Kantian Journal

2015 Issue №4(54)

Kant’s theoretical philosophy

The systemacity of CPR and Kant’s system (II)

Abstract

Against the background of a dispute with K. Jaspers, this article considers the Critique of Pure Reason as a system of epistemology and an overview of Kant’s philosophical system. The central thesis is the statement that Kant’s epistemology is based on transcendental anthropology connected with the history of philosophy. It is proven that, in terms of its content, the formal dual division of the Critique is a triad system comprising a number of similar subsystems.

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Kant's practical philosophy

A triune community: Fichte’s family law against the background of Kant’s practical philosophy (II)

Abstract

Based on Fichte’s Foundations of Natural Right recently published in Russian for the first time, this article investigates the logic and basic statements of Fichte’s theory on family law. The second part of the study considers Fichte's theory of marriage law as compared to Kant’s legal doctrine. Both the union and separation of marriage partners is viewed by Fichte as a phenomenon of the internal life and an element of personal freedom, hence the role of clergy in this field. In Fichte’s theory, special attention is paid to the nature and legal effects of a legitimate divorce interpreted based on his moral anthropology of sexes as a moral fact and a legal status. A divorce, once accomplished in the moral substance, transforms the personal union of family partners into a concubinage, which is seen considered in an essentially non-Kantian way. Against the background of these concepts, the article deals with questions of what the state has to protect and what it is entitled to punish in the domain of marriage.

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Receptions of Kant’s philosophy

Donelaitis and Kant: to the issue of the hermeneutic of survival in the era of the “mystery of iniquity”

Abstract

This article analyses the so-called chornosoteriology as viewed by Kristijonas Donelaitis and Kant. Special attention is paid to the differences between the ontological foundations of these soteriologies stemming from differences in the hermeneutic circles. The influence of pietism on the development of the hermeneutic principles is analysed in the works of both authors. An attempt is made at a partial revision of Donetlaitis’s and Kant’s chronosoteriological concepts in the context of modern global threats. Both Donelaitis — rightfully considered the founder of Lithuanian culture — and Kant studied at Albertina: Donelaitis from 1736 and Kant from 1740. This was the era of pietism. However, in Königsberg of the first half of the 18th century, pietism was not determined solely by the dogmatics of orthodox Lutheranism. Adherents of pietism demonstrate soteriological will to improve the world through enlightenment, which contradicts the predestination dogma. This will is found not only in Kant’s philosophical and pedagogical endeavours, but also in Donelaitis’s pedagogy, which deserves serious attention. Despite his deeply pietistic education, Donelaitis expressed keen interest in physicotheology and alternatives to pietism as early as his university years. Donelaitis and Kant never met; they had different worldviews. However, they also had something in common relating to the problem of time. They shared the idea that time is not only a form of material existence connected to space but, primarily, a hermeneutic category. It means that, in its very essence, time is not only objective and absolute, but also relative in a hermeneutic rather than Einstein’s sense — time is a function of understanding. In this respect, Donelaitis’s and Kant’s temporologies are similar in terms of personal responsibility for time, which both authors associate with the possibility of freedom. The ‘mystery of freedom’ is a means to combat the ‘mystery of inequity’.

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Kant and the Enlightenment

Condorcet interpretation of probability’s theory: the use of a mathematical construct to the field of social action

Abstract

Probability theory, which emerged as early as the 17th century thanks to the works of Pascal and Fermat, served for a long time as a tool of professional mathematicians. It was not considered a means of rational prediction of social actions. In the late 18th century, Nicolas de Condorcet (1743—1794) first proposed to apply probability theory to moral and political disciplines thus creating a basis for social forecasting. The methods he developed made it possible to predict the results of political elections and formed the basis for the theory of social choice. However, Condorcet’s ideas on the limits of mathematical constructs’ application in social and moral sciences opened up opportunities for social philosophy to go beyond the borders of speculative metaphysics and develop as a ‘practical’ science serving both the individual and the community. This paper also assesses Condorcet’s ideas in the history of probability calculus as a method to describe historical chronology. The nature of Condorcet’s thoughts on the wide interdisciplinary opportunities of mathematics makes it possible to compare his ideas with those of other philosophers of the Enlightenment (Rousseau, Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Diderot), as well as a number of provisions of Kant’s philosophy. Despite the fact that Condorcet was not familiar with Kant’s works, his general ideas on the autonomous subject, their reason and freedom, and history and social progress bear strong similarity to Kant’s views. However, the observed differences are indicative not only of Condorcet having overcome the prejudices of his time, but also of that his version of social, ethical, and political philosophy is alternative to Kant's theory of practical reason, as well as the philosophy of history of the Enlightenment and German rationalism.

