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Serpentine Naturalism and Protean Nihilism: Transcendental Philosophy in Anthropological Post-Kantianism, German Idealism, and Neo-Kantianism

Paul Franks

in The Oxford Handbook of Continental Philosophy

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780199234097
Published online September 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199234097.003.0009

Series: OXFORD HANDBOOKS IN PHILOSOPHY

 Serpentine Naturalism and Protean Nihilism: Transcendental Philosophy in Anthropological Post-Kantianism, German Idealism, and Neo-Kantianism

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Kant's impact has been so massive that numerous traditions of continental philosophy define themselves either as his rightful heirs or as his true foes. One way to claim Kant's heritage is to emulate him by calling one's philosophy transcendental, while denying some competing view's right to this term. This article shows how Kant uses this term in response to problems raised by naturalism for the possibility of metaphysics, and how his usage gives rise to several possible continuations. It examines the contests over the transcendental between two major continental traditions — German Idealism and anti-psychologistic Neo-Kantianism — and two more naturalistic post-Kantian traditions. It also argues that these disputes are haunted by problems raised at the inception of transcendental philosophy: the irrefutability of naturalist skepticism and the protean character of nihilism.

Keywords: continental philosophy; transcendental; metaphysics; German Idealism; naturalist skepticism; nihilism

Article.  18245 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy

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