At a second level B , I reflect on the possibility — beyond the strict reference to history — of a constructivist and perspectivist transcendentalism, that is confronted with the problem of fiction as its essence, and that is chiefly oriented toward the domain of philosophical anthropology. It is therefore important for me to justify this innovative approach to transcendental philosophy without falling into relativism. I do this by highlighting the complicity that it forges between the invention of an a priori legality and its most rigorous deduction.
At a time when the strictest realism imposes itself as the sole legitimate reference, both in continental philosophy and in the Anglo-Saxon sphere, such an orientation differs by its intent to breathe new life into the original impulses of klassische deutsche Philosophie and Romantik. To the extent that this research program simultaneously engages with the history of German philosophy and is supported by external insights, it opens up a vast field of research in terms of the mobilized corpus , yet is well defined with regard to the precise expectations emerging from the proposed approach.
It therefore proposes to bring together numerous researchers at the highest level in both a Canadian and international context. A The Chair first of all attempts to explain the diversity and inventiveness of the works of modern German philosophy in terms of their multiple ways of engaging with, critiquing and reconstructing the Kantian theory of the transcendental imagination, presented for the first time in the Critique of Pure Reason , a text that constituted the birth of transcendental philosophy. A critical reworking of this theory occurs both among the philosophers of the German idealist tradition Fichte, Schelling, Hegel and the philosophers, poets, novelists and scientists of Jena romanticism the Schlegel brothers, Novalis, Tieck, etc.
Following the most rigorous conceptual and methodical lines of argumentation, we will also try to describe and characterize the different theories of the imagination developed in the works of these authors, by underscoring the manner in which they relate to the manifold modes of the life of consciousness in general sensation, emotion, perception, language, etc.
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Naturally, throughout this work we will not hesitate to question the received classifications of the roles and designations. Precisely from the respective theories of the imagination we will show how the roles are sometimes exchanged, revealing a much more complex picture than the traditional history of philosophy attributes to it. We will demonstrate how in each of these authors the theory of imagination is a focus of philosophical reflection in its transcendental and speculative stakes — a focus often stated and admitted, but also sometimes hidden or minimized including by the authors themselves.
In my view a research project of this kind on the imagination may greatly profit from an examination of the concrete problem of the image. Indeed, it would be hazardous to reflect on the productive activity the imagination without investigating the finished product the image. Our proposed methodological approach is simultaneously classical and innovative.
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In this sense, our first task is that of a genetic clarification of the concepts employed by the authors in their respective discursive contexts. Our aim is to single out and analyze the concepts relevant to the topic, then identify the specific argumentative structures of the different authors, to subsequently reveal both the upper bound elements of the unity and the coherence of philosophical theories, as well as the contradictory motifs and residual tensions in the texts, in which the fruitfulness of the latter is to be examined.
On the other hand, my proposed methodology is also innovative. During the course of carrying out the aforementioned conceptual and argumentative clearing of the terrain, in my view it is essential to conceive of the different processes of writing as creative or performative practices. Hence, my aim is to modify the manner in which one usually considers the texts, particularly philosophical texts, by drawing upon their poiesis , as was intended in romanticism. Understanding the imagination as constitutive of philosophical discourse does not weaken the rigor of the demonstrations, but is consistent with its transcendental characterization in particular in Kant and Fichte as the center of consciousness in general; the imagination then becomes the reflective agent par excellence, through which the different strata of thought are generated.
The first investigation specifically relates to German idealism, the second to German Romanticism:.
Kant, Immanuel: Metaphysics | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
In fact, it seems impossible to think of sensible life articulated by the imagination without encountering the problem of emptiness, nothing or nothingness. Notwithstanding, on a speculative level classical German philosophy is the first to wholly call it into question. With Kantianism, the thought of nothing penetrates to the heart of metaphysics and is inextricably bound up with a critique of metaphysics.
