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    Lee Braver, A Thing of This World. A History of Continental Anti-Realism

    Johnathan R. Razorback
    Johnathan R. Razorback

    Messages : 9927
    Date d'inscription : 12/08/2013
    Localisation : France

    Lee Braver, A Thing of This World. A History of Continental Anti-Realism Empty Lee Braver, A Thing of This World. A History of Continental Anti-Realism

    Message par Johnathan R. Razorback Lun 12 Juil - 17:38


    "The only notable encounter between significant thinkers from the two traditions (ignoring Carnap’s take on Heidegger) is that between Derrida and Searle, and perhaps the only thing they could agree on is that their encounter does not represent “a confrontation between two prominent philosophical traditions” (Searle 1977, 198; see also Derrida, Ltd 71). Gilbert Ryle’s intelligent and informed review of Being and Time (reprinted in Murray 1978, 53–64), though short, also comes to mind as a counterexample." (note 2 p.4)

    "The project of this book is to demonstrate that there is at least one important topic shared by both analytic and continental philosophy, and to analyze it in a newly created vocabulary. Interestingly, the topic that I believe can best initiate this twenty-first-century rapprochement comes from the same figure who solved the parallel problem in the eighteenth century: Immanuel Kant. In fact, the seed for the reconciliation can be found in the very idea that forms the core of the Critique of Pure Reason and the linchpin of its rationalist-empiricist synthesis; namely, the idea that the mind actively organizes experience.

    This idea, along with its various interpretations and ramifications, forms an important thread of what has become known as anti-realism in analytic philosophy. It represents one of that tradition’s central topics and has been extensively discussed by such leading lights as Wittgenstein, Quine, Davidson, Putnam, Goodman, and Dummett. Since Kant’s work is the source of this idea and since he is certainly as influential on the continental tradition as on the analytic one, we should be able to find this core Kantian topic in the works of the great continental philosophers as well. If we can pierce the disparate vocabularies and styles to identify Kant’s idea as seminal for both camps, we should be able to use it to bring about an informed dialogue and debate. To initiate such a dialogue, this book traces the history of anti-realism in continental philosophy. I will show how the greatest continental philosophers of the last two centuries have been talking about the same subject as have many of the greatest analytic philosophers of the twentieth century, though generally unbeknown to both sides, since the two traditions have worked on it with such different vocabularies, interests, and approaches. This commonality should come as no surprise to anyone who believes that philosophy is deeply historical, since both traditions trace their lineage back to Kant, for whose epistemology and metaphysics this anti-realist idea was the central innovation
    ." (p.5)

    "I have chosen—Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, and Derrida—are widely considered the greatest thinkers of the continental tradition [...] Anti-realism is central to their thought." (p.7)

    "My narrative describes the history of continental philosophy in two phases: the Kantian Paradigm and the Heideggerian Paradigm. Loosely following Kuhn, I call them paradigms because each phase takes place within a broad framework of deep, organizing, orienting presuppositions that set the starting point, basic assumptions and outlook, and the issues of relevance for the thinkers working within it. Although each thinker modifies the framework significantly—indeed, it is this process of overlapping modification that forms the continuity of the tradition—they do so against the background of these structures." (pp.7-Cool

    "Although he initiates anti-realism, Kant retains two key elements of realism in his system. First, in order to secure the stability—that is, necessity and universality—of the knowledge organized by the subject, he has to make the experience-organizing faculties of the subject permanent and unchanging. Although it is no substantial object like Descartes’ thinking thing, this view still amounts to a vestigial realism of the subject. Second, in order to escape what he considers to be the incoherence of complete idealism, he posits mind-independent reality in noumena.

