Walter Benjamin called Felix Noeggerath (1885-1960) the “universal genius” or simply “genius.” In his 1916 treatise “Synthesis and the Concept of System in Philosophy,” Noeggerath offered a reading of Kant’s concept of synthesis in an original and radical manner. He dares to confront thought with the incommensurability of atheoretical Being. The linkage between logic and incommensurability is what he calls rationalism. In contradiction to this claim, any attempt to exclude atheoretical Being from the realm of logic is anti-rationalism. Noeggerath elaborates (...) on this in a penetrating discussion and modification of epistemological positions, especially those of the Marburg School and Hermann Cohen. Noeggerath constructs a notion of the philosophical system with the help of Kant’s three tables of transcendental judgements, categories, and principles in the Critique of Pure Reason. Each of these tables is known to contain 12 individual elements in four groups of three each. For the systematic division, the third group under the title “Relation” is decisive. Noeggerath assigns one systemic part to each kind of relation: “For it is to be connected: the categorical relation with ethics, the hypothetical with logic, and the disjunctive with aesthetics.” As a result the classical sequence, beginning with logic, is changed. “The order of the limbs is: a) ethics, b) logic, c) aesthetics.” In Noeggerath’s logical outline, specific mathematical concepts of meta-geometry play a decisive role. According to him, philosophy can resemble their preciseness in building a viable concept of the infinite. The prerequisite is that philosophy does not itself behave mathematically but proceeds along its own path in critical distance to the “specialized, act-kindred thinking” of the mathematician. (shrink)
The difference between Hermann Cohen’s systematic philosophy and his philosophy of religion can be determined via the logical “Judgment of Contradiction,” viewed as an “Authority of Annihilation.” In Cohen’s Logic of Pure Knowledge the “Judgment of Contradiction” acts as a “means of protection” against “falsifications” that may have arisen on the pathway through the previous judgments of “origin” and “identity.” Cohen thematizes these operations in his Religion of Reason Out of the Sources of Judaism, too. However, there they do not (...) form the grounding for natural science but rather for the knowledge of nature as creation in a strict correlation to God’s uniqueness. Any admixture between God and nature is the falseness that must be excluded via the “Authority of Annihilation.” The Being of God places the world over against the possibility of its own radical Non-Being. Yet at the same time, a second mode of Negation, a relative Nothing providing continuity for the world’s being-there, grounded in the “Logic of Origin,” retains its validity. In Cohen’s view a Creation “in the beginning” stands side by side with a continuous “renewal of the world”. (shrink)
"Hermann Cohen war ein herausragender deutscher Philosoph und jüdischer Denker. In nahezu allen Bereichen seiner verzweigten Tätigkeit beeinflusste er das akademische, politische und religiöse Leben seiner Zeit. Aus Anlass des hundertsten Todestages Cohens am 4. April 2018 widmet sich der vorliegende Band Kontexten und Netzwerken, in die Cohen zeit seines Lebens eingebunden war"--.
The volume is dedicated to the work of Chajim H. Steinthal (1823-1899), who in the second half of the nineteenth century was a prominent philosophical linguist and also an eminent teacher of the "Science of Judaism." Together with Moritz Lazarus he founded the discipline of "Voelkerpsychologie" ("psychology of nations").
ZusammenfassungDas von Weizsäcker so genannte „Pathische“ bezeichnet eine Haltung zum Leben. Das Leben ist etwas, dessen „Existenz weniger gesetzt als vielmehr erlitten wird“. Eine solche Haltung prägt unser Urteil über andere Menschen wie über uns selbst. Wer sich hier einrichtet, wandelt zwischen Wissen und Nicht-Wissen, klaren Umrissen und bloßen Nuancen, Machen und Geschehenlassen. „Pathische Ethik“ ist ein Bestimmungsversuch dessen, was es heißt, in dieser Vagheit zielsicher zu bleiben. Wo er gelingt, keimt Friede. Das Loslassen der Hand eines Sterbenden ist eine (...) Probe darauf. Im alltäglichen Umgang mit Patienten und Hilfesuchenden dagegen helfen fünf „pathische Kategorien“, dem Urteil eine Wegleitung zu geben. (shrink)
Hermann Cohen was a Jewish-German thinker with a passion for philosophy. Two forms of national engagement influenced his philosophical system and his Jewish thought: a cultural-political 'Germanness' and a religious Judaism beyond the political.
