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The Death of PhilosophyReference and Self-reference in Contemporary Thought$
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Isabelle Thomas-Fogiel

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231147781

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231147781.001.0001

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Kant’s Shadow in the Current Philosophical Landscape

Kant’s Shadow in the Current Philosophical Landscape

(p.96) 4 Kant’s Shadow in the Current Philosophical Landscape
The Death of Philosophy

Isabelle Thomas-Fogiel

, Richard A. Lynch
Columbia University Press

This chapter examines contemporary approaches that challenge philosophy’s status as a first, distinct, and autonomous discipline—either through self-dissolution in the hard sciences, philology, or literature, or even through an insistence upon the death of philosophy. In analyzing contemporary returns to Immanuel Kant, the chapter distinguishes two general ways of reading him—one starting from the Critique of Judgment and regulative judgment; the other from the notion of the a priori and from the transcendental, the fulcrum of the Critique of Pure Reason. Before demonstrating that Kant is the core that supports an oscillation between skepticism and positivism, it considers the reconstruction of Kantianism that surreptitiously endorses the idea of an “end of philosophy” and thus finds itself “standing with” Richard Rorty. In particular, it discusses Karl-Otto Apel’s reformulation of Kantianism and argues that the destruction or even minimization of philosophy’s role leads to an insurmountable contradiction that annuls the denial or minimization.

Keywords:   philosophy, self-dissolution, death of philosophy, Immanuel Kant, skepticism, positivism, Kantianism, Richard Rorty, Karl-Otto Apel

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