The first major study since the 1930s of the relationship between American Transcendentalism and Asian religions, and the first comprehensive work to include post-Civil War Transcendentalists like Samuel Johnson, this book is encyclopedic in scope. Beginning with the inception of Transcendentalist Orientalism in Europe, Versluis covers the entire history of American Transcendentalism into the twentieth century, and the profound influence of Orientalism on the movement--including its analogues and influences in world religious dialogue. He examines what he calls "positive (...) Orientalism," which recognizes the value and perennial truths in Asian religions and cultures, not only in the writings of major figures like Thoreau and Emerson, but also in contemporary popular magazines. Versluis's exploration of the impact of Transcendentalism on the twentieth-century study of comparative religions has ramifications for the study of religious history, comparative religion, literature, politics, history, and art history. (shrink)
Transcendentalism is an American literary, political, and philosophical movement of the early nineteenth century, centered around Ralph Waldo Emerson. Other important transcendentalists were Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Amos Bronson Alcott, Frederic Henry Hedge, and Theodore Parker. Stimulated by English and German Romanticism, the Biblical criticism of Herder and Schleiermacher, and the skepticism of Hume, the transcendentalists operated with the sense that a new era was at hand. They were critics of their contemporary society for its unthinking conformity, and (...) urged that each individual find, in Emerson's words, “an original relation to the universe” (O, 3). Emerson and Thoreau sought this relation in solitude amidst nature, and in their writing. By the 1840s they, along with other transcendentalists, were engaged in the social experiments of Brook Farm, Fruitlands, and Walden; and, by the 1850's in an increasingly urgent critique of American slavery. (shrink)
One of the more superficially perplexing features of Lacan’s notion of objet petit a is the fact that he simultaneously characterizes it as both non-specularizable (i.e., incapable of being captured in spatio-temporal representations) and specular (i.e., incarnated in visible avatars). This assignment of the apparently contradictory attributes of visibility and invisibility to object a is a reflection of this object’s strange position at the intersection of transcendental and empirical dimensions. Indeed, this object, which Lacan holds up as his central psychoanalytic (...) discovery, raises important philosophical questions about the transcendental-empirical distinction, arguably short-circuiting in interesting, productive ways this dichotomy and many of its permutations. This article seeks to achieve two aims: one, to clarify how and why Lacan situates object a between the specular and the non-specular; and, two, to extract from the results of this clarification a preliminary sketch of a post-Lacanian transcendentalism that is also thoroughly materialist. (shrink)
The Western messanger and The Dial -- Orestes A. Brownson and The Boston quarterly review -- The Present -- The Harbinger -- The Spirit of the age -- Elizabeth Peabody and her Xsthetic papers -- The Massachusetts quarterly review -- The Dial (Cincinnati)--The Radical -- The Index -- Appendix: Two uncollected Emerson items.
This paper examines normative elements in Henri Lauener’s “open transcendentalism,” with an eye to evaluate distinctive theses. After setting out some of Lauener’s basic positions in this area, in comparison with related views in Quine’s work, I argue that the views surveyed converge on a normative and contextualist cognitivism in Lauener’s methodological and epistemological perspective. Though he resists similar conclusion in the name of anti-naturalism, I argue that his “open transcendentalism” is plausibly construed as a non reductive naturalism.
