G.E. Schulze's Aenesidemus, despite its importance for the development of post-Kantian idealism, has not been fully translated into English. Now and then, when I have time, I will upload draft translations of parts of the text here, with the goal of, at some point, providing a complete translation. These drafts will be rough and I welcome feedback! -/- This document contains only the Title page, Schulze's indication of the contents of the work, and the preface.
This is a translation of the short, third letter in G.E. Schulze's Aenesidemus, without its lengthy appendix. -/- Excerpts of the appendix which follows this letter have been translated into English by George di Giovanni in Between Kant and Hegel, eds. G. di Giovanni and H.S. Harris, (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company Inc., 2000).
The emergence of experimental philosophy was one of the most significant developments in the early modern period. However, it is often overlooked in modern scholarship, despite being associated with leading figures such as Francis Bacon, Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton, Jean Le Rond d'Alembert, David Hume and Christian Wolff. Ranging from the early Royal Society of London in the seventeenth century to the uptake of experimental philosophy in Paris and Berlin in the eighteenth, this book provides new terms of reference for (...) understanding early modern philosophy and science, and its eventual eclipse in the shadow of post-Kantian notions of empiricism and rationalism. Experimental Philosophy and the Origins of Empiricism is an integrated history of early modern experimental philosophy which challenges the rationalism and empiricism historiography that has dominated Anglophone history of philosophy for more than a century. (shrink)
In this chapter, Robb Dunphy is concerned with the nature of G.E. Schulze's scepticism as he presents it in his 1792 work Aenesidemus, and with its relation to the metaphysical projects of Kant, Reinhold, and later German Idealists. After introducing Schulze's text, Dunphy turns to a recent interpretation offered by Jessica Berry, who claims that the extent to which Schulze endorsed a genuinely Pyrrhonian Scepticism has gone unacknowledged, both by his idealist contemporaries and by the majority of the secondary literature (...) on the period. Berry suggests that this unacknowledged Pyrrhonism in Aenesidemus provides the resources for a more radical criticism of the German Idealists' scientific, systematic metaphysical ambitions, to which they remain fundamentally vulnerable. Despite agreeing that an exploration of Schulze's debt to Pyrrhonism represents a valuable addition to our understanding of his scepticism, in the latter parts of the chapter Dunphy suggests that the Berry's attribution of a Pyrrhonian Scepticism to Schulze should to some extent be rejected, and that such a scepticism is perhaps not quite as problematic for the projects of Kant and the German Idealists as she suggests. (shrink)
This volume is dedicated to questions about the nature and method of metaphysics in Classical German Philosophy. Its chapters offer original investigations into the metaphysical projects of many of the major figures in German philosophy between Wolff and Hegel. The period of Classical German Philosophy was an extraordinarily rich one in the history of philosophy, especially for metaphysics. It includes some of the highest achievements of early modern rationalism, Kant's critical revolution, and the various significant works of German Idealism that (...) followed in Kant's wake. The contributions to this volume critically examine certain common themes among metaphysical projects across this period, for example, the demand that metaphysics amount to a science, that it be presented in the form of a system, or that it should proceed by means of demonstration from certain key first principles. This volume also includes material on influential criticisms of metaphysical projects of this kind. Metaphysics as a Science in Classical German Philosophy is a useful resource for contemporary metaphysicians and historians of philosophy interested in engaging with the history of the methodology and epistemology of metaphysics. (shrink)
Kant’s early critics maintained that his theory of freedom faces a dilemma: either it reduces the will’s activity to strict necessity by making it subject to the causality of the moral law, or it reduces the will’s activity to blind chance by liberating it from rules of any kind. This Element offers a new interpretation of Kant’s theory against the backdrop of this controversy. It argues that Kant was a consistent proponent of the claim that the moral law is the (...) causal law of a free will, and that the supposed ability of free will to choose indifferently between options is an empty concept. Freedom, for Kant, is a power to initiate action from oneself, and the only way to exercise this power is through the law of one’s own will, the moral law. Immoral action is not thereby rendered impossible, but it also does not express a genuine ability. (shrink)
