Kantian Journal

2017 Vol. 36. No. 1

Modality as a basis of Kant’s philosophical system and its connection to the language structure

Abstract

This article examines the category of modality through the postulate of empirical thinking in general and in constructing a philosophical system where functions of consciousness are substantial elements. The system comprises ‘faculties of the mind’, as Kant calls them, namely, evaluation, cognition, and practical activity and norms. These forms of activity correlate with the world of possibilities, the actual world, and the world of necessity. Grammatical moods correspond to the modal worlds and the ‘faculties of the mind’. All this means that Kant’s system finds a reflection in the system of language, which is another argument in favour of the organicity of his philosophy. However, the philosophical ideas of Kant’s system can serve as basis for a theory of grammatical moods. Kant’s revolutionary idea of values, knowledge, and norms as three aspects of existential reality lead to a conclusion that modality and moods are not identical, despite being interrelated. The categories of modality do not express the essence of moods but rather the conditions for their functioning. This gives a new perspective on the study of moods and modalities. However, Kant’s system is a cohesive whole and no part of it can be used without considering this fact.

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Aspects of the ‘transcendental’ according to Kant and Husserl: Logos, matheme, metaphor

Abstract

This paper deals with the methodological and ontological significance of transcendentalism. The author advocates the understanding of transcendental philosophy as ontology and presents a critique of the interpretation given by David Carr, who attached a merely methodological significance to the concept of the ‘transcendental’. Within this interpretation, this paper considers the problem of differences between the ontological aspects of Immanuel Kant’s critical philosophy and Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology, since most interpreters consider these two thinkers the most prominent exponents of transcendental philosophy. The differences in the ontological aspects are interpreted based on the similarities and differences in the epistemological objectives of both philosophers. This corresponds to the principles and programmes of comparative investigations in Kant’s and Husserl’s philosophies, which were proposed by Russian and international philosophers such as Paul Ricoeur, Alexey Chernyakov, William McKenna. The distinctions in the ontological aspects of critical philosophy and phenomenology necessitate an examination of the concept of transcendentalism in a broader historical perspective, which makes it possible to interpret some of the key concepts of critical philosophy and phenomenology as dead metaphors of Ancient Greek philosophy — metaphors that transformed over time into logically preconceived ‘mathemes’. In turn, distinguishing metaphors in the genesis of key univocal terms of critical philosophy and phenomenology provides an opportunity for a more precise description of differences between Kant’s and Husserl’s ideas. The author considers Husserl’s phenomenology as a continuation of and elaboration on Kant’s transcendental thought, which arises in neo-Kantian schools. Overall, transcendental philosophy is part of the genesis of ontological thought, which offers great opportunities for reinterpreting the concept of the transcendental in future.

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