The New England towns and villages that inspired the major figures of the Transcendentalism movement are presented by region in this travel guide that devotes a chapter to each town or village famous for its relationship to one or more of the Transcendentalists. Cambridge, where Ralph Waldo Emerson delivered his powerful speeches is highlighted, as is Walden, where Henry David Thoreau spent two years attuning himself to the rhythms of nature. Other chapters retrace the paths of major writers and (...) poets of the period as well as the utopian communities of the time. This invaluable traveling companion offers street maps, historical illustrations, and narratives that create a vivid sense of New England in the 19th century. (shrink)
At the beginning of "The Law of Mind," Charles S. Peirce makes this striking admission (W8:135):I may mention, for the benefit of those who are curious in studying mental biographies, that I was born and reared in the neighborhood of Concord—I mean in Cambridge—at the time when Emerson, Hedge, and their friends were disseminating the ideas that they had caught from Schelling, and Schelling from Plotinus, from Boehm, or from God knows what minds struck with the monstrous mysticism of the (...) East. But the atmosphere of Cambridge held many an antiseptic against Concord transcendentalism; and I am not conscious of having contracted any of that virus. Nevertheless, it is probable that some cultured bacilli, some benignant .. (shrink)
Lauener's philosophical approach is well-articulated and has many features that are fully justified: epistemology appears at the level of metascience, as a normative discipline; Lauener's transcendentalism is open, the norms being able to evolve over time; in his analytic a priori-synthetic a posteriori dichotomy, analyticity is relative to the context and results from conventions, and the dichotomy is compatible with Quine's universal revisibility; Lauener has shown that a theory and the metatheory it is based on cannot be revised at (...) the same time, a strong argument for ontological relativity but against general holism, he conceives of tmth as applicable only within a theory, relative to an ontology and dependent on references, etc. Other aspects, however, appear more problematic: the idea that mathematical entities are the product of our thinking, which makes them more similar to fictional than to physical objects (the main objection to this is that mathematics plays a constitutive role in physical concepts), or the tendency to speak of "existence relative to modem physics" (as if real existence were a type of existence, on a par with existence in fiction). (shrink)
This paper attempts to marshall some of the evidence of the transcendental character of Heidegger's later thinking, despite his repudiation of any form of transcendental thinking, including that of his own earlier project of fundamental ontology. The transcendental significance of that early project is first outlined through comparison and contrast with the diverse transcendental turns in the philosophies of Kant and Husserl. The paper then turns to Heidegger's account of the historical source of the notion of transcendence in Plato's thinking, (...) its legacy in various forms of transcendental philosophy, and his reasons for attempting to think in a post-transcendental way. The paper concludes by identifying four vestiges of the transcendental turn in Heidegger's later thinking. (shrink)
Deconstruction is often depicted as a method of critical analysis aimed at exposing unquestioned metaphysical assumptions and internal contradictions in philosophical and literary language. Starting from Derrida's contention that deconstruction is not a method and cannot be transformed into one, I make a case for a different attitude towards deconstruction, to which I refer as 'witnessing'. I argue that what needs to be witnessed is the occurrence of deconstruction and, more specifically, the occurrence of metaphysics-in-deconstruction. The point of witnessing metaphysics-in-deconstruction (...) is affirmative: it is an affirmation of what cannot be conceived in terms of the system and yet makes this system possible. To the extent to which education is concerned with the 'coming into presence' of new beginners and new beginnings, it shares an interest with deconstruction. Through a discussion of the role of communication in education I indicate how we might witness the occurrence of deconstruction in education. Through this we may be able to identify openings that can become potential entrances for the coming into presence of new beginnings and new beginners. Such an engagement with Derrida's work is more than the application of 'his' philosophy to the 'field' of education and therefore also has implications for how we think of the very idea of philosophy of education. (shrink)
Relativism has usually been presented as linked to the limits of translation and understanding. The Principle of Charity was developed to decide the reference of words or the best translation of a sentence. However, the principle has been defined in, at least, two different ways: a naturalistic one, as a pragmatic maxim that guides the interpreter generally; or a transcendental one, as an a priori, necessary condition for someone to be understood. In this paper I will focus on the latter (...) approach, taking Donald Davidson's arguments and his transcendental interpretation of the Principle of Charity as a representative case. Although different versions of the principle can be found in Davidson's writings, and some of them would seem flexible enough to give an account of how interpreter and speaker have different beliefs, all of these versions put understanding and intelligibility at risk. The reason is that the Principle of Charity has a wide scope: to conceive a person as rational, as having beliefs and desires, or as saying something, we have to interpret his/her utterances as revealing a set of beliefs consistent and true, and that maxim is applied to the whole system of sentences. So charity is necessary, we cannot choose it and if we spell out the Principle of Charity in sociological or psychological terms, that is, in empirical terms, we are changing the subject. The transcendental character of the principle has received criticism from various authors who understand it in a naturalistic way. I will conclude that an empirical description of how we use the Principle of Charity when we interpret a speaker's utterance would show the psychological and sociological relevance of relativism. (shrink)
This article considers possible future directions of philosophy, based around the experience of the author as editor of the European Journal of Philosophy for about a decade. After some discussion of the original impetus for the journal, and of how the philosophy scene has changed since it was founded in 1993, the article focuses particularly on the themes of transcendentalism and naturalism as likely to shape the philosophical debates of the future, as they have done in the past.
