In this single-blind within-subject study, autonomic and EEG variables were compared during 10-min, order-balanced eyes-closed rest and TranscendentalMeditation (TM) sessions. TM sessions were distinguished by (1) lower breath rates, (2) lower skin conductance levels, (3) higher respiratory sinus arrhythmia levels, and (4) higher alpha anterior-posterior and frontal EEG coherence. Alpha power was not significantly different between conditions. These results were seen in the first minute and were maintained throughout the 10-min sessions. TM practice appears to (1) lead (...) to a state fundamentally different than eyes-closed rest; (2) result in a cascade of events in the central and autonomic nervous systems, leading to a rapid change in state (within a minute) that was maintained throughout the TM session; and (3) be best distinguished from other conditions through autonomic and EEG alpha coherence patterns rather than alpha power. Two neural networks that may mediate these effects are suggested. The rapid shift in physiological functioning within the first minute might be mediated by a ''neural switch'' in prefrontal areas inhibiting activity in specific and nonspecific thalamocortical circuits. The resulting ''restfully alert'' state might be sustained by a basal ganglia-corticothalamic threshold regulation mechanism automatically maintaining lower levels of cortical excitability. (shrink)
Consciousness-based education and Maharishi Vedic science -- Consciousness-based education and education -- Consciousness-based education and physiology and health -- Consciousness-based education and physics -- Consciousness-based education and mathematics -- Consciousness-based education and literature -- Consciousness-based education and art -- Consciousness-based education and management -- Consciousness-based education and government -- Consciousness-based education and computer science -- Consciousness-based education and sustainability -- Consciousness-based education and world peace.
Neurophenomenology is a research programme aimed at bridging the explanatory gap between first-person subjective experience and neurophysiological third-person data, through an embodied and enactive approach to the biology of consciousness. The present proposal attempts to further characterize the bodily basis of the mind by adopting a naturalistic view of the phenomenological concept of intentionality as the a priori invariant character of any lived experience. Building on the Kantian definition of transcendentality as “what concerns the a priori formal structures of the (...) subject’s mind” and as a precondition for the very possibility of human knowledge, we will suggest that this transcendental core may in fact be rooted in biology and can be examined within an extension of the theory of autopoiesis. The argument will be first clarified by examining its application to previously proposed elementary autopoietic models, to the bacterium, and to the immune system; it will be then further substantiated and illustrated by examining the mirror-neuron system and the default mode network as biological instances exemplifying the enactive nature of knowledge, and by discussing the phenomenological aspects of selected neurological conditions (neglect, schizophrenia). In this context, the free-energy principle proposed recently by Karl Friston will be briefly introduced as a rigorous, neurally-plausible framework that seems to accomodate optimally these ideas. While our approach is biologically-inspired, we will maintain that lived first-person experience is still critical for a better understanding of brain function, based on our argument that the former and the latter share the same transcendental structure. Finally, the role that disciplined contemplative practices can play to this aim, and an interpretation of the cognitive processes taking place during meditation under this perspective, will be also discussed. (shrink)
Are you tempted by the prospect of a reversal of ageing, increased intelligence, improved relationships or irreversible world peace? These are just some of the benefits of meditation promised by the TranscendentalMeditation organisation. Admittedly, it doesn't seem very plausible. Such claims imply that sitting still silently repeating a phrase - one form of meditation practiced by the followers of the TM movement - can have profound physical, psychological and even sociological effects. Indeed, it sounds so (...) implausible that many people simply dismiss meditation out of hand. (shrink)
In his paper on transcendental intersubjectivity in Husserl, which refers mainly to the Fifth Cartesian Meditation, Schutz (1966a) marks out four stages in Husserl's argument and finds what are for him insurmountable problems in each stage. These stages are: (1) isolation of the primordial world of one's peculiar ownness by means of a further epoche; (2) apperception of the other via pairing; (3) constitution of objective, intersubjective Nature; (4) constitution of higher forms of community. Because of the problems (...) Schutz encounters in each of these stages, he concludes that Husserl's theory is unacceptable (Schutz, 1966a, p.82). Having already proved that it is unacceptable, he now explains why these problems arise in Husserl's theory. Intersubjectivity, says Schutz, is "a datum of the life-world," (1966a, p.82) not a transcendental problem. In other words, intersubjectivity must be dealt with as a problem of the life-world of the natural attitude, not a "problem of constitution which can be solved within the transcendental sphere." (Schutz, 1966a, p.82). There is no such thing as transcendental intersubjectivity, if by