Felsefi Düşün Issue:3 – Kant / October 2014
Issue Editor: Aliye KARABÜK KOVANLIKAYA (Galatasaray Üniversitesi)Please click on the name of any article for abstract and keywords.
Türker ARMANER (Galatasaray Üniversitesi)
Güçlü ATEŞOĞLU (Mimar Sinan Güzel Sanatlar Üniversitesi)
Melih BAŞARAN (Galatasaray Üniversitesi)
Uğur EKREN (İstanbul Üniversitesi)
Mehmet GÜNENÇ (İstanbul Üniversitesi)
Tarık Necati ILGICIOĞLU (Galatasaray Üniversitesi)
Can KARABÖCEK (Kırklareli Üniversitesi)
M. Ertan KARDEŞ (İstanbul Ticaret Üniversitesi)
Enver ORMAN (İstanbul Üniversitesi)
Güncel ÖNKAL (Maltepe Üniversitesi)
Ümit ÖZTÜRK (Gümüşhane Üniversitesi)
Nebil REYHANİ (Muğla Sıtkı Koçman Üniversitesi)
Ahu TUNÇEL (Maltepe Üniversitesi)
Ş. Halil TURAN (Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi)
Sadık TÜRKER (Kırklareli Üniversitesi)
Symbolism in Kant: Can the Aesthetic Ideas be the Sensible Presentation of the Ideas of Reason
In this essay, Kant’s understanding of the symbol is discussed through the analysis of his claim that the beautiful is the symbol of the morally good. Kant justifies his claim by demonstrating the formal similarities – analogies between aesthetic judgments and moral judgments, i.e., the similarity of the acts of reflection in both kinds of judgments. On the basis of these similarities, for Kant, the beautiful is, symbolically, the sensible presentation of the morally good. In other words, there exists a symbolic relation between the domain of nature – the sensible world and the domain of morality (reason) – the supersensible (intelligible) world by the intermediary of beauty. However it is only with regard to the beauty of nature that Kant explicitly discusses the symbolic relation between the beautiful and the morally good. Yet, in Kant’s thought, the validity of this claim can be also posited with regards to the beauty of art by demonstrating the formal similarities between the aesthetic ideas and the ideas of reason.
Keywords: Kant, symbol, beautiful, morally good, aesthetic idea
Kant’s Transcendental Logic
The present paper considers the distinction between the general logic and the transcendental logic; it also examines the transcendental logic in its relation to time. Kant says that general logic abstracts from all content of cognition, and considers only the logical form in the relation of cognitions to one another. To say that general logic abstracts from all content of cognition means that it abstracts what is related to sensibility. But since the sensibility is not only a posteriori, and hence intuition is not only empirical, in that kind of abstraction the distinction between the empirical intuition and pure intuition disappears. Transcendental logic, on the other hand, investigates the relation of a priori representation in view of thinking. It considers the relation between pure intuition and pure thinking, and in that way it examines the ground of the categories. What gives content to the pure thinking is pure intuition. That is the constitution of the relation of logic with time. In addition, the present examination of the transcendental logic in its relation to time highlights the rupture of Kant’s transcendental philosophy with the traditional metaphysics before Kant.
Keywords: General logic, transcendental logic, representation, temporality
Can We Really Know Appearances?
Kant’s theoretical and practical thoughts are both grounded on the hypothesis that “Knower determines known” and on the acceptance that “Sensibility and understanding are two different cognitive faculties”. On the basis of this hypothesis Kant claims that those which can be known are not things in themselves but their appearances. Apperance is the representation which is received in conformity with a prioriforms of sensibility; i.e., space and time. In this essay, it is claimed that within the limits of Kantian framework, not only things in themselves but also their appearances cannot be known. Understanding, as a faculty of thought and therefore of judgement, can become conscious of appearance only in accordance with its own categories. The difference between the faculty which receives apperance and the faculty which becomes conscious of it, is the reason of the latter’s being unable to access the appearance as appearance.
Keywords: knowledge, thing in itself, apperance, sensibility, imagination, consciousness
Two A Priori Principles In Kant’s Philosophy: Common Sense And Moral Law
Kant’s aesthetic theory bridges his ethics and epistemology. Kant who considers art or works of art not as imitations but productions or creations of human being, investigates in his theory of taste the rules or the principles which make possible calling an object as ‘a fine art’ or ‘a fine art work’ and which provide the sameness of the pleasure I get from an art work with pleasure of other people dealing with it. According to Kant, ‘taste’ as an ability by which we evaluate and judge fine works and give aesthetical judgments is a subjective necessity designed by a principle objectively. Kant calls this principle as ‘sensus communis’. Kant underlines the importance of a principle or a rule in both ethical and aesthetical theories. Sensus communis as the principle of his aesthetical theory has some similarities with his moral law which is the principle of ethical theory. In this paper, I will try to show the similarities and the differences between Kant’s these two a priori principles: namely the moral law which provides a criterion for our acts and sensus communis which makes possible an aesthetical judgment. Within this context, I will also try to expose the fundamental concepts of Kant’s aesthetics; the meanings of art and art works according to him; the relations between his aesthetical concepts like taste, fine and pleasure.
