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Chapter 3 - Around or through Kant?

Kantian Transcendental Pessimism and Jamesian Empirical Meliorism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 September 2021

Sami Pihlström
Affiliation:
University of Helsinki
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Summary

The relation between Kantian transcendental philosophy and Jamesian pragmatism is both historically and systematically crucial for the conception of pragmatism and truth developed in the book. Chapter 3 first introduces the basic idea of "transcendental pragmatism" - the integration of pragmatist, or pragmatically naturalized, and Kantian-inspired transcendental arguments identifying conditions for the possibility of things we take to be actual in our practices - and then offers a critical comparison between some of Kant's and James's key ideas, especially elaborating on their pessimistic conception of the human being and suggesting that Jamesian empirical meliorism (as distinguished from both optimism and pessimism) needs to be built upon Kantian transcendental pessimism about the limits of the human condition. Based on this development of transcendental pragmatism, the relation between ethics and religion - analogous in Kant and James - is critically considered: if religion can only be based on ethics, we will have to ask whether (ethically) legitimate religious faith inevitably remains insincere.

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Pragmatist Truth in the Post-Truth Age
Sincerity, Normativity, and Humanism
, pp. 69 - 100
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Around or through Kant?
  • Sami Pihlström, University of Helsinki
  • Book: Pragmatist Truth in the Post-Truth Age
  • Online publication: 14 September 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009047142.004
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  • Around or through Kant?
  • Sami Pihlström, University of Helsinki
  • Book: Pragmatist Truth in the Post-Truth Age
  • Online publication: 14 September 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009047142.004
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Around or through Kant?
  • Sami Pihlström, University of Helsinki
  • Book: Pragmatist Truth in the Post-Truth Age
  • Online publication: 14 September 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009047142.004
Available formats
×