Can Philosophy Comprehend Life? (A Talk by Eckart Förster)

Great talk by Eckart Förster (discussing Evan Thompson’s book Mind in Life, among other things, and the relationship between scientific discourse and philosophy, including a reference to Naturphilosophie and Goethe) found here. There is also a talk by Evan Thompson following Eckart Förster.


Eckart Förster’s Essay on Kant, “Transition” and Opus Postumum

As some might have already noticed and I was pretty slow to discover this, some edited volumed available for preview on Google Books sometimes have full essays avaiable for your scholarly interest. May I wholeheartedly recommend this essay by Eckart Förster, “Fichte, Beck and Schelling in Kant’s Opus Postumum” which begins with a nice summary of Kant’s view of science and, specifically, physics? Förster’s contribution to the study of Opus Postumum is well known, of course, and I think in light of the recent discussions of science, realism, so-called correlationism and such, it is important to understand what Kant actually wrote, as opposed to various crude misinterpretations of his philosophy. Kant, as is also well known, began his philosophical career as a philosopher of nature (a philosopher of science would be a good modern designation) and, as Förster, shows in his Introduction to the English edition of Opus Postumum and various essays on the subject, ended his philosophical career working on a manuscript that would complete his system. 

I think Förster’s opening citation from the second preface to the first Critique is essential, as far as I am concerned, in any discussion of the workings of science – because I’m lazy, here’s a text from Norman Kemp Smith’s translation available online: Continue reading

December of Kant: Planning a Grand Philosophical System and Its Discontents.

Analogously to the famous Summer of George, I have accidentally stumbled into what can only be labeled a December of Kant: a number of peculiar conversations plus free time due to school break were bound to result in a more or less discipline browsing of Kant’s texts. Curiously, the question that strangely keeps coming up here and there in off-hand remarks and heated exchanges is following: Did Kant plan to write three critiques in any sort of disciplined elaboration of the system, or did they just come about accidentally and we’ve managed to persuade ourselves that they were from the very beginning a part of a grand plan?

But before we get to it, a quick anthropological digression: Continue reading