Kantian Journal

2016 Issue №1(55)

Kant’s theoretical philosophy

Systematicity of the CPR and Kant’s system (III)

Abstract

This article continues to analyse the systemacity of the CPR as a text ensuring the integrity of Kant’s philosophical system. Following the ideas presented in the first two parts of this work, part three considers the correlation between the spheres of concepts and reality. Kant divides concepts into phaenomena and noumena. The former are apprehended by the senses and the latter express the things-in-themselves. It is shown that, as concepts of things, noumena are divided into substan tial and empty ones. Substantial noumena correspond to transcendental objects as the material of possible experience, which has become or can become actual, on the one hand. On the other, they correspond to abstract idealisation relations – norms and values – that are immanent in the world of phenomena and contribute to the organisation of that world.

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A transcendental analysis of mathematics: The constructive nature of mathematics

Abstract

Kant’s transcendental philosophy (transcendentalism) focuses on both the human method of cognition in general [CPR, B 25] and certain types of cognition aimed at justifying their objective significance. This article aims to explicate Kant’s understanding (resp. justification) of the abstract nature of mathematical knowledge (cognition) as the “construction of concepts in intuition” (see: “to construct a concept means to exhibit a priori the intuition corresponding to it”; [CPR, A 713/В 741], which is “thoroughly grounded on definitions, axioms, and demonstrations” [CPR, A 726/В 754]. Unlike specific ‘physical’ objects, mathematical objects are of abstract nature and they are introduced using Hume’s principle of abstraction. Based on the doctrine of schematism, Kant develops an original theory of abstraction: Kant’s schemes serve as a means to construct mathematical objects, as an “action of pure thought" [CPR, B 81]. A ‘constructive’ understanding of mathematical acts going back to Euclid’s genetic method is an important innovation introduced by Kant. This understanding is at the heart of modern mathematical formalism, intuitionism, and constructivism. Within Kant’s constructivism, mathematics can be described as a two-tier system, which suggests a “shift” from the level of concepts of the understanding to the level of sensual intuition, where mathematical acts are performed, followed by a subsequent return to the initial level. On this basis, the author develops a theory of transcendental constructivism (pragmatism). In particular, Kant's ‘intuitionism’ of mathematics can be understood as structural properties of mathematical language or its ‘logical space’ (Wittgenstein; cf. mathematical structuralism). In his theory, Kant distinguishes between two types of constructing — ostensive (geometric) and symbolic (algebraic). The paper analyses these types and shows that modern mathematical structures are a combination and intertwining of both. The author also identifies a third type — logical constructing [in proving theorems], which inherits the features of both Kant's types.

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Kant's practical philosophy

How transcendental are Kant’s principles of public law?

Abstract

This article presents a comprehensive analysis of the content, meaning, and scenarios of applying the transcendental principles of public law formulated in the second appendix to Kant’s treatise Toward Perpetual Peace. The author compares different interpretations of these principles by Russian and international researchers. The article strives to answer the question as to what type of ‘public’ is meant by these principles, whether these principles can serve as a priori criteria for selecting maxims, how efficient these principles are as empirical criteria for establishing legitimacy, and whether they can be characterized as ‘transcendental’. Kant’s discourse on publicity — a result of strenuous efforts presented in a number of writings and lectures — takes the reader to the area of empirical practices and anthropological observations capable of distorting the required purity of the form when taken together. In effect, they turn out to be either motives for searching for transcendental principles or example s targeted at a certain type of readers and political agents. Identifying the role of publicity principles in Kant’s system of law and their strict positioning is also a complicated problem raising new questions as to their acceptable and preferable application. The principles are explicated in the treatise on perpetual peace. However, this article demonstrates that, despite the dominant opinion, further comments and examples can be found in Kant’s later writings. Finally, the author considers a moderate interpretation that makes it possible to harmonise the publicity principles as (meta) principles of lawmaking and law enforcement with the core of Kant’s system of law and morals. This resolves the issue of direct efficiency of these principles, whereas the declaration of the formal character of the ‘doctrine of happiness’ dispels doubts over the implicitly a posterior and empirical nature of criteria introduced as formal and a priori ones.