that is meant intersubjectivity of a plurality of transcendental egos. The role of transcendental phenomenology in the problem of intersubjectivity is to explicate within the transcendental reduction the sense: "intersubjectivity in the life-world." Husserl was diverted from this proper role of phenomenology--in his words, to "explicate the sense which this world has for us prior to all philosophy" (trans. and quoted by Schutz from "Cartesianische Meditationen, para. 62, in fine," in Schutz, 1966a, p.82)--because of the unobtrusive transformation of sense of his concept of constitution from that of explication and clarification to "creation," in the sense of providing an ontology of the lifeworld. The fact that phenomenology is in principle incapable of doing this lies behind the failure of Husserl's theory of intersubjectivity (Schutz, 1966a, pp.83-84). Unlike Schutz, I will deal with this general issue explicitly in the context of the stages in Husserl's argument and Schutz's objections. It seems to me that Husserl does remain within the sphere of clarification of sense, but to do explication and clarification of certain "senses" results inevitably in doing a kind of ontology. (shrink)
This paper explores Husserl's phenomenological description of the constitution of the alter ego within the sphere of transcendental subjectivity. It is important at the start to point out that the Other plays a crucial role in securing the intersubjective nature of the experienced world. Although Husserl goes on in the "Fifth Cartesian Meditation" to consider the constitution of an objective world common to all subjects and the establishment of a community of monads, my primary focus in this paper (...) will be the examination of the initial steps whereby the sense, "other ego," is constituted by the transcendental ego. My main task, then, will be to examine the reduction to the sphere of ownness, the appresentative transfer of sense from ego to alter ego, and the criterion of harmonious behavior. My primary criticisms will center around certain difficulties inherent in the attempt to uncover a primordial sphere of ownness and problems that arise from a shift in concern from the life-world (everyday) attitude to the attitude following the performance of the epoché. Part I of the paper will consist of a general discussion of Husserl's phenomenological project, Part II will be a detailed study of the alter ego, and Part III a general statement of problems and objections. (shrink)
The article presents and critically examines the techniques of husserl's phenomenological reduction on the one hand and of yogic meditation on the other, The latter as expounded by patanjali in the 'yoga-Sutras'. By comparing and contrasting these, The author argues that patanjali provides clear and consistent techniques for performing phenomenological reduction. The inconsistency between phenomenological reduction as a technique and the goal of phenomenology as providing the foundations of knowledge is then brought into clear focus. Finally, It is shown (...) that yoga and phenomenology both logically lead to transcendental idealism. (shrink)
With the possible exception of the first volume of the Ideas, no single work published by Husserl has caused as much controversy among philosophers otherwise sympathetic to his philosophical endeavor as the 5th Cartesian Meditation. The controversy centers around the constitutive analysis of the sense "another subject," an analysis the elaborate detail of which seems out of place in the otherwise programmatic Cartesian Meditations. This analysis, which marks the first step in Husserl's account of consciousness of the other as (...) another subject, consciousness of self as a subject among other subjects, and consciousness of the world as an Objective 1 world, a world shared by a plurality of different subjects, is regarded to be a test of the philosophical status of transcendental phenomenology as such, a test Husserl seems to have failed. The present essay will examine this constitutive analysis as well as the role it plays in the argument of the 5th Meditation. As the title suggests, I shall side with Husserl's critics in that the analysis will be found to be wanting. However, the essay will not be simply critical, nor will it be a review of the various criticisms and defenses of the 5th Meditation which have appeared in the phenomenological tradition. Rather, an attempt to rethink the problem of intersubjectivity, the title that will be adopted for the problems posed by meanings founded upon the sense "another subject," will be made, and, in light of this attempt, a new approach to the constitutive analysis of the sense "another subject" will be presented. The specific thesis of this essay, viz., that a new approach to the constitutive analysis of the experience of the other as another subject is required, one different from Husserl's approach in the 5th Meditation, is based upon the rejection of Husserl's position that consciousness of the other as another subject is originally founded upon a connection made by the I between the other qua phenomenal object and itself qua phenomenal object, a connection that makes the extension of mental predicates to the other possible. The question I shall pose is this: Is the proper locus for the constitutive analysis of the sense "another subject," the analysis of the various motives and resulting intentional accomplishments in virtue of which the other presents himself as another subject, the distinction made on the level of the fully constituted, intersubjective world between the "privacy" of mental life and the "publicness" of the body? It will be argued that the attribution of mental life to the other (and to the I, for that matter) has the status of an explanation for observed phenomena the basis for the recognition of which is intersubjective (e.g., conflicts between subjects regarding their opinions of an Object, the difference between the behavior of subjects vis-a-vis that of inanimate objects, etc.), and hence that the distinction between "mind" and "body" cannot guide the analysis of the intentional situation that motivates the distinction. (shrink)
