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The Genesis of Neo-Kantianism, 1796-1880$
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Frederick C. Beiser

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198722205

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198722205.001.0001

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The Young Hermann Cohen

The Young Hermann Cohen

(p.465) 12 The Young Hermann Cohen
The Genesis of Neo-Kantianism, 1796-1880

Frederick C. Beiser

Oxford University Press

Chapter 12 discusses the philosophical development of the young Hermann Cohen, specifically the events leading to the composition of the first edition of his Kants Theorie der Erfahrung in the summer of 1870. This little book marks a decisive shift away from the psychologism that had prevailed in the interpretation of Kant’s philosophy. Cohen’s philosophical development in writing this work poses a mystery, I argue, because Cohen turned against psychologism apparently very abruptly. This chapter tries to explain away this mystery by focusing on Kantian strains in his early psychology. This chapter is a critique of earlier interpretations of Cohen, which have understood him as a metaphysician even in his early work; Cohen’s early neo-Kantianism is portrayed as essentially non-metaphysical and still true to Kant’s dualisms.

Keywords:   transcendental, Völkerpsychologie, Fischer-Trendelenburg dispute, theory of experience, deductive critique

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