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Receptions of Kant’s philosophy

‘Genuine criticism’: An unknown reception of Kant’s philosophy in early works of Schopenhauer

Abstract

This article considers early Schopenhauer’s polemic against Kant's epistemology and views on the objectives and methods of philosophy. The crucial influence of this polemic and Kant’s works on the development of Schopenhauer’s philosophy is stressed. The author investigates Schopenhauer’s reception of the above aspects of Kant’s philosophy in 1811—1813 and its later evolution. For this purpose, the author addresses Schopenhauer’s manuscripts (early philosophical aphorisms and comments and marginal notes on Kant’s works, etc.), as well as the first edition of Schopenhauer’s doctoral dissertation On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason (1813). The mentioned influence of Kant’s philosophy on Schopenhauer and its decisive role in the development of the latter’s philosophy can be summed up as follows. Firstly, early Schopenhauer considered Kant as his only ally in the struggle against the speculative idealism of his followers. Secondly, this resulted in an almost complete acceptance of Kant’s epistemology and terminology. Only later, he developed an independent terminology, which was nevertheless largely influenced by that created by Kant. Thirdly, at the time, Schopenhauer believed his vision of objectives and essence of philosophy to be a direct continuation of Kant’s philosophy, the central objective being the construction of metaphysics of a science responsible for the conceptual grasping associated with cognizing the divine and supersensible. Schopenhauer called such science ‘genuine criticism’ and the faculty of supersensible cognition a ‘better consciousness’. Fourthly, Schopenhauer’s alteration of Kant’s epistemology related to the need to com lete the system of ‘genuine criticism’, since the inclusion of a ‘better consciousness’ into a priori cognitive faculties justified its ‘metaphysical’ character. Fifthly, the first edition of Schopenhauer’s doctoral dissertation adhered to Kant’s concept of noumenal freedom, whereas the metaphysics of a ‘better consciousness’ was associated with Kant’s notion of ‘intelligible character’.

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Neo-Kantianism

Studies into the history of Russian Neo-Kantianism in Poland

Abstract

The article deals with the jey areas of Russian Neo-Kantianism studies in Poland. Although the number and quality of studies on the history of Russian Neo-Kantianism cannot be equated to those on the history of German Neo-Kantianism, the situation is improving. The authors stress the undeniable progress in Russian Neo-Kantianism studies in Poland: monographs, articles, collections, and research projects dedicated to certain scholars or aspects of the history of Russian Neo-Kantianism have appeared recenly. The authors believe that a breakthrough in the Polish Neo-Kantianism Russian studies is associated with the works on Russian thought by Sister Teresa Obolevitch. The authors consider A. Noras’s idea about the development of the neo-Kantian concept into post-Neo-Kantianism as rather heuristic. One of the main features of this development is the ontologization of cognitive process and the recognition of existential characteristics of the knowing subject as primary and exerting a significant impact on its cognitive structure. This ‘ontological turn’, typical of Russian Neo-Kantianism and, in particular, Sergey Hessen, Boris Yakovenko, and Vasily Sesemann, is, on the one hand, the hallmark of entire Russian philosophy, including its most representative parts, namely, Russian religious philosophy (ontologism). On the other hand, it brings the philosophical efforts of Russian neo-Kantians closer to the concept proposed by the creator of ‘new ontology’ Nicolai Hartmann. Therefore, Polish researchers make successful efforts aimed at identifying the ‘intersections’ between the doctrines of Russian neo-Kantians and those of their German colleagues and teachers from Marburg, Freiburg, and Heidelberg, as well as Russian religious philosophy and N. Hartmann’s philosophical constructs.

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Neo-Kantian and phenomenological axiology in N. N. Alekseev’s philosophy of law

Abstract

This paper analyzes receptions of phenomenological and neo-Kantian axiology trends in the interpretation of the concept and status of value in N. N. Alekseev’s philosophy of law. The author identifies the role of Neo-Kantian nomothetic—idiographic division of sciences proposed by the Southwest German school of Neo-Kantianism in interpreting the essence of law within Aleseev’s philosophy. It is shown that Alekseev uses Windelband's distinction between the due and the existing as a convenient methodological technique for understanding features of social phenomena. The article considers the context of Windelband’s philosophy in Alekseev’s interpretation of the role of the rule in philosophy of law. It is shown that Alekseev employs the distinction between the a priori and empirical, suggested by the theory of values, in his philosophy. Values are identified as a basis for the development of law and morals in Alekseev’s philosophy. Comparing reality and values makes it possible to see how Alekseev combines the id eas of axiology of Neo-Kanitianism and phenomenology. To narrow the gap between the a priori and empirical in the theory of values proposed by the Southern German school of Neo-Kantianism, Alekseev uses the solutions proposed by M. Scheler’s phenomenological axiology. It is stressed that Alekseev does not adopt either M. Scheler’s personalistic approach or his hierarchy of values. In his mature period, Alekseev supplements his interpretation of values with the religious aspect. He understands religion as a means to link the a priori and empirical and translate both into reality. It is emphasized that religion becomes a tool for understanding values as rules. It is concluded that Alekseev’s philosophy of law combines Neo-Kantian and phenomenological principles with religious aspects.

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