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Kant’s Methodology
An Essay in Philosophical Archeology

By Charles P. Bigger

Kant’s revolution in methodology limited metaphysics to the conditions of possible experience. Since, following Hume, analysis—the “method of discovery” in early modern physics—could no longer ground itself in sense or in God’s constituting reason a new arché, “origin” and “principle,” was required, which Kant found in the synthesis of the productive imagination, the common root of sensibility and understanding. Charles Bigger argues that this imaginative “between” recapitulates the ancient Gaia myth which, as used by Plato in the Timaeus, offers a way into this originary arché. Since it depends on myth and the “likely story” rather than on a self-certain apprehension of Being, this facilitates an imaginative approach to the natural sciences which, through its synthetic a priori formations, can claim to be Kantian.

Bigger explores Kant’s ethics as an alternative to metaphysics that holds open the prospect of a Good beyond Being—and phenomenology—whose traces nevertheless appear in original synthesis. Though wary of its reductive implications, Bigger uses Derrida's difference, a medial, feminine arché, as a way into this creative and procreative metaxu (between). As Emmanuel Levinas suggests, this is Plato’s gap [chaos] between being and becoming, whose possibility, beyond both, lies in chora and the Good. This Open also presents the possibility for a new, yet still Kantian, understanding of the formal and material conditions for the natural sciences.

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In Series

Series in Continental Thought

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Philosophy

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Hardcover
978-0-8214-1124-7
Retail price: $75.00, S.
Release date: December 1996
181 pages
Rights:  World

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