Hegelians, Kant’s Subjectivism, and The Myth of Realism—A Reply to Paul Giladi


DENNIS SCHULTING | On Hegel’s Critique of Kant’s Subjectivism in the Transcendental Deduction‘, in Kant’s Radical Subjectivism. Perspectives on the Transcendental Deduction | Palgrave Macmillan 2017



By Dennis Schulting

I thank Paul Giladi for his generous commentary on a chapter of my book Kant’s Radical Subjectivism that deals with Hegel’s critique of Kant and for suggesting a way forward for reading the notoriously controversial relation between the two greatest philosophers of modern times. I also apologise for having him wait so long, too long, for a response to his piece. But—to cut to the chase—for all his acuity in succinctly enumerating the criticisms that Hegel raises against Kant as they are standardly conceived, it seems to me that in his commentary, Giladi keeps perpetuating the Hegelian myth—a myth that originates in Hegel himself, in his less felicitous statements on Kant (Giladi appropriately quotes Encyclopædia, §§ 41z and 42z)[1]—that Kant’s transcendental or formal idealism fatally suffers from a psychological subjectivism, a charge that I explicitly sought to counter in my book. This is the myth that—and this is how Giladi himself puts it—“the structure, order, and unity of empirical reality are all derived from us and that thought and being are fundamentally separate from one another”, and that apparently because the objectively structuring categories are applied by us, they are not, or at least not ipso facto, really instantiated by the things themselves, in being itself so to speak, and thus not truly objectivating, but in the end merely subjective.

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Reply to Paul Kottman


ALBERTO SIANI | Morte dell’arte, libertà del soggetto: Attualità di Hegel | ETS 2017


By Alberto L. Siani

First of all, I would like to thank Paul Kottman for his insightful discussion of my volume, even more so as I plan to keep working on these topics and related ones. Kottman does a great job of situating the volume in the context of “North-American inspired ‘post-metaphysical Hegel studies’”. I am especially thankful for this, since, as Kottman himself remarks, I have not dedicated much space to this task. I should also remark that, from a philosophical point of view, my interpretative reference framework was mostly the so-called Münster School in a broad sense, beginning with Joachim Ritter and Odo Marquard, up to Ludwig Siep and Michael Quante. To this I need to add the work by Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert, which, while offering more diversified and reliable sources on Hegel’s aesthetics, has also challenged received ideas about the latter, most notably insofar as the thesis of the end of art is concerned. 

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Paul Kottman on Alberto Siani’s “Morte dell’arte, libertà del soggetto”


ALBERTO SIANI | Morte dell’arte, libertà del soggetto: Attualità di Hegel | ETS 2017


By Paul A. Kottman

Alberto Siani’s Morte dell’arte, libertà del soggetto comprises seven interesting, diverse essays around themes in Hegel studies that have gained particular prominence over the past thirty years or so—stemming largely from North American discussions around the problem of ‘modernity’, crystallised in Robert Pippin’s classic books Hegel’s Idealism (1989) and Modernism as Philosophical Problem (1991) and anticipated in works like Stanley Rosen’s Hermeneutics as Politics (Rosen 1987). Rosen’s book was probably the first to show how ‘post-modernity’, which regarded itself as an attack on the Enlightenment, only made sense within a treatment of Enlightenment thinking; and Pippin extended this critique of post-modernity with his influential readings of various defences of ‘modernity’ (Blumenberg, Arendt, Löwith, Rorty) as a kind of agon with Hegel, above all.

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New Work on Hegel (II): Scepticism in Post-Kantian Philosophy


MARTIN BONDELI, JIŘÍ CHOTAŠ & KLAUS VIEWEG (eds) | Krankheit des Zeitalters oder heilsame Provokation? Skeptizismus in der nachkantischen Philosophie | Wilhelm Fink, 2016


By Joris Spigt 

The edited volume under review here consists of 15 essays that cover the topic of scepticism in the works of Kant, Stäudlin, Schulze, Reinhold, Maimon, Fichte, Schlegel, Schelling, Jacobi and Hegel. This collection of essays has both widened and deepened my understanding of scepticism in the wake of Kant’s philosophy. As such, I can wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone interested in what is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating and multifaceted topics in classical German philosophy.

One of the central figures in the post-Kantian landscape is the self-avowed sceptic Gottlob Ernst Schulze. Because Schulze figures in 10 of the essays, his thought emerges as one of the guiding threads of the volume. With his criticism of Kant’s and Reinhold’s philosophy in his (anonymously published) Aenesidemus (1792), attacks on philosophy in Kritik der theoretischen Philosophie (1801), parody of Schelling’s and Hegel’s philosophy in ‘Aphorismen über das Absolute’ (1803), and, finally, thoughts on scepticism in ‘Die Hauptmomente der skeptischen Denkart über die menschliche Erkenntniß’ (1805), Schulze was the agent provocateur of his time, as Klaus Vieweg aptly describes him (p. 18). My review essay focuses on the volume’s treatment of different figures’ responses to Schulze’s Aenesidemus. In particular, I shall discuss the essays of Martin Bondeli, Silvan Imhof, and Daniel Breazeale on Reinhold, Maimon, and Fichte, respectively. My reflections on their essays seek to draw out an implicit issue within them: the lack of reflection on the adequacy and significance of the different responses to Schulze’s scepticism. Read more