John Henry Newman has rightly been hailed as a giant in the Catholic intellectual tradition. His contributions to theology, literature, and education have been studied at length; however, his contribution to philosophy has not received appropriate attention. This essay 1) explores Newman’s unique philosophical insights in terms of the phenomenological tradition of Edmund Husserl; 2) analyzes the transcendental approach of certain British scientists—notably Ronald Knox and Charles Darwin; and 3) discusses how Newman might be considered a phenomenologist.
The main purpose of this paper is to show that Kant’s transcendental philosophy is tacitly laden with the structures of modern modal thought. More exactly, the surprising parallelism which seems to exist between Kant’s manner of defining necessity (and, on this basis, nomicity) and the modern approaches of the same concepts in the frame of “possible worlds philosophy” is stressed. A new interpretation of the Categorical Imperative is also offered on this basis.
The viability of Schelling’s Philosophy of Identity depends on the maintenance and cultivation of a reciprocal relationship between internal and objective reality. To stay on course Schelling assiduously checked the conceptual answers he derived from subjective thought against the objective measurements of contemporary physics. As the physicists of his day came to question the materiality of light, Schelling conceptualized it as the outer limit of what the intelligence is capable of grasping intuitively. At the same time he criticized Hegel for (...) ignoring knowledge altogether and for propagating a philosophy of ignorance. More than a century later Jacques Derrida recognized this characteristic in Hegel, but drew a contrary conclusion. Where Schelling counseled that rational philosophy should alter course and set sail toward a higher empiricism, Derrida insisted that in pushing rationality beyond its limits Hegel had sprung a trap of incomprehension andindeterminacy from which no one would or could henceforward escape.This essay evaluates the competing claims of Schelling and Derrida in light of the revolutionary advances of twentieth-century physics. Is this work indeed bringing forth a new world the mind qua mind cannot conceive or measure and liberating man from a prior constraint, or are the emerging physical directives of four dimensional space-time and a flat universe themselves possible only within the cloture de la representation where Derrida presumes to detain human kind indefinitely? (shrink)
In this volume of fourteen new essays, a distinguished team of philosophers offer a broad and stimulating examination of the nature, role, and value of transcendental arguments. Transcendental arguments aim to show that what is doubted or denied by the sceptic must be the case, as a condition for the possibility of experience, language, or thought. The essays consider how successful such arguments are as a response to sceptical problems.
The literature on the work of Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) abounds in specialized studies of various aspects of his philosophy - transcendental phenomenology. Yet there have been few attempts to present Husserl's philosophy as a whole. No wonder, for Husserl's mammoth literary output over some forty years and the highly diverse nature of his investigations have made it extremely difficult to make a broad survey of his work. Now one of the world's leading Husserl scholars presents a unified and critical interpretation (...) of Husserl's philosophical work from the only point of view from which its continuity can be grasped: method. The culmination of several decades of intense scholarly engagement with Husserl's phenomenology, her work reveals as no other the dynamic interplay between the development of Husserl's method and the thematic progression of his research. (shrink)
Challenging prevailing interpretations of the development of modern philosophy, this book proposes a reinterpretation of the transcendental tradition, as represented primarily by Kant and Husserl, and counters Heidegger's influential reading of these philosophers. Author David Carr defends their subtle and complex transcendental investigations of the self and the life of subjectivity, and seeks to revive an understanding of what Husserl calls "the paradox of subjectivity"--an appreciation for the rich and sometimes contradictory character of experience.
