This review article responds to a biography of Fichte and a collection of essays on German Idealism stressing the plurality of types of idealism that were presented at the close of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century.
Late in life, Schelling proposes a critique of German idealism’s first principle, the very principle he defends early on under Fichte’s influence. I aim to reveal the Kantian and Maimonian influences on Schelling’s late turn. Kant defines an a priori principle’s proof as relying on the sense experiences that a principle in turn makes possible. The reciprocity in this signals to Schelling that proving the first principle’s reality must be an endless, historical affair. But while Kant thinks answering the question (...) quid juris, regarding our right to possess the concept underlying this principle, entitles us to go on with our proof, Schelling comes to see that demonstrating this right does not answer the question quid indicii, regarding our actual application of such a concept. Maimon raises this question in light of the possible non-reality or emptiness of our core concepts. The worry is that a proof of the first principle of German idealism that relies on sense experience will always fall short of completeness. Maimon’s doubts about our answer to the question quid indicii lead Schelling to acknowledge an ineliminable skepticism that attends the whole of history as the record of our continuing proof of the first principle. (shrink)
The aim of the paper is to clarify the theoretical core of Solger's thought, the foundation for his aesthetics. I first analyze Solger's dialectic of double negation. Secondly I focus on Solger's gnoseology, which is orientated toward grasping the equilibrium between the Infinite (God) and the finite (world) consisting in this double negation. Lastly I investigate the notion of sacrifice, connecting it with Solger's ironic dialectic and showing its relevance to a complete understanding of his thought.
The paper discusses some changes in Bolzano's definition of mathematics attested in several quotations from the Beyträge, Wissenschaftslehre and Grössenlehre: is mathematics a theory of forms or a theory of quantities? Several issues that are maintained throughout Bolzano's works are distinguished from others that were accepted in the Beyträge and abandoned in the Grössenlehre. Changes are interpreted as a consequence of the new logical theory of truth introduced in the Wissenschaftslehre, but also as a consequence of the overcome of Kant's (...) terminology, and of the radicalization of Bolzano's anti‐Kantianism. Bolzano's evolution is understood as a coherent move, once the criticism expressed in the Beyträge on the notion of quantity is compared with a different and larger notion of quantity that Bolzano developed already in 1816. This discussion is enriched by the discovery that two unknown texts mentioned by Bolzano in the Beyträge can be identified with works by von Spaun and Vieth respectively. Bolzano's evolution is interpreted as a radicalization of the criticism of the Kantian definition of mathematics and as an effect of Bolzano's unaltered interest in the Leibnizian notion of mathesis universalis. As a conclusion, the author claims that Bolzano never abandoned his original idea of considering mathematics as a scientia universalis, i.e. as the science of quantities in general, and suggests that the question of ideal elements in mathematics, apart from being a main reason for the development of a new logical theory, can also be considered as a main reason for developing a different definition of quantity. (shrink)
The three works dedicated to securing the foundation of Kantian doctrine are linked inextricably to Hermann Cohen's philosophical life's work. For as much as Cohen distanced himself from Kant's conclusions on individual points in building his own system, the methodological consciousness that inspired all of Cohen's individual achievements certainly first achieved clarity and maturity in his scientific, comprehensive analysis of Kant's fundamental works.
