On Sebastian Rödl’s “Self-Consciousness and Objectivity”, Or, The Refutation of Absolute Idealism


SEBASTIAN RÖDL | Self-Consciousness and Objectivity: An Introduction to Absolute Idealism | Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press 2018


By Robert Hanna

Sebastian Rödl’s recent book, Self-Consciousness and Objectivity: An Introduction to Absolute Idealism, just like Robert Brandom’s A Spirit of Trust (Brandom 2019), Irad Kimhi’s Thinking and Being (Kimhi 2018) and Robert Pippin’s Hegel’s Realm of Shadows (Pippin 2018)—all of these books appearing within the last two years, like so many oranges tumbling out of a dropped shopping bag—is another first-rate example of what I have called “Pittsburgh/Chicago-neo-Hegelianism-with-a-serious-dash-of-neo-Aristotelianism” (see Hanna 2018). Rödl’s book, in turn, strongly encourages me to expand that handy label into “Pittsburgh/Chicago/Leipzig-neo-Hegelianism-with-a-serious-dash-of-neo-Aristotelianism”.

Read more

Over een extreem fenomenalistische lezing van Kant


EMANUEL RUTTEN | Contra Kant. Herwonnen ruimte voor transcendentie | Utrecht: Kok, 2020


7 April: An English translation can be downloaded here


Door Dennis Schulting

Het komt niet vaak voor dat er in het Nederlands een filosofisch werk uitkomt dat gewijd is aan Kants theoretische filosofie. Er bestaat in het Nederlandse taalveld niet een heel grote traditie van Kant-onderzoek, althans niet als geïnstitutionaliseerde academische wijsgerige activiteit (een enkele welkome uitzondering daargelaten). Daar zijn allerlei oorzaken van historische en sociologische aard voor aan te wijzen. Maar feit is dat met name in Nederland serieus onderzoek naar de filosofie van Kant in de naoorlogse tijd het ondergeschoven kindje is gebleven. Aangezien Kants Kritiek nu eenmaal vaste prik is in het onderwijscurriculum, waant elke filosoferende onderwijzer zich vaak een Kant-expert. Je als Kantiaanse filosoof laten voorstaan op echte expertise wordt dan gezien als zelfwaan. Met zo’n mentaliteit gedijt serieus Kant-onderzoek vanzelfsprekend niet goed. Read more

On Categorial Illusion in Kant


By Dennis Schulting

In this notice, I want to address a remark that Anil Gomes (2018) makes, in an excellent critique of my earlier book Kant’s Radical Subjectivism (Schulting 2017), with respect to the modal nature of the claim about the application of categories to objects, namely the belief—in my account—that ‘the destination claim [is] one about the objects of experience necessarily exemplifying the categories’. Gomes writes that this

seems too strong since, on the face of it, it looks like there can be categorial illusions: cases where the objects of judgement, experience, or perception seem to exemplify some category or other but actually fail to do so. (2018:101)

Read more

The Unity of Cognition and the Subjectivist vs. “Transformative” Approaches to the B-Deduction—Comments on James Conant


JAMES CONANT | ‘Why Kant is not a Kantian’ — Philosophical Topics 44(1) (2016): 75–125 / “Die Einheit des Erkenntnisvermögens bei Kant” —In A. Kern & C. Kietzmann, Selbstbewusstes Leben. Texte zu einer transformativen Theorie der menschlichen Subjektivität, pp. 229–69 | Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2017 / ‘Kant’s Critique of the Layer-Cake Conception of Human Mindedness in the B Deduction’—In J. O’Shea (ed.), Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason: A Critical Guide (Cambridge UP, 2017), pp. 120–39


This is the second essay in a series of critical engagements with important recent articles or papers by prominent Kant or Hegel scholars, including two or more critics and a reply by the author. In this second instalment, Dennis Schulting critically discusses James Conant’s recent article on the Transcendental Deduction; Conant’s reply to both this and Sacha Golob’s essay, published earlier, will be published in due course




By Dennis Schulting

In an illuminating new essay ‘Die Einheit des Erkenntnisvermögens bei Kant’ (Conant 2017a), James Conant critically addresses what he argues is a widespread assumption in modern philosophy, namely, the assumption that our rational capacity to know is a capacity that is somehow “added” or tacked on to the capacity that we humans share with other animals, that is, our receptive capacity for sensations, our sensibility.[1] This is the so-called “additive” theory of cognition, more specifically of the relation between sensibility and the understanding.[2] He addresses this assumption by looking at the main argument of Kant’s Transcendental Deduction. Let me say upfront that I think Conant’s paper is one of the very few long-form pieces on the central thrust of the Deduction that I have read from the last twenty years or so, if not longer, that are as rhetorically strong as they are, on the whole, both interpretatively and philosophically appealing. I believe it is one of those papers that will, or at any rate should, be seen as a standard reference in the same way that Dieter Henrich’s influential article on the ‘two-step’ procedure of the B-Deduction has been—Conant indeed also refers to Henrich’s now famous ‘two-step’ proposal, but thinks that his own construal avoids what, in Conant’s view, can be seen as the delusive nature of Henrich’s overall framework, which suggests that there are indeed two independent, separably intelligible “steps in a proof” (Conant 2016:111).
Read more