By Andrea Poma
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Extra resources for The Critical Philosophy of Hermann Cohen
It is certainly not by chance that one of the most important additions Cohen made to the second edition of Kants Theone der Erfahrung was precisely the development of the role and meaning of the idea. By that time he had arrived at a more mature, detailed standpoint on critical idealism, through further important reflection, which even went beyond Kant. 5. KANT'S CRITICAL PHILOSOPHY Before singling out the characteristics of critical philosophy as they emerge from the first edition of Kants Theone der Erfahrung, for this was my objective in summarizing its contents, I am obliged to begin with the consideration that his first Kantian interpretation is not the best place to identify Cohen's conception of critical philosophy.
As we have already seen, his interpretation of another philosopher centered on questioning him from the standpoint of the interpreter's present concerns. There is no doubt that in 1878, at the time of writing Platons Ideenlehre und die Mathematik, Cohen saw everything from a Kantian viewpoint. However, the differences Cohen brought out between Plato and Kant are far more significant than the similarities. What is more, these differences led Cohen to investigate critical philosophy further and revise his interpretation of Kant, which implied that a considerable critical distance from Kantian philosophy was set up, even to the extent, perhaps, of authorizing us to speak of Cohen subsequently reading Kant in a "Platonic" light.
S I: 66) : If i&a is to be viewed correctly as being conditioned by thought, as in Parmenides, where it is at least mentioned as VOTJtla tv ljIVxai~, this state is not to be understood in the sense that Idea thus becomes the chimera of skepticism. Plato rejected this consequence in no uncertain terms. It is the following meaning of current opinion that is to be accepted without hesitation: that all that is known in pure thought was seen by Plato as genuine being. The opinion that the outcome of this pure thought, that what is revealed during its progress, when released from the illusion of the senses, is the creation of thought itself, instead of being the archetype with which the contemplating, reminiscing spirit complies and which it imitates-this phase of subjective idealism would be impossible to find in Plato.
The Critical Philosophy of Hermann Cohen by Andrea Poma