In the middle of the nineteenth century, advances in experimental psychology and the physiology of the sense organs inspired so-called ?Back to Kant? Neo-Kantians to articulate robustly psychologistic visions of Kantian epistemology. But their accounts of the thing in itself were fraught with deep tension: they wanted to conceive of things in themselves as the causes of our sensations, while their own accounts of causal inference ruled that claim out. This paper diagnoses the source of that problem in views of (...) one Neo-Kantan, F. A. Lange, and argues that it is solved only by Ernst Mach. No less than Lange and other Neo-Kantians, Mach was inspired to develop a psychologistic account of the foundations of knowledge, but his account also includes a coherent denial of things in themselves? existence. Finally, this paper uses this account of Lange and Mach on things in themselves to illuminate Mach's relation to a certain strain of the Neo-Kantian philosophy of his own time: his views constitute a more fully coherent version of the psychologistic theory of knowledge Back to Kant figures tried to articulate. (shrink)
The conceptual pair of "Erklären" and "Verstehen" (explanation and understanding) has been an object of philosophical and methodological debates for well over a century. Discussions – to this day – are centered around the question of whether certain objects or issues, such as those dealing with humans or society, require a special approach, different from that of the physical sciences. In the course of such philosophical discussions, we frequently find references to historical predecessors, such as Dilthey’s discussion of the relationship (...) between "Geisteswissenschaft" and "Naturwissenschaft", Windelband’s distinction between nomothetic and idiographic methods, or Weber’s conception of an interpretative sociology. However, these concepts are rarely placed in the historical contexts of their emergence. Nor have the shifting meanings of these terms been analyzed. The present volume considers a variety of intellectual, social, and material factors that contributed to the debate. Far from reducing the debates to their cultural and institutional contexts, however, the volume also offers careful systematic reconstructions of the arguments at hand, thereby enabling the reader to not only appreciate the situatedness of this exciting period of intellectual history, but also to reflect upon the current relevance of the various interpretations of the dichotomy between explanation and understandin. (shrink)
In the process of knowledge imagination is, according to Hegel, the point where the human mind dissociates the object into two different contents - i.e. the thing of the external world and the internal content of the mind -, so that both versions of the object must corroborate each other in the way of a synthesis of heterogenous elements that only in their collation recognizes their identity. Comprehension sublates this dualism, and, by doing that, it sublates also the empiricist approach (...) to knowledge and the correspondence theory of truth which, for Hegel, are at its basis. (shrink)
The main claim of Hegel´s System is that in its inner structure reality is consubstantial with subjective reason, so that, in spite of all its eventual contradictions, reality can be understood by the human mind. However, the process of knowledge of the rationality of reality is at the same time the process of self-knowledge of the rationality that defines as such the human mind. In this general process of knowledge-self-knowledge, the different artistic forms and the different periods of the History (...) of Art have, according to Hegel, a precise function. The main objective of this article is, in the first place, to clarify the function that, according to Hegel, Art has in the process of self-knowledge of human rationality, and, secondly, to analyze in that context the logic of the sublation of Art in the discursive element of language. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Rationality, idealism, monism, and beyond Michael Della Rocca; 2. Kant's idea of the unconditioned and Spinoza's the fourth antinomy and the ideal of pure reason Omri Boehm; 3. The question is whether a purely apparent person is possible Karl Ameriks; 4. Herder and Spinoza Michael Forster; 5. Goethe's Spinozism Eckart Förster; 6. Fichte on freedom: the Spinozistic background Allen Wood; 7. Fichte on the consciousness of Spinoza's God Johannes Haag; 8. Spinoza in Schelling's early conception (...) of intellectual intuition Dalia Nassar; 9. Schelling's philosophy of identity and Spinoza's ethica more geometrico Michael Vater; 10. 'Omnis determinatio est negatio' - determination, negation, and self-negation in Spinoza, Kant, and Hegel Yitzhak Y. Melamed; 11. Thought and metaphysics: Hegel's critical reception of Spinoza Dean Moyar; 12. Two models of metaphysical inferentialism: Spinoza and Hegel Gunnar Hinricks; 13. Trendelenburg and Spinoza Fred Beiser; 14. Replies on behalf of Spinoza Don Garrett. (shrink)
Russell Goodman examines the curious reemergence of pragmatism in a field dominated in the past decades by phenomenology, logic, positivism, and deconstruction. With contributions from major contemporary and classical thinkers such as Cornel West, Richard Rorty, Nancy Fraser, Charles Sanders Peirce, and Ralph Waldo Emerson Russell has gathered an impressive chorus of philosophical voices that reexamine the origins and complexities of neo-pragmatism. The contributors discuss the relationship between pragmatism and literary theory, phenomenology, existentialism, and the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson. (...) They question the meaning of pragmatics, what it is to be practical, and ask provocative questions such as: what is reading? and whether or not democracy is a precondition for the functioning of intelligence. This work places this reemergent and interesting neo-development in its proper context and will provide readers with a strong sense of the movement's foundations, history, and subtlities. (shrink)
