Von Marburg nach Pittsburgh: Philosophie als Transzendentalphilosophie

The article reconstructs some of the basic decisions underlying Hermann Cohen′s theoretical philosophy by drawing a line to some claims of Winfrid Sellars′ and to one aspect of Robert Brandom′s philosophy. The first part is concerned with a comparison of the main theses of Cohen′s book Kants Theorie der Erfahrung and Sellars′ early essay entitled “Some remarks on Kant′s Theory of Experience,” both authors reading the Critique of Pure Reason as the discovery of a new, holistic concept of experience. The second part discusses some of the parallels between Cohen′s and Sellars′ respective critique of the myth of the given, and it is shown how Cohen′s later critique of Kant can be understood against this background. In the third part I suggest interpreting Cohen′s logic along the lines of Robert Brandoms inferentialism. It is the declared intention of both philosophers to explain the origin of the content of epistemic claims without making use of any claim about mental representations. The article ends with a comparison of Cohen′s and Sellars′ visions of the systematic character of philosophy. It is argued that while both assume the compatibility of scientific realism with an irreducibly normative ethics, Cohen′s approach is more ambitious, insofar as it requests ethics to develop its own ethical theory of man, the task of which is to overcome the mythical presuppositions of our common sense views on morals
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DOI 10.1524/dzph.2011.0019
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