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presupposes other knowledge; and all knowledge in the end presupposes logic. But Kant did more than to prove the validity and priority of logic. He identified logic with the cognitive consciousness, with the result that his proof of the priority of logic confirmed the Berkeleyan assertion of the priority of consciousness.
$ 4. It will be worth our while briefly to consider Kant's own version of his relations to idealism. He described his Kant's Rela
own position as "empirical realism” and tions to Ideal- "transcendental idealism,” as opposed to
empirical idealism” and “transcendental realism.' “Empirical idealism,” which reduces experience to the psychological manifold, Kant rejects; because the series of internal states is itself definable only in relation to the more fundamental order of physical nature. Its time is measured by physical events, and its subjective sequence and concomitance is distinguishable only by contrast with the standard arrangements of physical law. In other words, “internal experience itself is possible, mediately only, and through external experience.” This is "empirical realism." It leaves us, however, with a new order of experience, the so-called external experience. This is none the less "experience” for being prior to the psychological manifold. For "transcendental idealism,” which is the sequel to this empirical realism, "matter is only a class of representations (intuition), which are called external, not as if they referred to objects external by themselves (transcendental realism), but because they refer perceptions to space in which everything is outside everything else, while space itself is inside us.”
” Thus Kant's empirical realism does not in the least conflict with his assertion that "all phenomena are representations only, not things by themselves.” It is merely a subordinate phase of a "transcendental idealism,” in which the psychological and physical orders alike are grounded on the laws or necessary conditions of a consciousness in general. Both alike are phenomenal in respect of this universal consciousness, precisely as in empirical or subjective idealism, the physical order is phenomenal in respect of the psychological consciousness."
Kant, although he was the founder of a new idealism, was not himself an idealist, in the metaphysical sense. He defined the categories as conditions imposed on things by the knowing of them; but he asserted that reality was under no necessity of conforming to these conditions, except in so far as known. That a thing must be known in order to be, he expressly denied. But the promptness and apparent ease with which Kant's view was transformed into a metaphysical idealism, is proof of the instability of the situation as he left it, Having established the essentially formative and constitutive character of knowledge, nothing can be independent of knowledge except that which lies beyond even the possibility of knowledge. The forms of the cognitive consciousness underlie all that is or can be experienced. So that Kant's ‘thing-in-itself,' like the material substratum which Berkeley had so effectually disposed of, is no more than a symbol of nescience.
The 'thing-in-itself' once eliminated, the cognitive consciousness enters into undisputed possession of the field. And in order to be equal to this metaphysical rôle, cognitive consciousness must be more liberally endowed than it had been by Kant. It is not enough that it should be endowed with the categories of physical science, for these do not form a self-sufficient world. The new idealism gives “constitutive” validity to that “ideal of the Unconditioned,” to which Kant had attributed only a “regulative” validity. Thus enriched, the cognitive consciousness assumes the authorship and proprietorship of reality.
The new idealism thus restates the cardinal principle in a new form. Knowing is declared to be the ground of being; but knowing receives a new definition. It is no longer the receptivity of an individual perceiver, but the systematizing activity of a universal thinking. The new idealism lays claim to the title 'objective' for having rescued the object from the flux of the human individual's mental states, and given it permanence, identity, and orderly relations. But the object is thus rescued from the psychological subject, only to be appropriated by its deliverer, the transcendental subject. So that it is still dependent on subjectivity in some guise, and the most essential feature of the situation as Berkeley left it remains unaltered.
1 Kant: op. cit., pp. 300-301, 780. Had I desired to exploit the subjectivistic strain in Kant, I could have dwelt upon his theory of the subjectivity of space and time. I have preferred to emphasize the element of subjectivity in those features of his philosophy, 'synthetic unity' and the 'categories,' which have been most emphasized by his followers.
§ 5. The history of Kantian idealism is determined by a conflict of the several motives represented by its founders."
In Kant himself, idealism assumed a 'critical' Diverse Tendencies. Criti- form, opposed to the metaphysical form into cal' Idealism
which it was promptly converted by Fichte and Hegel. Fichte, again, developed an ethical or voluntaristic idealism, to which was opposed the logical or intellectualistic idealism of Hegel. All subsequent idealists have been divided by these issues. NeoKantians have advocated 'criticism' against metaphysics; while Neo-Fichteans and Neo-Hegelians have disputed over the relative priority of will and intellect. No sharp classification is possible, since such differences permit of an indefinite variety of compromises and combinations. But it will be worth our while briefly to examine these two leading issues.