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Neo-Kantianism

Another Critical Idealism of Hermann Cohen

Abstract

This article attempts to answer the question as to why one should study Cohen. The author’s first and preliminary answer is that the study of Hermann Cohen’s thought is relevant to contemporary philosophy due to at least five reasons: (1) Cohen’s improvement of critical idealism of subject through replacing it with the idealism of ideas; (2) the exposition of thought as the ethics of law; (3) the development of the notion of anticipation as the principle of time, history, and interpretation; (4) the exposition of critical idealism as a form of idealism that is not violent, totalitarian or reductive, but rather is an idealism aimed at alterity and the other; (5) the role of history and especially the history of Judaism in constructing a religion of reason and the developing the concept of Judaism. According to Cohen, thinking is the thinking of first elements. However, he understands the first elements not only as the beginning of any thinking process, but also as the first principle of critical thinking, whereas the ‘first principles’ of critical thinking are the act of questioning. Cohen believes that thinking is generated from itself. Thinking sets itself as the goal and objective, which emphasises the self-expanding nature of thinking, the original self-generation. Initially, thinking is one of the meanings of the term ‘pure’, which suggests that thinking in itself — rather than external influences — is an impetus for the movement,. It is concluded that, having overcome the dualism of reception and spontaneity, critical idealism received a positive impulse. They are consistent with each other, because the idea — understood as a hypothesis — forms the basis for (scientific) knowledge. Therefore, critical idealism can be defined as the idealism of ideas as opposed to the idealism of the subject. According to Cohen, thinking is shaped in the course of making judgments. Judgment determines the ratio between two different concepts; therefore, Cohen defines judgment as an act of ‘separation’ and ‘association’. This means that the judgment is an act of generation through the variable directions of separation and association. Thus, the Marburg philosopher defines discursive thinking as a correlation between separation and association. Therefore, discursive thinking can be defined as the penetration and preservation of the direction variables of separation and association activities. This means that the preservation of direction variables is a distinctive feature representing a scheme of thinking and, therefore, a system of philosophy. Schemes of thinking are not determined by synthesis or removal, but rather by preservation. In conclusion, it is possible to state that, in Cohen’s critical idealism, this belongs to the basic structure of the pure activity, which generates thought, and that thought is a sign of otherness and the other.

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Bogdan Kistiakovy’s Project of “State of the Future” as Synthesis of the Ideas of Liberalism and Socialism

Abstract

This article is devoted to the correlation between liberal and socialist ideas in the social and philosophical conception of the prominent methodologist of social sciences and a Neo-Kantian legal theorist Bogdan Kistyakovsky. The author stresses the uncertainty of both the definition of liberalism and the principles behind attributing concrete thinkers to this movement. The article emphasises the inconsistency of classifying Kistyakovsky’s socio-philosophical concept as liberal. The analysis performed is based on Kistyakovsky’s model of the ‘state of the future’ — a project of a socialist rule-of-law state developed by Kistyakovsky at the turn of the 20th century. The article identifies distinct Marxist analogies and parallels in the contents of this project. The ‘state of the future’ as a rule-of -law socialist state should not only protect citizen’s rights and freedoms, which Kistyakovky supports as proponent of ‘natural rights’, but also ensure social justice. Moreover, he stresses the nonviolent, ‘evolutionary’ way of transition from a bourgeois rule-of-law state to a socialist one. Kistyakovsky’s project demonstrates certain ‘utopianism’, since it is future-oriented and it pursues the ethical goal of establishing a socially just society. The socioeconomic component is the most ‘Marxist’ element of Kistyakovsky’s project. It suggests an original legal interpretation of the idea of socialization of means of production. Kistyakovsky sees the capitalist form of economic organization as a form of ‘economic anarchy’ and a major obstacle to the mission of achieving social justice. This problem is solved through withdrawing all means of production from the realm of private law, which should be compensated for by the extension of public legal rights. It is concluded that it is possible to correlate B. A. Kistyakovsky’s social and philosophical views presented in the ‘state of the future’ project with the theoretical foundations of the European social democracy of the mid-20th century without considering the wholeness of the philosopher’s theoretical legacy.

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Discussion

A Relation to the Politikal Revolution as a Touchstone for Practical Philosophy

Abstract

This paper presents a critical review of an article by the eminent Russian Kantianist Prof A. N. Kruglov published under the title “Immaturity and the objective of a true reform in ways of thinking” in Kantovsky Sbornik (issues 3—4, 2014). The critical analysis focuses on the practical conclusion, in which Prof Kruglov expresses his negative attitude to the French Revolution and shows ambiguous disapproval of Kant’s positive attitude to it. This ambiguity can discredit modern practical philosophy, which has to present to the society clear and stable statements that can be understood by most readers. Otherwise, practical conclusions can be arbitrarily interpreted by politicians, ideologists, and general public as scientific recommendations and guidelines for decision-making. Moreover, Prof Kruglov ignores Kant’s important thought about socio-political revolutions being the fault of rulers incapable of implementing necessary reforms. Therefore, the violence and cruelty of revolutions are nothing but the nature's vengeance for social injustice. Prof Kruglov juxtaposes Kant’s notions of political revolution and ‘true reform in ways of thinking’ neglecting the fact that, without a ‘falling off of personal despotism and of avaricious or tyrannical oppression’, it is impossible to achieve a ‘true reform in ways of thinking’ and that cruel political revolutions can liberate the society from such oppression. The paper explains Kant’s positive attitude to the French revolution as a ‘historical sign’ of the possibility of moral and legal improvement of humanity through striving for moral goals. Political revolutions are considered as the initial (‘negative’) stage of enlightenment consisting in the liberation from coercion and ‘assistance’ from guardians. This s

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