Обращение к «первой волне» реакции на «Критику чистого разума» в Германии со второй половины 1780-х гг. до начала XIX в. дает возможность выявить парадоксальный статус кантовского трансцендентального субъекта. Неоспоримость существования трансцендентального субъекта, связанная с самой сущностью критической философии вне зависимости от того, что под ним понимать, сталкивается с нередкими утверждениями о неустойчивости этого субъекта. Кажущаяся очевидность значения понятия трансцендентального субъекта (как субъекта познания, носителя трансцендентальных условий опыта) распадается на различные его трактовки. Для реализации поставленной цели производится текстологический анализ сочинений самых (...) ранних оппонентов и последователей кантовского критицизма и реконструируется их концептуальное поле, в которое было помещено понятие трансцендентального субъекта. В частности, привлекаются работы таких авторов, как Я. С. Бек, А. Вайсхаупт, И. Г. Гаман, С. Маймон, К. Л. Рейнгольд, Г. Э. Шульце, И. А. Эберхард и Ф. Г. Якоби. Авторы рассматриваемого периода сгруппированы на основе общих тем и вопросов, исходя из которых они обращались к понятию трансцендентального субъекта, хотя результаты их размышлений могли при этом даже противоречить друг другу. Трансцендентальный субъект у этих авторов тематизируется в соотношении с трансцендентальным объектом, или «нечто = х», а также в рамках отношения представления к объекту и характеризуется то как нечто принципиально пустое, то как полнота истинной реальности. Трансцендентальному субъекту приписывается статус то вещи самой по себе, то «простой» идеи. Наконец, наряду с тем, что кантовский трансцендентальный субъект мог расцениваться как нечто, что должно быть преодолено, его могли полагать и как бесконечную задачу для рассудка. (shrink)
The study of the “first wave” of reactions to the Critique of Pure Reason in Germany from the second half of the 1780s until the beginning of the nineteenth century reveals the paradoxical status of the Kantian transcendental subject. While the existence of the transcendental subject, whatever the term means, is not open to question since it arises from the very essence of critical philosophy, the fundamental status of the subject is sometimes questioned in this period. Although the meaning of (...) the concept of transcendental subject seems obvious today (the subject of cognition, bearer of transcendental conditions of experience) it lends itself to various interpretations in the late eighteenth century. To achieve my goal I have undertaken a textological analysis of the works of the earliest opponents and followers of the Kantian critique and a reconstruction of the conceptual field in the midst of which the transcendental subject has been planted. Among others I draw on the works of J. S. Beck, J. A. Eberhard, J. G. Hamann, F. H. Jacobi, S. Maimon, K. L. Reinhold, G. E. Schulze and A. Weishaupt. The authors of the period are grouped depending on the common themes and questions that prompted them to turn to the concept of the transcendental subject, even though the results of their reflections did not always coincide. These authors think of the transcendental subject in its relationship to the transcendental object, or as “something = х”, and in terms of the relationship of representation to the object. It is characterised sometimes as something absolutely hollow, and sometimes as the fullness of true reality. The status ascribed to the transcendental subject is sometimes that of a thing-in-itself and sometimes that of a “mere” idea. Finally, Kant’s transcendental subject was sometimes seen as something to be overcome and sometimes as an infinite challenge to understanding. (shrink)
Kant’s effort to defend the co-existence of transcendental freedom and natural necessity is one of the crowning achievements of the first Critique. Yet by identifying the will with practical reason in his moral philosophy, he lent support to the view that the moral law is the causal law of a free will – the result of which, as Reinhold argued, left immoral action impossible. However, Reinhold’s attempt to separate the will from practical reason generated difficulties of its own, which Maimon (...) was quick to point out. By identifying freedom with indifferent choice, Maimon argued, Reinhold had no resources to explain why a free will acts at all. My aim in this article is to show how Fichte’s theory of freedom seeks to reconcile these two commitments: the key lies in what I call Fichte’s Genetic Model, according to which indifferent choice is the original condition of the will, but a condition we must actively overcome. (shrink)
While Kant’s claim that the moral law discloses our freedom to us has been extensively discussed in recent decades, the reactions to this claim among Kant’s immediate successors have gone largely overlooked by scholars. Reinhold, Creuzer, and Maimon were among three prominent thinkers of the era unwilling to follow Kant in making the moral law the condition for knowing our freedom. Maimon went so far as to reject Kant’s method of appealing to our everyday awareness of duty on the grounds (...) that common human understanding is susceptible to error and illusion. In this paper I shall examine how these skeptical reactions to Kant’s position shaped the background for Fichte’s method of moral justification, leading up to his own deduction of the moral law in the System of Ethics. By way of conclusion, I shall propose a new interpretation of how consciousness of the moral law serves as an entry-point to Fichte’s form of idealism. (shrink)
In diesem Aufsatz stelle ich eine neue Interpretation der Reinhold’schen Sprachphilosophie vor. Mein Ziel ist es zu erklären, wie Reinhold der Meinung sein konnte, seine Sprachphilosophie stelle, ebenso wie seine Elementarphilosophie, den Versuch dar, Kants Kritische Philosophie zu fundieren. Außerdem möchte ich zeigen, worin die philosophische Bedeutung von Reinholds Ansatz gegenüber den Sprachphilosophien seiner Zeitgenossen besteht.
