Abstract: This paper traces a common thread in John Duns Scotus, Immanuel Kant, and Gilles Deleuze: the search for a truly transcendental philosophy. Scotus was the father of transcendental philosophy, Kant transformed the discipline into transcendental idealism, and Deleuze further transformed it into transcendental empiricism. Kant saw previous transcendental philosophy (which he called transcendental realism) as being transcendent, as it purported to give access to things in themselves. In place of this, Kant put forth transcendental idealism, in which we only have access to appearances. Deleuze saw Kant’s transcendental idealism as transcendent, as it dealt with the transcendental on the level of conception, which Deleuze saw as empirical. In place of this, Deleuze put forth transcendental empiricism, in which the transcendental pertains only to the realm of immanence, out of which the empirical arises. All three thinkers share a common tradition, transcendental philosophy. Further, they shared a common goal, that of making the transcendental immanent, even though they expressed this goal differently.
Abstract: In this paper is analyzed Ernst Cassirer’s transcendental philosophy and his theoretical foundation of “cultural sciences” (Geisteswissenschaften). His perspective is a transcendental “logic of the cultural sciences” based on the idea that the man is not only a “rational animal,” but also an animal symbolicum. Continuing the methodological approach of Hermann Cohen, Cassirer expands the Kantian vision of the transcendental epistemology to the cultural phenomena, and argues that objective and universal validity can be achieved not only in the natural sciences, but also in practical, cultural, moral, and aesthetic phenomena. He asserts that a type of inter-subjective “objective validity” takes place in the cultural sciences: it is the universal form of symbolic activity. In the paper, particular attention is given to the sources of the Cassirer’s major work: the three volumes of Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, dedicated to the Language (1923), to the Myth (1925), and to the Phenomenology of knowledge (1929). Thus, it has been underlined the fundamental role that it has had for Cassirer the study of the romantic linguistic: particularly, Herder and Wilhelm von Humboldt. Reflecting on these romantic authors Cassirer elaborates a vision of the transcendental as linguistic and historical “form of mind”. In the last part of the paper, are highlighted the ethical aspects of Cassirer’s thought. He affirms that the transcendental production of the symbolic forms is founded on the human freedom, and it is finalized to an increasing emancipation of man.
Abstract: The work of Joseph Maréchal that we analyse in this essay, is a complete metaphysical theory of knowledge. The main text that we discuss, constitutes the end point of a long process of historiographical enquiry, which culminates in an exegetical exposition of the doctrine of the knowledge of Thomas Aquinas, seen and interpreted in a continuous relationship with Criticism. In the first section of this essay, we will follow the path of an a posteriori psychological analysis of human knowledge. The second section examines Maréchal’s interpretation of the Kantian Transcendental Deduction of the Categories. The two different sections of this paper follows a substantially symmetrical pattern: in the first part we retrace the main doctrines of the Thomistic ontology of knowledge, according Maréchal’s synthesis, and this by a recognition of the theory of perception, and then moving towards an abstractive account of the concept’s genesis, and ending with an analysis of the judgment and its formal structure. The second section, symmetrically, studies the synthetic genesis of phenomenal datum, the deductive genesis of categories and the transcendental doctrine of judgment.
Abstract: The aim of this essay is to show Fichte’s foundation of the transcendental philosophy by the concept of genesis (or intellectual intuition). According to the latest studies of the Twentieth Century, Fichte’s philosophy is a model of a transcendental philosophy (not an idealism) that re-defines the core and the principal thesis of Kantianism. Our exposition argues this refoundation of Kant’s transcendentalism drawing attention to the central role of the concept of genesis, that is the thought’s act of concentration on itself. By this act according to Fichte we can have experience of the essence of our thought, discovering the principle of the whole human experience, the principle that is the essential unity of being and consciousness: the I (also called autoactivity, or Absolute). Fichte’s transcendentalism presents this discovery as an intellectual evidence that makes possible a scientific foundation of knowledge, that he illustrates in his Wissenschaftslehre. This essay analyses Fichte’s philosophical foundation in relation with Kantian philosophy, as it often occurs in Fichte’s works. We start this inquiry explaining the typical Fichte’s reception of Kant’s theory in comparison with the reception of other important philosophers of the time (especially Reinhold and Schulze). Then we focus our analysis on Wissenschaftslehre 1804-II, one of the most important Fichte’s explanation of transcendental foundation of knowledge by genesis’ concept and method. Eventually, we complete our study including a general view of Fichte’s genetic-transcendental foundation of moral by comparing it with Kant’s moral philosophy, explaining the role of Fichte’s concepts of pure will and duty (Sollen).
Abstract: This article examines the plausibility of regarding altruism in terms of universal friendship. Section 1 frames the question around Aristotle’s ground-breaking philosophy of friendship. For Aristotle, most friendships exist for selfish reasons, motivated by a desire either for pleasure (playmates) or profit (workmates); relatively few friendships are genuine, being motivated by a desire for shared virtue (soulmates). In contrast to this negative answer to the main question, Section 2 examines a possible religious basis for affirming altruism, arising out of the so-called “love command” – the biblical maxim that we ought to love others as we love ourselves. Many theologians have cited this maxim to justify altruism, with some (such as Aelred of Rievaulx) explicitly portraying it as a form of friendship. Section 3 examines Kant’s view of friendship, arguing that, although at first his position seems disappointingly limited, it actually captures the essence of the only possible form of friendship that could be regarded as a universal ideal without imposing unrealistic expectations onto friends. The article concludes in section 4 by offering a new, Kant-inspired interpretation of Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan: Jesus’ appeal to the love command does enjoin friendship, but not as altruism; rather, love requires a selective form of friendship that is closer to Kant’s position.
