History of Philosophy Quarterly 32 (1):57-77 (2015)

Kevin Harrelson
Ball State University
This essay examines the argumentative context in which early Neo-Kantian philosophers defined and defended "epistemology." The paper defends Richard Rorty's claim that the priority of epistemology influenced how the history of modern philosophy was written but corrects his story by showing that epistemology was defended mainly via antifoundational arguments. The essay begins with a few programmatic arguments by Kuno Fischer and Eduard Zeller but focuses mainly on Otto Liebmann's Kant und die Epigonen. I argue that Liebmann completes the agenda of Fischer and Zeller by giving a detailed account of how a metaphysical system is impossible for anyone who begins with modest, Kantian epistemological principles.
Keywords Neo-Kantianism  Richard Rorty  Otto Liebmann  Historiography
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