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The Subject of FreedomKant, Levinas$
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Gabriela Basterra

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823265145

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823265145.001.0001

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Negation and Objectivity

Negation and Objectivity

Methodological Prelude

(p.20) 1 Negation and Objectivity
The Subject of Freedom

Gabriela Basterra

Fordham University Press

How does reason create objects of knowledge and ideas that imagine a relationship with the objective world? In the Critique of Pure Reason Kant attributes this role to the synthetic activity of the imagination and the understanding, whereas reason produces ideas of things that cannot be experienced, only thought. This chapter explores reason's attempt to create the idea of the world, an object unavailable to experience, precisely where it fails: in the mathematical antinomy. Through a study of the productivity of negation inspired in David-Ménard's La folie dans la raison pure, it examines reason's failure to form all-encompassing, self-contained totalities. There is only one type of negative idea Kant considers legitimate, negative noumenon. By opening an empty space beyond experience, negative noumena bound the realm of objectivity and provide thinking with a sense of completion. The most productive instance of these boundary concepts is freedom.

Keywords:   Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, Monique David-Ménard, Mathematical antinomy, Negation, Boundary concept, Noumenon, Freedom

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