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articles

1. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 2
Joshua M. Hall

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In this article, I explore two neglected works by the twentieth-century Jewish German Marxist philosopher Ernst Bloch, Avicenna and the Aristotelian Left and Natural Law and Human Dignity. Drawing on previous analyses of leftist Aristotelians and natural law, I blend Bloch’s two texts’ concepts of pregnant matter and maternal law into “pregnant materialist natural law.” More precisely, Aristotelian Left articulates a concept of matter as a dynamic, impersonal agential force, ever pregnant with possible forms delivered by artist-midwives, building Bloch’s messianic utopia. And Natural Law resurrects the Stoics’ concept of natural law as drawing on a prehistoric matriarchal utopia, later channeled by earth goddess cults misconstrued by the nineteenth-century German anthropologist Johann Jakob Bachofen as political matriarchy. I then conclude by linking this pregnant materialist natural law to Dionysus as son of the Great Mother Goddess. Though stigmatized throughout homophobic Western history for his queerness and maternal dependence, Dionysus is also the patron god of Bloch’s hero, the slave revolutionary Spartacus, paramour of a priestess of Dionysus who prophesied his divine mission of liberation.
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2. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 2
Karl Kraatz

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Heidegger’s criticism of the transcendental philosophy of Kant and Husserl is primarily leveled at its underlying understanding of the transcendental subject. Heidegger argues that in order to give an adequate account of the intelligibility of the world, the transcendental subject must be factical. By discussing central aspects of Heidegger’s criticism, this paper shows that his notion of a factical transcendental subject is a necessary step out of aporias of transcendental philosophy. I argue that Heidegger’s emphasis on the facticity of the human being must be understood not as an abandonment of the transcendental standpoint, but as a radicalization of its central ideas. Heidegger is thereby transforming transcendental philosophy into a transcendental ontology. I demonstrate that this allows Heidegger to reconceptualize the constitution of the world as social and historical without having to jettison the role of the transcendental subject.
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3. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 2
Yady Oren Orcid-ID

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Fichte’s Wissenschaftslehre of 1801/2 is considered to be the beginning of his late phase. In this phase he supposedly alters his earlier thinking and, instead of the transcendental unity of the I, conceptualizes a higher transcendent and simple unity; a unity that has been claimed to correspond to Neoplatonism. I refute these two arguments here. First, through a comparison between the Wissenschaftslehre of 1801/2 and that of 1794/5, I show that both versions contain a similar analysis of the supreme unity. Second, I show that in 1801/2 Fichte explicitly dissociates the supreme unity from transcendence and simplicity. His conception of the supreme unity in fact levels a critique upon such concept of unity. Instead of the transcendent One, which is hierarchically prior to multiplicity, Fichte formulates in both 1794/5 and 1801/2 a complicated concept of the supreme unity. On Fichte’s account, this unity “hovers” between multiplicity and unity as simplicity.
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4. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 2
Juan José Rodríguez Orcid-ID

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The main aim of this work is to indirectly display, through an analysis of the concepts of world, God, and human freedom, the shift from a harmonious concept of nature to another chaotic, darker, and pre-rational. It is important to relate this transformation, which takes place around 1807, to (I) the change in Schelling’s ideas about the relationship between God and the world to weaken a previous Spinozist monistic standpoint. These changes in turn affect Schelling’s view of the concept of unity. He now modifies the notions of immanence and pantheism in favour of a (II) dualistic doctrine of particular and finite existence that we could relate to Kierkegaard and later existentialists. Finally, (III) we introduce Schelling’s theory of love. Love is a mode of union through free will and personal choice that neutralizes the totalizing metaphysics of identity associated to the systematic construction of idealism from Spinoza to Hegel, and that Schelling criticizes, in his middle and late philosophy, as a resource to a self-transparent and overdetermining Absolute.
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book review

5. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 2
Renxiang Liu

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articles

6. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Emiliano Diaz

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Husserl’s theory of types is most often associated with his account of perception. Here, types operate as pre-predicative frames of experience that guide the perception of objects. In this paper, I will argue that Husserl’s theory of types is also central to his account of intersubjectivity. More specifically, I will show that a foundational kind of typical subjectivity is entailed by his discussion of the sphere of ownness. It is by way of this type that even a solitary subject can tacitly anticipate the possibility of other subjects. It is also this type that is enriched through interactions between actual subjects.
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7. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Naomi Fisher, Kevin Mager Orcid-ID