If according to Kant the highest transcendental concept is the concept of an object in general, since it grounds — and therefore logically precedes — the opposition between the possible and the impossible, thereby establishing the very form of what may be thought, such a concept appears inseparable from the concept of nothing. The determination of being as objectivity requires that one traverse nothingness in order to pose the question of the very possibility of God.
It is a question of examining how the latter itself establishes its coordinates with nothingness and freely imagines its own im possibility by passing judgment on its ability or inability to administer temporality at the level of nothingness. However, this is no longer the case in German idealism. We will study in particular the fate of this problem in Fichte, Schelling and Hegel. The first does not renounce the vows of his master Kant to complete the project of transcendental philosophy; the two others deliberately exit the transcendental framework in order to attain speculative reason.
This divergence has serious consequences for their respective conceptions of finitude. Nevertheless, in each of the three thinkers, nothingness becomes fully constitutive of the life of the spirit. All philosophical discourse is therefore led to recognize itself as imagining reflection, or better: as a fiction capable of reflecting and thereby able to generate the conditions of the possibility of a consciousness in its fictional core, because it is negative or annihilating.
Merleau‐Ponty’s Reading of Kant’s Transcendental Idealism
We will principally focus on the Science of Logic , where the Hegelian subversion of Kantian negativity is most visible, particularly in the Doctrine of Essence with the concept of appearance Schein. The main advantage of the Hegelian appearance is to give a real force, i. In this context we will attempt to update the cogs of the subversion of the critical discourse inherent in Jena romanticism. This critical discourse is clearly historicized, mainly by Friedrich Schlegel. The romantics criticized from the outset the Enlightenment conception of language as an instrument of communication that is assumed to be transparent to oneself and to others.
The act of understanding or interpreting appeared to them irreducible to the narrow transmission of an objective sense in which the strictly intellectual value purports to be transcendent to words, but equally to the body and to what can be experienced. In other words, there is an irreducible gap between understanding or interpreting the meaning on one hand, and simple objective knowledge on the other. It is why language is deliberately charged, in the view of the romantics, with history, culture and sensitivity, and aims to transmit to others the layers of a sense struggling with the social-historical world as a whole.
A meaning constitutively permeated with the other, and from the very beginning, with the problem of inter-subjective relations — a meaning with its collisions and resistances. The aim of this volume is to explore critically the connections between American pragmatism and transcendental philosophy in a strict Kantian sense.
Thirteen finely crafted essays follow a substantive "Introduction" by the editors. In terms of figures, the tilt is decisively toward Peirce, with Dewey, Mead, Lewis mostly pushed to the margins. James hovers between the center and fringe of the contributors' consciousness. The pieces are for the most part not strictly historical, but intricate elaborations of what an imagined form of philosophical pragmatism or transcendental philosophy would look like.
But these constructions appear to be rooted in an intimate familiarity with historical figures and specific writings. Moreover, some of the pieces especially those by Gardner, Misak, Stern, and Bird are painstakingly historical. The title of Macarthur's contribution might be taken as indicative of the spirit pervading this collection, with the exception of Misak's truly exquisite essay: these are Kantian-inspired interpretations and reconstructions. Her account of Peirce takes more seriously than all of the other contributors the efforts of classical pragmatism more precisely, a particular pragmatist to distance itself from transcendental modes of philosophical inquiry.
Even Misak's contribution, however, highlights the affinity between pragmatism and Kantianism. She does note, "Peirce spends precious little ink on trying to get Kant straight" p. One might say this about all of the other pragmatists, with the exception of C.
The contributors to n effect seem to be devoted to rectifying this. Indeed, most of the essays read as briefs against pragmatism insofar as it has allegedly failed to grasp the fine detail and full import of Kant's transcendental turn. At the conclusion of an extremely impressive essay, Gardner stresses: "What separates the two developments [from Kant's Critique of Judgment ] at their historical root is. In his transcendental logic, Kant is of course an apriorist. But this leads to a question. The implication seems clear: Peirce the pragmatist might lack what only Kant the apriorist can provide.
