Kantian Journal

2016 Issue №2(56)

Editor-in-Chief Leonard Kalinnikov is 80!

Kant’s theoretical philosophy

Some remarks on the concept and function of Kant’s theory of schematism in the Critique of Pure Reason

Abstract

The article introduces Kant’s doctrine of schematism (Critique of Pure Reason A 137-A 147; B 176-B 187). The inclusion of the chapter on schematism in the ‘Doctrine of the Principles’ rather than the ‘Doctrine of Concepts’ is taken as a clue to distinguishing the Doctrine of Schematism from the Deduction of the Pure Concepts of the Understanding. This provides clarity on the function of schematism. The author conceives of schematism as something entirely new to the Transcendental Deduction of the Categories, namely, as preparation for the use of categories as predicates in sentences known as the ‘Principles of Understanding’ referring to phaenomena (appearances in time and space) rather than the undetermined concept of objects in general. To support this interpretation, the author addresses main concepts of the schematism theory (for instance, those of schema, imagination, homogeneity, and time-determination) and describes the function of schematism. Imagination is presented as an instance of the function usually called “understanding” when directed towards appearances given in time and space. Understanding becomes imagination when it obeys not only the laws of logics, but also the laws of time. Homogeneity (a concept that plays an important role in the theory of schematism) is explained with reference to Tetens’s Philosophical Essays on Human Nature (1777). The explanations of concepts provided in the article are not exhaustive. They are discussed in more detail in the author’s earlier publications referred to in the footnotes. The article also discusses earlier and contemporary literature on schematism.

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The metaphysics of science

Abstract

A reflection on the meaning of Kant’s manuscript where he uses the expression ‘metaphysics of science’. 20th century philosophy of science acknowledged empiricism and it was anti-metaphysic and positivistic. However, all forms of empiricism and positivism lead to a negation of philosophy, replacing it with logical, methodological, historical, sociological, psychological, cultural, and other studies. In effect, philosophy is the cognition of the absolute universal in both theoretical (the true being) and practical (the supreme good) terms. ‘Transcendental’ philosophy was conceived as a project to redeem philosophy in the era of burgeoning precise empirical natural science and exact sciences. Kant turned science into a foundation of new metaphysics. The anti-philosophical nature of 20th century philosophy of science necessitates addressing Kant’s theory of science when searching for a truly philosophical understanding of science, which can be only of metaphysical nature. The experience of building a system of transcendental metaphysics combined with mathematics and physics shows that philosophy of science is necessary for solving the most important problems of the humanity rather than analysing or synthesising scientific knowledge or development it. Philosophy of science proper should be based on Aristotle’s idea of metaphysics revisited in view of metaphysics of self-consciousness and the doctrine of practical reason, freedom, identity, and dignity of a human being as a personality. It should also embrace the idea of world history and universal civil meaning of philosophy. Recognition of relative a priori determination of human knowledge and behaviour in a broad context of empiricism and relativism (development theory) has no bearing on Kant’s theory. Absolute apriorism as understood in mathematics and physics is an instance of Kant’s universal ‘anthropological’ apriorism and his understanding of the human being, morals, law, and history rather than the seeming ‘absolutisation’ of the Euclidean geometry and Newtonian mechanics. The possibility of metaphysics and the philosophical understanding of science is in knowing the human being. Understanding the essence of science requires grasping the scale of human dignity and the dignity and purpose of philosophy. The project of transcendental metaphysics remains relevant to this day.

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Kant’s practical philosophy

Kant’s and Fichte’s ethics as sources of Schopenhauer’s philosophy

Abstract

This article aims to demonstrate the centrality of Kant’s and Fichte’s ethics to the development of Schopenhauer’s ideas of 1811—1813. The author proves the following theses based on the philosopher’s manuscripts and the first edition of his dissertation. Firstly, for a long time, Kant’s ‘moral law’ was a major element of Schopenhauer’s philosophy, whereas the regulatory power of ethics supported its claim as a means to cognise the supersensible. Secondly, the dichotomy between the noumenal and the phenomenal encouraged him to develop a dualistic ontology. Thirdly, the emergence of the central concept of his early works — the ‘better consciousness’ — was strongly influenced by Fichte’s lectures attended by Schopenhauer. Fourthly, Schopenhauer’s doctrine of liberating the better consciousness from all the individual and earthly is also rooted in Fichte’s practical philosophy. Fifthly, Kant’s Metaphysics of Morals and Fichte’s System of Ethnics contributed to Schopenhauer’s understanding of will as the primary essence of all things and the idea of its absolute and unconditional nature and its primacy over cognition. Sixthly, some of the key aspects of Schopenhauer’s pessimism are rooted in Fichte’s philosophy. Seventhly, in the first edition of his dissertation, Schopenhauer advocated Kant’s ethics and formulated the supremacy of the better consciousness over the empirical as noumenal freedom and truly moral behavior and defined the category of negation as its opposite. Later, these ideas, altered and expanded u

