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: 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.