The problem of knowledge in German Idealism has drawn increasing attention in recent years. This is the first attempt at a systematic critique that covers all four major figures, Kant, Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel. In examining the evolution of the German idealist discussion with respect to a broad array of concepts (epistemology, metaphysics, logic, dialectic, contradiction, totality, and several others), the author draws from a wide variety of sources in several languages, employs lucid and engaging language, and offers a fresh, incisive and challenging critique.
Limnatis contrasts Kant’s epistemological assertiveness with his ontological scepticism as a critical issue in the development of the discourse in German Idealism, and argues that Fichte s phenomenological demarche only amplifies the Kantian impasse, but allows him to launch a path-breaking critique of formal logic, and to press forward the dialectic. Schelling’s later restoration of metaphysics aims exactly at overcoming the Fichtean conflict between epistemological monism and ontological dualism.
And it is Hegel who synthesizes the preceding discussion and unambiguously addresses the need for a new philosophical logic, the dialectical logic. Limnatis scrutinizes Hegel s deduction in the Phenomenology, invokes modern genetic epistemology, and advances a non-metaphysical reading of the Science of Logic as a genetic theory of systematic knowledge and as circular epistemology.
Emphasizing the unity between the logical and the historical, the distinction between intellectual (verständlich) and rational (vernünftig) explanation, and the cognitive importance of contradiction, the author argues for the prospect of an evolving totality of reflective reason.
Table of Contents
1 EPISTEMOLOGY OR METAPHYSICS? THE KANTIAN BACKGROUND
I. Scientifi c Metaphysics?
II. Transcendentalism Versus Realism?
III. The Ontological Facet: The Transcendental Self and the Thing-in-itself
IV. From the Ontological to the Logical: Understanding, Reason, and Totality
V. The Logical Facet: Kant’s Relation to Formal Logic and the Problem of Contradiction
2 FROM EPISTEMOLOGY TO METAPHYSICS: FICHTE AND SCHELLING
I. Fichte: The Thing-in-Itself and the Dialectical Leap
A. The Notion of a Philosophical Science and its Relation to Logic
B. The Transcendental Self as (F)act
C. Fichte’s New Dialectic and the Grasp of the Problem of Contradiction
D. The Thing-in-itself and the Horizons of Knowledge
II. Schelling: Epistemology and the Resurrection of Metaphysics
A. Philosophy as Scientific System in the Early Schelling
B. Identity, Logic and Contradiction in the Early Schelling
C. The Twofold Nature of Schelling’s Transcendental Philosophy
D. The Resurrection of Metaphysics and the Problem of Dialectic
3 FROM METAPHYSICS TO EPISTEMOLOGY I: FROM THE PHENOMENOLOGY TO THE LOGIC OR HEGEL’S CLAIM FOR ABSOLUTE KNOWING AND ITS MEANING
I. Idealism, Reason, and Contradiction in the Early Hegel
II. Hegel’s Phenomenology. The Coming-to-be of the Self and the Question of Intersubjectivity
A. The Dialectic of Sense-Certainty
B. Perception as Humanized Sense
C. The Understanding as Conceptualizing Ability
III. The Transition to Self-Consciousness and Idealism
A. Activity and Intersubjectivity
B. Excursus in Genetic Epistemology: Piaget, Vygotsky and Hegel on Thought, Language and Culture
C. Reason and the Category Formation in the Phenomenology
4 FROM METAPHYSICS TO EPISTEMOLOGY II: FROM LOGIC TO REALITY
I. The Idea of an Epistemological Reading of Hegel’s Logic
A. The Logic as a Continuation of the Phenomenology
B. Reason, Understanding, and Reality
C. Hegel’s Critique of Formal Logic and the Problem of Contradiction
1. Does Hegel Pose a Challenge?
2. Dialectic and Formalism
3. The Logic of Thought and the Problem of Contradiction
II. Toward an Epistemological Totality
A. The Principle of Hegel’s Relation to the Sciences
B. The Circles Within the Circle
C. Objectivity and Method
Leave a Reply