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

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


Keywords: tba.

For the Love of Metaphysics
Karin Nisenbaum | Syracuse University


Keywords: tba.

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.

Moral Skepticism in Kant and Fichte
Jacqueline Mariña | Purdue University

This essay responds to Karin Nisenbaum’s analysis of Immanuel Kant and Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s attempt to answer the moral skeptic. I argue that while her analysis of the fact of reason in terms of a Tathandlung makes insightful points on Kant’s strategy for escaping the circle he describes in Section III of his Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, her analysis does not decisively escape the charge of moral dogmatism and remains vulnerable to Fichte’s critique of both Karl Leonhard Reinhold and his own earlier position: any experience can be understood as appearance and so as being subject to causal laws, and consequently it cannot establish the moral law as a fact of reason.

Keywords: Kant, Immanuel; Fichte, Johan Gottlieb; Reinhold, Karl Leonhard; moral skepticism; freedom; morality; transcendental idealism; inner sense; first-person point of view.

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.

Katharina Kraus | Johns Hopkins University


Keywords: tba.

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