While Reinhold was no doubt interested in harnessing Kantian practical reason as a rational ground for our fundamental religious convictions, it remains unclear as to whether he reserves any role for theoretical or speculative reason in moral faith, and if so, what. This paper argues that he continues to assign an important role to speculative reason in the establishment and dissemination of a “religion of reason” in his efforts across three major texts of the Jena period (namely, the 1786-87 Letters (...) on the Kantian Philosophy, the 1789 Attempt at the New Theory of the Human Power of Representation, and the 1790 first edition of Contributions to the Correction of the Misunderstandings of Previous Philosophers) to outline a “new metaphysics” that accounts for supersensible objects (God, the soul, freedom and the physical, the moral and the intelligible world) in terms of forms of reason. It shows how Reinhold develops a unified account of speculative and practical reason by extending the former’s role to include that of producing ideas that pertain to the practical postulates and narrowing the latter’s role to that of imparting objective reality and further content to the ideas. (shrink)
This paper provides an overview of the theory of consciousness that is contained in the “theory of the power of representation” or “elementary philosophy” of Karl Leonhard Reinhold (1757-1823) during the period of his professorship at the University of Jena. It examines the development the theory undergoes from its first formulation in the Versuch einer neuen menschlichen Theorie des Vorstellungsvermögens (1789) to its subsequent revision in Beiträge zur Berichtigung bisheriger Miβverständnisse der Philosophen (1790). Following Martin Bondeli’s cue, it presents the (...) theory as delivering a dynamic view of consciousness, describing it as progressing toward an increasingly reflexive awareness of its components. It also considers some objections to the theory, particularly those raised by the incisive Polish-Jewish critic Salomon Maimon. (shrink)
In this paper, I want to zero in on the Kantian idea that,whilst things in themselves must logically be presupposed as the ground underlying appearances and things are not reducible to their representations, (1) objects as appearances are not properties of things in themselves, and (2) things in themselves or the thing in itself cannot properly be represented or even thought. To do this, I turn to one of the earliest defenders and champions of the Kantian philosophy, Karl Leonhard Reinhold, (...) and specifically to his first major work Versuch einer neuen Theorie des menschlichen Vorstellungsvermögens, published in 1789. I am here interested neither in the extent to which Reinhold’s interpretation of Kant is correct or even adequately represents Kant’s thought in all of its aspects, nor whether Reinhold’s attempt to present a systematic philosophy based on a rigorous deduction from a single principle (his strong foundationalism) stands up to scrutiny. I am here solely interested in some of Reinhold’s positive insights, in the Versuch, concerning elements of his representationalism that may shed light on Kant’s idealism, specifically, the relation between appearances (as objects of knowledge) and things in themselves, i. e., points (1) and (2) described above. I read the early Reinhold of the Versuch as confirming the Kantian view that objects as appearances are not properties of things in themselves and that we are radically ignorant of things in themselves, in the sense that we can neither know things in themselves (through the senses) nor even intellectually grasp things in themselves through the understanding alone. (shrink)
This chapter explores Kant’s, Reinhold’s, Fichte’s, and Hegel’s stances toward transcendental philosophy and transcendental arguments. Having explained the new meaning that Kant assigned to the term ‘transcendental’, the chapter surveys his attempt to develop a transcendental philosophy by employing transcendental arguments. Since these arguments presuppose unproven matters of fact, authors who were deeply concerned by scepticism deemed them unsuitable for the task. The chapter explains how Reinhold and Fichte sought to establish solid foundations for transcendental philosophy without relying on transcendental (...) arguments. The final section of the chapter discusses whether Hegel, who rejected transcendental philosophy, employed transcendental arguments. (shrink)
