Nature at the Limits of Science and Phenomenology

Journal of Transcendental Philosophy 1 (1):109-133 (2020)
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Kant and Heidegger argue that our subjectivity escapes scientific explanation, while also providing the conditions that enable it. This understanding of the relationship between subjectivity and science places limits on the explanatory scope of the sciences. But what makes transcendental reflection on the structure of subjectivity possible in the first place? Fink argues that transcendental philosophy encounters its own limits in attempting to characterize its own conditions of possibility. I argue that the limits of science and transcendental philosophy entail that nature cannot be conceived as a specific object, or as a totality of objects in the world, but only as the ontological ground of phenomenal manifestation in general. Nature is not identical with anything discoverable in either science or phenomenology; it is, rather, the origin from which discovery of phenomena proceeds.



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David Suarez
University of Toronto, St. George Campus