site search by freefind advanced
Existenz Menu
An International Journal in Philosophy, Religion, Politics, and the Arts
ISSN 1932-1066

Volume 17, No.2, Fall 2022

Schizophrenia and the Conflict of Reason

Index and Editor's Introduction

Phenomenology of the Labyrinth and its Significance for Understanding the Manneristic Art and the Schizophrenic World
Otto Doerr-Zegers | University of Chile and Diego Portales University, Santiago, Chile

In this essay I explore the relevance of labyrinthine spaces in terms of them constituting a link between schizophrenic experiences with manneristic art. Labyrinths challenge one's ordinary perceptions of reality due to their lack of directionality and its accompanying states of delusion, lack of certainty, fear, and oftentimes terror. Labyrinthine architecture and art dates back to early civilizations and maintains its presence throughout modern times in a variety of artforms, most notably in manneristic art. The emotional and mental spaces of labyrinthine modes of being clearly reflect themselves in phenomenological psychopathology and schizophrenia. Some mythological, symbolic, and psychopathological interpretations regarding labyrinthine spaces are being offered here along with supportive images.

Keywords: Bleuler, Eugen; The Minotaur; labyrinthine space; phenomenological psychopathology; mannerism; schizophrenia; multiplicity of spaces.


On Bizarre and Non-Bizarre Delusions
Laura K. Matthews | University of Pittsburgh

This essay has two aims. The first is to explore the role that affect plays in delusional experience. I suggest that delusions are not purely doxastic states but rather are shaped, enabled, and sustained by affect, which I construe in terms of Martin Heidegger’s notion of Befindlichkeit (disposedness). Delusions can then be understood in terms of the reciprocal relations between moods, as modes of disposedness, and the interpretations and assertions that those moods enable. The second aim is to draw a sharper distinction between bizarre and non-bizarre delusions than the one that is currently recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5-TR). Non-bizarre delusions consist of moods and interpretations that are consistent with normal consciousness and with delusions that are classified in other diagnostic categories. Bizarre delusions, by contrast, involve more serious disruptions to intersubjective consciousness. They can also consist of a type of bizarre mood that I relate to the noetic quality of mystical experience. I conclude by discussing some consequences of this view on treatment and nosology.

Keywords: Heidegger, Martin; bizarre delusions; non-bizarre delusions; affect; cognitive-affective complex; mystical mood; DSM-5-TR.


For the Love of Metaphysics
Karin Nisenbaum | Syracuse University

My book For the Love of Metaphysics offers a new perspective on the history of German Idealism that focuses on the role of the principle of sufficient reason and on the Kantian idea of the primacy of practical reason. In my response to Alexandra Newton and Katharina Kraus, I address their questions concerning the degree of continuity between the views of Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, and Solomon Maimon. Like Kant, Fichte is concerned to answer any skeptic who would accuse human beings of dogmatically asserting their freedom. Yet Kant and Fichte understand, albeit in different ways, the idea that humanity is the moral end of human beings. For Kant, humanity is a moral end against which one must not act; while for Fichte, humanity is seen as an end, in the sense that the greatest development and perfection of human nature is the aim of moral actions. In my response to Kraus, I argue that Maimon enables a reading of Kant’s Critique or Pure Reason that highlights the regulative role of the ideas of reason in Kant’s account of empirical cognition, yet their understanding of the questions quid juris and quid facti differ significantly. In my response to Richard Eldridge, I focus on two questions concerning specific points of scholarship: my interpretation of Kant’s Transcendental Deduction, and my claim that Kant fails to account for the possibility of evil as a positive capacity.

Keywords: Kant, Immanuel; Fichte, Johann Gottlieb; Maimon, Solomon; principle of sufficient reason; primacy of the practical; deduction of freedom; humanity; transcendental arguments; ideas of reason; empirical concept formation; regulative use of ideas; Transcendental Deduction; evil.


Modernity and the Eros of Reason
Richard Eldridge | University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Karen Nisenbaum develops a powerful and plausible picture of the role of practical reason in envisioning and achieving free and meaningful life in modernity, as Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Salomon Maimon, Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, F. W. J. Schelling, and Franz Rosenzweig understood that role. This leads her to the important thought that a (quasi-) existentialist commitment to a form of religious-ethical life might satisfy the eros of practical reason for meaning. While endorsing many elements of her reading, I go on to raise questions about alternative ways of understanding Kant, about whether one needs and should strive to articulate a single first principle of practical reason, and about whether practical reason might be better understood as more pluralized, historically developing, and institutionally situated and shaped than Nisenbaum suggests.

Keywords: Kant, Immanuel; Rosenzweig, Franz; Jacobi, Friedrich Heinrich; Maimon, Salomon; Schelling, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph; eros; nihilism; practical reason.


Nisenbaum's Fichtean Reading of Kant's Fact of Reason
Alexandra Newton | University of California, Riverside

In For the Love of Metaphysics, Karin Nisenbaum argues that a significant strand of postKantian philosophy aims to radicalize Kant's insight into the primacy of practical reason over theoretical reason. However, philosophers of this period do not necessarily share Kant's understanding of what it is for reason to be practical. In my comments, I will highlight three difficulties with Nisenbaum's post-Kantian interpretation of Kant's fact of reason, which seem to indicate a departure from Kant's original understanding of practical reason. The first concerns the moral law as the self-consciousness of practical reason, the second human beings' existence as moral persons, and the third the ungroundedness of the ground of practical reason..

Keywords: Fichte, Johann Gottlieb; Kant, Immanuel; self-consciousness; fact of reason; freedom; personhood; practical reason.


Nisenbaum on Kant and Maimon, and the Human Intellect
Katharina T. Kraus | Johns Hopkins University

In her book For the Love of Metaphysics, Karin Nisenbaum offers an innovative reading of Salomon Maimon's transcendental philosophy, according to which Maimon not only presents a valid critique of Immanuel Kant's dualism between the human and divine orders of intelligibility, but also offers a way to overcome the shortcomings of Kant's position through a rereading of Kant's Transcendental Deduction. I argue that Nisenbaum's Maimonian rereading is closer to Kant's original thought than she admits. By reassessing the regulative use of ideas of reason in Kant's Appendix to the Transcendental Dialectic, I distinguish between a semantic function of ideas in the formation of the empirical concepts for human cognition and an epistemic function that projects the ultimate goal of human cognition as it would be grasped by a divine intellect.

Keywords: Kant, Immanuel; Maimon, Salomon; human intellect; divine intellect; ideas of reason; empirical concept formation; empirical truth; regulative use of ideas.



Sponsored by
Karl Jaspers Society
of North America
Boston, MA

Frequency: bi-annual
Spring / Fall

All materials posted
on this site are
protected under
copyright law. Unauthorized dissemination of any content posted on this site is prohibited. Please contact the editor for copyright clearance.

Jaspers Stiftung | Jaspers Society Japan | KJSNA | Jaspers Gesellschaft | Polish Jaspers Society | Italian Jaspers Society