Given as an address to the American Philosophical Association on the occasion of its centennial, this paper examines the character and standing of American philosophy now and at the outset of the twentieth century as seen (then and now) from a British point of view. A century ago Britain was itself the unquestioned leader of Anglo-Saxon thought. Now, however, as in so many areas, the US is the pre-eminent world power. This status brings prestige and various benefits but it also (...) carries responsibilities. In considering the latter I recall some virtues of an earlier generation of American philosophers, especially as they were possessed by William James. (shrink)
Coleridge's relation to his German contemporaries constitutes the toughest problem in assessing his standing as a thinker. For the last half-century this relationship has been described, ultimately, as parasitic. As a result, Coleridge's contribution to religious thought has been seen primarily in terms of his poetic genius. This book revives and deepens the evaluation of Coleridge as a philosophical theologian in his own right. Coleridge had a critical and creative relation to, and kinship with, German thought. Moreover, the principal impulse (...) behind his engagement with that philosophy is traced to the more immediate context of the English Unitarian-Trinitarian controversy of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The book re-establishes Coleridge as a philosopher of religion and as a vital source for contemporary theological reflection. (shrink)
In this article we present and compare two early attempts to establish psychology as an independent scientific discipline that had considerable influence in central Europe: the theories of Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776—1841) and Franz Brentano (1838—1917). While both of them emphasize that psychology ought to be conceived as an empirical science, their conceptions show revealing differences. Herbart starts with metaphysical principles and aims at mathematizing psychology, whereas Brentano rejects all metaphysics and bases his method on a conception of inner perception (...) (as opposed to inner observation) as a secondary consciousness, by means of which one gets to be aware of all of one’s own conscious phenomena. Brentano’s focus on inner perception brings him to deny the claim that there could be unconscious mental phenomena — a view that stands in sharp contrast to Herbart’s emphasis on unconscious, ‘repressed’ presentations as a core element of his mechanics of mind. Herbart, on the other hand, denies any role for psychological experiments, while Brentano encouraged laboratory work, thus paving the road for the more experimental work of his students like Stumpf and Meinong. By briefly tracing the fate of the schools of Herbart and Brentano, respectively, we aim to illustrate their impact on the development of psychological research, mainly in central Europe. (shrink)
The widely held assumption about what motivated On Denoting is irreconcilable with Russell's position shortly beforehand; but discarding it leaves one with a carefully worked out solution whose problem is missing. The real motivation is to be found in a notoriously obscure passage in OD, in which Russell exposes a decisive (though easily overlooked) flaw in his former theory of denoting; a flaw which also cripples Frege's theory of sense and reference. A comprehensive account of this passage is the chief (...) concern of the present paper. Recognizing the critical role of this argument of Russell's leads to a more credible account of his argumentation in that essay. It also suggests that the fundamental standpoint underlyingThe Principles of Mathematics remains intact. In this light, the appropriation of OD to the philosophy of language may be misguided. (shrink)
This paper explores two themes—Schleiermacher’s realism and his perspectivalism—and their significance for a theory of religion. I show that Schleiermacher's theory offers an account of human subjectivity and epistemological modesty that at the same time allows us to affirm the reality of the Absolute.
Often referred to as the father of modern theology, F.D.E. Schleiermacher occasioned a revolution in theology having a decisive impact on all subsequent theology. In this original study, Jacqueline Mariña argues that Schleiermachers philosophical ethics constitutes a completely original project, and is arguably his most important achievement. -/- Mariña examines Schleiermachers claim that the self relates to the whence of all that is through the ground of self-consciousness, and shows how this understanding allowed him to develop a philosophical system integrally (...) linking religion and ethics. Because this whence relates to self-consciousness in the way of a formal cause, the most important criteria for what constitutes genuine religion are the ethical fruits expressive of a proper relation to the divine. -/- In Christian Faith Schleiermacher argues that insofar as the personal self-consciousness has been transformed through openness to this whence, the actions that arise from it, too, will be different from those of the former self. This book is an analysis of how Schleiermacher conceived of this transformation, the conditions of its possibility, and the nature of its effects. This is accomplished through an examination of his metaphysics of the self, especially Schleiermachers understanding of the immediate self-consciousness and its relation to the divine causality, the nature of self-consciousness and personal identity, the nature of agency, and the relation between self and society. This book demonstrates that Schleiermachers achievement offers a compelling, live option for contemporary debates concerning the relation of religion and morality. (shrink)