Keywords: Kant, aesthetics, art, fine art, taste, sublime, genius, sensus communis, moral law.
Kantian Ethics and The Notion of Radical Evil
Immanuel Kant develops his notion of radical evil in a late work entitled Religion Within the Boundaries of Mere Reason. Kant’s notion of radical evil have been attracting the attention of many while, at the same time, being perplexing since the first essay of the Religion “Concerning the Indwelling of the Evil Principle Alongside the Good or Of the Radical Evil in Human Nature” first appeared on the pages of Berlinische Monatsschrift in 1792. There have been many attempts to account for this perplexity. In this paper, I discuss some interpretations of Kant’s notion of radical evil, by way of which I attempt to present a less perplexed reading of radical evil, meanwhile demonstrating possible connections between Kant’s Religion Within the Boundaries of Mere Reason and his earlier ethical writings. I argue that Kant’s views on freedom and will –developed very early on in his ethical writings– is at the heart of his theory of evil, and that on the question of evil his earlier and later philosophy is not in tension, as some argue. The Kantian formulation of radical evil as a natural propensity of human nature goes hand in hand with Kantian ethics in general. In fact, the aim of my insistence on showing the connection between his earlier and later works is to argue that the moral law has to be configured as a categorical imperative precisely because humans have this natural propensity towards evil.
Keywords: evil, will, freedom, moral law, maxim.
A Study of Hegel’s InterpretatIon of Critique of pure reason
In this study, the analyzes and interpretations that Hegel makes in his books and courses on history of philosophy on Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason are examined in the context of a discussion that seeks an answer to the question “To what extent knowledge of the absolute can lift up transcendental idealism”. In the first part of the study, we discuss the main lines of the explanations and the objections that Hegel develops in his Faith and Knowledge about the fundamental tenets of the Enlightenment considered as the context in which Kant’s critical philosophy fits. In a second part, we explain the objections that led Hegel to address Critique of Pure Reason in his Lectures on the History of Philosophy and Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences in the light of his analyzes and interpretations about parts of the same work, namely transcendental aesthetic, transcendental logic and transcendental dialectic and within the framework of the problem of finitude and objectivity of knowledge. Based on the results of these two parts, we finally defend the claim that Hegel’s theory that aims to lift up the transcendental idealism remains a metaphysical theory reviving rational theology.
Keywords: Knowledge, representation, absolute, thought, reason, transcendental idealism.
Rogue Objects and the Limits of Kantian Philosophy
This paper introduces and evaluates critically a paper by Robert Hanna: “Non-Conceptualism, Rogue Objects, and The Gap in the B Deduction”. According to Hanna, some intuitional objects that understanding cannot grasp conceptually are possible in Kant’s philosophy and this point leads to considerable difficulties in the B Deduction. He thinks that the rejection of the Kantian transcendental idealism together with a new interpretation of the B Deduction can alleviate the issues. Our point is that Kantian non-conceptualism leads to much more serious problems which cannot be solved by a partial revision of the B deduction. In order to show various dimensions of the difficulties, the final section of this paper compares conceptualist and non-conceptualist positions and invites to a critical discussion.
Keywords: Phenomena, intuition, epistemology, idealism, Kant, concept, conceptualism, non-conceptualism, understanding, object, judgment
Kantian Turn: Critique Of Judgement, Gadamer and Hermeneutic
Contemporary philosophy criticizes the modernization and modern philosophy in terms of their scientific, sociological, political and aesthetic results. In doing so, these critiques unavoidably turn to the Kantian philosophy, because of his investigations on theoretical and practical reason and their results included purification of reason, actions and aesthetic. Since Kant’s investigations contributed shaping modernization and modern philosophy, criticizing them turns out to criticizing Kant and his philosophy. ‘The Kantian turn’ which is the one of the powerful and influential approaches among the critiques of modernization and modern practical philosophy is a source many rich philosophical debates.