Mohanty, J.N. Understanding Husserl's transcendental phenomenology.--Fink, E. The problem of the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl. Operative concepts in Husserl's phenomenology.--Funke, G. A transcendental-phenomenological investigation concerning universal idealism, intentional analysis, and the genesis of habitus: archē, phansis, hexis, logos.--Pentzopoulou-Valalas, T. Reflections on the foundation of the relation between the a priori and the eidos in the phenomenology of Husserl.--Landgrebe, L. Regions of being and regional ontologies in Husserl's phenomenology. The problem posed by the transcendental science of the a priori of the (...) life world.--Wahl, J. Notes on the first part of Experience and judgment by Husserl.--Landgrebe, L. A letter from Ludwig Landgrebe to Jean Wahl.-- Wahl, J. A note on some empiricist aspects of the thought of Husserl.--Toulemont, R. The specific character of the social according to Husserl. (shrink)
This volume is the first ever English translation of Kant's last major work, the so-called Opus Postumum, a work Kant himself described as his 'chef d'oeuvre' and as the keystone of his entire philosophical system. It occupied him for more than the last decade of his life. Begun with the intention of providing a 'transition from the metaphysical foundations of natural science to physics,' Kant's reflections take him far beyond the problem he initially set out to solve. In fact, he (...) reassesses a whole series of fundamental topics of transcendental philosophy: the thing in itself, the nature of space and time, the concept of the self and its agency, the idea of God, and the unity of theoretical and practical reason. Though never completed, the text reaches a logical albeit not fully developed, conclusion. (shrink)
In his lifetime, Ralph Waldo Emerson became the most widely known man of letters in America, establishing himself as a prolific poet, essayist, popular lecturer, and an advocate of social reforms who was nevertheless suspicious of reform and reformers. Emerson achieved some reputation with his verse, corresponded with many of the leading intellectual and artistic figures of his day, and during an off and on again career as a Unitarian minister, delivered and later published a number of controversial sermons. Emerson’s (...) enduring reputation, however, is as a philosopher, an aphoristic writer (like Friedrich Nietzsche) and a quintessentially American thinker whose championing of the American Transcendental movement and influence on Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, William James, and others would alone secure him a prominent place in American cultural history. (shrink)
Is it merely a matter of taste or convention to consider something right or wrong? Or can we find good reasons for our values and judgements that are independent of culture and tradition? The problem is as old as philosophy itself; and after more than two millennia of scholarly debate, there seems no end to the controversy. But Christian Illies suggests that powerful new forms of transcendental argument (a philosophical tool known since antiquity) may offer a long-sought cornerstone for morality.
Interpretive horizons -- The transcendental dialectic -- The gathering of reason in the paralogisms -- The gathering of reason in the antinomies -- The gathering of reason in the ideal -- Reason, imagination, madness -- Metaphysical security and the play of imagination.
Harris and Brokmeyer met in 1858 at the St. Louis Mercantile Library, where Harris was offering a public lecture. Brokmeyer convinced Harris of the significance of Hegel’s system, and its relevance to the historical trends of American society. They immediately joined forces, attracting a number of other youthful followers with intellectual ambitions, many of whom were, like Harris, teachers in the public schools. The nascent Hegelian movement was temporarily stalled when Brokmeyer went off to serve as a Colonel in the (...) Union Army during the Civil War, but it rebounded in full force upon his return with the formation of the St. Louis Philosophical Society in 1866, and the launching of the Journal of Speculative Philosophy, the official organ of the Society, in 1867. (shrink)
Introduction -- Matter, form of cognition, form of sensibility, form of understanding, time and space -- Sensibility, imagination, understanding, pure a priori concepts of the understanding or categories, schemata, answering the question Quid Juris, answering the question Quid Facti, doubts about the latter -- Ideas of the understanding, ideas of reason, etc. -- Subject and predicate. the determinable and the determination -- Thing, possible, necessary, ground, consequence, etc. -- Identity, difference, opposition, reality, logical, and transcendental negation -- Magnitude, alteration, change, (...) etc. -- Truth, subjective, objective, logical, metaphysical -- On the I, materialism, idealism, dualism, etc. -- Short overview of the whole work -- My ontology -- On symbolic cognition and philosophical language. (shrink)
George P. Bradford, Emerson, and the perennial philosophy of Fénelon -- Emerson, Nietzsche, and man's striving upward : the "via eminentiae" of superior people -- The perennial philosophy of Emerson and Thoreau in England : William Jesse Jupp -- Emerson, Glasgow, and John Page Hopps : the Unitarian struggle with Scottish Calvinism.
Die Theorie der Intersubjektivität bildet einen der zentralen Punkte des Husserlschen Systems. Im Rahmen der konsequenten Epistemisierung des Wahrheitsbegriffs, die Husserl von Brentano übernommen hat, wird die objektive Realität mittels des Begriffs der intersubjektiven epistemischen Begründung definiert. Die Konstitution der intersubjektiven Gemeinschaft bildet demgemäß die unentbehrliche Vorbedingung für die Konstitution der intersubjektiven Welt. Wir zeigen, daß die Husserlsche Theorie nicht einwandfrei funktioniert. Es ist vor allem das Zusammenspiel des Begriffsempirismus mit dem epistemologischen Fundamentalismus, das das Scheitern seiner Version der Analogieschluß-Theorie (...) bewirkt. (shrink)