In 1955, an obscure socio-spiritual organization dedicated to the twin aims of individual spiritual realization and social service was formed in the state of Bihar, India. It was named Ānanda Mārga Pracāraka Saṃgha (abbreviated AM), literally translated as "Community for the Propagation of the Path of Bliss." AM stands alongside other New Religious Movements of Indian origin that have captured the imagination and allegiance of a substantial number of followers in both Asia and the West. It is in much the (...) same genre as New Religious Movements such as TranscendentalMeditation and the International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness. The founder of AM was a charismatic spiritualist and visionary, Prabhāt Ranjan .. (shrink)
The foundational status that Edmund Husserl envisages for phenomenology in relation to the sciences would seem to suggest that the successful unfolding of contemporary debates in the field of social cognition will be conditioned by progress in resolving certain central controversies in the phenomenology of intersubjectivity, notably in long-standing questions pertaining to the priority of subjectivity in relation to intersubjectivity, and the priority of empathy in relation to other forms of intersubjectivity. That such controversies are long-standing is in no small (...) part attributable to the fact that the debate surrounding Husserl’s seminal attempts to elucidate these problems has placed his account, and certainly his published position, under a certain amount of pressure, pressure which stems from the suspicion that intentionality toward others may be more deeply embedded in subjectivity than the Husserl of Cartesian Meditations seems prepared to admit. Is the primordinally reduced solipsistic subject of the Fifth Meditation really capable of discovering intersubjectivity in the way that Husserl describes, or is such putative discovery (indeed, subjective transformation) already conditioned by a more primitive form of intersubjectivity? This paper investigates two ways in which this kind of “circularity” objection might arise. Firstly, it might be argued that Husserl presupposes an external perspective on one’s own body, a perspective which rationally would have to be correlated with an indeterminate foreign subjectivity. Secondly, the view has been advanced (Zahavi in Husserl and transcendental intersubjectivity: a response to the linguistic-pragmatic critique. Ohio University Press, Athens, OH, 2001b) that horizonal perceptual awareness of another spatio-temporal entity turns out to be essentially intersubjective, on the grounds that awareness of some of an object’s averted aspects commits one to positing the possibility in principle of those averted aspects being available to an indeterminate foreign subjectivity. Objections such as these seem to place the phenomenological enquiry into the encounter with another person at something of a crossroads. On the one hand, they have led some to argue that basic empathy, as Husserl conceives it, must indeed be conditioned by the anonymous constituting influence of a more primitive form of intersubjectivity. On the other hand, the option remains open to seek to defend Husserl’s published position against the charges of circularity. This paper pursues the latter alternative, and argues that, with appropriate clarification, the objections from circularity can be convincingly answered. It will be argued that the key to understanding why the standard Husserlian position can be sustained lies in recognising the centrality of the activity of the imagination as a condition for the possibility of intersubjectivity. (shrink)
I intend to map the historical debates about the Husserlian notion of transcendental reflection around 1930. This notion is essential for Husserl’s project of transcendental phenomenology. The easiest interpretation, based on Brentano’s notion of secondary perception, is represented by Rudolf Zocher’s critique of Husserl. Zocher’s critique is attacked by Eugen Fink, Husserl’s last assistant. His defence however contains very strong claims concerning the feasibility of the transcendental reduction, and the different kind of egos it involves. I investigate, (...) whether his point of view could be attributed to Husserl. A detailed theory of transcendental reflection is found in Fink’s Sixth Cartesian Meditation, but it is possible to track down its Husserlian origins. I examine some common sense objections, as represented by a critique which originates from Roman Ingarden, Husserl’s former student. I intend to show that it is possible to delineate a specifically Husserlian approach to the problem of transcendental reflection, which is less prone to the objections that could be levelled against Fink’s exposition. (shrink)
