Dialogue and Universalism







   The objective of this Dialogue and Universalism issue is transcendental philosophy, synonymously transcendentalism, understood roughly as the heterogeneous tradition at its founding level comprising Kantianism, Neo-Kantianisms, and Husserl’s phenomenology. Transcendentalism in the meaning of “an American literary, political, and philosophical movement of the early nineteenth century, centered around Ralph Waldo Emerson”, is not a concern here.

   In some philosophical areas it is still relatively commonly held that transcendental philosophy is an expired tradition, of historical value only. This conviction should be definitely challenged. In fact, recent philosophy has questioned it with increasing force. Even a slightly closer inspection reveals the importance of the transcendental tradition in contemporary philosophical discourses.

   Nowadays transcendental philosophy mainly functions in inter-theoretical constellations—some of its threads are being composed with ideas propounded by other philosophical traditions or schools. These threads rather concern the general transcendental spirit, above all the transcendental method itself, and are mostly not direct returns to entire Kant’s or Husserl’s doctrines. This specific presence of transcendental philosophy is associated with the enormous multitude of analyses and interpretations devoted to it, also carried out from the perspective of 21st-century philosophical awareness and research interests.

   The contemporary role of transcendentalism is characteristic of all philosophy since, roughly, the third decade of the 20th century. One may easily ascertain the tendency in contemporary investigations to transcend the limits of philosophical schools and traditions, and to embed them in new theoretical configurations. Collage but nonetheless unified conceptions are formed by engaging factors originating from metaphilosophically diverse sources. The boundaries set by the various schools are blurred hence their purity and resulting distinctness are frequently ignored. Abandoning their earlier-respected status of hermetically closed and stable thought systems, philosophical schools and traditions initiate inter-theoretical dialogues characterized by the interpenetration of views. Such communication forms constitute a complex metaphilosophical problem which deserves comprehensive consideration.

   This Dialogue and Universalism issue is devoted, in a very modest scale, to the forms in which transcendentalism appears in contemporary philosophical discourses. The majority of the presented papers examine various instances of composing into unity transcendental threads and elements originating from other philosophical traditions. Some papers investigate certain elements of Kant’s, Cassirer’s and Husserl’s conceptions which are important for the currently promoted philosophical attitudes and undertakings.

   Special thanks go to Przemysław Parszutowicz, who assisted in a valuable extent in organizing this D&U issue and is, in fact, its co-editor.

Małgorzata Czarnocka
Stanisław Czerniak
Józef L. Krakowiak






Bolesław Andrzejewski


   The paper discusses the philosophy of language and communication based on Immanuel Kant’s transcendental method. Firstly, the basic assumptions of methodical rationalism are presented. Subsequent sections analyse Kant’s intellectual successors: Wilhelm von Humboldt and Ernst Cassirer. Both the intellectuals adopted Kant’s point of views and both treated language as an active, cultural factor participating in the creation of reality. The article ends with a suggestion that the transcendental approach will be present in the 21-century researches on language and communication.

Keywords: transcendentalism; language; communication; Immanuel Kant; Wilhelm von Humboldt; Ernst Cassirer.


Affiliation: Institute of Philosophy, Adam Mickiewicz University, ul. Szamarzewskiego 89c, 60–568 Poznań, Poland

Email: boland@amu.edu.pl



Andrzej Leder


   The text considers the possibility of studying the Freudian psychoanalysis as a certain form of transcendentalism. In particular, it analyses the relation of Freud’s proposition concerning the strangeness within the subject—a strangeness called unconsciousness—to Kant’s claim about the necessity of the synthetic unity of apperception. The study commences with Ricoeur’s reading of Freud’s teachings in order to demonstrate how, by introducing the language of transcendental philosophy into the reading of Freud’s works, Ricoeur omits the issue of the subjective conditions for the constitution of any possible meaning. Next, searching for the possibility to formulate these conditions on the grounds of Freudian psychoanalysis, the text investigates relevant Heidegger’s reading of Kant. It finds in it the model justification for such understanding of the unity of “I think” which makes it, already at its core, conditioned by diversity identified with temporality. By attempting to grasp the contradiction between such a temporal condition for subjectivity and Freud’s postulate on the timeless nature of unconsciousness, the text applies Derrida’s criticism of the metaphysical conception of time, which is directed exactly at Heidegger’s metaphysics of Dasein. In consequence, it turns out that a profound justification seems to exist for the seemingly paradoxical Freudian statement about unconsciousness, and it is linked with, on the one hand, the most primal intuitions still grounded in animism, and on the other, with a continuation of Kant’s teachings.

