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1. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Emiliano Diaz Typical Subjectivity: Transcendental Phenomenology and the Possibility of Intersubjectivity
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Husserl’s theory of types is most often associated with his account of perception. Here, types operate as pre-predicative frames of experience that guide the perception of objects. In this paper, I will argue that Husserl’s theory of types is also central to his account of intersubjectivity. More specifically, I will show that a foundational kind of typical subjectivity is entailed by his discussion of the sphere of ownness. It is by way of this type that even a solitary subject can tacitly anticipate the possibility of other subjects. It is also this type that is enriched through interactions between actual subjects.
2. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Naomi Fisher, Kevin Mager Schelling Responds to Kant: The Bruno Critique of One-Sided Idealism
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In the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant criticizes his predecessors, specifically Locke and Leibniz, in their one-sided reductions of representation to a single faculty. In his 1802 dialogue Bruno, Schelling develops this discussion into a criticism of Kant’s own one-sided idealism. Focusing on these developments makes clear the manner in which Schelling sees himself as advancing beyond both pre-Critical realisms and Kant’s transcendental idealism. He subsumes realism and Kantian idealism within his own absolute standpoint, providing a ground and rationale for both types of philosophical system as independent approaches, and he asserts that the ultimate foundation and unity of these systems of philosophy is in the absolute which is beyond conceptual thought.
3. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Stefan Schick Which Comes First—Acting or Judging?: F. H. Jacobi’s and Hegel’s Foundations of a Metaphysical Pragmatism of Freedom
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It is one of the crucial insights of pragmatism that our judging is itself a discursive practice. Our judgments are normatively determined performances for which we are responsible. Therefore, judgments are a species of action. For in both actions and judgments, we subject ourselves and others to justifiable norms. Since these insights can already be found in Hegel, Hegel is now often interpreted as a champion of pragmatism. Hegel’s logic is thereby mainly understood as the continuation of the Kantian project of transcendental philosophy. Based upon this pragmatist interpretation of Hegel, the paper reads F. H. Jacobi’s philosophy as an alternative pragmatism which is explicitly founded on our life praxis rather than our practice of judgment.
4. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Terrence Thomson From Cosmogenesis to Naturphilosophie: Tracing a Path between Kant’s Allgemeine Naturgeschichte and Schelling’s Erster Entwurf
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Whilst Kant’s work has been important for understanding the orbit of Schelling’s Naturphilosophie, this is often considered only in relation to the Critical philosophy. The aim of this paper is to suggest a connection between the pre-Critical Kant and Schelling’s Naturphilosophie. Whilst on the surface this may seem like a futile task, in this paper I hope to show that Schelling was engaged with Kant’s early work and that he even offers a critique of it, opening the path to an until now understated area of scholarship on the relationship between the two thinkers. I analyse one section (the Siebentes Hauptstück) from Kant’s 1755 work, Allgemeine Naturgeschichte und Theorie des Himmels followed by an analysis of one section (the Zweiter Hauptabschnitt) from Schelling’s 1799 work, Erster Entwurf eines Systems der Naturphilosophie.
5. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Zhili Xiong Alternativelessness: On the Beginning Problem of Hegel's Logic
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Recent discussions concerning the beginning problem of Hegel’s Logic have reached the agreement that any promised interpretation of the beginning of the Logic must reject opposition between the immediacy and mediation and embrace their unity instead. It is how this unity is understood that divides interpreters. Either the mediation precedes the immediacy and justifies it first, or a somewhat one-sided immediacy occurs first and waits to be mediated later in a circular justification. However, both concepts are confronted with their own difficulties. To avoid these difficulties, I propose that the pure immediacy or pure being is justified to be the Logic’s beginning in virtue of its alternativelessness. Only it can measure up to the rigorous requirement implied by the nature of the beginning.
book review
6. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Jeffrey A. Bernstein Alexandre Matheron. Politics, Ontology and Knowledge in Spinoza
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7. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 3
Robert Piercey How to Appropriate a Text: Paul Ricoeur on Narrative Unity
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One of the core principles of Paul Ricoeur’s hermeneutics is that interpretation culminates in application, or appropriation. But what exactly is an appropriation, and what makes some appropriations better than others? I try to shed light on these difficult matters by examining Ricoeur’s own appropriation of Alasdair MacIntyre’s notion of the narrative unity of a life, and by contrasting it with Richard Rorty’s appropriation of the same notion. I argue that Ricoeur’s appropriation is more successful than Rorty’s, and that the best explanation of its success is that it respects a distinctive norm that governs the activity of appropriation. I conclude by describing this norm, which I call the principle of ultimate compatibility.
8. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 3
David Scott C. A. Campbell and the Reprise of Cartesian Subjectivity
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In his Meditations Descartes advances an argument that contains the essentials of the so-called “hard problem” of explaining consciousness. I show how this Cartesian argument was taken up in the twentieth century by C. A. Campbell, the moral libertarian and student of idealist Henry Jones. Campbell can be regarded as the model of what John Passmore and Simon Glendinning have respectively dubbed a “recalcitrant metaphysician” or “honorary Continental” philosopher—labels that attach largely to metaphysically-minded, mainly British thinkers who, with varying degrees of affiliation to idealism, resisted the twentieth-century trends of logical behaviorism and the “revolutionary” linguistic method. In the course of this paper, I situate Campbell’s version of Descartes’ argument within the broader history of the development of the hard problem.
9. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 3
Mike Stange Justifying the Self-Evident: The Law of Identity and the Beginning of Fichte’s Wissenschaftslehre
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In Fichte’s early views of the basic laws of traditional formal logic, primarily the law of identity, there is a tension that has gone surprisingly unexplored: While Fichte holds the statements of these laws to be self-evidently true and absolutely certain, he nevertheless claims that they remain to be justified by his “Science of Knowledge.” The aim of this article is to make sense of this tension and to explore how it translates into the dialectical structure and methodology of Fichte’s first Jena Wissenschaftslehre. This is done by, first, conjecturing—in a somewhat ahistorical, yet Fichte-based, fashion—a reason for Fichte’s justificatory demand. It is argued that the validity of the law of identity can be questioned because our belief in its absolute generality appears to be self-refuting in that it involves an antinomy akin to Grelling’s semantic antinomy of the heterological. This antinomy, when, secondly, related to Fichte’s purported justification of the law of identity, serves as a key to understanding why there is an antinomic conflict between Fichte’s supreme principle—namely, the self-positing pure I—and its adversary, the not-I, in the first place. Tracing their contradiction (whose synthetic resolution is the main goal of Fichte’s Wissenschaftslehre) back to that semantic antinomy inherent in our formal-logical certainties opens up a new way of seeing Fichte as radicalizing Kant’s critical philosophy, understood as the project of the self-preservation of reason against reason’s own antinomies.
10. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 3
Elisabeth Widmer Elements of Völkerpsychologie in Hermann Cohen’s Mature Ethical Idealism
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This paper challenges the hitherto common distinction between Hermann Cohen’s early phase of Völkerpsychologie and his later phase as a critical idealist. Recently, it has been claimed that Cohen’s turn was not a rapid conversion but a development that was already inherent to his early view. This paper argues that even in Cohen’s mature critical idealism, a thin basis of Völkerpsychologie continues to exist. Cohen’s critical programme is presented as having a twofold aim: On the one hand, it strives to give an account of pure, formal, and logical laws that regulate critical thinking; on the other hand, it offers a reading of Kant’s dualism between matter and form that allows critical thinking to be seen as inevitably embedded in causal laws of psychology, history, and physiology. Concerning the latter, the paper argues that Cohen remained in the tradition of Völkerpsychologie in his mature ethical thought.
book review
11. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 3
Rolf Ahlers Jacobis Philosophie. Über den Widerspruch zwischen System und Freiheit, by Birgit Sandkaulen; David Hume über den Glauben oder Idealismus und Realismus, by Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi
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12. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 2
Ryan J. Johnson, Nathan Jones Notes of a Wayward Son: Hegel, Baldwin, and Antiracist Idealism
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This paper transforms elements of Hegel’s thought into antiracism through the work of James Baldwin in three Acts. Act One offers a Hegelian Account of Honesty that is structurally inspired by “conscience” from his Phenomenology of Spirit. Honesty has two, seemingly paradoxical, dimensions. To address the unacknowledged whiteness in Hegel, we turn to Baldwin in Act Two. Baldwin deepens and problematizes Hegelian Honesty through a conceptual diagnosis of “double misrecognition”: the first is the misrecognition of Blackness as inferior, the second is the misrecognition of whiteness as superior. Act Three articulates how the structure of whiteness forecloses Schuld and shame by connecting this dual foreclosure to the two dimensions of Hegelian honesty and Baldwin’s diagnosis of double misrecognition. We conclude by formulating a sketch of “antiracist idealism” as version of what the Germans call Vergangenheitsaufarbeitung, that is, doing the hard, uncomfortable labor of comprehending how the present is not separate from but completely composed of old scars, wounds, violence, and atrocities. Antiracist idealism enables us to both learn from yet also challenge canonical idealism through contemporary forms of antiracism.
13. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 2
Manuel Tangorra Hegelian Heritage and Anti-Racist Horizons: Exegesis and Rewritings of Dialectical Thought
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The task of confronting Hegel with the conflicts of our present proves to be indispensable to keep alive the critical scope of dialectics. In a context marked by a new wave of movements that challenge the racist structures that inform our societies, the question of the contribution of Hegelianism to an anti-racist thought takes a significant relevance.The hypothesis of this article argues that it is possible to distinguish two different operations that shape an anti-racist critique with the resources of Hegelian dialectical thought. The first one is constituted by the exegetical practice aiming to identify, within Hegel’s own discourse, a speculative core that allows the definitive overcoming of all ethno-racial particularisms through the postulation of a normative universal horizon. Such interpretative perspective, shared by numerous scholars, seeks the absorption of Hegel’s racist and Eurocentric assertions in the larger and global scope of his system. Once the limitation of this option is shown, we will examine an alternative operation, namely, the rewritings of the dialectical thought in certain philosophical reflections arising from the concreteness of anti-racist movements. To that extent, we will revisit the proposals of W.E.B Du Bois and Frantz Fanon as peripheral enunciations of the dialectic that enable a new understanding on the subjectivation processes and liberation horizons of racialized communities.
invited article
14. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 2
Kimberly Ann Harris Du Bois and Hegelian Idealism
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In a crossed-out section in his Fisk University commencement address on Otto von Bismarck, W. E. B. Du Bois mentions that Hegel was one of the figures that influenced him early on in his intellectual development. I argue that although Du Bois uses Hegelian language and employs a Hegelian conception of history in his address “The Conservation of Races,” he abandons both in his essay “Sociology Hesitant.” He became critical of the teleological conception of history because it rests on determinism, which in his view denies the possibility for social change. With what I call his “mystical holism,” Du Bois is at odds with Hegel’s methodological holism, a distinguishing characteristic of absolute idealism. Du Bois’s dynamic idealism, which grows out of opposition to Hegelian idealism, leaves us with hope for a world without racism or at the very least in a better position to develop idealism as an anti-racist system of philosophical thought.
book review
15. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 2
Dwight K. Lewis Jr. Anton Wilhelm Amo’s Philosophical Dissertations on Mind and Body, by S. Menn and J. E. H. Smith
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16. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 1
Jennifer A. Bates Editor's Note
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17. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 1
Joseph Gamache Affectivity in Moral Epistemology: Edith Stein and Dietrich von Hildebrand
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Recent epistemology and value theory have become more open to the role played by affectivity in the constitution of human knowledge of value. In this paper, two figures important to the phenomenological and personalistic traditions are retrieved as precedents for this contemporary development: Edith Stein and Dietrich von Hildebrand. In the first part of the paper, Stein’s phenomenology of affective acts is adapted as an account of the structure of “value-grasping acts.” The second part of the paper identifies two difficulties that arise on the basis of Stein’s account: (1) how do we know that an emotion constitutes a response to intrinsic value, and (2) how do we know an emotional response to value is most attuned to its object? The remainder of the paper responds to these difficulties, thereby legitimating the account as a viable moral epistemology. These responses draw inspiration from von Hildebrand’s phenomenological accounts of value-response and freedom.
18. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 1
Luis Fellipe Garcia Nature at the Core of Idealism: The Birth of Two Strands of Post-Kantian Philosophy
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This paper claims that the inner drive of the discussion leading to the philosophical rupture between Fichte and Schelling is the problem of the independence of nature. I argue that the otherwise rich literature on the subject, by not engaging with this problem, has led to a false dichotomy between two equally unsatisfactory possibilities of interpretation: (a) Schelling’s misunderstanding of Kant’s transcendental method or (b) his overcoming of it. On my account, once one engages with Schelling’s philosophy of nature, it becomes clear that he, just as Fichte, is exploring the inner tensions of Kant’s philosophy, even though he does it in a different and original direction.
19. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 1
Austin Lawrence The Self as Activity: Beyond Reductionist and Non-Reductionist Theories of Selfhood
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This paper aims to defend a dialectical account of selfhood in the context of the contemporary debates on personal identity in Anglo-American philosophy. I interpret Reductionism and Non-Reductionism—the two dominant positions in contemporary Anglo-American philosophy—as forming something analogous to an antinomy. Reductionists argue that the self is merely an identity that is reducible to a set of facts, while Non-Reductionists argue that the self is a separate entity beyond any set of facts. I argue that a comprehensive view of the self requires aspects from both of these positions. The self, then, should be understood as an ongoing activity that relates the various features of one’s identity together.
20. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 1
Nikolaj Pilgaard Petersen Non-Constitutive Cosmopsychism: Countering the Decombination Problem
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Due to the difficulties of providing an adequate physicalist solution to the problem of consciousness, recent years have seen explora­tions of different avenues. Among these is the thesis of cosmopsychism, the view that the cosmos as a whole possesses consciousness. However, constitutive cosmopsychism is faced with the difficult problem of de­combination: how to consistently maintain the claim that individual subjects are grounded in one absolute consciousness. This paper sug­gests a solution by outlining a theoretical model of a broadly idealistic and quantitative substance-monistic character. The key idea here is a triadic rather than monistic or dualistic conception of the subject. This conception allows us to affirm that the individual subject exists while simultaneously holding that its substance component is part of the one, undivided substance. This substance is in turn the substantive component of an all-encompassing, absolute subject. Notably, this model avoids the problem of decombination.