In Book I of the Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason Kant offers an explanation of freedom and moral good and evil that is different from that offered in the Groundwork for a Metaphysics of Morals. My primary goal in this paper is to analyze and elucidate this new theory. My secondary goal is to contrast this new theory with the older one that it is replacing. I argue that the new theory, which centers on the idea that evil (...) involves a sort of misprioritizing, enables Kant to get around two problems associated with the older theory. (shrink)
This paper explains and defends Reinhold’s epistemology of disagreement. The concept of agreement is of central importance for Reinhold’s philosophy. He attempts to settle the most basic disputes among post-Kantian philosophers by offering intermediate positions that reconcile the seemingly incompatible views. Moreover, Reinhold argues for epistemic objectivism, that is, the thesis that a group of philosophers sharing the same information and respecting each other’s opinion may not reasonably disagree. If the members of such a group search for truth then they (...) must converge toward consensus. Disagreement is irrational. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to challenge the suggestion that Kant offers a solution to the Reinhold/Sidgwick Problem in his Metaphysics of Morals. The problem, briefly, is about how Kant can hold moral evil to be imputable when he also seems to hold that freedom is found only in moral actions. After providing a new formulation of this problem under the title ‘Objection R/S’ and describing the popular strategy for addressing it through reference to this text, the paper recounts (...) some of the history relevant to interpreting the passage in question. The paper then argues that this strategy is not supported by the text and indeed proves to be contrary to other arguments that are central to Kant's moral thought. The closing section briefly considers other possible ways of addressing the Objection R/S. (shrink)
This paper examines the revisions the Elementary-Philosophy underwent when Reinhold studied Fichte’s Science of Knowledge. The goal is to reconstruct Reinhold’s argument for the primacy of facts of moral consciousness over facts of theoretical consciousness when it comes to establishing the first principle of philosophy, and to relate this argument to his idea that moral enlightenment is a precondition of philosophical enlightenment. I argue that there is an intimate relation between Reinhold’s work as an Elementary-Philosopher and his activity as champion (...) of enlightenment. The doctrine according to which moral enlightenment has priority over philosophical enlightenment corresponds to the revaluation of facts of moral consciousness within the framework of the amended Elementary-Philosophy. (shrink)
The paper examines Hegel's views on Reinhold, from his earliest appreciation to his final remarks in the Encyclopedia. Ultimately, Reinhold's theory of representation helps Hegel see that the Late Enlightenment opposition between faith and reasoning is anchored in the language of representation. The speculative language of Hegelian Science is necessary in order to overcome the modern dilemma.
Karl Leonhard Reinhold<br>Versuch einer neuen Theorie des Vorstellungsvermögens, Teilband 1<br>Einleitung, Vorrede, Erstes Buch<br><br>Mit einer Einleitung und Anmerkungen herausgegeben von Ernst-Otto Onnasch.<br>PhB 599a. 2010. CLVII, 210 Seiten.<br>978-3-7873-1934-3. Leinen 68.00<br><br>Karl Leonhard Reinholds Versuch einer neuen Theorie des menschlichen Vorstellungsvermögens (1789) ist aufgegliedert in eine lange Vorrede und drei Bücher. In der Vorrede und im ersten Buch stellt der Autor die epochale Bedeutung der kritischen Philosophie heraus. Im zweiten Buch folgt die eigentliche Theorie des Vorstellungsvermögens, von der aus im dritten Buch Kants wichtigste (...) Entdeckungen in der Kritik der reinen Vernunft, nämlich die Unterscheidung von Sinnlichkeit, Verstand und Vernunft, neu dargestellt werden. Hier liefert Reinhold eine eigene und höchst originelle Ableitung der Kategorien und der Ideen.<br><br>In seiner Einleitung beschreibt der Herausgeber Reinholds philosophische Entwicklung und erweist ihn als einen eigenständigen Denker mit einer ganz eigenen philosophischen Agenda, die er allerdings auf eine sehr geschickte Weise mit dem philosophischen Anliegen Kants zu verbinden vermochte: Reinholds Philosophie war, entgegen der überkommenen Einschätzung, alles andere als epigonal und von enormer Bedeutung für die Ausprägung und Genese der Philosophie des deutschen Idealismus.<br><br>Bereits mit seinen populären Briefen über die Kantische Philosophie (1786/87) traf Reinhold den Nerv der Zeit und setzte damit die kritische Philosophie Kants für ein breiteres Publikum auf die philosophische Agenda (nur wenige der Zeitgenossen lasen Kant im Original, die meisten bezogen ihr Urteil über Kant aus den Briefen). Der Versuch einer neuen Theorie des menschlichen Vorstellungsvermögens ist dann sein erstes großes theoretisches Werk mit eigenem Anspruch. Reinhold präsentiert es als einen Versuch, die kritische Philosophie auf der Grundlage des Vorstellungsvermögens allgemein verständlich zu machen.<br>. (shrink)
