Oldenburger Jahrbuch für Philosophie 2008
Herbarts Allgemeine Metaphysik erscheint 1828-29 als Ergebnis langjähriger Reflexionen und vervollständigt Herbarts konstruktive Kritik des kantschen Werkes, die er bereits in seiner Psychologie als Wissenschaft (1824-25) vorgelegt hat. Herbarts Metaphysik findet zu seinen Lebzeiten kaum Beachtung – woran sich bis heute im deutschsprachigen Raum nichts geändert hat. Aus diesem Grund werden die theo-retischen Grundlagen von Herbarts Metaphysik auf Basis neuerer internationaler In-terpretationen erörtert. Dabei stellt sich heraus, dass Herbarts methodologischer Ansatz und seine relationale Ontologie zur Begründung einer realistischen Metaphysik beitragen. Herbart ersetzt das Inhärenzverhältnis durch eine funktionale Auflösung des Gegenstandes, dadurch rückt sein Werk schließlich in die Nähe zeitgenössischer Diskussionen. Dieser Punkt wird anhand von Paolo Valores Vergleich mit Quines Ontologie gezeigt.
Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason aims to determine boundaries of reason. Reason is a
faculty of the soul. But Kant does not deal explicitly with the question what a faculty of the soul itself may be. The dissertation construes Kant’s implicit notion of a mental faculty in relation to psychological debates in 17th and 18th century Germany. It can be shown that Kant agreed with Christian August Crusius in that faculties are real properties, an assumption that was denied by Christian Wolff. This poses a problem which is fundamental for understanding Kant’s project: How can we have knowledge of mental faculties at all? If knowledge of faculties was empirical for Kant, it would belong to psychology rather than to epistemology which, according to Kant, must not rely on empirical facts. In order to find out whether there can be knowledge a priori about mental faculties, the book provides a close reading of relevant passages from published texts and other sources (lecture transcripts, Reflexionen). The final result is negative: Kant has no conclusive argument for the real existence of mental faculties. Nevertheless, an awareness of Kant’s unwritten “metaphysics of the mental” is essential for understanding implicit premisses of Kant’s thought.
How is metaphysics possible? The answer to this question can be received by means of Kant’s transcendental method. According to Kant, the basis (background) of any metaphysics is metaphysica naturalis, which is conceived as human reason speculation demand to arise and solve questions that are beyond possible experience and exceed the limits of a current ‘physical’ situation. Thereby the man is homo metaphysicus (Aristotle. Kant). Possibility of metaphysica naturalis roots in the human faculty of imagination and is connected with our language, its metaphysics. There are two modus of the academic metaphysics. Possibility of metaphysica generalis is connected with presence in our language (resp. Mind) special metaphysical (ontologic) predicates (categories). Possibility of metaphysica specialis is connected with presence in our language (resp. Mind) wholeness, or encompassing totalities (comp. with the Encompassing of K. Jaspers).
The paper discusses the development of metaphysics understood as a philosophical discipline or science. The author would like to propose that the last period of Greek philosophy, that going from about the 3rd to the 6th centuries A.D., made new and interesting contributions to metaphysics as a philosophical discipline, indeed made metaphysics into a metaphysical science, while also bringing out the limits of such a science. The paper has four parts. In part I, D. O’Meara introduces the way in which the great Aristotelian commentator of the early 3rd century, Alexander of Aphrodisias, in interpreting Aristotle's metaphysical treatise, sought to find in it a metaphysical science. In part II of the paper, he attempts to show how the Neoplatonist philosopher of the early 5th century Syrianus, not only adopted Alexander's reading of Aristotle, but was also inspired by it in finding this same metaphysical science already in Plato. In part III of the paper, the author will show how all of this resulted in a masterpiece of metaphysics, the Elements of Theology written by Syrianus' pupil Proclus. Finally, in part IV, he would like to refer to what is perhaps the last great metaphysical work of Greek philosophy, the Treatise on First Principles written by Damascius, a work in which the limits of metaphysical science are explored with extraordinary subtlety and insistence. In adapting Alexander's formalization of Aristotelian metaphysical science to Platonism, Syrianus knew that such a science was a means towards, not the equivalent of, knowledge of the transcendent. Proclus knew it too, even if his Elements of Theology, in presenting metaphysical science with such systematic beauty, could give the impression of being a definitive statement. And, lest we have any illusions about the adequacy of our metaphysical science, Damascius could cure us of these, opening our minds to what lay behind, or above, our own metaphysical efforts.
Edward Zalta's axiomatic metaphysics or Theory of abstract objects is a philosophical theory with powerful logical unit which enables us to analyze a lot of ontological categories, such as non-existent objects, properties and relationships, possible worlds, states of affairs and many others that are in focus of modern analytic philosophy. Rich expressive power of the Theory are directly related to its fundamental premise — the distinction between the two modes of predication: exemplification and encoding. The main concern of the paper is to clarify the structure of the universe which arise on the ground of that distinction and to demonstrate some of its problematic consequences.
The significance of rational dialogue between believers and secular citizens, which has been offered by J. Habermas, becomes unquestioned because of increase of religion’s activeness in the public sphere. But “postmetaphysical” solution of this problem has been criticized by B. Trainor, D. Uzlaner and other researchers. The paper deals with the strategies of philosophizing, which let to interpret the metaphysics as the discovery of some structures of understanding. This way can avoid some quasi-scientific ambitions of postsecular philosophy as well as the ethical and epistemological relativism.
Proceedings of the Internationale Herbart-Gesellschaft
This paper is concerned with the critique of metaphysics as onto-theology in J.-L. Marion’s early writings “The Idol and distance” (1977) and “Double Idolatry: A Study of The Ontological Difference and Thinking of God” (1979). The notion of onto-theology refers both to Heidegger’s essay “The Onto-theo-logical Construction of Metaphysics” (1957) and to certain ideas of scholasticism. Thus, the paper is aimed to reveal the significance of both scholasticism and Heidegger’s philosophy for Marion’s critique of metaphysics. The paper focuses on two main points of this critique: first, the problem of the univocity of attributes, second, that of “regional” character of metaphysical concepts of God.
The paper is devoted to the problem of rehabilitation of metaphysics in the contemporary analytic philosophy. It traces the connection of analytic metaphysics with Aristotelian and Kantian approaches to this subject; it also marks its main features and demonstrates a new understanding of realism in analytic philosophy.