianism, develops and deepens insight into the issue in question thus obtaining original and interesting results.

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Logic and argumentorics

Steven Makin’s ontological argument: The concept of necessary exis¬ten¬ce of God

Abstract

This article deals with one of the most elegant and non-standard versions of the modal onto-logical argument for God’s existence, which was proposed by the analytic philosopher Stephen Makin in 1988. He managed to avoid the famous criticism of Kant concerning the impossibility of acknowledging the predicate ‘to exist’ as real. Makin’s argument is not based on proving the presence of necessarily exemplified concepts rather than the necessary existing object. He argues that there is at least one (and possibly unique) such concept — Anselm’s famous "that than which none greater can be conceived".There are three key ideas, namely: 1) there are no reasons to consider that class of necessarily exemplified concepts as non-empty; 2) interchangeability of alethic modalities does not seem to be a valid argument; 3) there are additional complications that were not mentioned in earlier analyses. In particular, the proof does not take into account the multilevel structure of ontology, whose hier¬archy of levels determines, as a rule, what entities exist in ontology in the true sense of the word. In addition, Makin’s approach can be described in terms of Tichy’s "offices", which makes it impossible to consider God as omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent.

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Neo-Kantianism

From Marburg to Odessa: A contribution to a scientific bio-graphy of S. L. Rubinstein

Abstract

This article reconstructs certain episodes of the early intellectual biography (1889—1960) of S. L. Rubinstein — a Russian Neo-Kantian, philosopher, and psychologist — and presents the fol-lowing archive documents: the letter of Martha Cohen (1918), the widow of the German neo-Kantian Hermann Cohen, S. L. Rubinstein’s teacher; two Rubinstein’s autobiographies of the early 1920s; a review of Rubinstein’s thesis, which was supervised by H. Cohen and P. Natorp and de-fended at Marburg University, prepared by N. N. Lange (1858—1921), an eminent psychologist and philosopher, a professor at Novorossiysk University. The first three documents are published for the first time. Lange’s review, which was initially published in Germany in the German language and was presented earlier by researchers of the “Odessa period” of Rubinstein’s intellectual biography, was checked against the archive document. The mistakes identified were corrected. These documents, as well as old and new publications and studies in the German language made it possi¬ble to reveal certain facts and dates of Rubinstein’s biography, as well as his earlier little or un-known creative projects and plans. For instance, it was established that Rubinstein intended to translate into the Russian and publish Cohen’s smaller religious philosophical works, which he obtained in post-war Odessa with the help of E. Cassirer and B. Strauss. The article stresses the need to study personal archives of philosophers in order to establish the ideational sources of their concepts and reconstruct their intellectual landscape.

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Frolova Ye. The theoretical and methodological issues of the revival of natural law

Abstract

This article considers the understanding of natural law from the perspective of neo-Kantian legal philosophy of the late 19th/early 20th century and the problem of correlation between changing rules of law and the unchanged form of moral prescriptions.The author focuses on the development of Kantian approach in solving the problem of moral philosophy. The essence of morals is revealed not in the creation of ideal projects but rather in the need for action: the moral law must be implemented in the outside world. The theory of standards and ethics evaluates moral foundations as an internal absolute value. However, a definition of morals is meaningful only as an individual experience of a person, social requirements become moral only through a self-determined person. Being critical and formal, the moral principle does not eliminate the possibility of a combination with certain temporary goals. The formulas of a categorical imperative are aimed at an individual but their requirements are based on such objective repre-sentations as law and state.This article shows that, according to Novgorodtsev, the moral critique of law rests on under-standing that law is created with the participation of human will, i. e. moral judgement is possible only regarding a human action. Law can be assessed from the perspectives of purposiveness and morals. It is stressed that the Russian philosopher of law interpreted law not only as a product of human will but also as a phenomenon of the moral world. Natural law suggests a belief that law is not only a means to achieve certain practical goals but also an instrument of satisfying the highest moral requirements.

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In memoriam

Publications

On a review deliberated by Kant and published under the name of Chr. Kraus

Abstract

]his article analyses the circumstances that resulted in the situation when the review of J. A. H. Ulrich’s eleutheriology, which would be published today as a work co-authored by I. Kant and Chr. J. Kraus, was first published under the name of the philosopher’s friend and student and later in collections of Kant’s works.It is shown that the review criticises the naturalism of Unlrich’s theory of freedom and stresses the major reason behind its failure, namely, that its author did not distinguish between the theo-retical and practical functions of consciousness. This circumstance complicates that understanding of that the same act can belong to natural determination in one aspect and free determination in another.It is stressed that the review’s methodology is presented in the analysis of the third antinomy of pure reason in “Chapter II: The antinomy of pure reason” of “Book II: Of the dialectical conclusions of pure reason” and that Kant based his solution to the antinomy on the whole system as a comprehensive philosophical theory

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Reviews

Conferences