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  • Zwischen Aufklärungund Vernunftkritık. Studıen zum Kantischen Logıkcorpus by Norbert Hinske
  • Riccardo Pozzo
Norbert Hinske. Zwischen Aufklärungund Vernunftkritık. Studıen zum Kantischen Logıkcorpus. Bad Cannstatt: Frommann-Holzboog, 1998. Pp. 192. Cloth, DM 156.00.

This book is the result of a decade of research that Hinske has undertaken and continues to pursue into Kant’s logical writing in which philological, lexicographic, historical, and genuinely philosophical aspects are connected in an inseparable unity. In fact, it was in order to cope scientifically with the peculiar problems that affect Kant’s logical writings from the point of view of the constitution of the text and of the recognition of the sources due to the mutual explanation and correction of published works, manuscript notes (which appeared in 1914), and lecture transcripts (which appeared first in 1966), that Hinske decided to open the venture of the Kant-Index. Hinske notices that the Kant-Index (seven volumes have appeared so far) had been started with the goal of providing a comprehensive approach to Kant’s logical writing, “whose composite forms [End Page 681] of expression rather hide its wealth of ideas” instead of clarifying it, and at the same time of providing “philological foundations for a responsible new edition of the lecture transcripts, whose scandalous [1966] edition within the fourth section of the Akademie-Ausgabe should have been rewarded with something more than the embarrassed silence of the Kant-Forschung and of both the academies [Berlin and Göttingen] responsible for this disaster” (13f.). The present book accompanies the Kant-Index in the sense that it collects a series of investigations (some of which have already appeared in journals, but have been entirely revised in order to guarantee uniformity to the volume) focusing on the two main issues indicated in its title: Kant’s proximity to the philosophy of German Enlightenment, “that finds expression in Kant’s logical writings in a quite peculiar way,” and the progressive elaboration of the Critique of Pure Reason, “which can be reconstructed at least partially on the basis of the extant lecture transcripts” (14).

The development Kant underwent from an enlightened philosopher to the architect of the critique of reason is the subject of the title essay that serves as an introduction to the whole book (17–40). Hinske shows that Kant’s logic lectures are a mirror of the philosophy of the German Enlightenment (20) because Kant was not supposed to teach logic as such, but rather logic as an introduction to philosophy in general. For this reason, one finds in Kant’s logic lectures an original elaboration on the three fundamental issues expressed by the German Enlightenment, namely the programmatic ideas of thinking for oneself, the polemical idea of prejudice, and the basic idea of universal human reason. There was no “overcoming” of the Enlightenment by Kant, just as there was no “double life” of Kant as a teacher in Königsberg and as a scientist within the république des lettres (27); there was rather a genuine connection of teaching and research. In fact, if one considers the relation of the logic lectures to the Critique, it becomes clear that the terminology adopted by G. F. Meier, the author of the Auszug aus der Vernunftlehre, the logic textbook Kant used for over forty years, has a remarkable influence in constituting the terminology of the Critique (28), and that the doctrine of elements and doctrine of method division of the Critique finds its roots in the Enlightenment research on the pair of concepts logica theoretica and logica practica (30). Considering continuities and transformations in Kant’s logical writings (32–40), Hinske shows how Kant step by step puts together a new philosophical language by relying on recent Germanizations of the Enlighteners, especially the ones introduced by Wolff and G. F. Meier (33), as well as on traditional Latin terms (39).

The first part of Hinske’s book deals with the heritage of the Enlightenment. It contains papers on Kant’s use of the distinction between learning philosophy and learning to philosophize (42–59), on the prejudice of antiquity (60–73), and on the pair of concepts pluralism-egoism (74...


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