Although Kant envisaged a prominent role for logic in the argumentative structure of his Critique of pure reason, logicians and philosophers have generally judged Kant's logic negatively. What Kant called `general' or `formal' logic has been dismissed as a fairly arbitrary subsystem of first order logic, and what he called `transcendental logic' is considered to be not a logic at all: no syntax, no semantics, no definition of validity. Against this, we argue that Kant's `transcendental logic' is a (...) logic in the strict formal sense, albeit with a semantics and a definition of validity that are vastly more complex than that of first order logic. The main technical application of the formalism developed here is a formal proof that Kant's Table of Judgements in §9 of the Critique of pure reason, is indeed, as Kant claimed, complete for the kind of semantics he had in mind. This result implies that Kant's 'general' logic is after all a distinguished subsystem of first order logic, namely what is known as geometric logic. (shrink)
This essay argues that the key to understanding Kant's transcendental idealism is to understand the transcendental realism with which he contrasts it. It maintains that the latter is not to be identified with a particular metaphysical thesis, but with the assumption that the proper objects of human cognitions are “objects in general” or “as such,” that is, objects considered simply qua objects of some understanding. Since this appears to conflict with Kant's own characterization of transcendental realism as (...) the view that (mistakenly) regards appearances as if they were things in themselves, the essay explicates the connection between the concepts of an object (or thing) considered as such and a thing considered as it is in itself. In light of this, it maintains that Kant's transcendental idealism is compatible with a robust empirical realism and that many of its critics are tacitly committed to a misguided transcendental realism. (shrink)
I take up Kant's remarks about a "transcendental deduction" of the "concepts of space and time" (A87/B119-120). I argue for the need to make a clearer assessment of the philosophical resources of the Aesthetic in order to account for this transcendental deduction. Special attention needs to be given to the fact that the central task of the Aesthetic is simply the "exposition" of these concepts. The Metaphysical Exposition reflects upon facts about our usage to reveal our commitment to (...) the idea that these concepts refer to pure intuitions. But the legitimacy of these concepts still hangs in the balance: these concepts may turn out to refer to nothing real at all. The subsequent Transcendental Exposition addresses this issue. The objective validity of the concepts of space and time, and hence their transcendental deduction, hinges on careful treatment of this last point. (shrink)
Traditionally transcendental logic has been set apart from formal logic. Transcendental logic had to deal with the conditions of possibility of judgements, which were presupposed by formal logic. Defined as a purely philosophical enterprise transcendental logic was considered as being a priori delivering either analytic or even synthetic a priori results. In this paper it is argued that this separation from the (empirical) cognitive sciences should be given up. Transcendental logic should be understood as focusing on (...) specific questions. These do not, as some recent analytic philosophy has it, include a refutation of scepticism. And they are not to be separated from meta-logical investigations. Transcendental logic properly understood, and redefined along these theses, should concern itself with the (formal) re-construction of the presupposed necessary conditions and rules of linguistic communication in general. It aims at universality and reflexive closure. (shrink)
In the Critique of Pure Reason Kant argues that the empirical knowledge of the world depends on a priori conditions of human sensibility and understanding, i. e., our capacities of sense experience and concept formation. The objective knowledge presupposes, on one hand, space and time as a priori conditions of sensibility and, on another hand, a priori judgments, like the principle of causality, as constitutive conditions of understanding. The problem is that in the XX century the physical science completely changed (...) how we conceive our knowledge of the world. Face to this new situation, what was changed in our classical reason? However, if the transcendental point of view is adopted, in the specific case of quantum mechanics, we have to wonder about the general conditions of this theory that make possible such knowledge, which predictive value is much more accurate than the classical physics. The aim of this work is firstly to show the Kantian implications on Bohr’s interpretation of quantum phenomena and secondly to provide an overview of the key elements for understanding the transcendental locus of ordinary language in the quantum mechanics context, in order to give support to a transcendental pragmatic position in the analysis of science. (shrink)
James Van Cleve has argued that Kant’s Transcendental Deduction of the categories shows, at most, that we must apply the categories to experience. And this falls short of Kant’s aim, which is to show that they must so apply. In this discussion I argue that once we have noted the differences between the first and second editions of the Deduction, this objection is less telling. But Van Cleve’s objection can help illuminate the structure of the B Deduction, and it (...) suggests an interesting reason why the rewriting might have been thought necessary. (shrink)
