In a reconstruction of the theories of Freud and Klein, Sebastian Gardner asks: what causes irrationality, what must the mind be like for it to be irrational, to what extent does irrationality involve self-awareness, and what is the point of irrationality? Arguing that psychoanalytic theory provides the most penetrating answers to these questions, he rejects the widespread view of the unconscious as a 'second mind', in favour of a view of it as a source of inherently irrational desires seeking expression (...) through wish-fulfilment and phantasy. He meets scepticism about psychoanalytic explanation by exhibiting its continuity with everyday psychology. (shrink)
This chapter argues that Merleau-Ponty’s account of perception should be understood, not as a theory of perception in the usual sense, but as belonging squarely to transcendental philosophy. Contra the interpretation of Phenomenology of Perception as essentially a work in the philosophy of psychology, and the associated naturalistic construal of his ideas, it is suggested that Merleau-Ponty must be seen in the light of the history of transcendental philosophy and that an original form of idealism lies at the heart of (...) his philosophical project. The transcendental turn is presupposed by Merleau-Ponty’s claims regarding perception, and his key notion of ambiguity is a transcendental descendant of Kant’s strategy of establishing idealism by way of antinomy. (shrink)
Kant's _Critique of Pure Reason_ is arguably the single most important work in western philosophy. The book introduces and assesses: * Kant's life and background of the _Critique of Pure Reason_ * the ideas and text of the _Critique of Pure Reason_ * the continuing relevance of Kant's work to contemporary philosophy. Ideal for anyone coming to Kant's thought for the first time. This guide will be vital reading for all students of Kant in philosophy.
The Introduction to this volume identifies and briefly summarizes certain issues which have been of central concern to philosophers in the transcendental tradition, including: the question of its relation to metaphysics; the relation of transcendentalism to transcendental idealism; the Kantian concept of a condition of possibility; the concepts of transcendental logic and of transcendental proof or argumentation; the concept of the transcendental turn and the issue of its justification; and the standpoint of transcendental reflection.
Schelling’s 1809 Freiheitsschrift, perhaps his most widely read work, presents considerable difficulties of understanding. In this paper, I offer an interpretation of the work in relation to Kant. My focus is on the relation in each case of their theory of human freedom to their general metaphysics, a relation which both regard as essential. The argument of the paper is in sum that Schelling may be viewed as addressing and resolving a problem which faces Kant’s theory of freedom and transcendental (...) idealism, deriving from the challenge posed by Spinozism. One major innovation in Schelling’s theory of human freedom is his claim that it presupposes the reality of evil. I argue that Schelling’s thesis concerning evil also provides a key to the new and highly original metaphysics of the Freiheitsschrift. The relation of Schelling’s theory of freedom to his general metaphysics is therefore complex, for it goes in two directions: the metaphysics are not simply presupposed by the theory of freedom but are also in part derived from it. These new metaphysics also, I argue, allow Schelling to resolve a problem which his own earlier Spinozistic system had left unresolved. (shrink)
_Art and Morality_ is a collection of groundbreaking new papers on the theme of aesthetics and ethics, and the link between the two subjects. A group of distinguished contributors tackle the important questions that arise when one thinks about the moral dimensions of art and the aesthetic dimension of moral life. The volume is a significant contribution to philosophical literature, opening up unexplored questions and shedding new light on more traditional debates in aesthetics. The topics explored include: the relation of (...) aesthetic to ethical judgement; the relation of artistic experience to moral consciousness; the moral status of fiction; the concepts of sentimentality and decadence; the moral dimension of critical practice, pictorial art and music; the moral significance of tragedy; and the connections between artistic and moral issues elaborated in the writings of central figures in modern philosophy, such as Kant, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. The contributors share the view that progress in aesthetics requires detailed study of the practice of criticism. This volume will appeal both to the philosophical community and to researchers in areas such as literary theory, musicology and the theory of art. (shrink)
This paper attempts in the first instance to clarify the application of the personal/sub-personal distinction to psychoanalysis and to indicate how this issue is related to that of psychoanalysis" epistemology. It is argued that psychoanalysis may be regarded either as a form of personal psychology, or as a form of jointly personal and sub-personal psychology, but not as a form of sub-personal psychology. It is further argued that psychoanalysis indicates a problem with the personal/sub-personal distinction itself as understood by Dennett (...) A revised view of the distinction, which is argued to reflect its true metaphysical significance, is proposed. (shrink)
