Logik Vorlesung 1896 (Husserliana: Edmund Husserl – Materialien) (German Edition)
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The areas of values identified in the system can be filled with the most diverse concrete historical values. The position developed here was eventually recast and schematized visually in the first and only volume of his System of Philosophy Rickert b. Rickert begins his inquiry by describing different kinds of goods , that is, concrete objects related to values.
His intent is to read off the objectively valid values from concrete classes of goods. Such content can be interpreted as a whole consisting of parts. To each of these domains of goods Rickert assigns a temporal dimension, such that the goods of un-ending totality are goods of the future, those of fully completed particularity are goods of the present and those of fully completed totality are goods of eternity.
After fleshing out this general scheme Rickert fills in the six domains with actual values and the corresponding cultural activities according to the following schema Rickert b, annex :. Erotics is the sphere of practical life in which subjects cultivate specific values attaching to their relationships to particular people or groups of people.
According to Rickert in the philosophical tradition this autonomous domain has been unduly overshadowed by the domain of ethics, which constantly tried to impose its distinctive values on erotics Rickert b, We need a particular sphere of relationships in which the practical thrust of our social life finds full realization in the present.
The values characterizing these spheres, such as family, homeland, religious community, etc. He points out an inevitable tension between the pursuit of goods of totality in domains 1 and 4 , which are ultimately unattainable in our earthly life, and the pursuit of goods of particularity in 2 and 5 , which are fully attainable but inevitably finite. Mysticism thus offers a transcendent synthesis between the sense of fulfillment characterizing aesthetic contemplation and the unending process of scientific theorein via conceptual knowledge.
Needless to say, to a contemporary reader this view sounds extremely antiquated and even sexist. In his eyes, insisting on the mutual completion and irreducibility of the values traditionally associated with masculinity and those traditionally associated with feminineness Rickert b, was a way to defend the equal value of men and women in the whole of cultural life.
Philosophy as a worldview-theory based on the system of values, in turn, can provide a comprehensive picture of the world in which all contemplative and practical activity takes place. To the extent that it strives towards a comprehensive system, however, philosophy tends to exceed the sphere of theoretical goods Rickert b, Instead of partaking in the indefinitely open work of the specialized sciences philosophy attempts to survey the totality of cultural life and to systematically determine its underlying value-related structure.
In each successfully articulated philosophical system we then find a completed cultural good, which differs from the characteristic open-endedness of theories in the specialized sciences. The philosopher thus occupies the middle ground between the scientist moving indefinitely forward in her specialized investigations and the artist striving to produce a complete artwork.
Guide Logik Vorlesung (Husserliana: Edmund Husserl – Materialien) (German Edition)
Philosophy, then, can then be considered an immanent synthesis between the unending totality characterizing the goods of science and the particularity characterizing the goods of art. Worldview Weltanschauung was a buzzword in early twentieth century German culture. On this reading philosophy is nothing but the conceptual articulation of pre-theoretical worldviews that are inextricably related to the historical, psychological, and cultural conditions of individual philosophers.
Worldview philosophy was extremely critical of all attempts to describe the discipline as a science, that is, as a purely theoretical enterprise. Rickert agrees that philosophy, unlike the specialized empirical sciences, must be oriented toward the world as a whole Weltganze , and not merely toward this or that specific part of the world Rickert , 1; Rickert , 1.
However, he firmly rejects the view that, in order to grasp the world as a whole, philosophers ought to shun the ideal of scientificity and work as whole human beings merely expressing what their existential intuition of the world-whole suggests. Furthermore, the goal of a comprehensive theory of worldview can only be achieved with the aid of concepts and logical thinking, that is, adopting a scientific standpoint. Heterology is a relational mode of thinking, which Rickert considers paramount to the theoretical determination of objects in general Rickert b, 57 and utterly unavoidable for a conceptual grasp of totalities.
It consists in using a pair of mutually exclusive concepts, that is, concepts that negate each other, and take them together as complementary. In so doing we are able to grasp conceptually, through a kind of detour, a whole that cannot be grasped through concepts in a direct fashion. We already encountered heterological pairs of concepts in the previous sections, for instance, the transcendental-psychological and the transcendental-logical paths in the theory of knowledge and generalizing and individualizing concept formation in the theory of science see above.
