Review of Metaphysics 69 (2):347-372 (2015)

Andy German
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
What form can metaphysics still take in a philosophical modernity that has been decisively shaped by the impact of Kant’s critical project? This question has exercised Dieter Henrich, one of Kant’s greatest living interpreters. This paper focuses on Henrich’s intricate argument that metaphysical thinking, albeit of a new kind, remains indispensable especially in an age for which self-consciousness is a first principle. Henrich seeks a form of thought that can justify and preserve what he views as modernity’s greatest achievement, its conception of the free, self-determining subject. Yet his description of this metaphysics for a new era reveals its surprisingly Platonic affinities. The paper focuses on those affinities, both in order critically to assess Henrich’s own work on subjectivity, but also because they reveal a fundamental and philosophically significant continuity that underlies all forms of comprehensive thinking, even in forms as divergent as those of Plato and Kant
Keywords German Idealism  Plato  Ancient Philosophy  Self-Consciousness  Metaphysics  Dieter Henrich
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
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