Kant, Lonergan, and Fichte on the Critique of Immediacy and the Epistemology of Constraint in Human Knowing

One of the defining characteristics of Kant’s “critical philosophy” is what has been called the “critique of immediacy” or the rejection of the “myth of the given.” According to the Kantian position, no object can count as an object for a human knower apart from the knower’s own activity or spontaneity. That is, no object can count as an object for a human knower on the basis of the object’s givenness alone. But this gives rise to a problem: how is it possible to accept the Kantian critique of immediacy while also giving an epistemologically adequate account of the constrained or finite character of human knowing (i.e., an account that does not rely on some appeal to what is simply “given”)? This paper examines how this crucial question is addressed (with more or less success) in the “critical philosophies” of Kant, Lonergan, and Fichte
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0019-0365
DOI 10.5840/ipq200343158
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