Phenomenology, idealism, and the legacy of Kant

British Journal for the History of Philosophy 27 (3):593-614 (2019)
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Martin Heidegger closes his Winter Semester 1927–28 lectures by claiming that Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, read through the lens of Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology, confirmed the accuracy of his philosophical path culminating in Being and Time. A notable interpretation of Heidegger’s debt to Kant, advanced by William Blattner, presents Heidegger as a temporal idealist. I argue that attention to Husserl’s adaptation of Kant’s critical philosophy shows that both Husserl and Heidegger are realists. I make my case by tracing a unified philosophical problematic through three puzzling passages: the Schematism chapter of the first Critique, Husserl’s thought experiment of the destruction of the world in Ideas, and the passage in Being and Time that motivates Blattner’s idealist reading. Husserl and Heidegger give accounts, derived from Kant, of how the consciousness of time makes it possible for objects to be perceived as enduring unities, as well as ‘genealogies of logic’ that show how a priori knowledge, including ontology, is possible. These accounts are idealistic only in the sense that they concern the ideal or essential features of intentionality in virtue of which it puts us in touch with things as they are independently of the contributions of any mind of any type.



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James Kinkaid
Boston College

Citations of this work

Hermeneutics in Heidegger’s Science of Being.James Kinkaid - 2022 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 60 (2):194-220.
Kant-Bibliographie 2019.Margit Ruffing - 2021 - Kant Studien 112 (4):623-660.

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