Throughout his career, Husserl identifies naturalism as the greatest threat to both the sciences and philosophy. In this paper, I explicate Husserl’s overall diagnosis and critique of naturalism and then examine the specific transcendental aspect of his critique. Husserl agreed with the Neo-Kantians in rejecting naturalism. He has three major critiques of naturalism: First, it (like psychologism and for the same reasons) is ‘countersensical’ in that it denies the very ideal laws that it needs for its own justification. Second, (...) naturalism essentially misconstrues consciousness by treating it as a part of the world. Third, naturalism is the inevitable consequence of a certain rigidification of the ‘natural attitude’ into what Husserl calls the ‘naturalistic attitude’. This naturalistic attitude ‘reifies’ and it ‘absolutizes’ the world such that it is treated as taken-for-granted and ‘obvious’. Husserl’s transcendental phenomenological analysis, however, discloses that the natural attitude is, despite its omnipresence in everyday life, not primary, but in fact is relative to the ‘absolute’ transcendental attitude. The mature Husserl’s critique of naturalism is therefore based on his acceptance of the absolute priority of the transcendental attitude . The paradox remains that we must start from and, in a sense, return to the natural attitude, while, at the same time, restricting this attitude through the on-going transcendental vigilance of the universal epoché. (shrink)
Many spiritual traditions employ certain mental techniques (meditation) which consist in inhibiting mental activity whilst nonetheless remaining fully conscious, which is supposed to lead to a realisation of one’s own true nature prior to habitual self-substantialisation. In this paper I propose that this practice can be understood as a special means of becoming aware of consciousness itself as such. To explain this claim I conduct some phenomenologically oriented considerations about the nature of consciousness qua presence and the problem of (...) self-presence of this presence. (shrink)
This article compares the differences between Kant’s and Husserl’s conceptions of the “transcendental.” It argues that, for Kant, the term “transcendental” stands for what is otherwise called “metaphysical,” i.e. non-empirical knowledge. As opposed to his predecessors, who had believed that such non-empirical knowledge was possible for meta-physical, i.e. transcendent objects, Kant’s contribution was to show how there can be non-empirical (a priori) knowledge not about transcendent objects, but about the necessary conditions for the experience of natural, non-transcendent objects. (...) Hence the transcendental for Kant ends up connoting a philosophy that claims to show how subjective forms of intuition and thinking have objective validity for all objects as appearances. By contrast, Husserl’s phenomenological philosophy takes a different set of problems for its starting point. His quest is to avoid the uncertainty of empirical knowledge about all kinds of objects that present themselves to us as something other than, something transcendent to, consciousness. Transcendental or reliable knowledge is made possible through the phenomenological reduction that focuses strictly on consciousness as immediately self-given to itself—reflection upon “pure” consciousness. The contents of such consciousness are not the same for everyone and at every time, so they are not necessary and invariant in the way that Kant’s pure forms of subjectivity are. Since Husserl however also claims that the all objects, as intentional objects, are constituted in and for consciousness, an investigation into the structures of pure subjectivity can also be called “transcendental” in a further sense of showing the genesis of our knowledge of objects that are transcendent to consciousness. Moreover, since Husserl’s philosophical interest is precisely upon the structures of that consciousness, he also concentrates on necessary conditions for the constitution of these objects in his philosophical work. Hence, there ends up being a great deal of overlap between his own transcendental project and Kant’s in spite of the differences in what each of them means by the term “transcendental.”. (shrink)
Robert Stern investigates how scepticism can be countered by using transcendental arguments concerning the necessary conditions for the possibility of experience, language, or thought. He shows that the most damaging sceptical questions concern neither the certainty of our beliefs nor the reliability of our belief-forming methods, but rather how we can justify our beliefs.
‘Performative’ transcendental arguments exploit the status of a subcategory of self-falsifying propositions in showing that some form of skepticism is unsustainable. The aim of this paper is to examine the relationship between performatively inconsistent propositions and transcendental arguments, and then to compare performative transcendental arguments to modest transcendental arguments that seek only to establish the indispensability of some belief or conceptual framework. Reconceptualizing transcendental arguments as performative helps focus the intended dilemma for the skeptic: performative (...)transcendental arguments directly confront the skeptic with the choice of abandoning either skepticism or some other deep theoretical commitment. Many philosophers, from Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas to Jaakko Hintikka, C.I. Lewis, and Bernard Lonergan, have claimed that some skeptical propositions regarding knowledge, reason, and/or morality can be shown to be self-defeating; that is to say, they have claimed that the very upholding of some skeptical position is in some way incompatible with the position being upheld, or with the implied, broader dialectical position of the skeptic in question. Statements or propositions alleged to have this characteristic also sometimes are called ‘self-falsifying,’ ‘self-refuting,’ ‘self-stultifying,’ ‘self-destructive,’ or ‘pointless.’ However, proponents of the strategy of showing skepticism to be self-defeating have not in general adequately distinguished between two types of self-defeating proposition: self-falsifying and self-stultifying. In the first part of this paper I distinguish between self-falsifying and self-stultifying propositions, and introduce the notion of performative self-falsification. In the second part I discuss classical transcendental arguments, ‘modest’ transcendental arguments, and objections to each. In the third part I introduce two types of transcendental argument—each labeled “performative”—corresponding to two types of performatively self-falsifying proposition, and I compare them to modest transcendental arguments. (shrink)
