Is Transcendental Relection a Relection on Validity? Remarks on Heinrich Rickert’s Philosophy

Andrzej Lisak

Transcendental philosophy nowadays is identiied with the relection on validity and validation, with Geltungsrelexion (Habermas). But since the heated debate between Kuno Fischer and Adolf Trendelenburg in the development of transcendental philosophy two distinct directions became evident. One of the directions, developed by the Baden School of neo-Kantianism and later by so called neoneo-Kantianism (Hans Wagner), begins with distinguishing of subject and object of knowledge. he aprioristic strength of transcendental subjectivity increases and the sphere of objects is reduced to the pure facticity. The validation of all objectiications is presented as an achievement of transcendental subjectivity. The second direction is represented by Alois Riehl, Marburg School of neo-Kantianism and Husserl’s phenomenology. Transcendental philosophy practiced in this vein is a way of reaching the being via consciousness, whereas consciousness has to be deined as prior to any conceptualization and constitution of subject and object (consciousness cannot be identiied with the real existing subject, otherwise transcendental philosophy cannot be considered and analyzed as a theory of constitution). he unity of transcendental philosophy is here understood as a unity of human world of meanings, i.e., as a world conceptualized as noematic unity. When understood in this way, transcendental philosophy inevitably becomes an ontology. he paper analyzes Rickert’s thought by questioning its transcendental nature. Rickert reduces transcendental relection to a mere procedure used within the conines of theory created beforehand, to a procedure whose sole aim is to solve the problem of the objectivity of knowledge, unlike Marburg School and Husserl’s transcendental philosophy, which were striving for universal method of philosophy that would arrange its whole realm.


Keywords: Heinrich Rickert · transcendentalism · neo-Kantianism · epistemology · theory of knowledge

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