Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 68 (4):725 - 762 (2006)

Given the fact that both R.G. Collingwood and P.F. Strawson introduced, inspired by Kant, a 'reform of metaphysics' and thereby used a strikingly similar terminology, the absence of an extensive article about the comparison between their concepts of a 'reformed metaphysics' is, to say the least, rather surprising. The first aim of this article is filling up this gap. But there is more at stake. Traditionally, a twofold connection is laid between their concepts of metaphysics. First, there is the fact that both authors consider metaphysics as a reflexion about the basic presuppositions of our thought and so subscribe to Kant's 'reform of metaphysics'. Subsequently, the central point of difference to be considered is that Strawson sets basic presuppositions as universal and invariable and so more directly leans against Kant than Collingwood who ascribes to these presuppositions a variable and cultural-historical character. In this article — and that is its central aim — I would like to make some critical remarks to this interpretation. First, I try to show how the resemblances between their concepts of metaphysics originate from their adoption of both Kants 'Copernican revolution' and his repudiation of transcendent metaphysics. Furthermore, I want to point out the differences between both their concepts of metaphysics, starting from their respective interpretations of Kant s transcendental idealism. While Strawson propounds an 'anodyne' interpretation of transcendental idealism, Collingwood proposes a 'radicalization' of transcendental idealism. Against the backdrop of these different interpretations, the contrast between the universal character of Strawson's metaphysics and the so-called historical-relativist character of Collingwood s metaphysics can be clarified. Finally, I will dwell on six repercussions of both their views of metaphysics
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