Transcendental Idealism in Transcendental Argument

When:16 Jul 2019, 12:30pm - 2pm
Venue:Room 310, Morven Brown Building
Who:Plato Tse
Photo Plato Tse Philosophy

Abstract: Contemporary discussions of transcendental arguments in Anglo-American philosophy tend to hold a reserved, if not reluctant, attitude to transcendental idealism, and it is often assumed that transcendental arguments fare better without idealism. This is based on a problematic preconception of the transcendental idealist thesis and of the purpose it is supposed to serve. Transcendental idealism is then not differentiated from Berkeleyan idealism, and it is taken as a strategy to defuse the bridging problem that arises from the distinction between mind and world. My analysis suggests that a scopal misreading is involved in the nondifferentiation, and it leads to a reductionist reading of the thesis that fuels scepticism. Another closely related issue is how one should situate transcendental idealism in the argumentative context. I consider a broader conception of transcendental idealism, which is not constrained to a few passages extracted from Kant’s writings and better represents the historical reception and development of Kant’s critical idealism. In this conception, the aim of transcendental idealism is not to prove the reality of the external world, but to establish the agential nature of reason via a concept of self-awareness that at the same time serves as the condition for the possibility of first-personal access to the content of experience.

Bio: Plato Tse is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at National Chengchi University in Taiwan. He finished his tertiary study in Hong Kong (HKU & CUHK) and received his doctoral degree in Philosophy in Munich (LMU), Germany. His research interests include German Idealism, Transcendental Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, and Metaphysics. His current research project focuses on Fichte’s Wissenschaftslehre as a form of Transcendental Philosophy.

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