Transcendental Philosophy: from German Idealism to Phenomenology
This course presents the historical development of the motive behind transcendental philosophy as it takes place from classical German Idealism to contemporary phenomenology. It starts by treating some of the central topics of classical German idealism (in the work of Imannuel Kant, J. G. Fichte and F. J. W. Schelling) such as the problem of the conditions of the possibility of experience, the relation between the manifold of appearance and the unity of human mind, and the relation between natural necessity and human freedom. It will then be shown how this transcendental motive took hold in phenomenology because of the influence of German Idealism. In the process, students will exposed to the key problems of both classical German phenomenology (Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Eugen Fink) and contemporary French phenomenology (Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Emmanuel Levinas, Marc Richir). In particular, special attention will be paid to the transformation of the transcendental approach in philosophy as expressed in the idea of “transcendental experience” (which is a contradictio in adjecto in terms of Kant’s transcendentalism). In this context, it will also be demonstrated how the anonymous process of sense-formation (Sinnbildung) progressively takes the place of the transcendental capacities of the subject. The course will conclude with a survey of two of the newest forms of transcendentalism in phenomenology: methodological transcendentalism (László Tengelyi) and speculative transcendentalism (Alexander Schnell).