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.
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.