Dietmar Heidemann & Oliver Motz on Silvan Imhof’s “Der Grund der Subjektivität”

 

SILVAN IMHOF | Der Grund der Subjektivität. Motive und Potenzial von Fichtes Ansatz | Schwabe, 2014 


 

By Dietmar H. Heidemann and Oliver Motz

One of the greatest virtues one can praise a book on transcendental philosophy for is the way in which the author manages to interweave and balance systematic and historical considerations. In the case of Silvan Imhof’s Der Grund der Subjektivität, this concerns not only the style but just as much the essence of what is advanced in its 267 pages: Imhof wants to read Fichte’s account of subjectivity—the book’s central topic—not as a completely independent systematic enterprise that would take the absolute ‘I’ as an unquestioned, paradigmatic starting point (pp. 21–2), but rather as a very specific response to a very specific problem: the sceptical inquiries of Maimon and Aenesidemus Schulze directed at Kant and Reinhold.

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Reply to Green, Drogalis, Shell & Rossi

 

STEPHEN PALMQUIST | Comprehensive Commentary on Kant’s Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason | Wiley-Blackwell 2015 


 

By Stephen R. Palmquist

Before I respond to the four essays that have each offered valuable feedback on my Comprehensive Commentary on Kant’s ‘Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason‘ (hereafter CCKR),[1] a meta-critical question calls for an answer: Why was yet another commentary on Kant’s book, Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason (hereafter RGV), needed in 2015,[2] given the unprecedented fact that each of the three previous years had seen the publication of a commentary on the same book? The short answer is that work on my commentary began several years before James DiCenso (2012), Lawrence Pasternack (2013), or Eddis Miller (2014) embarked on their own versions of such a project. After completing work on Kant’s Critical Religion in 2000 (Palmquist 2000), I initially planned to move directly into full-time work on Kant’s Critical Science, volume three in my planned Kant’s System of Perspectives series. However, I put that plan on hold a few years later, after I realised that Kant’s Critical Religion, despite its length, only scratched the surface of numerous issues relating to Kant’s theory of religion—especially various textual complexities in RGV. Moreover, some critics of Kant’s Critical Religion, even among those who agreed with my overall claim—namely, that Kant was attempting to affirm and even bolster Christianity (albeit in a significantly reformed interpretation)—tended to misconstrue and therefore reject key arguments I had sketched. Clearly, more work needed to be done if the scholarly community was to be convinced that anything like the position I defended there was accurate.

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Ronald Green on Stephen Palmquist’s “Comprehensive Commentary on Kant’s «Religion»”

 

STEPHEN PALMQUIST | Comprehensive Commentary on Kant’s Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason | Wiley-Blackwell 2015 


 

By Ronald M. Green

Stephen Palmquist’s Comprehensive Commentary on Kant’s Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason is a rich and erudite work of scholarship. Above all, it displays intellectual generosity in its effort to try to understand what Kant was trying to say in this his culminating work of his moral and religious philosophy. If I sometimes disagree with Palmquist or criticise his interpretation in what follows, this should not obscure the fact that I have learned a vast amount from Palmquist’s remarkable book. My focus will be on Kant’s treatment of radical evil in the First Piece or First Part of the Religion. I would like to suggest that while Palmquist offers a way of elucidating and validating Kant’s argument for the human universality of radical evil, his argument is not as incisive as it might be and may even be erroneous.

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