In my chapter "Christology and Anthropology in Friedrich Schleiermacher,” I discuss Schleiermacher's understanding of both the person and work of Christ. Schleiermacher's dialogue with the orthodox Christological tradition preceding him, as well as his understanding of the work of Christ, is founded on a critical analysis of the fundamental person-forming experience of being in relation to Christ and the community founded by him. I provide an analysis of Schleiermacher's discussion of the difficulties surrounding the use of the word "nature" in (...) relation to Jesus' humanity and divinity, and then move to discuss how Schleiermacher understands both the humanity and divinity of Jesus, as well as how the two stand in relation to one another. In the original divine decree Jesus Christ is ordained as the person through which the whole human race is to be completed and perfected, and the essence of perfect human nature just is to express divine. This is the essence of Schleiermacher's solution to the Christological problem, that is, of how the divine and the human can converge in one person. I then move to discuss Schleiermacher's understanding of the work of Christ as involving two interrelated moments. The first is the awakening of the God-consciousness. The second involves the self-expression of this God-consciousness in the form of Christian love in the community of believers. As such, the principle work of Christ is the founding of the kingdom of God. (shrink)
Known as the 'Father of modern theology' Friedrich Schleiermacher is without a doubt one of the most important theologians in the history of Christianity. Not only relevant to theology, he also made significant contributions in areas of philosophy such as hermeneutics, ethics, philosophy of religion, and the study of Plato, and he was ahead of his time in espousing a kind of pro to-feminism. Divided into three parts, this Companion deals first with elements of Schleiermacher's philosophy, such as metaphysics, epistemology (...) of religious knowledge, ethics, hermeneutics, and contributions to Plato scholarship. Second it discusses theological topics such as sin, redemption and Christology, and the final section is devoted to Schleiermacher's understanding of culture. This is the first book in English introducing readers to all the important aspects of Schleiermacher's thought in a systematic way, containing essays by some of the best scholars in Germany and in the English speaking world. (shrink)
The Berlin lectures in The Grounding of Positive Philosophy, appearing here for the first time in English, advance Schelling's final "existential system" as an alternative to modernity's reduction of philosophy to a purely formal science of reason. The onetime protege of Fichte and benefactor of Hegel, Schelling accuses German Idealism of dealing "with the world of lived experience just as a surgeon who promises to cure your ailing leg by amputating it." Schelling's appeal in Berlin for a positive, existential philosophy (...) found an interested audience in Kierkegaard, Engels, Feuerbach, Marx, and Bakunin. His account of the ecstatic nature of existence and reason proved to be decisive for the work of Paul Tillich and Martin Heidegger. Also, Schelling's critique of reason's quixotic attempt at self-grounding anticipates similar criticisms leveled by poststructuralism, but without sacrificing philosophy's power to provide a positive account of truth and meaning. The Berlin lectures provide fascinating insight into the thought processes of one of the most provocative yet least understood thinkers of nineteenth-century German philosophy. (shrink)
: In this paper I explore one issue in the history of German Idealism which has been widely neglected in the existing literature. I argue that Salomon Maimon was the first to suggest that Spinoza's pantheism was a radical religious (or 'acosmistic') view rather than atheism. Following a discussion of the historical context of Maimon's engagement with Spinoza, I point out the main Spinozistic element of Maimon 's philosophy: the view of God as the material cause of the world, or (...) as the subject in which all things inhere. I argue that this doctrine was the basis of Maimon's Law of Determinability. (shrink)
This study calls for a re-evaluation of Schleiermacher’s relevance and contemporaneity, with special emphasis on his account of consciousness and his theory of religion. Through a critical examination of Hegel’s critique of Schleiermacher, the author argues that Schleiermacher suceeeded in overcoming the paradigm of subjectivity in some ways, and failed in others.
Karl Popper has often been cast as one of the most solitary figures of twentieth-century philosophy. The received image is of a thinker who developed his scientific philosophy virtually alone and in opposition to a crowd of brilliant members of the Vienna Circle. This paper challenges the received view and undertakes to correctly situate on the map of the history of philosophy Popper’s contribution, in particular, his renowned fallibilist theory of knowledge. The motive for doing so is the conviction that (...) the mainstream perspective on Popper’s philosophy makes him more difficult to understand than might otherwise be the case. The thinker who figures most significantly in the account of Popper developed in these pages is Leonard Nelson. Both a neo-Friesian and neo-Kantian, this philosopher deeply influenced Popper through his student Julius Kraft, who met with Popper on numerous occasions in the mid 1920s. It is in the light of this influence that we understand Popper’s recollection that when he criticized the Vienna Circle in the early 1930s, he looked upon himself “as an unorthodox Kantian”. (shrink)
Hermann Lotze was a key figure in the philosophy of the second half of the nineteenth century, influencing practically all the leading philosophical schools of the late nineteenth and the coming twentieth century, including (i) the neo-Kantians; (ii) Brentano and his school; (iii) The British idealists; (iv) William James’s pragmatism; (v) Husserl’s phenomenology; (vi) Dilthey’s philosophy of life; (vii) Frege’s new logic; (viii) the early Cambridge analytic philosophy.