Keywords: philosophy; transcendentalism; psychoanalysis; Kant; Freud; Heidegger; Derrida.


Affiliation: Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, ul. Nowy Świat 72, 00–330 Warszawa, Poland.

 Email: aleder@ifispan.waw.pl




Norbert Leśniewski


   The paper aims to reconstruct Heidegger’s historical-intentional assumptions in his ontological interpretation of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. The paper presents young Heidegger’s project of the “metaphysical-teleological interpretation of consciousness”. The project indicates the direction of his further ontological interpretation of transcendentalism: Heidegger stands up the traditional, well known neo-Kantian interpretation of the Critique, and offers a new conception of ontological knowledge and cognition. According to this conception, cognition is grounded in transcendental imagination where a threefold synthesis takes place. Heidegger’s original temporal interpretation of transcendental schematism is also recalled to emphasize the significance of his new ontological approach to Kant’s theoretical philosophy.

Keywords: Heidegger; Kant; transcendentalism; ontology; ontological knowledge; schematism of imagination.


Affiliation: Institute of Philosophy, Adam Mickiewicz University, ul. Szamarzewskiego 89c, 60–568 Poznań, Poland

Email: norle@poczta.onet.pl




Andrzej Lisak


   The article presents the philosophical thought of Rudolf Zocher, Wolfgang Cramer and Hans Wagner, whose theoretical stance can be dubbed Neoneo-Kantianism. The article investigates their philosophical output and argues that they developed a transcendental reflection of a different kind than that of Baden Neo-Kantianism. The transcendental reflection of Neoneo-Kantianism, especially in the work of Hans Wagner, takes on the topic of phenomenological inquiry and treats consciousness as a source of subject-object distinction, unlike Rickert and Windelband, who were developing transcendental reflection focused on aprioristic forms of cognition, much in the post-Fichtean vein, thus giving primacy to the subjective conditions of possible experience.

Keywords: Rudolf Zocher, Wolfgang Cramer, Hans Wagner, Baden Neo-Kantianism, validity (Geltung), consciousness, subject-object distinction.


Affiliation: Gdansk University of Technology ul. Gabriela Narutowicza 11/12 80–233, Gdańsk, Poland.

Email: alis@zie.pg.gda.pl




Iwona Lorenc


   Following Ricoeur and referring to some contemporary phenomenological studies, I demonstrate—perhaps differently than others do—that Husserl’s phenomenological undertaking has also hermeneutic aspects. With Husserl, we are in a meaningful world which reveals its sense in intentional acts. Interpretation of senses can be treated as experiencing them. I examine, in particular, the peculiar hermeneutics of affectiveness and sensation, i.e. the hermeneutics that is broadly understood as a project of demonstrating the origin of meaning. This project reaches the difference founding all the articulations of meaning rather than some aprioric basis of understanding. The difference is a source that flows in experience of sense, even in their mature culturally articulated forms, which are, however, forever permeated by sensation and the affective.

Keywords: genetic phenomenology; hermeneutics of perception; Auslegung; transcendental subjectivity; pre-predicative experience; transcendental aesthetics; sense; meaning; poiesis, aisthesis, Sprachlichkeit.


Affiliation: Institute of Philosophy, University of Warsaw, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 3, 00–047 Warszawa, Poland

Email: Lorenc@cyberia.pl




Marek Maciejczak


   In his response to the question about the conditions of the possibility of dependable cognition Immanuel Kant first points to the faculties of the cognitive powers and subsequently lists the criteria and normative foundations of knowledge—a system of forms, concepts and principles. Kant primarily seeks the possibilities of experience-independent cognition, the logical criteria governing the possibility of cognition as such. The paper outlines the creation of the systemic union of the primal concepts and principles of pure reason, which is necessary for the creation of knowledge. In other words, it follows the constitution phases of the cognition system: apperception, experience, self-consciousness and the principles of reason. The principles of reason are what ultimately gives systemic unity to human cognitive powers—and, in effect, the human world of experience and cognition. It is this systemic unity which makes cognition science—or in other words, pure reason—as it constitutes a specific system and is able to create science understood as the systemic unity of specific fields.

Keywords: Kant; regulative principles; system; knowledge; science.


Affiliation: Warsaw University of Technology, pl. Politechniki 1, 00–661 Warszawa, Poland

Email: marmaciejczak@poczta.onet.pl




Rafał Michalski


   The essay reviews references to Immanuel Kant’s transcendental philosophy in the work of Helmuth Plessner. First discussed is the Krisis der transzendentalen Wahrheit im Anfang, in which Plessner effects a critique of the transcendental method and shows that overcoming its crisis will require philosophy to rigorously restrict the applicability of theory to the experimental sphere and put it up for judgment by the tribunal of practical reason. Next under scrutiny is Plessner’s programmatic text in philosophical anthropology, in which he strives to employ Kant’s deductive method for the construction of his own system of organic forms.