In this paper I offer a selective, systematic rather than historical account of Merleau-Ponty’s highly complex relation to classical German philosophy, focussing on issues which bear on the question of his relation to transcendentalism and naturalism. I argue that the concerns which define his project in Phenomenology of Perception are fundamentally those of transcendental philosophy, and that Merleau-Ponty’s disagreements with Kant, and the position he arrives at in The Visible and the Invisible, are helpfully viewed in light of issues which (...) Merleau-Ponty identifies as raised by Kant’s Critique of the Power of Judgement, and Schelling’s conversion of Kantian idealism into a Real-Idealismus. Finally I address the question of whether, and on what basis, Merleau-Ponty’s claim to have surpassed systematic philosophy can be defended. (shrink)
German idealism has been pictured as an unwarranted deviation from the central epistemological orientation of modern philosophy, and its close historical association with German romanticism is adduced in support of this verdict. This paper proposes an interpretation of German idealism which seeks to grant key importance to its connection with romanticism without thereby undermining its philosophical rationality. I suggest that the fundamental motivation of German idealism is axiological, and that its augment of Kant's idealism is intelligible in terms of its (...) combined aim of consolidating the transcendental turn and legitimating the kind of relation to value articulated in German romanticism. /// [Paul Franks] German idealists regard Spinozism as both the realism that outflanks Kant's idealism and the source of the conception of systematicity with which to fortify idealism. But they offer little argument for this view. To fill the gap, I reconstruct arguments that could underlie Jacobi's and Pistorius's tentative but influential suggestions that Kant is or should be a Spinozist. Kant is indeed a monist about phenomena, but, unlike Spinoza, a pluralist about noumena. Nevertheless, it is arguable that the Third Antinomy can be solved by a more thoroughgoing Spinozistic monism. The resulting Spinozism outflanks Kant by acknowledging Jacobi's charge that philosophy annihilates immediacy and individuality, whereas Kant's commitment to things in themselves can seem a half-hearted attempt to avoid the charge. However, the German idealist contention is that only a synthesis of such a Spinozism with Kantian idealism can retrieve immediacy and individuality, thus overcoming nihilism. (shrink)
This paper offers a synoptic view of Kant's Critique of the Power of Judgement and its reception by the German Idealists. I begin by sketching Kant's conception of how its several parts fit together, and emphasize the way in which the specifically moral motivation of Kant's project of unification of Freedom and Nature distances it from our contemporary philosophical concerns. For the German Idealists, by contrast, the CPJ's conception of the opposition of Freedom and Nature as defining the overarching task (...) of philosophy provides a warrant and basis for bold speculative programmes. The German Idealist development therefore presupposes Kant's failure in the CPJ to resolve the problem of the relation of Freedom and Nature. What is fundamentally at issue in the argument between Kant and his successors is the question of the correct conception of philosophical systematicity and in this context I reconstruct Kant's defence of his claim to philosophical finality. (shrink)
Book description:* The only accessible and authoritative guide to the continental traditions in philosophy * 20 brand-new contributions by an outstanding international team * Valuable for anyone working on continental philosophy, European literature, the history of ideas, and cultural studies The Oxford Handbooks series is a major new initiative in academic publishing. Each volume offers an authoritative and up-to-date survey of original research in a particular subject area. Specially commissioned essays from leading figures in the discipline give critical examinations of (...) the progress and direction of debates. Oxford Handbooks provide scholars and graduate students with compelling new perspectives upon a wide range of subjects in the humanities and social sciences. The Oxford Handbook of Continental Philosophy is the definitive guide to the major themes of the continental Euopean tradition in philosophy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Brian Leiter and Michael Rosen have assembled a stellar group of contributors who provide a thematic treatment of continental philosophy, treating its subject matter philosophically and not simply as a series of museum pieces from the history of ideas. The scope of the volume is broad, with discussions covering a wide range of philosophical movements including German Idealism, existentialism, phenomenology, Marxism, postmodernism, and critical theory, as well as thinkers like Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Heidegger, and Foucault. This Handbook will be an essential reference point for graduate students and professional academics working on continental philosophy, as well as those with an interest in European literature, the history of ideas, and cultural studies. (shrink)
