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Kant's Aesthetic EpistemologyForm and World$
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Fiona Hughes

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748621224

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748621224.001.0001

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Formalism and the Circle of Representation

Formalism and the Circle of Representation

(p.49) 2 Formalism and the Circle of Representation
Kant's Aesthetic Epistemology

Fiona Hughes

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter shows how formalism is defended by some of Immanuel Kant's most important recent supporters. Gerd Buchdahl's Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science, first published in 1969, set the scene for the riposte to the dominant Strawsonian critique of Kant, published in 1966. Henry Allison openly acknowledges his debt to Buchdahl, as does Robert Pippin in his less sympathetic interpretation of Kant. Béatrice Longuenesse's direct reference to Buchdahl is restricted to one critical note, but his influence can be indirectly traced through Allison. While the accounts of formalism offered by Buchdahl, Allison and Longuenesse are more positive than those offered by Kant's critics, this chapter argues that there is an emphasis on subjective structure at the expense of a convincing account of the relation between subjective form and the material given in experience. Both Buchdahl and Longuenesse risk falling into what the chapter calls a circle of representation. Allison has a more convincing account of affection, but still fails to provide a sufficiently robust account of the material side of experience.

Keywords:   Immanuel Kant, experience, formalism, Gerd Buchdahl, Philosophy of Science, Henry Allison, Robert Pippin, Béatrice Longuenesse, circle of representation, material

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