All Or Nothing: Systematicity, Transcendental Arguments, and Skepticism in German Idealism

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Harvard University Press, 2005 - Philosophy - 440 pages
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Interest in German Idealism--not just Kant, but Fichte and Hegel as well--has recently developed within analytic philosophy, which traditionally defined itself in opposition to the Idealist tradition. Yet one obstacle remains especially intractable: the Idealists' longstanding claim that philosophy must be systematic. In this work, the first overview of the German Idealism that is both conceptual and methodological, Paul W. Franks offers a philosophical reconstruction that is true to the movement's own times and resources and, at the same time, deeply relevant to contemporary thought.

At the center of the book are some neglected but critical questions about German Idealism: Why do Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel think that philosophy's main task is the construction of a system? Why do they think that every part of this system must derive from a single, immanent and absolute principle? Why, in short, must it be all or nothing? Through close examination of the major Idealists as well as the overlooked figures who influenced their reading of Kant, Franks explores the common ground and divergences between the philosophical problems that motivated Kant and those that, in turn, motivated the Idealists. The result is a characterization of German Idealism that reveals its sources as well as its pertinence--and its challenge--to contemporary philosophical naturalism.

  

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Contents

Introduction
1
Kantian Dualism
13
PostKantian Monism
84
PostKantian Skepticism
146
PostKantian Transcendental Arguments
201
The Fact of Reason and the Standpoint of German Idealism
260
Intuition Negation and the Possibility of Evil
337
Conclusion
385
Bibliography
395
Index
421
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About the author (2005)

Paul W. Franks is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto and the University of Notre Dame.

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