Karl Ameriks has recently devoted an entire volume to defending what he calls "orthodox" Kantianism against what he judges to be the "errors" of such post-Kantian idealists as K. L. Reinhold and J. G. Fichte and to exposing what he claims is the frequently unnoticed but always deleterious influence of post-Kantianism upon certain prominent strands of contemporary philosophy. In response, this paper challenges Ameriks' interpretation of Kantianism itself and of the "post-Kantian project", as well as his construal of transcendental idealism. (...) This is followed by some remarks concerning Reinhold's and Fichte's actual "arguments" for transcendental idealism and a rejection of Ameriks' characterizations of the same. Ameriks' interpretation of "the primacy of the practical" within Fichte's philosophy is also analyzed and criticized, as are his unsubstantiated claims concerning the powerful "indirect" influence of the writings of Reinhold and Fichte upon contemporary philosophy. (shrink)
Keine andere Idee Fichtes hat so sehr die Aufmerksamkeit seiner Zeitgenossen auf sich gezogen, wie die Frage nach dem Verhältnis zwischen Geist und System. Diesen Zusammenhang bringt Fichte in seinem Brief an Jacobi vom April des Jahres 1796 zur Sprache.
IN 1787, six years after the publication of the Critique of Pure Reason, one year before the publication of the Critique of Practical Reason, and three years prior to the appearance of the Critique of Judgment, Duke Karl August of Sax-Weimar was persuaded to establish at the University of Jena the world's first university chair designated for the promulgation and explication of the new Critical Philosophy associated with Immanuel Kant. The first occupant of this chair was Karl Leonhard Reinhold, an (...) Austrian ex-monk, whose main qualification for the new position was his fame as the author of a series of well-received magazine articles promoting the new philosophy. At Jena, however, Reinhold's own "Kantianism" underwent an interesting metamorphosis; in the books and lectures that he wrote during his seven year tenure there he profoundly revised the Kantian system and produced a new version of it which he called "Elementary Philosophy." It is altogether appropriate that when Reinhold finally left Jena his successor should have been an even more innovative follower of Kant and admirer of Reinhold's Elementary Philosophy, J. G. Fichte. Fichte arrived in 1794 and immediately began constructing and laying before the public what is perhaps the most imaginative and remarkable of all the great post-Kantian speculative systems: his Wissenschaftslehre, or "Theory of Scientific Knowledge." Concurrent with the widespread revival of interest in German Idealism generally, interest in Fichte's Wissenschaftslehre has increased remarkably in recent years. Often viewed as the first step "from Kant to Hegel," Fichte's system was in fact not the first attempt to convert Kant's philosophy into a more consistent and thoroughgoingly speculative system. The honor--or onus--of making the "first step" in this direction belongs to Reinhold, and the aim of this essay is to indicate why this is so by surveying the Elementary Philosophy and examining those of its features which most influenced other philosophers, most notably Fichte. Though it may be claiming too much to say that one cannot properly understand Fichte's early presentations of his system without some acquaintance with Reinhold's Elementary Philosophy, it is certainly true that a familiarity with the latter is a tremendous aid to anyone trying to penetrate the former. Though the chief purpose of this survey is to emphasize Reinhold's contributions to the development of German Idealism, an ulterior aim is to introduce contemporary readers, especially English-language readers, to Reinhold's Elementary Philosophy and to suggest reasons why this neglected and all but forgotten system might still merit serious study. (shrink)