'Critical' idealism aims at a strictly logical interpretation of Kant. It proposes, like Kant, to investigate the necessary conditions of knowledge; and concludes, as Kant concluded, that the categories which exact science employs are only varieties, applicable to specific empirical data, of certain fundamental forms of synthesis resident in the nature of thought itself. So that exact science is not a mere description of empirical data a posteriori, but a determina
1 An admirable account of the varieties of contemporary idealism in Germany will be found in Ludwig Stein: Philosophische Strömungen der Gegenwart, especially Ch. I, IV, IX.
a tion of them in accordance with certain a priori principles.
Critical idealists are divided in their interests in a manner corresponding to that difference between intellectualism and voluntarism which we shall consider below. Members of the so-called “Marburg School” have emphasized the logical presuppositions of mathematics and physics. Natorp, for example, asserts that the nature of mathematical and physical truth can be understood only by showing that its special principles, such as ‘number,' 'infinity,' 'space,' 'energy, etc., are related to purely logical principles, such as 'quantity,' 'quality,' 'relation, and ‘modality'
' ("die logischen Grundfunktionen"), which in turn develop from the principle of synthetic unity, which is the original act of knowledge (“Grundakt der Erkenntnis"). Or, the principles by which the several sciences think their special objects may be traced back to the general principles by which anything assumes the form of object of thought (Gegenstand). The form of the exact sciences is thus linked with the form of thought in general, which is incontrovertible, since any attempt to dispute it must presuppose it.
A second school of critical idealists emphasizes the foundations of the moral sciences. The critical philosophy
1 The founder of this school is H. Cohen; cf. his Logik der reinen Erkenntniss (1902). The reader will find the doctrines of this school presented somewhat more clearly in Paul Natorp's Die logischen Grundlagen der exakten Wissenschaften, and in Ernst Cassirer's Substanzbegriff und Funktionsbegriff. The writers of this school are by no means exclusively occupied with mathematical and physical science; cf. Cohen: Die Ethik des reinen Willens.
Natorp: op. cit., pp. 10-11, 44-52. • The Freiburg School (or “die südwestdeutsche Schule”) is represented by Wilhelm Windelband's Präludien; Heinrich Rickert's Der Gegenstand der Erkenninis; and H. Münsterberg's Philosophie der Werte, and Eternal Values. The writers of this school deal also with mathematical and physical science (cf. Rickert's Grenzen der naturwissenschaftlichen Begriffsbildung. They tend also to be more metaphysical than the Marburg School, and to merge into voluntaristic or ethical idealism. Cf. below, pp. 150–152.
of value is to rescue ethics, æsthetics, history, and religion from a merely descriptive empiricism, and establish them upon a logic of the normative or ideal. There is, it is to be observed, a virtual conflict between this and the Marburg School, inasmuch as this regards logic itself as a science of value, and truth as an ideal; whereas the other regards value as in the end a form of intellectual synthesis. The question of the relative priority of the ‘is' and the 'ought' (the “Sein" and the “Sollen ") thus divides critical as well as metaphysical idealists into the opposing factions of intellectualism and voluntarism.
The most interesting aspect of critical idealism is the interplay of its two motives, its criticism and its idealism. Its critical motive is most consistently expressed in its polemic against 'psychologism,' the Humian view which reduces experience to the particular mental states of the individual. "Criticism' was born in Kant's proof that psychology presupposes physics and that both presuppose logic. Since Kant's time, every revival of Hume has been followed by a revival of this counter-thesis. The naturalistic movement in Germany in the latter half of the nineteenth century stimulated the counter-movement "back to Kant.” ? And similarly the present revival of 'psychologism' among pragmatists and positivists has provided a new occasion for protest. Again we are reminded that logic cannot be dissolved into the stream of human life without self-contradiction, for every definition of life presupposes logic. When in this mood 'criticism' seems far removed from metaphysical idealism. It is simply the assertion of the absolute priority of logic, with no more regard for mind than for matter. “Without logical principles, which lay hold of the contents of every impression," says Cassirer, "there is for it (critical idealism) no more
· Cf. Natorp: op. cit., p. 51; Cohen: Ethik des reinen Willens, p. 79; and Rickert: op. cit., pp. 165-167.
? Cf. F. A. Lange, O. Liebmann, and E. Zeller. Contemporary neo-Kantianism is linked with this earlier movement through Cohen.