At the conclusion of the penultimate essay I wish it had been the final one since it would make for a neater story! It does so because we reasonably can demand of philosophers an account of their own undertaking: "that philosophers can. This supposedly drives us in the direction of ultimate and infallible foundations, only obtainable by transcendental arguments. This would have been a fitting conclusion for this volume, since transcendental foundationalism is celebrated here as having trumped anti-foundationalist pragmatism, especially of the Rortyean stripe.
Short Readers of Peirce might be reminded of an interjection in a dialogue on pragmaticism: "Have the gracious gods confined us to two alternatives? From the perspective of most of the authors in this volume, the good news is Kant can save us from Rorty, even more generally save pragmatism from itself. For some of us, however, such salvation comes at far too high a price. In any event, Peirce would count most of the authors assembled here to be among "the starry host of Kant's progeny" Essential Peirce, volume 2, p.
Formally, these papers are exemplary. Their authors manifestly honor the ideals of clarity as well as albeit with a crucial qualification probity, erudition, and rigor. Substantively, these essays are without exception informative, insightful, and suggestive. But they are not fully what the editors of this volume advertise them to be.
The editors emphatically assert that the collection investigates the relationship among "pragmatism, Kant, and current Kantian approaches to transcendental arguments in a detailed and original way" emphasis added. The claim to originality of these approaches is overblown. After all, none other than Murray G. Murphey published in the third volume of the Transactions of the Charles S.
Peirce Society i.
Concerning the narrower topic of transcendental pragmatism, especially as this approach has been ingeniously proposed and doggedly defended by Karl-Otto Apel, we might recall C. But this is only one essay in a far from insignificant number of pieces in which an interpreter tries to show how Peircean pragmatism is in effect a transcendental project. In light of this, informed readers will not be persuaded of the originality of this volume.
What is however most disappointing about this collection is the almost complete absence of truly critical views. No Rortyean voice is to be heard among the assembled chorus and, worse, no pragmatist who is deeply skeptical of reading the pragmatist position as one in need of transcendental justifications, arguments, of "foundations. No one would ever claim that classical pragmatism and Kant's critical project are "in complete opposition" description on page preceding the title page , though many of us tend to think the obsessive focus on this particular connection occludes some of the most important facets of the pragmatist orientation.
Indeed, Rorty is more right than wrong when he identifies Kant as not the way out but the all too seductive entrance back into the modernist labyrinth. Consider, for a moment, Kant's claim at the beginning of the first Critique that hypotheses are contraband in philosophy.
Is it superficial to imagine that the pragmatists have a radically different understanding of philosophical inquiry than that of the a priorist Kant? Of course, what Kant lays out in later chapters e. Conjectures are indeed the only means responsible inquirers have at their disposal. Perhaps like Sherlock Holmes some philosophers might insist, "I never guess," I only produce demonstrative arguments based upon incontrovertible premises, but Peirce, James, Dewey, and Mead would judge such philosophers to suffer from methodological self-deception, a malady for which pragmatism in the form most recognizable to me was designed to remedy.
For the sake of argument, however, let us grant transcendental pragmatists their seemingly unshakable confidence in their philosophical stance. After all, whenever competent persons disagree, this itself makes it clear, Peirce suggests, that the matter is practically dubious. If those pragmatists or interpreters of pragmatism turn to the task of editing a volume devoted to exploring the connection between pragmatist and transcendental approaches, they ought to include those who are radically skeptical of what these skeptics cannot help but judge to be the high-flown pretensions of transcendental approaches.
Otherwise the overarching ideal of "dialogical rationality," an ideal at the very heart of pragmatism, has been desecrated Richard J. Bernstein, The New Constellation , pp. Imagine a collection of essays in which Catholic theologians debate with every appearance of intellectual candor and genuine self-criticism the Lutheran position on the relationship between faith and works.
Actually, it is almost impossible to imagine such a volume being undertaken at this time. The Catholic theologians would have had the good sense to invite at least a Lutheran or two to join the critical debate, in order that the debate might be truly critical. Things are, alas, different in professional philosophy.