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In the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant criticizes his predecessors, specifically Locke and Leibniz, in their one-sided reductions of representation to a single faculty. In his 1802 dialogue Bruno, Schelling develops this discussion into a criticism of Kant’s own one-sided idealism. Focusing on these developments makes clear the manner in which Schelling sees himself as advancing beyond both pre-Critical realisms and Kant’s transcendental idealism. He subsumes realism and Kantian idealism within his own absolute standpoint, providing a ground and rationale for both types of philosophical system as independent approaches, and he asserts that the ultimate foundation and unity of these systems of philosophy is in the absolute which is beyond conceptual thought.
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8. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Stefan Schick Orcid-ID

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It is one of the crucial insights of pragmatism that our judging is itself a discursive practice. Our judgments are normatively determined performances for which we are responsible. Therefore, judgments are a species of action. For in both actions and judgments, we subject ourselves and others to justifiable norms. Since these insights can already be found in Hegel, Hegel is now often interpreted as a champion of pragmatism. Hegel’s logic is thereby mainly understood as the continuation of the Kantian project of transcendental philosophy. Based upon this pragmatist interpretation of Hegel, the paper reads F. H. Jacobi’s philosophy as an alternative pragmatism which is explicitly founded on our life praxis rather than our practice of judgment.
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9. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Terrence Thomson Orcid-ID

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Whilst Kant’s work has been important for understanding the orbit of Schelling’s Naturphilosophie, this is often considered only in relation to the Critical philosophy. The aim of this paper is to suggest a connection between the pre-Critical Kant and Schelling’s Naturphilosophie. Whilst on the surface this may seem like a futile task, in this paper I hope to show that Schelling was engaged with Kant’s early work and that he even offers a critique of it, opening the path to an until now understated area of scholarship on the relationship between the two thinkers. I analyse one section (the Siebentes Hauptstück) from Kant’s 1755 work, Allgemeine Naturgeschichte und Theorie des Himmels followed by an analysis of one section (the Zweiter Hauptabschnitt) from Schelling’s 1799 work, Erster Entwurf eines Systems der Naturphilosophie.
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10. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Zhili Xiong

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Recent discussions concerning the beginning problem of Hegel’s Logic have reached the agreement that any promised interpretation of the beginning of the Logic must reject opposition between the immediacy and mediation and embrace their unity instead. It is how this unity is understood that divides interpreters. Either the mediation precedes the immediacy and justifies it first, or a somewhat one-sided immediacy occurs first and waits to be mediated later in a circular justification. However, both concepts are confronted with their own difficulties. To avoid these difficulties, I propose that the pure immediacy or pure being is justified to be the Logic’s beginning in virtue of its alternativelessness. Only it can measure up to the rigorous requirement implied by the nature of the beginning.
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book review

11. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 1
Jeffrey A. Bernstein

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12. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 3
Robert Piercey Orcid-ID

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One of the core principles of Paul Ricoeur’s hermeneutics is that interpretation culminates in application, or appropriation. But what exactly is an appropriation, and what makes some appropriations better than others? I try to shed light on these difficult matters by examining Ricoeur’s own appropriation of Alasdair MacIntyre’s notion of the narrative unity of a life, and by contrasting it with Richard Rorty’s appropriation of the same notion. I argue that Ricoeur’s appropriation is more successful than Rorty’s, and that the best explanation of its success is that it respects a distinctive norm that governs the activity of appropriation. I conclude by describing this norm, which I call the principle of ultimate compatibility.
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13. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 3
David Scott Orcid-ID

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In his Meditations Descartes advances an argument that contains the essentials of the so-called “hard problem” of explaining consciousness. I show how this Cartesian argument was taken up in the twentieth century by C. A. Campbell, the moral libertarian and student of idealist Henry Jones. Campbell can be regarded as the model of what John Passmore and Simon Glendinning have respectively dubbed a “recalcitrant metaphysician” or “honorary Continental” philosopher—labels that attach largely to metaphysically-minded, mainly British thinkers who, with varying degrees of affiliation to idealism, resisted the twentieth-century trends of logical behaviorism and the “revolutionary” linguistic method. In the course of this paper, I situate Campbell’s version of Descartes’ argument within the broader history of the development of the hard problem.
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14. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 3
Mike Stange

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In Fichte’s early views of the basic laws of traditional formal logic, primarily the law of identity, there is a tension that has gone surprisingly unexplored: While Fichte holds the statements of these laws to be self-evidently true and absolutely certain, he nevertheless claims that they remain to be justified by his “Science of Knowledge.” The aim of this article is to make sense of this tension and to explore how it translates into the dialectical structure and methodology of Fichte’s first Jena Wissenschaftslehre. This is done by, first, conjecturing—in a somewhat ahistorical, yet Fichte-based, fashion—a reason for Fichte’s justificatory demand. It is argued that the validity of the law of identity can be questioned because our belief in its absolute generality appears to be self-refuting in that it involves an antinomy akin to Grelling’s semantic antinomy of the heterological. This antinomy, when, secondly, related to Fichte’s purported justification of the law of identity, serves as a key to understanding why there is an antinomic conflict between Fichte’s supreme principle—namely, the self-positing pure I—and its adversary, the not-I, in the first place. Tracing their contradiction (whose synthetic resolution is the main goal of Fichte’s Wissenschaftslehre) back to that semantic antinomy inherent in our formal-logical certainties opens up a new way of seeing Fichte as radicalizing Kant’s critical philosophy, understood as the project of the self-preservation of reason against reason’s own antinomies.
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15. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 3
Elisabeth Widmer