In this article we consider Kant’s philosophy and its impact on the contemporary philosophy in the context of this ‘turn’. In doing so, we consult Gadamer’s critiques of Kantian philosophy. Gadamer’s objections to the Kant aim at criticising his theoretical philosophy of the question “what ‘understanding’ is” and the practical philosophy of the question “how people can live together”. Gadamer answered above mentioned questions using ‘hermeneutic’ approach. In order to make Kant’s impact on Gadamer and Gadamer’s critique Kant clear, we will investigate Kant’s practical philosophy, his concepts of purification of practical reason, taste, aesthetic judgement, beauty, art and also his conceptualisaiton of sensus communis which includes intersubjectivity. After that, we will investigate Gadamer’s hermeneutical philosophy in terms of his critiques of Enlightenment, the purification of reason and Kantian conception of work of art. We will seek answers to the questions of the ‘living together’ and the ‘intersubjectivity’ within Kant’s and Gadamer’s philosophical approaches. Finally we will indicate different aproaches of these issues which are also argued by some other thinkers which are in ‘Kantian turn’.
Keywords: Kantian turn, enlightenment, power of judgement, hermeneutic, aesthetic, art, communication.
What the Thinker Thinks In the I think: Kant’s Criticism of the Cogito
According to Kant, I think is the basic proposition from which rational psychology derives all its wisdom. Kant thinks that this approach, which can be summarized as the thesis that the thinker is an I and thus knows itself as a thinker, presupposes an intellectual intuition in which the manifold the I requires for its conception of itself as it is in itself is given through mere self-consciousness. As is well known, for Kant on the other hand, insofar as our intuition is merely sensible, I think is only a representation of the act of thinking and the consciousness of this act cannot be turned into a source of the cognition of an I in itself independently of the conditions of intuition. In this study, we examine Kant’s criticism in light of Descartes’ Cogito argument, and we try to show that this criticism should be understood in terms of the difference between their approaches to objectivity in general.
Keywords: I, intuition, thought, synthesis, manifold, consciousness, judgment, unity
Is Kantian Ethics Helpless In The Face Of Current Problems?
Even today Kantian ethics still stands at the center of ethical discussions, but mostly as opposed and criticized one. It is accused for restricting ethics to only human being or person and not including nature in ethical realm. One of the foremost critics is Hans Jonas who considered nature as an ethical category and put forward a new ethics of responsibility as opposed to traditional ethics. Among those critics is also K. Otto Apel who claims that Kantian ethics needs a transcendental pragmatic transformation and Kantian ethics of attitude (Gesinnung) has to be transformed to an ethics of responsibility. Parallel to the view of H. Jonas, K. O. Apel asserts that growing power of man’s abilities, resulted from the advancement of technology necessitates a new ethics of responsibility and Kantian ethics is insufficient for such a purpose. In this article those arguments are dealt with and the question whether Kantian ethics is incapable at facing these challenges or not is investigated. In the article, it is also asserted that though some of its critiques are right in their claims, Kantian ethics stands as an important ethical theory even today and is indispensable especially in terms of evaluating the actions of persons.
Keywords: Kantian ethics, Hans Jonas, ethics of attitude, ethics of responsibility, Karl-Otto Apel, traditional ethics, new ethics.
Rousseauesque Roots Of Kant’s Moral Philosophy: From The Unity Of Conscience-Will-Reason To The Unity Of Reason
Undoubtedly one of the most persistent philosophical problems of the Enlightenment is to defuse the tension between individual and political freedom. Rousseau prevents the conflict between two different experiences of freedom by introducing the general will as the law of the unity of conscience, will and reason; while Kant dissolves the same conflict by developing the concept of the moral law. The aim of this paper is to survey how Kant’s way of formulating freedom is related to Rousseau’s moral and political views. I shall propose a transition which takes place between Rousseau’s attempt to confine individuals to the political unity by virtue of their being free, and Kant’s moral law. This proposal will inevitably lead us to examine Kant’s elimination of the inherited conception of conscience from Rousseau’s, and Kant’s constitution of the unity of reason.
Keywords: Kant, Rousseau, freedom, conscience, will, reason
Timeless Act: On The Consequences Of Freedom
Kant believed that freedom is causality of the moral principle. He also saw actions resulting from intelligible causes as compatible with the principle of natural causality as it is formulated in Second Analogy of Experience. But, Kant’s arguments for compatibility of freedom and nature seem very contestable for even for the most charitable reader and the main argument is far from being clear. In this paper, I try to understand Kant’s solution not only as an argument based on the ideal nature of time, but also on the nature of different time determinations. Even if the direct Kantian solution is to assert that, by its intelligible character, free human action is a noumenal causality, this solution rests unintelligible and irrelevant to human agency if we do not reformulate it in relation to different modes of temporal determinations. Here, in a twofold presentation, I try to exhibit a valid form of Kant’s argument and to give a rather modest reading of its metaphysical implications from a practical aspect.
Keywords: time, freedom, causality, law, happiness.
Turkish translation of Immanuel Kant, “Über Kästners Abhandlungen”, Gesammelte Schriften, 20.cilt, Deutschen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin, (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1900-), 410-423