Heidegger's Intuition Thesis in "Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics"
In the 1920s and 1930s, Martin Heidegger intensively engaged with Immanuel Kant’s philosophy in a way that he himself acknowledges as “violent” since it always attempts to capture the unsaid in the written word. My PhD project revolves around a crucial claim Heidegger makes about Kant’s theory of cognition, evoking discomfort in every loyal Kantian: “knowing is primarily intuiting [Erkennen ist primär Anschauen].” I argue that in order to understand what is at stake here this claim must be interpreted along the lines of Heidegger’s distinction between ontic and ontological cognition (that is, cognition of entities on the one hand and cognition of being transcendentally determining our encounter with entities on the other hand). As I propose, the supposed primacy of intuition mainly refers to ontological cognition and hereby offers an account of human responsiveness to what could be called ontological norms which determine our ontic experience of entities in the first place. Heidegger cashes this (ontological) responsiveness out in terms of intuition which is structurally similar to (ontic) intuition involved in empirical perception. A major part of my project will be devoted to substantiating this account of ontological intuition.
With this project, I aim to not only contribute to the contemporary Heidegger scholarship but to also offer, on a more general level, a convincing account of how our human experience is always guided by preconceptions (which I conceptualize as ontological norms) not necessarily distorting our access to objective reality but nevertheless fundamentally shaping it. For this reason, I interpret Heidegger as a realist (not as an idealist) concerned with how our intentionality (that is, the necessary directedness of, in a broad sense, mental states to something) comes about. The ontological norms should be understood as enabling conditions to access the objects themselves. To briefly illustrate: a “tree” for example is understood in a fundamentally different way when we access it in the situation of a relaxing walk in nature, as a natural resource for maximizing profit, as a victim of human destruction, as the object of scientific investigation, as an element to be integrated into urban planning, from the perspective of philosophical convictions opposing nature to human culture etc. In each of these cases, a specific (implicit) ontological framework with different assumptions about what, for instance, general terms such as “entity”, “being”, or “becoming” mean provides our ontic access to what we encounter.
I hope to also integrate the issue of ontological pluralism and the question to which extent we ourselves are creative with regard to such norms and provide them ourselves, and to which extent we inherit them through culture and history, for example.
- Philosophy of Mind
- Fridolin Neumann (2023): Was ist die Einheit des Absoluten? Fichtes Kant-Kritik und sein Anspruch als Transzendentalphilosoph in der Wissenschaftslehre 1804. In: Fichte-Studien 52, p. 501-520. [peer-reviewed] [in publication]
- Fridolin Neumann (2023): Warum Kant ein ästhetischer Kognitivist der schönen Kunst ist. In: Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung 77/1, p. 74-96. [peer-reviewed]
- (09/2024): "Kants Theorie des Witzes und die Brücke zwischen Natur und Freiheit" - XIV. Internationaler Kant-Kongress, Bonn [accepted]
- (02/2024): "Anschauung bei Heidegger und Kant" - Form der Rationalität - Kant und die Moderne, Halle-Wittenberg [accepted]
- 10/2022: "Fichtes Kantkritik in der Wissenschaftslehre 1804. Fichte als Transzendentalphilosoph?" - XI. Internationaler Fichte-Kongress, Leipzig
Public Engagement & Impact
- 11/2023: Public talk "Das Nichts das uns alle angeht. Martin Heidegger über Kant und die Endlichkeit des Menschen" - Buchhandlung Böttger, Bonn, 03.11.2023
Other Research Interests
- Nietzsche, Husserl, Adorno, Foucault, Derrida, Butler
- Epistemology, Metaphysics, Poststructuralism, Feminism
Academic Background & Experience
- 2021-2023: MA in Philosophy at the University of Bonn, Germany
- 2018-2021: BA in Philosophy, German Studies, Educational Sciences at the University of Bonn, Germany
- Winter term 2022/2023: Teaching Assistant for Introduction into Epistemology and Introduction into Philosophy
- Summer term 2022: Teaching Assistant for Introduction into Ethics
- Winter term 2021/2022: Teaching Assistant for Introduction into Ethics
- 07/2019-10/2021: Research Assistant at the Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences, Alfter (qualitative social research)