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This paper challenges the hitherto common distinction between Hermann Cohen’s early phase of Völkerpsychologie and his later phase as a critical idealist. Recently, it has been claimed that Cohen’s turn was not a rapid conversion but a development that was already inherent to his early view. This paper argues that even in Cohen’s mature critical idealism, a thin basis of Völkerpsychologie continues to exist. Cohen’s critical programme is presented as having a twofold aim: On the one hand, it strives to give an account of pure, formal, and logical laws that regulate critical thinking; on the other hand, it offers a reading of Kant’s dualism between matter and form that allows critical thinking to be seen as inevitably embedded in causal laws of psychology, history, and physiology. Concerning the latter, the paper argues that Cohen remained in the tradition of Völkerpsychologie in his mature ethical thought.
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book review

16. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 3
Rolf Ahlers

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articles

17. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 2
Ryan J. Johnson, Nathan Jones

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This paper transforms elements of Hegel’s thought into antiracism through the work of James Baldwin in three Acts. Act One offers a Hegelian Account of Honesty that is structurally inspired by “conscience” from his Phenomenology of Spirit. Honesty has two, seemingly paradoxical, dimensions. To address the unacknowledged whiteness in Hegel, we turn to Baldwin in Act Two. Baldwin deepens and problematizes Hegelian Honesty through a conceptual diagnosis of “double misrecognition”: the first is the misrecognition of Blackness as inferior, the second is the misrecognition of whiteness as superior. Act Three articulates how the structure of whiteness forecloses Schuld and shame by connecting this dual foreclosure to the two dimensions of Hegelian honesty and Baldwin’s diagnosis of double misrecognition. We conclude by formulating a sketch of “antiracist idealism” as version of what the Germans call Vergangenheitsaufarbeitung, that is, doing the hard, uncomfortable labor of comprehending how the present is not separate from but completely composed of old scars, wounds, violence, and atrocities. Antiracist idealism enables us to both learn from yet also challenge canonical idealism through contemporary forms of antiracism.
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18. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 2
Manuel Tangorra Orcid-ID

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The task of confronting Hegel with the conflicts of our present proves to be indispensable to keep alive the critical scope of dialectics. In a context marked by a new wave of movements that challenge the racist structures that inform our societies, the question of the contribution of Hegelianism to an anti-racist thought takes a significant relevance.The hypothesis of this article argues that it is possible to distinguish two different operations that shape an anti-racist critique with the resources of Hegelian dialectical thought. The first one is constituted by the exegetical practice aiming to identify, within Hegel’s own discourse, a speculative core that allows the definitive overcoming of all ethno-racial particularisms through the postulation of a normative universal horizon. Such interpretative perspective, shared by numerous scholars, seeks the absorption of Hegel’s racist and Eurocentric assertions in the larger and global scope of his system. Once the limitation of this option is shown, we will examine an alternative operation, namely, the rewritings of the dialectical thought in certain philosophical reflections arising from the concreteness of anti-racist movements. To that extent, we will revisit the proposals of W.E.B Du Bois and Frantz Fanon as peripheral enunciations of the dialectic that enable a new understanding on the subjectivation processes and liberation horizons of racialized communities.
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invited article

19. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 2
Kimberly Ann Harris

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In a crossed-out section in his Fisk University commencement address on Otto von Bismarck, W. E. B. Du Bois mentions that Hegel was one of the figures that influenced him early on in his intellectual development. I argue that although Du Bois uses Hegelian language and employs a Hegelian conception of history in his address “The Conservation of Races,” he abandons both in his essay “Sociology Hesitant.” He became critical of the teleological conception of history because it rests on determinism, which in his view denies the possibility for social change. With what I call his “mystical holism,” Du Bois is at odds with Hegel’s methodological holism, a distinguishing characteristic of absolute idealism. Du Bois’s dynamic idealism, which grows out of opposition to Hegelian idealism, leaves us with hope for a world without racism or at the very least in a better position to develop idealism as an anti-racist system of philosophical thought.
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book review

20. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 51 > Issue: 2
Dwight K. Lewis Jr.

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