Idealistic Studies 10 (1):76-91 (1980)

Idealistically oriented thinkers have persistently fought against any tendencies on the part of diverse philosophies to interpret or explain the fact of self-experience in terms of something less than the self knows itself to be. But this insistence on the centrality of the knowing subject carries with it the obligation to explain not only what that knowing subject is but why it is central and why one must in some way begin with it in his philosophical explorations. The need for such an explanation is laid upon the idealist by those who insist that all explanations, all philosophizing, must begin, rather, with the observable objective facts of the natural sciences and the “external order.” But those who dote so much on alleged “objective” facts then have to try to squeeze the claims of the self-conscious subject into some explanatory formula which accounts for those data causally and views the self as some kind of a product of something more basic ontologically. Is a thinker unalterably “subjectivistic” if he insists on the epistemic centrality of the knower? Is that merely another form of “foundationalism”? Of course, there are other philosophical alternatives, but can idealistic methodology be characterized wholly by the title of Quentin Lauer’s book on Husserl, The Triumph of Subjectivity?
Keywords Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0046-8541
DOI 10.5840/idstudies198010114
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