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
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