Kantian Journal

2015 Issue №3(53)

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Is Hermann Cohen a Neo-Kantian?



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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