Introduction: This paper has two, interrelated aims. The first is to clarify Sartre's theory of intersubjectivity. Sartre's discussion of the Other has a puzzling way of going in and out of focus, seeming at one moment to provide a remarkably original solution to the problem of other minds and at the next to wholly miss the point of the skeptical challenge. The nature of his argument is equally uncertain: at some points it looks like an attempt to mount a transcendental (...) argument, a kind of Refutation of Idealism regarding the existence of others, at others, to be a defence of direct realism; yet again, it can seem to propose a dissolution of the problem closely analogous to Wittgenstein. I will argue (Section 1) that none of these provides quite the right model for understanding Sartre, which requires one to take seriously his method of resolving epistemological issues into matters of ontology. I argue further (Section 2) that Sartre's theory becomes fully coherent only if we make explicit its implicit presupposition of a conception of intersubjectivity articulated by Fichte. My second aim is to pursue the connection opened up of Sartre with German idealism. To the extent that commentators attempt to relate Sartre systematically to German idealism, it is almost always Hegel who provides the other term of comparison.1 What I try to show (Section 3) is that the usual comparison of Sartre with Hegel, which is largely negative, is distracting, and that Sartre's closer philosophical [End Page 325] relations are to Fichte and Schelling.2 This supplies, I argue, an important correction to the tendency of anglophone discussion of Sartre to isolate his claims from historical considerations, or to restrict Sartre's historical frame of reference to Hegel, Husserl and Heidegger: Sartre's philosophy, I suggest, is viewed fruitfully in the context of philosophical debates pursued in early German idealism. Sartre's ethics, I argue (Section 4), provide supporting evidence for this view. I propose tentatively in conclusion (Section 5) a corresponding view of existential phenomenology as a whole. (shrink)
There is a way of understanding “the philosophical problem of the self” that makes it unquestionably central to and ineliminable from the entire endeavor of philosophy, ancient as much as modern: if by asking about the self we mean to ask what we really, fundamentally are, then the problem of the self comprehends a great range of problems, and every philosophical position worth the name will include a theory of the self. In analytic philosophy, however, the problem of the self (...) has come to be understood differently: what it refers to in the first instance is the puzzle presented by knowledge claims regarding one’s own psychological states, a problem that is distinguished from, while enjoying some connections with, the problem of the conditions for personal identity and the mind-body problem, and that resolves itself into a set of finer problems concerning the conditions of psychological self-ascription, the reference of the first-person pronoun, the notion of immunity to error through misidentification, and so forth. (shrink)
Adrian Moore argues that Kant’s transcendental idealism is incoherent, and that its incoherence gives us an invaluable insight into the fundamental nature of metaphysics, motivating the reconception of metaphysical inquiry with which Moore concludes his story of the development of modern philosophy. My discussion has three parts. First, I focus on the treatment of Kant’s transcendental idealism in Moore’s earlier book, Points of View, and highlight ways in which Moore is, I argue, open to challenge. Second, I suggest that the (...) historical record does not bear out Moore’s criticism of Kant’s transcendental idealism. Third, I compare Moore’s response to the alleged incoherence of transcendental idealism with that of the German Romantics. (shrink)
[Sebastian Gardner] German idealism has been pictured as an unwarranted deviation from the central epistemological orientation of modern philosophy, and its close historical association with German romanticism is adduced in support of this verdict. This paper proposes an interpretation of German idealism which seeks to grant key importance to its connection with romanticism without thereby undermining its philosophical rationality. I suggest that the fundamental motivation of German idealism is axiological, and that its augment of Kant's idealism is intelligible in terms (...) of its combined aim of consolidating the transcendental turn and legitimating the kind of relation to value articulated in German romanticism. /// [Paul Franks] German idealists regard Spinozism as both the realism that outflanks Kant's idealism and the source of the conception of systematicity with which to fortify idealism. But they offer little argument for this view. To fill the gap, I reconstruct arguments that could underlie Jacobi's and Pistorius's tentative but influential suggestions that Kant is or should be a Spinozist. Kant is indeed a monist about phenomena, but, unlike Spinoza, a pluralist about noumena. Nevertheless, it is arguable that the Third Antinomy can be solved by a more thoroughgoing Spinozistic monism. The resulting Spinozism outflanks Kant by acknowledging Jacobi's charge that philosophy annihilates immediacy and individuality, whereas Kant's commitment to things in themselves can seem a half-hearted attempt to avoid the charge. However, the German idealist contention is that only a synthesis of such a Spinozism with Kantian idealism can retrieve immediacy and individuality, thus overcoming nihilism. (shrink)
In this paper I sketch a reconstruction of the basic psychoanalytic conception of the mind in terms of two historical resources: the conception of the subject developed in post-Kantian idealism, and Spinoza's laws of the affects in Part Three of the Ethics. The former, I suggest, supplies the conceptual basis for the psychoanalytic notion of the unconscious, while the latter defines the type of psychological causality of psychoanalytic explanations. The imperfect fit between these two elements, I claim, is reflected in (...) familiar conceptual difficulties surrounding psychoanalytic theory and explanation. (shrink)
