Kantian Journal

2015 Issue №3(53)

Is Hermann Cohen a Neo-Kantian?

Abstract

The article focuses on overcoming the superficial approach to Neo-Kantianism: Neo-Kantianism is widely interpreted as a one-sided understanding of Kant’s works, their corruption, and, thus, a dead-end branch of the transcendental philosophy of the great Königsberg thinker. The author also discusses some of the fundamental aspects of divergence between Hermann Cohen’s philosophical system and German Neo-Kantianism. It is argued that Cohen created an original philosophical system; therefore, it is unproductive to speculate whether the Marburg philosopher was a proponent of Kant, Hegel, or Fichte. It seems appropriate to call Hermann Cohen a “Cohenian” and consider his ideas relating to the interaction between theoretical and practical reason and the construction of a rigid and elaborate system con-sisting of verified elements from the perspective of his own system of philosophy, which is complete in its key aspects. This article demonstrates the efforts of the Marburg philosopher to justify both the unity of and the necessary distinctions between theoretical and practical reasons in the system of transcen¬dental philosophy. When considering the monistic nature of Hermann Cohen’s philosophical sys¬tem, the author gives a more detailed definition of this characteristic: it is not monism but a sys¬tematic unity of culture. It is proven that monism is not detected in Cohen’s system, nor is it a mo¬nistic philosophical monolith in relation to other variants of transcendental philosophy.

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The thinking of nature and the nature of thinking — Cohen on Spinoza

Abstract

The author tries to prove the thesis that Cohen's reception of Spinoza's thought is character-ized by a sequence of what we can find in the whole philosophical system of Marburg Neo-Kantian. Fluctuations in Cohen's interpretation of Spinoza's theoretical constructs correspond to a progres-sive refinement of his own philosophical system project. This research does not aim to shed new light on the wide panorama presented approaches and points of view on the attitude of Cohen to Spinoza, which has not yet studied its aspects are ex-tremely diverse, and because of his interpretations more enriched; it is more a question of fact, to shed light on some aspects of this panorama. Thus, the author does not go into details, "the case of Spinoza," as Cohen let himself be called a tough confrontation with Spinoza against Jewish under-standing — about this "case" there are quite a number of studies. Even less in the study will be discussed on the consideration of personal stories. So here it draws attention to the following topics: the nature of thinking and thinking of nature. Conducted by the author analysis allows to understand the main causes of a Cohen’s critical attitude to Spinoza. Spinoza's pantheism, according to Cohen, leads to various unacceptable conse-quences: identification of ethics as metaphysics, which is referred to as an ontology and rests on a false identity, the disappearance of the very possibility of ethics is no difference between being of nature and being of obligation, the opposition against finalism in the name of necessary natural laws. Therefore, we are talking about thinking that even in small things not engaged in scientific idealism and therefore far from the critical philosophy of Cohen. In the philosophy of Spinoza saw Cohen ontological metaphysics, which is based on the erro-neous principle of identity. It cancels the possibility of the ethics as prevents the existence of nature distinguished from being of obligation, and over which dominates the necessity of natural laws. This distinction and the union of logic and ethics for Cohen is equally necessary and complemen¬tary. This fundamental principle of critical idealism overcomes Spinoza's pantheism, the reducing ethics to logic and devastating importance of ethics and logic through the metaphysics of identity of the divine substance.

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The Philosophy of Vasily Sesemann and Marburg Neo-Kantianism

Abstract

This article considers the ideas of the Russian Neo-Kantianist Vasily Sesemann (1884—1963) in comparison with the idealism of the Marburg School. The author analyses the key Russian phi-losopher’s works on the topic: ‘The problem of idealism in philosophy’, ‘Theoretical philosophy of the Marburg School’, etc. The article focuses on Sesemann’s interest in the concept of the ‘irra¬tional’ and explains his understanding of Neo-Kantianism and the idea of infinity (fieri). Sesemann is interested in the Neo-Kantian aspiration to achieve a systematic unity of knowledge. The concept of one of the editors of the Russian version of the Logos international philosophical journal under¬goes a transformation from irrationality to the rationality of a higher order. The concept of irration¬ality is defined by the Russian thinker through the inexhaustible set of problems ‘ensuring’ eternal and continuous progress of objective cognition. According to Sesemann, the opposite of a rational, conceptual, mediated element of cognition is an irrational, non-mediated component. The irrational factor of knowledge is the problems faced by human reason, as well as a condition for the progress of knowledge. The Russian philosopher strives to develop an original philosophical structure that just partially transcends the Neo-Kantian school. He is strongly influenced by the phenomenological movement, although expressing certain criticism thereof. The author draws a parallel between Se-semann’s ideas and Nicolai Hartmann’s conception, which makes it possible to classify the Russian philosopher as a post-Neo-Kantianist. The works of Andrey Noras have popularised the term ‘post-neo-Kantianism’ among Polish researchers of the neo-Kantian movement in modern philosophy. The epistemological interpretation of Kant’s philosophy was rejected by the followers of post-Neo-Kantianism in favour of the ontological one.

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