A Positivist Theory of Knowledge or Existential Ontology?
This chapter examines the general lessons to be drawn from Martin Heidegger’s reading of Immanuel Kant by focusing on his systematic counterpoint to Hermann Cohen’s reading. The opposition can be read in their understandings of Kant’s problematic, in their explanations of knowledge, in the importance they accord to one or the other of the Critique of Pure Reason’s two editions, and in the meaning that each thinks should be given to the term “object.” The chapter begins by discussing the Kantian problematic in Heidegger and Cohen before analyzing the meaning of the object and proceeds by exploring the thesis of radical finitude in relation to the question of being as emphasizing an orientation. It suggests that the source of the reflexive deficit that leads to the omnipresence in contemporary philosophy of the theme of the death of philosophy is found in the “race to reference,” and explains how the history of the “race to reference” to the detriment of the problem of self-reference allows us to put contemporary philosophy in its proper perspective.
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