What is New Kantianism?

What is New Kantianism?

June 29, 2021 Off By Felso

Neo-Kantianism is a philosophy movement that started in the middle of the 19th century and continued until today. Neo-Kantianism is an idealistic Kantian understanding that lacks its dialectical and materialistic side.

Towards the end of the 19th century, it was put forward with the slogan “Back to Kant”. Under the name of Kantianism or criticism, the system of the German thinker Kant is a kind of “shy materialism” that rose in an idealist structure, but it is a movement that has influenced many thoughts widely.

In the 19th century, under the name of New Criticism or New Kantianism, it was revived in a positivist structure that emerged in Hermann Cohen (1842-1918) and his followers under the leadership of Albert Lange (1828-1876) in Germany and Charles Renouvier (1815-1903) in France. . Neo-Katism, like neorealism, which tries to resurrect the old idealist realism, has the character of a kind of neopositivism.

In other words, the new Kantianism is “positivism purged of Auguste Comte”. In a nutshell, the New Solidarity says: “We can know nothing but events, science must be content with studying events.”

Many thinkers such as Liebmann, J. Volkelt, A. Riehl, H. Cornelius, H. Cohen, P. Natorp, E. Cassirer, A. Lieber, Windelband, Rickert, Lask defended neokantism in this sense. German neo-Kantianism led by Lange gave importance to Kant’s rationalism, and French neo-Kantianism led by Renouvier to Kant’s morality.

Especially Lange’s thoughts are a sufficient example to indicate the confusion in idealist minds. According to Lange, materialism is correct as long as it is content with being a scientific method. Because what we call matter, after all, consists of the designs of our thought. Therefore, the real reality is not in materialism, but in idealism. Moreover, idealism is also necessary for human happiness. Science cannot know the thing in itself. Materialism must therefore remain a purely factual science.

XIX. In the 19th century, this Kantian positivist new view was developed by Claude Bernard (1813-1878), Dubois Reymond (18181896), Helmholtz (1821-1894), Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1930), Taine (1828-1893), Renan (1823-1892). He influenced many famous scholars and thinkers such as Scherer (1815-1889).


The main neo-Kantian schools are as follows;

Physiological School (Helmholtz, Lange)
Heidelberg School (Windelband, Rickert)
Magburg School (Cohen, Natorp, Cassirer)
Sociolic Neo-Kantianism (Georg Simmel)
Göttingen School (Nelson)

Neo-Kantianism was developed at the Marburg School (Cohen, Natorp, Cassirer) and the Baden School (Windelband, Rickert). C. Cantoni, Tocco in Italy; In Russia, Vedensky, Chelpanov and the legal Marxists are neokantians who tried to develop Kant’s idealism. According to the claims of the Yenikantians, XIX. In the 19th century, philosophy was collapsing, so Kant was turned to save philosophy.

However, in the XIX. It was not philosophy that began to collapse in the 19th century, but bourgeois philosophy, which consisted of bourgeois chatter, and the bourgeoisie needed a strong idealism that could support itself. This is the material reason for neo-Kantianism or the return to Kant. Engels says:

“The Yenikantian agnostic emerges and says that we can perceive the qualities of an object correctly, but we cannot grasp the object itself in any sensory or mental way, its being-in-itself is beyond our grasp.”

Hegel replied long ago: If you know all the qualities of an object, you know the object itself. Nothing remains but that the object in question exists outside of us. And when your senses teach you this fact, you grasp the upper side of being-in-itself, that famous Ding an sich unknowability of Kant.

With the solemnity of a true scientist, Engels adds: “In Kant’s age our knowledge of natural objects was so fragmented that it might have been assumed that there was a mysterious being-in-itself beyond what little we knew. they were grasped, analyzed, and moreover reproduced”.

Kant XVIII. century lived. Either XIX. century XX. What about the New Kantians of the 20th century? Again, Engels says what to call them: “The neo-Kantian is materialistic to the extent that he is a scientist, that is, to the extent that he knows anything. But outside of his science, in areas where he knows nothing, he translates his ignorance into Greek and calls it agnosticism”.

NEW Kantianism

By the second half of the 19th century, philosophy had lost its prestige. It was replaced by the ideal of science. Well-intentioned people looked at philosophers as a poet, an artist who cheers up our free time, while people with bad intentions saw him as a man of vain pursuits. The collapse of the Hegelian School was the result of the development of this perspective. Feuerbach and Ma, the last independent thinkers of this school,