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Re: [existlist] Re: Das last man

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  • eupraxis@aol.com
    Hb3g, [Kant s] view is, in this sense, nicely balanced, and it is kind of existential in this way, don t you think? Kant had a great influence on the seminal
    Message 1 of 24 , Nov 1, 2007
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      "[Kant's] view is, in this sense, nicely balanced, and it is kind of
      existential in this way, don't you think?"

      Kant had a great influence on the seminal thinkers of the 20th Century that
      we associate with Existentialism and Phenomenology, but I wouldn't call him an

      In my opinion, Existentialism-as-such comes out of a distinct period of
      Western European history that was described by its contemporaries as a "crisis" and
      scission (witness the 'fin de siecle' themes at the century's turn). I see
      Nietzsche's 'Death of God' in that light, for example.

      Certainly from the 1840s onwards, the themes of critical breakage are writ
      large in most philosophical, political and scientific writers of note, from Marx
      and Stirner through Darwin and Rutherford and Freud, Einstein, Joyce and
      beyond. But the period between and after the wars was absolutely decisive in the
      trajectory of the genre that understood itself as something cohesive and with
      the familial associations that make up a trend or 'school'.

      Kant sensed his time as one of liberation from medieval backwardness, and as
      achieving "enlightenment" (Aufklarung). It was a Progressive and "philosophe"
      discourse. The crisis of his time was not his own, but was rather the that of
      the faltering medievalism of church and crown. Existentialism's crisis is our

      Secondly, Existentialism is essentially anti-formalist (which might strike
      someone new to it as odd as he or she is trudging through densely theoretical
      texts like Being and Time or Being and Nothingness). The architecture of the
      first Critique is anathematic to what Existentialism is all about, as is anything
      like a categorical imperative. Heidegger recasts the former's "categories" as
      existentialia in B&T, which retains the rationalizing function of the
      original while not allowing itself the architectonic of Kant's logic. (I see Sartre's
      B&N as more Hegelian than Kantian.)

      And yet, once one begins to see older texts through that oddly jaundiced eye
      of modernity, it is hard not to recast them as if 'contemporary', especially
      when one reads, not as an historian, but as a "user", if I can use that term. I
      read Hegel that way, and Kant too.


      In a message dated 11/1/07 8:09:09 PM, hb3g@... writes:

      > Reason, or rationality, or just good sense, should prevail. That
      > isn't optimism. That is being reasonable -- as well as pragmatic. All
      > three that you mention are important for what they have to say about
      > this. But Kant is my favorite. He is honest about whar reason can and
      > cannot know, and he recognizes that the practical applications of
      > reason are of greater importance to us than the merely theoretical
      > applications. Yet, he does not disrespect theoretical reason either.
      > His view is, in this sense, nicely balanced, and it is kind of
      > existential in this way, don't you think?
      > Hb3g

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