Eliminativism was targeted by transcendental arguments from the first. Three responses to these arguments have emerged from the eliminativist literature, the heart of which is that such arguments are question-begging. These responses are shown to be incompatible with the position, eliminativism, they are meant to defend. Out of these failed responses is developed a general transcendental argument against eliminativism (the "Paradox of Abandonment"). Eliminativists have anticipated this argument, but their six different attempts to counter it are shown to (...) be separately inadequate, mutually incompatible, and, again, incompatible with the position that they are seeking to defend. (shrink)
The debate on how to interpret Kant's transcendental idealism has been prominent for several decades now. In his book Kant's Transcendental Proof of Realism (2004) Kenneth R. Westphal introduces and defends his version of the metaphysical dual-aspect reading. But his real aim lies deeper: to provide a sound transcendental proof for (unqualified) realism, based on Kant's work, without resorting to transcendental idealism. In this sense his aim is similar to that of Peter F. Strawson – although (...) Westphal's approach is far more sophisticated. First he attempts to show that noumenal causation – on the reality of which his argument partly rests – is coherent in and necessary for Kant's transcendental idealism. Westphal then aims to undermine transcendental idealism by two major claims: Kant can neither account for transcendental affinity nor satisfactorily counter Hume's causal scepticism. Finally Westphal defends his alternative for transcendental idealism by showing that it solves these problems and thus offers a genuine transcendental proof for realism. In this paper I will show that all the three steps outlined above suffer from decisive shortcomings, and that consequently, regardless of its merits, Westphal's transcendental argument for realism remains undemonstrated. (shrink)
This paper provides a new, comprehensive overview of Martin Heidegger’s interpretations of Immanuel Kant. Its aim is to identify Heidegger’s motive in interpreting Kant and to distinguish, for the first time, the four phases of Heidegger’s reading of Kant. The promise of the “phenomenological Kant” gave Heidegger entrance to a rich domain of investigation. In four phases and with reference to Husserl, Heidegger interpreted Kant as first falling short of phenomenology (1919-1925), then approaching phenomenology (1925-1927), then advancing phenomenology (1927-1929), and (...) finally recovering phenomenology (1930 and after). By identifying this motive and these four phases, the paper sets aside a number of common misinterpretations concerning the significance of the 1925 turn to Kant, the relation of the Kant-interpretation to Husserl, the relation of the 1929 'Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics' to 'Being and Time,' and Heidegger’s regard for Kant in his later writings. The paper thereby clarifies Heidegger’s path of thinking and its indebtedness to transcendental philosophy. (shrink)
This essay discusses Stanley Cavell’s remarkable interpretation of Emmanuel Levinas’s thought against the background of his own ongoing engagement with Wittgenstein, Austin, and the problem of other minds. This unlikely debate, the only extensive discussion of Levinas by Cavell in his long philosophical career sofar, focuses on their different reception of Descartes’s idea of the infinite. The essay proposes to read both thinkers against the background of Wittgenstein’s model of philosophical meditation and raises the question as to whether Cavell (...) and Levinas do not indirectly shed light on the early modern motif of the spiritual automaton. (shrink)
The Appendix to the Transcendental Dialectic of Kant's first Critique is notorious for two reasons. First, it appears to contradict itself in saying that the idea of the systematic unity of nature is and is not transcendental. Second, in the passages in which Kant appears to espouse the former alternative, he appears to be making a significant amendment to his account of the conditions of the possibility of experience in the Transcendental Analytic. I propose a solution to (...) both of these difficulties. With regard to the first, I argue that Kant does not contradict himself. With regard to the second, I argue that Kant is not making any change to his view of the conditions of the possibility of experience espoused in the Transcendental Analytic. The underlying cause of these apparent problems is also their solution: the transcendental illusion that nature is necessarily systematic. (shrink)
Meditation can be conceptualized as a family of complex tial to be specific about the type of meditation practice emotional and attentional regulatory training regimes under investigation. Failure to make such distinctions developed for various ends, including the cultivation of..