It is well known that Sartre describes his form of existentialism as atheistic, and much of the rhetoric of Sartrean existentialism draws off the image of God's absence from the world. There are nevertheless, I argue, deep grounds for thinking that the coherence and well-groundedness of Sartre's thought requires that his phenomenological ontology take finally the form of an onto-theology: Sartre's ontology runs into difficulties concerning the origin of the for-itself and the unity of being; an onto-theology like Schelling's, which (...) avoids the ‘ontological optimism’ that Sartre objects to in Hegel, both releases Sartre's ontology from its difficulties and furthers Sartre's central philosophical purposes. (Published Online July 10 2006). (shrink)
This article is concerned with the question of the proper place of substantial general metaphysics in aesthetics and the philosophy of art. For reasons articulated in writings from the 1950s, analytic aesthetics denies that there is any relation of dependence and regards the intrusion of metaphysics into reflection on art as not merely superfluous but also methodologically inappropriate. Against this I argue that analytic aesthetics in its circumscription of the bounds of the discipline is not metaphysically neutral, that it is (...) vulnerable to the challenge of scientific naturalism, and that a case for the necessity of metaphysics in aesthetics and the philosophy of art can be made on the grounds of the constitutive opacity of art and the aesthetic from the standpoint of ordinary consciousness. The analytic reception of Kant’s aesthetic theory, I argue, supports this conclusion. (shrink)
ABSTRACTWe know from Nietzsche’s posthumously published notebooks and correspondence of his plan in 1868 to compose a doctoral dissertation in philosophy on the subject of teleology in nature and the concept of the organic, with reference to Kant. The bulk of my discussion represents an attempt to extrapolate from Nietzsche’s letters and preparatory notes the view he arrived at. Since the notes do not defend explicitly any single definitive thesis, their interpretation is unavoidably conjectural. I argue that, if Nietzsche’s remarks (...) are considered with close reference to the philosophers who at that point dominated his horizons, namely Kant, Schopenhauer, and Lange, with Goethe also playing a key role, a plausible account can be given of the broad conclusions Nietzsche reached as a result of his early engagement with the problem of teleology. This outlook maintains the necessity and distinctiveness of philosophical reflection, but takes a skeptical view of its basis. In 1868 Nietzsche had no clear idea of how to proceed from this point, but in the end I propose, as others have done, that Nietzsche’s reflections on Kant and teleology helped to lay the ground for The Birth of Tragedy. In conclusion, I hypothesize that Nietzsche’s later philosophy involves no change of metaphilosophical standpoint. (shrink)
The discussion is a response to Dews on the question of how Schelling's Freiheitsschrift should be interpreted. It falls into two halves, the first defending my interpretation, and the second expanding on the case that Dews makes for the unavoidability of metaphysics in the theory of human freedom, with which I am in full agreement. The main criticism that Dews makes of my reading is that the argument I attribute to Schelling concerning the metaphysical significance of evil rests on Kantian (...) assumptions regarding the existence of pure practical reason, which Schelling rejects. I argue that, though certainly matters are more complicated than my earlier discussion made them seem, Schelling remains sufficiently close to Kant for the argument I attribute to avoid inconsistency. In the second half I raise what I claim to be a neglected but important question: Why is the legacy of classical German philosophy not regarded as significant for contemporary discussion of human freedom? My answer in brief is that the concept of freedom has undergone a profound contraction. In this context I also try to define more precisely what is distinctive of Schelling's view of human freedom. (shrink)
Die analytische Ästhetik baut zu erheblichen Teilen auf den Impulsen von Richard Wollheim auf. Doch Wollheim unterscheidet sich vom Hauptstrom der analytischen Ästhetik durch die Auffassung, dass ein angemessenes Verständnis der Kunst nicht ohne eine anspruchsvolle Konzeption des menschlichen Geistes in seinem Selbstverhältnis zu gewinnen sei, wie er sie insbesondere im Rückgriff auf psychoanalytische Theorieansätze entwickelte. Der Geist, der auf sich selbst aus ist, erkennt das Kunstwerk als ausgezeichnete Gelegenheit, zu sich selbst zu kommen.
Schopenhauer's claim that the essence of the world consists in Wille encounters well-known difficulties. Of particular importance is the conflict of this metaphysical claim with his restrictive account of conceptuality. This paper attempts to make sense of Schopenhauer's position by restoring him to the context of post-Kantian debate, with special attention to the early notebooks and Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason. On the reconstruction suggested here, Schopenhauer's philosophical project should be understood in light of his rejection of (...) post-Kantian metaphilosophy and his opposition to German Idealism. (shrink)