    In chapters 3 and 4, I show how both Hegel and Nietzsche work within the Kantian Paradigm by accepting the basic anti-realist picture of the subject actively organizing experience, but chafe against the remnants of realism in Kant’s thought. Both reduce Kant’s realism of the subject by introducing multiplicity into the subject’s experience-organizing faculties—for Hegel this multiplicity is historical, while Nietzsche views it as a matter of corporeal drives—and they also seek an escape from positing noumenal reality. Although they make significant advances and verge on breaking with the Kantian Paradigm, I will argue that neither succeeds in getting free of it. Hegel’s historical phases of consciousness end up getting gathered into a definitive totality at the end of history, while Nietzsche’s drives are all incarnations of will to power, both ideas imposing limitations on what the subject can be. Furthermore, their conceptions of truth—the whole for Hegel and the pragmatic increase of power for Nietzsche— push them back to realist remnants, since Hegel’s notion requires that there be a determinate whole, while Nietzsche needs at least a loose definition of power and what counts as increasing or decreasing it in order to evaluate various embodiments of will to power.
    " (p.Cool

    "His background in phenomenology means that he begins unburdened by a noumenal realm, a notion that Nietzsche flirted with and that Hegel laboriously worked his way through. However, Heidegger’s notion of authenticity commits him to a univocal realist conception of subjectivity that actually represents a step backwards from Nietzsche’s multiple selves. In addition to phenomenological ontology which completely dispenses with the noumenal realm, Heidegger’s other early breakthrough is his conception of truth as unconcealment. Unlike Hegel and Nietzsche, Heidegger has a conception of truth that works with his ontology to lay the groundwork for a decisive break with the Kantian Paradigm. If truth is unconcealment, then Heidegger is no longer sorting out false appearances from true reality ; abandoning the reality-appearance distinction marks what he calls the end of metaphysics.

    Unfortunately, his fidelity to a deep, true structure of the self in authenticity compromises the potential of these discoveries in his early work. Heidegger’s later thought marks the next major phase in continental philosophy, the first genuinely non-Kantian rather than just post-Kantian philosophy, as described in chapter 6. Here he follows through on the promise of the ideas broached in the early work—primarily Phenomenological Ontology and Unconcealment Truth—with the important addition of history. Due to the new conceptions of reality and truth, history now permeates everything, and this removes any possibility of stable, unchanging reality, including a true self. Like everything else, the essence of human nature is fundamentally different in different epochs. Nothing can serve as an anchor or explanatory arche—not independent reality as in realism, not transcendental subjectivity as in Kantian anti-realism, and not Being. Later Heidegger maintains the anti-realist idea that beings and knowledge are organized around something like a conceptual scheme, but now he makes these schemes multiple “understandings of Being,” removing them from the subject and claiming that they shift in history without reason or explanation.

    With his later work, Heidegger breaks free of Kant’s thought and takes his place as the unavoidable thinker for those who follow, as is shown in chapter 7 by demonstrating in detail how Foucault’s thought works within the Heideggerian Paradigm. Foucault too immerses everything into history, especially the subject. He also believes that beings, knowledge,
    and subjectivity are organized differently at particular times by impersonal schemes which he variously calls epistemes, apparatuses, or games of truth
    ." (pp.9-10)

    "In fact, we can almost say of Kant what Nietzsche says of God, that he “is dead; but given the way of men, there may still be caves for thousands of years in which his shadow will be shown.—And we—we still have to vanquish his shadow” (Nietzsche, GS 108). In my reading, the century and a half following Kant was spent vanquishing his shadows. The major philosophers in his wake rejected his thought but still retained vestiges of it even in their attacks on it. I show how Hegel, Nietzsche, and early Heidegger all subscribe to important aspects of Kant’s system while trying to surpass it." (p.10)
    -Lee Braver, A Thing of This World. A History of Continental Anti-Realism, Evanston, Illinois, Northwestern University Press, 2007, 590 pages.

    « La question n’est pas de constater que les gens vivent plus ou moins pauvrement, mais toujours d’une manière qui leur échappe. »
    -Guy Debord, Critique de la séparation (1961).

    « Rien de grand ne s’est jamais accompli dans le monde sans passion. »
    -Hegel, La Raison dans l'Histoire.

      La date/heure actuelle est Mer 8 Déc - 10:21