As Husserl argues in the fifth Cartesian Meditation, the similarity of my Body (Leib) with the body (Körper) of another person is the founding moment of the experience of the other. This similarity is based on the previous objectivation of my Body. Husserl continuously worried to explicate this similarity-premise and by doing so, it appeared that this objectivation already presupposes intersubjectivity. By running into this problem, the Meditation actually fulfils its program by showing that the other is co-constitutive (...) of the world and more precisely of my existence as a worldly human being. At the same time he developed an alternative approach by identifying the original experience of the other as an expressive unity (Ausdruckseinheit) as the condition of possibility of intersubjective experience. By drawing on the relevant Forschungsmanuskripte in the volumes on Intersubjectivity and on Ideas II, it appears that the Meditation offers a naturalistic theory of intersubjectivity that results from the introduction of the reduction to primordiality. When one takes into account Husserl's analysis of the experience of an expressive unity, that is a defining characteristic of the personalistic attitude, one can clarify the derivative nature of this naturalistic approach. (shrink)
In this paper I trace Husserl’s transformation of his notion of phantasy from its strong leanings towards empiricism into a transcendental phenomenology of imagination. Rejecting the view that this account is only more incompatible with contemporary neuroscientific research, I instead claim that the transcendental suspension of naturalistic (or scientific) pretensions precisely enables cooperation between the two distinct realms of phenomenology and science. In particular, a transcendental account of phantasy can disclose the specific accomplishments of imagination without prematurely (...) deciding upon a particular scientific paradigm for its experimental investigation; a decision that is best left to the sciences themselves. (shrink)
Kant’s ‘Refutation of Idealism’ plainly has an anti-Cartesian conclusion: ‘inner experience in general is only possible through outer experience in general’ (B278). Due to wide-spread preoccupation with Cartesian skepticism, and to the anti-naturalism of early analytic philosophy, most of Kant’s recent commentators have sought to find a purely conceptual, ‘analytic’ argument in Kant’s Refutation of Idealism – and then have dismissed Kant when no such plausible argument can be reconstructed from his text. Kant’s argument supposedly cannot eliminate all relevant alternatives, (...) and so cannot justify its strong modal claims. Kant based his arguments on an inventory of our basic cognitive capacities to employ our forms of intuition and our forms of judgment. Kant provides a variety of considerations and arguments to determine what our cognitive capacities are. This involves ‘transcendental reflection’, which Kant held is absolutely crucial for judging matters a priori (A263/B319). I argue that there is a level of philosophical reflection on our own cognitive capabilities and their preconditions that is significantly richer than has been noticed by recent commentators, and that is a precondition of Kant’s transcendental reflection proper. I explicate certain thought experiments Kant proposes in order for us to recognize some our basic, characteristic cognitive capabilities, and the limits and requirements they entail for the nature and objects of human knowledge. These thought experiments involve a kind of reflection on who we as cognizant subjects are, on what our basic cognitive capabilities are. Engaging in this kind of reflection reveals that Kant’s transcendental arguments are significantly stronger and more persuasive than has been recognized in recent commentary. (shrink)
Recapitulating two recent trends in Heidegger-scholarship, this paper argues that the transcendental theme in Heidegger’s thought clarifies and relates the two basic questions of his philosophical itinerary. The preparatory question, which belongs to Being and Time , I.1–2, draws from the transcendental tradition to target the condition for the possibility of our openness to things: How must we be to access entities? The preliminary answer is that we are essentially opened up ecstatically and horizonally by timeliness. The fundamental (...) question, which belongs to the unpublished Being and Time , I.3, and the rest of Heidegger’s path of thinking, is accessed by means of the first. In a turn of perspective, it targets that in terms of which we relate to the givenness of being. Heidegger first attempts to handle this question using the transcendental language of temporal horizon before happening upon the terminologically more fitting “event of appropriation” and thereafter criticizing transcendental terms. By reconstructing the preparatory question and its reversal, we can see that Heidegger’s later criticism of transcendence in fact relies on its initial success. The turn from timeliness to appropriation (initially by means of transcendental temporality) happens within the domain initially disclosed by the preparatory question. (shrink)
This is a short review of a work by Bencivenga on Kant's ethics that argues for a view of Kant that treats his moral rules as not prescriptive but only transcendental and takes issue with this reading.