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Kant’s aesthetic theory in the light of H. G. Gadamer’s hermeneutic project

Abstract

This article considers H.-G. Gadamer’s hermeneutics in the context of Kant’s aesthetic theory laid down in the Critique of Judgement. Kant facilitated the development of aesthetics as an independent science, for the first time addressing the problem of the cognising and perceiving subject. Gadamer, a prominent 20th century philosopher, builds his aesthetic concept based on Kant’s theory. However, their theories differ in some aspects. This article is an attempt to establish the connection between the two systems. Special attention is paid to the fundamental differences between the theories and their common principles. Unlike Gadamer, Kant focuses on general aesthetic categories and aesthetic perception rather than artistic phenomena. Kant’s thesis about ‘disinterested liking’ and the correlation between Kant’s definitions of art and cognition are considered. Kant distinguishes between aesthetic judgment and cognition, whereas Gadamer defines art as a method of cognition, an event that can become genuine under the condition of maximum of understanding. The author analyses the key categories of aesthetics — taste, play, and the beautiful. It is concluded that Kant understands the category of play from the perspective of the subject, whereas Gadamer interprets it as an instance of movement, independent from the observer. The correlation between Kant’s aesthetic theory and the ensuing romantic concepts of is established. In the conclusion, the authors stresses the influence of Kant’s theory on the development of hermeneutics, which has been aimed at avoiding pseudo-understanding since German Romanticism.

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Receptions of Kant’s philosophy

Genius as a norm or the Moravian Church in the life and works of A. A. Fet

Abstract

Based on the theory of genius presented in Kant’s Critique of Judgement, the author considers the idea of normal genius as opposed to the genius of Romanticism and Postmodernism. The influence of Postmodernism is manifested in popular interpretations of the works of great artists — especially, Russian ones — as a product of mental disorders and perversions. The author analyses an interpretation of the oeuvre of the great Russian poet and thinker A. A. Fet. Factors that affected the fundamentals of A. A. Fet’s world view are considered. The author proves that the influence of the Moravian Church in Võru, where the poet studied there for several years, was insignificant.

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Neo-Kantianism

Paul Natorp’s social pedagogic theory and it’s relevance to modern russian education

Abstract

The paper discusses Paul Natorp’s social pedagogy theory from the point of its relevance to the modern educational discussions. Natorp sees practical task of his pedagogic theory in negation of German society’s crisis tendencies. The theoretical context of social pedagogy was defined by several key factors. The first one is Natorp’s dependency on legacy of Plato, J. Pestalozzi and I. Kant, while second deals with his critic of fundamental grounds of dominant contemporary pedagogical system. The major Natorp’s objection was directed against positioning psychology at the basis of a pedagogical theory. In principle this point of critique was matter of continuation of much broader debate between Neo- Kantianism and Positivism which for this time took place on pedagogical “territory”. In addition to ethics and psychology Natorp proposes to broaden theoretical ground of pedagogy by adding “pure normative sciences” such as logic and aesthetics to psychology and ethics which are already in use. In the center of his pedagogy Natorp places the concept of “will”. It is directly connected to the three levels of activity of consciousness which are associated with the three stages of education — family education, school and stage of free adult self-education. The last stage represents a “lifelong” process and ideally shouldn’t be bounded by any external factors. Natorp expects that developing German system of “folk academies” becomes a basis for implementation of this ideal in practice. He specifies that matter of people’s education should be responsibility of “secular clergy” — a class composed of all persons who are willing and able to contribute to the cause of people’s education. In this endeavor Natorp especially stresses the uniqueness of position of persons with scientific background. Thus the social function of the universities as institutions where persons of such quality are being cultivated is actualized. This notion makes Natorp’s standpoint resemble in many ways the extended reading of university’s “third mission”.

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