In both cases the two opposite concepts, if taken together, circumscribe a totality: in the first case, the totality of epistemology, and, in the second case, the totality of scientific methods in empirical research.
Husserl's Transcendental Phenomenology
As an example Rickert illustrates how to determine heterologically the totality of bodies Rickert b, This is because whatever is not an empirical reality be it physical or psychic lies necessarily in the sphere of value and vice versa. Once this broad categorization of the world as whole is established, philosophy can set out to determine more specifically the subordinated wholes out of which the world as a whole is constituted and to articulate meaningfully their mutual relations.
In other words, if we take our knowledge to consist of judgments and if we take our judgments to consist of a formal and a material component, then it is legitimate to ask what is the material component cast into conceptual forms in judgments. As the opening quote of this section indicates, for Rickert it is important to uphold pluralism in ontology. If the compass to orient ourselves in ontology is meaningful predication, then we are from the beginning immune to dogmatic reductions of what is to one monistically conceived dimension of reality Rickert b, Both the sphere of the physical and the sphere of the psychological are directly accessible to experience Rickert b, 63—64 and can be the object of meaningful predication.
Therefore they must be granted equal ontological worth. Psychophysical dualism, however, causes the classical problems of mind-body causal interaction versus mind-body parallelism. He considers psychophysical parallelism a self-undermining hypothesis to the extent that it relies on the atomization and quantification of psyche. Defenders of psychophysical parallelism such as Baruch Spinoza and Gustav Fechner introduced this hypothesis in order to preserve the autonomy of the psyche as the domain of the qualitative, which they take to be essentially different from merely quantitative physical being.
However, in order to articulate their model they have to rely on a quantification of the psyche, which undercuts precisely the premise, based on which psychophysical parallelism was considered a good alternative to psychophysical causality to begin with Rickert , 76; Rickert b, 66— The reason why the idea of a two-way causal link between mental and physical being seems to pose an impossible puzzle is that, prima facie , the order of the psychic and the order of the physical strike us as belonging to two separate ontological domains.
However, for Rickert this is because we generally overlook the tertium comparationis , which proves that they actually belong in one an the same ontological dimension, namely, that they are both domains of sensible being , i. To be sure, the physical and the psychic display vastly different characteristics extension vs. However, for Rickert this is not enough reason to consider the two dimensions as ontologically heterogeneous. If they are ontologically homogeneous, then it is the task of specialized empirical research and not of philosophy to determine their causal relations. In order to introduce non-sensible being Rickert recommends that we turn our attention to word-meanings Rickert b, While having a conversation, we do not only perceive the physical body of our interlocutor and the psychic reality attached to it.
These meanings are not psychic realities. They do not coincide with the thoughts of the speaker or with the acoustic stimuli of the listener.
While the meaning of words must be carried by some sensible support, it is itself not sensible. It is not sensed or perceived but rather understood. This is why Rickert proposes to call the second ontological domain the non-sensible sphere of understandable meaning-configurations verstehbare Sinngebilde Rickert b, Word-meanings, however, are only a tiny fraction of the meaning-configurations that we can experience.
The arrangement of the musical notes in a symphony is likewise understood as a meaning-configuration possibly carried by different sensible supports—the same melody can be played in a different key, with a different instrument, it can be sung, etc.
The universe of meaning-configurations constitutes for Rickert an authentic mundus intelligibilis experienced in concomitance with but as different from the mundus sensibilis of perceivable being. However, he takes pains to remind us that we should not repeat the old Platonic mistake of taking the world of non-sensible being to be a metaphysically separate reality. Understandable meaning-configurations are an ingredient of our everyday experience and so they have to be counted among the ontological ingredients of the experiential world.
In exploring the world of meaning-configurations we must take into account the principles that allow for meaning-configurations to be intelligible. Not every string of words is intelligible and, most importantly, not every intelligible string of words is true.
The same holds for every meaning-configuration. It is intelligible only if its constitutive non-sensible elements are held together by the reference to a specific value. True sentences, for instance, are unified by their reference to the theoretical value of truth. In this way, Rickert clarifies the ontological status of values as non-sensible beings. The real dualism pertaining to the world of experience, then, is not the one between body and mind but the one between the sensible world of perceivable entities and the non-sensible world of understandable meaning-configurations Rickert b, 92— Hyletic sensualists assume that the content of our experience can only be sensible, and that whatever is non-sensible and intelligible must be ascribed to the form of our experience instead.
