A strange kind of Kantian: Bakhtin’s reinterpretation of Kant and the Marburg School

Studies in East European Thought 67 (3-4):165-182 (2015)
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This paper looks at the ways in which Mikhail Bakhtin had appropriated the ideas of Kant and of the Marburg neo-Kantian school. While Bakhtin was greatly indebted to Kantian philosophy, and is known to have referred to himself as a neo-Kantian, he rejects the main tenets of neo-Kantianism. Instead, Bakhtin offers a substantial re-interpretation of Kantian thought. His frequent borrowings from neo-Kantian philosophers (Hermann Cohen, Paul Natorp, and others) also follow a distinctive pattern of appropriation, whereby blocks of interconnected ideas are removed from their original context, and made to serve Bakhtin’s own—substantially different—philosophical purposes in the context of his own thought. Bakhtin’s thought thus remains original even as he is borrowing ideas from others.

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Sergeiy Sandler
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

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