Abstract: The decay of basic values has been deplored since Plato criticised the revaluation of virtues in democracies. Human reason was hoped to offer a reliable remedy against any fall in value and to secure the validity of all the basic values needed in theory and practice. But it failed to do so. The need for the validity of basic values and principles figured in Kant’s theory of law, most prominently in Kelsen’s theory of pure law (Reine Rechtslehre), and in Rawls’ theory of justice. ‘Validity’ was also discussed by Habermas and recently under ‘genesis versus validity’ by a number of philosophers. This paper argues, that so far the understanding of ‘validity’ suffers from a deficit of discriminating between un-derived and derived validities. While, e.g., the validity of the law of contradiction is un-derived, the validity of the equality of men and women is derived from the equality of man. Un-derived validities are not safe as is discussed with respect to the first principle of the German constitution, human dignity. The validity of this principle is under pressure from a growing number of open bioethical problems. The principle of human dignity is gradually obscured the more detailed the solutions are to solve those problems. This is obvious from Herdegen’s ever growing commentary. The paper discusses possible solutions to stop the decay of validities.
Abstract: In the Analytics of the Beautiful Kant continues his transcendental philosophical work. Hence from the transcendental standpoint objects are „given“ for us only if the conditions of the possibility of experience, here the aesthetic experience, are met. In the moments („Momente“) of aesthetical judgement Kant thus differentiates under which conditions something („etwas“) becomes for us a beautiful object. These moments are connected with each other, as the article will show, with regard to content (not only with regard to form) and thus build a complex of conditions for the necessary and general validity of aesthetical judgement. The complex represents an unity, because and as far as the determination of the ground of the satisfaction („Grund des Wohlgefallens“) is concerned. In addition it has to be differentiated as far as normative claims from the standpoint of theoretical and practical reason, „freies Spiel“ and „Zweckmäßigkeit“, are implemented. These claims are connected again at the ground („im Grunde“) like a situation (freies Spiel) which is regarded as an effect connected with the final cause („causa finalis“) of this situation or effect. So the programmatical expectations of the introduction of the „Critique of the Power of Judgement“ (mediation, „Vermittlung“, respectively bridge over the gap, „Überbrückung der Kluft“) are fulfilled already in the Analytics of the Beautiful.
Abstract: My intention in this paper is to illustrate the relationship between Transcendental Philosophy and the formation of the sense of Philosophy in Fichte’s thought. As “system of freedom” the Transcendental Philosophy of Fichte is not only a system of knowledge, but also, and at the same time, the never definitive result of an activity of thinking, which is never satisfied with the gained results and deals with new issues. It was Fichte’s fundamental conviction that the construction of the theory of science as “art” of reflection (Besinnung) presupposes the formation (Bildung) of a particular “organ” of reflection or of “seeing”. This inner sense is called “sense of philosophy”. In my paper, the issue of the formation of the philosophical sense is taken into consideration, such as Fichte has developed it in the Introduction to the theory of science of autumn 1813 at the University of Berlin.
Abstract: This article explores the meaning of «transcedental philosophy» in Kant and Herder. The focus is on the metacritic horizon of a «philosophy of philosophy», defined as a synthetic creative knowledge that researches the «conditions of possibility» (Bedingungen der Möglichkeit) and the principles of the subjective forms of human knowledge. In this perspective, two essays are analyzed: Auch eine Philosophie der Geschichte zur Bildung der Menschheit (1774) and Metakritik zur Kritik der reinen Vernunft (1799). The Metacritique is directed against the theoretical philosophy of Kritk der reinen Vernunft. The first part of this paper, from section 1 (La filosofia trascendentale e l’orizzonte «metacritico») to section 6 (L’appercezione pura e lo schematismo trascendentale), examines the meaning of a «metacritic philosophy» in relation to the limits of «pure reason»; the followings terms are analyzed: «menschliche Natur», «Grenzen der Vernunft», «Bedingungen der Möglichkeit», «reine Apperzeption», «ursprüngliche Apperzeption», «transzendentale Apperzeption» and «transzendentale Schematismus». The second part of the article, from section 7 (Sulla soglia) to section 12 (La libertà creativa: la natura umana e la creatività) is devoted to Herder’s Auch eine Philosophie der Geschichte zur Bildung der Menschheit and focuses on the following terms: «Logos», «Vernunft», «Bildung», «Lebenswelt», «Natur», «Anschauung», «Freiheit», «limen», «subjectivity» and «creativity».
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to set out some features of Kant’s conception of transcendental philosophy. I would like to argue that this philosophy, although it is situated at a higher level of discourse than common knowledge, does not essentially transcend the limits that it sets to this knowledge. In order to achieve this, I stress the fact that Kant regards experience as a mere “possibility.” Now, the Critique of Pure Reason explains that the human understanding cannot conceive of an absolute possibility, but only a relative one, namely a possibility that is tied to conditions. And possible experience as a whole is no exception here. Hence the expression “conditions of the possibility of experience” which designates the topic of the Transcendental Analytic. This also means that experience is “contingent” (A 737/B 765). It is not in itself necessary; rather, it is dependent upon certain conditions. But then we learn that the most important transcendental conditions for this experience, i.e., the dynamic principles, are themselves “contingent” (A 160/B 199). Consequently, these transcendental conditions are not unconditioned; they in turn depend on empirical conditions, over which they have no control.