A recurrence to pre-Kantian modes of thought in the view of A.N. Whitehead’s historical and ontological conception

Olga E. Sto­liaro­va
Insti­tute of Phi­los­o­phy, Russ­ian Acad­e­my of Sci­ences

A recur­rence to pre-Kant­ian modes of thought in the view of A.N. Whitehead’s his­tor­i­cal and onto­log­i­cal con­cep­tion

Abstract. Is Kant’s philo­soph­i­cal sys­tem a nec­es­sary and suf­fi­cient (or, at least, rel­a­tive­ly suf­fi­cient, open, per­haps for sup­ple­ment and clar­i­fi­ca­tion, but not for refu­ta­tion) expla­na­tion (jus­ti­fi­ca­tion) of the cog­ni­tive expe­ri­ence of human­i­ty or does it itself need to be explained as part of the cog­ni­tive ex-peri­ence of human­i­ty? The arti­cle exam­ines this issue through the prism of A. N. Whitehead’s post-crit­i­cal con­cept and its pro­claimed “recur­rence to the pre-Kant­ian modes of thought.” The philo­soph­i­cal demand for nov­el­ty, expressed by White­head, in par­tic­u­lar, does not allow us to think of this “recur­rence” lit­er­al­ly, that is, as the restora­tion of pre-crit­i­cal meta­physics. Using the exam­ple of Whitehead’s his­tor­i­cal and onto­log­i­cal approach, it is demon­strat­ed that a return to the pre-Kant­ian modes of thought is not so much a direct refu­ta­tion of Kant’s crit­i­cal (anti-meta­phys­i­cal) posi­tion, but rather an expla­na­tion of the “Coper­ni­can turn” by reveal­ing its onto­log­i­cal pre­sup­po­si­tions, or the con­di­tions of its pos­si­bil­i­ty. But the his­tor­i­cal approach also shows that these onto­log­i­cal pre­sup­po­si­tions are not absolute­ly sta­ble. New expe­ri­ence of sci­ence and new ontolo­gies form the con­di­tions for revis­ing epis­te­mo­log­i­cal restric­tions and, thus, indi­rect­ly refute the “Coper­ni­can turn”.

Key­words: meta­physics, crit­i­cism of meta­physics, real­ism, Kant’s Coper­ni­can turn, Whitehead’s his­tor­i­cal ontol­ogy, onto­log­i­cal pre­sup­po­si­tions of epis­te­mol­o­gy

DOI: 10.5840/dspl20192456


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