Monday, May 02, 2005

Kant, Hegel, Darwin and weak naturalism

Detranscendentalisation is a kind of naturalism that does not entail “bald naturalism.” This is so because:

Detranscendentalisation paves way for understanding Kantian “transcendentalism” in “this worldly” terms.

(The above is possible in large part because Kant’s transcendentalism is already a form of detranscendentalisation, for this see TJ: 177 and 180).

The name of the strategy for the above is Habermas’ weak naturalism: Habermas weak naturalism reconciles Kant with Darwin. Once Kant is reconciled with Darwin then we can think of reconciling Kant with Hegel. Thus:

Weak naturalism gives us an opportunity to conceive Kantianism (or Kantian transcendentalism) in the context of an overall Darwinian picture of the world.

Once the above is conceived then we can think of reconciling Kant and Hegel, i.e. on the one hand detranscendentalising Kant but without loosing the basic idea of transcending character of reason. This would require moving towards the notion of “transcendence from within” or "immanent transcendence."

"Both the historicist tradition from Dilthey to Heidegger and the pragmatist tradition from Peirce to Dewey (and in a sense, Wittgenstein) understand the task of “situating reason” as one of detranscendentalizing the knowing subject. The finite subject is to be situated “in the world” without entirely losing its “world-constituting” spontaneity. To the extent, the encounter between McCarthy and the followers of Heidegger, Dewey, and Wittgenstein is a domestic dispute over which side accomplishes the detranscendentalization in the right way: whether the traces of a transcending reason vanish in the sand of historicism and contextualism or whether a reason embodied in historical contexts preserves the power of immanent transcendence." (TJ, p.84).

Interestingly in a note to the above passage Habermas refers to his own dispute with McCarthy as “the domestic dispute within the domestic dispute.” (p. 303 n. 5).

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