A Parting of the Ways: Carnap, Cassirer, and Heidegger by Michael Friedman

By Michael Friedman

Starting with a war of words in 1929 in Switzerland, Michael Friedman examines how the paintings of 3 pivotal philosophers developed and intertwined over a number of years, finally giving upward push to 2 very varied faculties of inspiration - analytic philosophy and continental. the writer explores the clashes that set them aside as they built their very own radical new rules.

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The object of knowledge itselt~ as the "reality" standing over and against pure thought, is simply the ideal limit pointthe never completed "X"-towards which the methodological progress of science is converging. There is thus no "pre-conceptual" manifold of sensations existing independently of pure thought at aIl. There is only an infinite methodological series in which the forms of pure thought are successively and asymptotically applied. " Once again, the c1earest and most sophisticated expression of this distinctively Marburg conception is found in Substance and Function [Cassirer, 1910].

Empirical determinateness, for Cassirer, rdè:rs only to the never ending but convergent series exel11plilied bl' the methodological progrcss ofl11athel11atiGlI natural science. The Neo-Kantian Backlfround 33 and by replacing the given manifold of sensation with the methodological progression of mathematical natural science. In the approach of the Southwest School, by contrast, we are left only with the forms of judgment of traditional formai logic on the one side and the "pre-conceptual" given manifold of sensations on the other-the crucial mathematical intermediary is missing.

His [1963a, p. : . . ) 24. :nce at Ikrlin. >r his part, dispenses entirely with ail such subt1eties. He never tires, for example, of characterizing "metaphysicians" and "school philosophers"-among whom Heidegger is a prominent representative-as enemies of the proletariat: Science and art are today above ail in the hands of the ruling classes and will also be used as instruments in the c1ass struggle against the proletariat. Only a small number of scholars and artists place themselves on the side of the coming order and set themselves up as protection against this form of reactionary thought.

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