The transcendental problem that obsessed the great Western philosophers such as Kant and Husserl should be, according to Wittgenstein, conceived as a matter of understanding a process of reasoning in which a conclusion follows necessarily from stated rules. Once these rules, regarded as a priori categories by Kant and as eidos and eidetic relations by Husserl, are demonstrated to be no more than the language usages or rules of language-games related to our forms of life, Kant’s transcendental idealism (...) and Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology no longer have a leg to stand on. (shrink)
This paper reconsiders the relation between Kantian transcendental reflection (including transcendental idealism) and 20th century philosophy of science. As has been pointed out by Michael Friedman and others, the notion of a "relativized a priori" played a central role in Rudolf Carnap's, Hans Reichenbach's and other logical empiricists' thought. Thus, even though the logical empiricists dispensed with Kantian synthetic a priori judgments, they did maintain a crucial Kantian doctrine, viz., a distinction between the (transcendental) level of establishing (...) norms for empirical inquiry and the (empirical) level of norm-governed inquiry itself. Even though Thomas Kuhn's theory of scientific revolutions is often taken to be diametrically opposed to the received view of science inherited from logical empiricism, a version of this basically Kantian distinction is preserved in Kuhn's thought. In this respect, as Friedman has argued, Kuhn is closer to Carnap's theory of linguistic frameworks than, say, W.V. Quine's holistic naturalism. Kuhn, indeed, might be described as a "new Kant" in post-empiricist philosophy of science. This article examines, first, the relativization of the Kantian a priori in Reichenbach's work, arguing that while Reichenbach (after having given up his original Kantianism) criticized "transcendentalism", he nevertheless retained, in a reinterpreted form, a Kantian-like transcendental method, claiming that the task of philosophy (of science) is to discover and analyze the presuppositions underlying the applicability of conceptual systems. Then, some reflections on Kuhn's views on realism are offered, and it is suggested that Kuhn (as well as some other influential contributors to the realism debate, such as Hilary Putnam) can be reinterpreted as a (relativized, naturalized) Kantian transcendental idealist. Given the central importance of Kuhnian themes in contemporary philosophy of science, it is no exaggeration to claim that Kantian transcendental inquiry into the constitutive principles of empirical knowledge, and even transcendental idealism (as the framework for such inquiry), still have a crucial role to play in this field and deserve further scrutiny. (shrink)
Weak phantasmata have a decisive and specifically transcendental function in our everyday perception. This paper provides several different arguments for this claim based on evidence from both empirical psychology and phenomenology.
Critics of John McDowell’s Mind and World have by and large failed to take sufficient notice of the transcendental context within whichMcDowell situates his work—a failure that has adversely affected their criticisms. In this paper, I make clear this transcendental context and show how it figures in the transcendental argument I see McDowell offering in Mind and World. Interpreting McDowell’s argument in this way, I further argue, helps to answer some of the most pressing objections to what (...) he is doing in Mind and World, particularly certain objections made by Robert Brandom and Hilary Putnam. (shrink)
The paper is an attempt to explain what a transcendental argument is for Kant. The interpretation is based on a reading of the 'Discipline of Pure Reason', Sections 1 and 4 of the first Critique. The author first identifies several statements that Kant makes about the method of proof he followed in the 'Analytic of Principles' which seem to be inconsistent. He then tries to remove the apparent inconsistencies by focusing on the idea of instantiation and drawing a distinction (...) between the intension and the extension of a concept. Finally, the results are applied to the second 'Analogy of Experience' for the purposes of illustration. The paper should be seen as an attempt to provide an historical answer to a question that has been treated thematically in much of the recent literature. (shrink)
Modernity is not only the culmination of the “oblivion of being,” for it also provides, in the form of transcendental thinking, a way to recover the original relation of thought to being. Heidegger develops this account through several lecture courses from 1935–1937, especially the 1935–1936 lecture course on Kant, and the account receives a kind of completion in the 1936–1938 manuscript, Contributions to Philosophy. Kant limits the dominance of rationalistic prejudices by reconnecting thought to the givenness of being. He (...) thereby shows the way to overcome the West’s rationalistic oblivion of being. By returning to Kant and repeating him more fundamentally we prepare ourselves for Heidegger’s non-rationalistic thinking of being. This paper, then, reconsiders Heidegger’s relation to modern philosophy, demonstrating on the basis of his own texts that he appropriates modern philosophy but in a non-rationalistic way. Transcendental philosophy plays an essential though ambiguous transitional role in his thinking. (shrink)
This article examines Derrida’s insistence on the contretemps that breaks open time, paying particular attention to Politics of Friendship and the way in which this book envisages the ‘untimely’ as both interrupting, and making possible, friendship. Although I suggest that Derrida’s temporal deconstruction of the Aristotelian distinction between utility and ‘perfect’ friendships is convincing, I also argue that Derrida’s own account of friendship is itself touched by time, in the peculiar sense of ‘touched’ that connotes affected and wounded. Derrida’s work (...) instantiates what Husserl might call a transcendental pathology, in that it intermittently instantiates an ethics of non-presentist time (the time which is also the transcendental condition for the event of friendship), and, by contrast, disparages the significance of what we might call an ethics of phronesis, a ‘lived’ friendship of ‘omni-temporal’ dispositions, and embodied and habitual patterns. I end this article by proposing a dialectic between the disjunctive and conjunctive aspects of time that does not accord any kind of a priori privilege to the one over the other. (shrink)