Between 1896 and 1898 Russell’s philosophy was considerably influenced by Hermann Lotze. Lotze’s influence on Russell was especially pronounced in introducing metaphysical—anthropological, in particular—assumptions in Russell’s logic and ontology. Three steps in his work reflect this influence. (i) The first such step can be discerned in the Principle of Differentiation, which Russell accepted in the Essay (finished in October 1986); according to this Principle, the objects of human cognition are segmented complexes which have diverse parts (individuals). (ii) After Russell reread (...) Lotze in June 1897, he claimed that the solution of the dilemma of pluralism or monism depends on how we see space and time: as relational or as adjectival? (iii) Russell decided for the relational conception only after he attended lectures by McTaggart on Lotze in January to February 1898. The lectures helped Russell to advance (from April to June 1898) a new theory of judgment according to which judgments relate terms (individuals) which are distinct one from another. Space and time moreover are series of moments and places with external relations between themselves. The discussions Russell had with Moore in May to June 1898 took place only after Russell developed this conception; they did not cause his philosophical turn. (shrink)
In this paper, I directly oppose Nietzsche’s endorsement of a morality of breeding to all forms of comparative, positive eugenics: the use of genetic selection to introduce positive improvement in individuals or the species, based on negatively or comparatively defined traits. I begin by explaining Nietzsche’s contrast between two broad categories of morality: breeding and taming. I argue that the ethical dangers of positive eugenics are grounded in their status as forms of taming, which preserves positively evaluated character traits and (...) types through the active de-selection of negatively evaluated ones. The morality of taming is not a form of selection, but de-selection: the production of counter or anti-traits and types. Consequently, in its attempt to improve humanity, it tends necessarily toward violence as the elimination of de-selected forms of human life. In contrast, Nietzsche’s morality of breeding selects traits and types by protecting them from de-selection—specifically, by attacking moral ideas, values, and practices designed to eliminate them. It tends not towards the destruction but preservation of types; its negativity targets not life but the ideas that disable, disempower, and eradicate forms of life. I argue, further, that the fundamental ethical difference between breeding and taming, and so between Nietzschean morality and eugenics, is found in their attitudes toward the natural world. The violence of eugenics as taming is grounded in its status as anti-natural, while Nietzsche’s morality of breeding resists violence through its foundational affirmation of the conditions and limitations of the natural world: its resolute moral naturalism. Finally, I apply my interpretation of breeding and taming to two cases of comparative, positive eugenics: the historical case of racial eugenics and the so-called “designer baby” case in contemporary liberal eugenics. Nietzsche must condemn both as forms of the anti-natural morality of taming, to which the morality of breeding is diametrically opposed. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that Nietzsche’s rejection of egalitarianism depends on equivocation between distinct conceptions of power and equality. When these distinct views are disentangled, Nietzsche’s arguments succeed only against a narrow sense of equality as qualitative similarity (die Gleichheit as die Ähnlichkeit), and not against quantitative forms that promote equality not as similarity but as multiple, proportional resistances (die Gleichheit as die Veilheit and der Widerstand). I begin by distinguishing the two conceptions of power at play in Nietzsche’s (...) arguments, power as quantitative superiority of ability and as qualitative feeling of power (das Gefühl der Macht), an affective state that does not directly correlate with quantitative ability and, because based in resistance (der Widerstand), requires relative equality as its condition. Nietzsche presents four principal arguments against egalitarianism, each concluding that equality harms the flourishing of humanity’s highest individuals. First, equality directly promotes qualitative similarity (die Ähnlichkeit) at the expense of multiplicity (die Vielheit). Second, because material inequalities ground the “pathos of distance” (the recognition of spiritual inequality), equality indirectly undermines the desire for self-development. Third, because it opposes aristocratic conditions, egalitarianism promotes a form of liberalism that removes conditions of constraint necessary to human development. Finally, equality is a less efficient means to human enhancement, which is best promoted through unequal distribution of resources to the most able individuals. I argue that in each case Nietzsche’s argument succeeds only if interpreted according to the quantitative conception of power as superiority, but fails when we also consider the qualitative conception of power as feeling. For the promotion of an individual’s qualitative power is compatible with quantitative power equality. Moreover, because power is felt only in resistance, the feeling of power requires relative equality as its precondition—an alternate sense of equality construed, not as qualitative similarity, but as quantitative resistance from proportional counter-powers. I conclude that Nietzsche’s commitment to the promotion of humanity’s highest individuals does not entail the rejection of moral egalitarianism in every form and even supports certain forms. (shrink)