However, based on the above analyses, Rickert emphasizes that the very content of our experience is both sensible perceivable and non-sensible intelligible. Accordingly, in order to generate knowledge of sensible entities and intelligible meaning-configurations the conceptual forms of our cognition must apply to both domains.
In fact, the entities that we encounter and theorize about in the world of experience are always objects , in a broad sense comprising physical, psychic and non-sensible entities meaning-configurations. In keeping with the Kantian tradition, however, objects are the result of synthetic processes of objectification guided by some categories forms. It is therefore possible to raise a question about a third domain of being: how are we to think the pure content or hyle that is immediately experienced prior to all objectification and categorization?
At first this universe of absolutely raw and unsynthesized content has to be conceived of as prior to the distinction between sensible and non-sensible being, and, within the sphere of sensible being, prior to the distinction between physical and psychic reality. However, and in keeping with the analyses of subjectivity in The Object of Knowledge see above , in order to be responsible for the processes of objectification and thus form primordial materials into proper objects, the pro-physical subject must be conceived of as active and capable of stance-takings toward values Rickert b, In other words, the pro-physical subject that we necessarily have to think as prior to all psychic, physical and meaning-related objectifications must be conceived of as free Rickert b, While empirical psychology operating in the sphere of already objectified sensible being presents us with empirical subjects who are causally determined in various ways, pro-physics unearths a transcendental dimension of freedom that is presupposed by all objectifications.
While the objectified psychic subject is indeed causally determined as much as any other bit of sensible being, the pro-physical subject responsible for each objectification is inherently free. In this sense, freedom and determinism are not opposed. To the extent that determinism presupposed the process of objectification, psychophysical determinism presupposes prophysical freedom. After establishing the ontological features of the prophysical subject, we can turn to the primordial materials or contents that the prophysical subject forms. Rickert suggests to calls the branch of prophysics dealing with pure materials Zustandslehre , an expression hardly translatable into English without losing its intended assonance with Gegenstandslehre Rickert b, Gegen-stand is the German term for object, that is, literally, that which stands over and against a subject.
In other words, Rickert wants to say that the understandable meaning-configurations considered in the second domain of ontology are non-sensible through and through. We have to distinguish the acoustic carrier of the word-meaning from the word-meaning as a whole, in both its form and its content. The acoustic carrier is entirely sensible and the word-meaning itself is entirely non-sensible.
Both the analysis of the world of experience and the analysis of the prophysical world resulted in an inevitable dualism between the sensible and the non-sensible, viz. This poses the problem of how to preserve the dualism and still be able to conceive of the world as a whole in a unitary fashion. With its free stance-takings relating sensible and non-sensible materials to non-sensible values the prophysical subject encompasses both terms of the dualism and thus provides a criterion to conceive of them as united. However, this seems to tie the unity of reality and value to the particularity and contingency of actual stance-takings.
This unity seems to be extremely precarious and ultimately grounded in the arbitrary acts of a pro-physical subject. The thought of a unity of reality and value beyond the particular acts of valuing subjectivity and thus beyond the scope of contents of consciousness opens up the intellectual space of metaphysics. However, he insists that we need such faith in order to live both as practical and as theoretical human beings. This, however, entails neither that metaphysics is altogether impossible, nor that some other kind of non-scientific knowledge may not be produced as legitimate metaphysical knowledge.
In other words, metaphysics is bound to employ images, metaphors and oblique expressions in order to produce indirect knowledge of the transcendent, subject-independent unity of reality and value. Rickert here clearly has in mind the most illustrious of all metaphysicians: Plato. Moreover, as is well known, he made abundant use of allegories, similes and mythological stories in order to illustrate the ultimately inaccessible world of the supersensible.
Finally, Rickert warns against a conflation of metaphysics and religion Rickert , While in concrete cultural worlds and living individuals these two spheres of culture often intersect and overlap, it is important to keep them conceptually distinct.
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Metaphysics is a theoretical enterprise trying to determine conceptually supersensible being with the aid of metaphors, symbols, etc. It does involve faith but it is a purely rational faith in some kind of transcendent unity of reality and value. Religion, on the contrary, is characterized by faith in the existence of a supersensible divine being, in which ultimately all values and meanings are grounded.