Das von Weizsäcker so genannte „Pathische“ bezeichnet eine Haltung zum Leben. Das Leben ist etwas, dessen „Existenz weniger gesetzt als vielmehr erlitten wird“. Eine solche Haltung prägt unser Urteil über andere Menschen wie über uns selbst. Wer sich hier einrichtet, wandelt zwischen Wissen und Nicht-Wissen, klaren Umrissen und bloßen Nuancen, Machen und Geschehenlassen. „Pathische Ethik“ ist ein Bestimmungsversuch dessen, was es heißt, in dieser Vagheit zielsicher zu bleiben. Wo er gelingt, keimt Friede. Das Loslassen der Hand eines Sterbenden ist eine (...) Probe darauf. Im alltäglichen Umgang mit Patienten und Hilfesuchenden dagegen helfen fünf „pathische Kategorien“, dem Urteil eine Wegleitung zu geben. (shrink)
Abstract Both Immanuel Kant and Moses Maimonides wrote lengthy treatments of the biblical garden of Eden. For both philosophers the biblical story served as an opportunity to address the genealogy of morals. I argue here that the two treatments offer deep insights into their respective philosophical anthropologies, that is to say, into their assessments of the human person and of moral psychology. Contrary to much that has been written about Maimonides as a proto-Kantian, I expose the profoundly different and even (...) opposed conceptions of human nature and of reason at the heart of the respective philosophies. For Kant, the first exercise of reason in the garden is an act of rebellion that jettisons the human person from the womb of nature into a post-natural freedom. The repudiation of the natural is the beginning of an ethical life, according to Kant—a life to be dominated by respect for a human dignity beyond the natural. For Maimonides, in contrast, reason is a philosophical torah li-shma . Rational understanding is an understanding of the laws of a nature fecund with the presence of the divine. Exposing the reason inherent in nature is the only path to knowledge of God and whatever communion with the divine is available to human beings. Such knowledge transforms the heart as well as fills the mind, embedding the human person as moral actor in a God-filled universe. (shrink)
Hermann Cohen′s passionate philosophizing begins with a departure from the letter of the rabbinical doctrine of revelation. Initially his Science of Reason is shaped by a psychology of language based on Plato, Herder, Humboldt, and Steinthal. Later the influence of Kant is prevalent. In the end Cohen′s System of Philosophy becomes the foundation upon which he reappropriates the sources of Judaism in their literalness. His program from 1908/09 onwards is to think the uniqueness of God as it must be felt. (...) A distinctive metaphorics comes into being: a hermeneutics of being human anchored in Reason through comparison with an incomparable God. The critical edition of his works illuminates this philosophical process by means of details previously not taken into account. (shrink)
Hermann Cohen's Logic of Pure Knowledge and G. W. F. Hegel's Science of Logic each use in their way the means of thought of negation and contradiction to unfold the philosophical dynamic: a fragile interplay between self-endangerment and self-preservation of thought. Here, the proximity and difference of the two authors are extended. The proximity lies in methodological negativism. The difference is in the significance of the principle of continuity. According to Cohen and Hegel as well, thinking proceeds exclusively, as Kant (...) called it, synthetically. The exclusion of contradiction, limited to analytical judgments, has only marginal significance. But the commonality does not eliminate the differences. As Hegel puts it, contradiction is a principle of mediation and finally results in "self-dissolution"; it carries within itself a direction of logical "reconciliation." Per Cohen, contradiction is a principle of "annihilation" of approaches to a determination that threatens any form of "identity." The turn Hegel put in contradiction itself, regarding in it a unity of positivity and negativity, has no direct counterpart in Cohen. Nevertheless, for him, too, the "judgment of contradiction" becomes the active basis of all cognitive thought. By exercising a contradiction-destroying "activity," the judgment of contradiction "protects," indeed "generates," the real possibility of cognition. The annihilation of the non-identical sets free the fundamental "judgment of origin" with which cognition finds its beginning. The principle of continuity taken over from Leibniz corresponds to it. Just this principle has now again no direct correspondence with Hegel. (shrink)
Cohen, Buber, and Rosenzweig were eminent figures in what Buber called a “Jewish renaissance.” I will limit myself to their relation to two basic Jewish concepts: teaching, i.e., the theoretical, theological part of the tradition, and law, i.e., the practical part. Historically, my focus is on those approximately 20 years between Cohen’s 1904 essay on Ethics and Philosophy of Religion in their Interrelation, and Rosenzweig’s 1923 essay The Builders, i.e., his response to Buber’s newly published Speeches on Judaism. Almost all (...) of the main philosophical works of our three authors fall into this period: Cohen’s System of Philosophy (1902-1912), his Religion of Reason Out of the Sources of Judaism (1919), Rosenzweig’s Star of Redemption (1921), and Buber’s I and Thou (1923). To think, to feel and to do one’s own authentically without excluding oneself from the general culture, or more strongly: to accomplish the general, even the most general at all, precisely in the realization of one’s own, is for all three philosophers the high demand of their Jewish self-interpretation. None of them has devoted his life’s work exclusively to “Jewish” issues, least of all Hermann Cohen. But each of them is under the question of how it is possible to write in German about the general human and just in this to be unambiguously Jewish. (shrink)