Keywords: transcendental method; categories; deduction; positionality; border; a priori; philosophical anthropology; organic forms.


Affiliation: Institute of Philosophy, Nicolai Copernicus University, Fosa Staromiejska 1a, 87-100 Toruń, Poland.

Email: Rafal.Michalski@umk.pl




Przemysław Parszutowicz


   The article analyses systematically and historically a specific understanding of the idea of transcendentalism developed in the Marburg School of neo-Kantianism. The unique line of the Marburg’s School interpretation of Kant’s critical philosophy consists in contrasting critical (relational) and dogmatic (substantial) understandings of basic philosophical concepts. This line is characteristic of the Marburg School idealism and it perfectly grasps Ernst Cassirer’s peculiar understanding of philosophy—as “critics of knowledge.” The main thesis of this paper is that the critical method understood as a method of searching for fundamental principles and conditions of possibility of objectiveness is a basic tool of analysis and investigations carried out by the author of Philosophy of Symbolic Forms.

Keywords: Ernst Cassirer; transcendentalism; critique of knowledge; Marburg School.


Affiliation: Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, ul. Nowy Świat 72,

00–330 Warszawa, Poland.

Email: pparszutowicz@ifispan.waw.pl




Jarosław Rolewski


   The paper presents Husserl’s conception of the relation between science and the living world (Lebenswelt), i.e. the world of everyday experience and communication. In Husserl view, science, or, more precisely, its basic aprioric structure is founded on the primal, essential core of the living world (a priori) from which it obtains its sense. Science (scientific a priori) modifies, idealizes, and mathematizes the primal aprioric Lebenswelt. Due to those operations scientific theories can represent empirical reality.

Keywords: Husserl; phenomenology; science; Lebenswelt.


Affiliation: Institute of Philosophy, Nicolai Copernicus University, Fosa Staromiejska 1a, 87-100 Toruń, Poland.

Email: Jaroslaw.Rolewski@umk.pl




Marcin Poręba


   The paper considers two—in author’s belief fundamental—approaches to apriority, which he proposes to call “absolute” and “relative.” The first was most fully expressed by Immanuel Kant, the second by Ludwig Wittgenstein. In author’s opinion both derive from empiricist philosophy in its modern form. The concept of experience which is characteristic for modern empiricism forces acceptance of certain experience-independent (a priori) assumptions, thanks to which only experience can provide information about objects. Depending on whether we regard these assumptions as independent of all experience or only from a specific context and reference frame and empirical in other contexts, we receive respectively absolute and relative apriority. The author attempts to prove that relative apriority is the continuation, generalisation and radicalisation of the absolute variant.

Keywords: a posteriori; a priori; contingency; empiricism; epistemology; epistemological reference frame; Kant; Kripke; necessity; Wittgenstein.


Affiliation: Institute of Philosophy, University of Warsaw, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 3, 00–047 Warszawa,Poland.

Email: m.poreba@uw.edu.pl




Wojciech Włoch


   According to Hans Kelsen, the Pure Theory of Law is a “theory of positive law in general.” As H. L. A. Hart aptly indicates the theory postulated by Kelsen “is a general theory which in effect tells the jurist concerned with some particular legal system how to ‘represent’ or describe that system; what sorts of ‘concepts’ he should use and what he should not use.” The task of the Pure Theory of Law is to provide such a definition of the object of the science of law that would allow to state that it constitutes a separate field of knowledge with a determined method. Kelsen formulates his research programme with reference to Kant: “Kant asks: ‘How is it possible to interpret without a metaphysical hypothesis, the facts perceived by our senses, in the laws of nature formulated by natural science?’ In the same way, the Pure Theory of Law asks: “How is it possible to interpret without recourse to meta-legal authorities, like God or nature, the subjective meaning of certain facts as a system of objectively valid legal norms describable in rules of law?” From this point of view, the epistemological problem concerned with becoming acquainted with the science of law is linked to the issue of normativity. The concept of the basic norm is to allow the combination of the two dimensions, namely, the positivity and validity of law.

Keywords: Kelsen’s Pure Theory of Law; Kant; science of law; normativity; positive law.


Affiliation: The Faculty of Law and Administration, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Fosa Staromiejska 1a, 87–100 Toruń, Poland.

Email: wloch.wojciech@gmail.com






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