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Journal: Horizon. Studies in Phenomenology (Vol.4, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 154-185

Keywords : World; transcendental idealism; metaphysics; totality; cosmological dialectic (antinomy); transcendental illusion; phenomenology of enworlding.;

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In this paper I outline main theses of Fink's phenomenological interpretation of Kantian transcendental philosophy. My aim is to clarify how and to what extent Kant's philosophy determines Fink's «phenomenology of enworlding [Verweltlichung]». First, I show the very starting point and original motivations of Fink's interpretation of Kant. I proceed by examining the contexts in which Fink refers to Kant's arguments in the Antinomy of Pure Reason and showing that in these contexts Fink is dealing with a specific philosophical issue, namely, how to conceive of the totality of the «absolute stream of lived experiencing [der absolute Erlebnisstrom]», an issue the late Husserl struggled with. To solve this difficult problem, one needs, according to Fink, to commit oneself to an ontological reflection on the very difference between the intra-temporal entities and time itself. Fink seeks to find a clue to resolve this problem in Kant's cosmological antinomy: in effect, the latter is based, for Fink, on Kant's profound distinction between the intra-worldly entities and the world as such («cosmological difference»). Second, I study Fink's criticism of Kant and how he argues for its phenomenological validity. Further, I show that Fink does not accept Kant's «Doctrine of Transcendental Idealism» which offers, according to Kant, the key for the solution to the cosmological antinomy or transcendental illusion. In other words, Fink refuses the Kantian claim according to which the source of the antinomy is nothing but pure reason as the upper faculty of dialectical reasoning. Now, it is on the basis of his phenomenological idealism, which defends an enworlded conception of transcendental subjectivity, that Fink criticizes Kant's account of a worldles subjectivity. Thus, third, I sketch Fink's phenomenology of enworlding as well as his new solution for the cosmological antinomy. Fink based the very origin of the transcendental illusion of cosmological antinomy on the phenomenon of the world in its specific mode of appearing, which he calls «withdrawing [Entzug or “Entziehung”]». By examining his description of it, one can easily show and justify the profound difference Fink's phenomenological interpretations of Kant's transcendental philosophy (who is exposing his cosmological phenomenology) and Heidegger's (whose goal is to found his hermeneutico-phenomenological idea of fundamental ontology), even if they both agree that the relevance of Kant's philosophy as a whole does not lie in its epistemology but in its providing a new foundation for metaphysics. I conclude by stating that Fink's cosmological phenomenology, which is often criticized because of its speculative character, is based not so much on Hegel's idea of dialectic, as on Kant's (i.e., as profoundly revised by Fink's phenomenology).

Last modified: 2018-07-16 16:20:01