Judgement and Procedure: Kant, Husserl, Lyotard, Derrida Open Access

Milne, Peter William (2009)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/n296wz95c?locale=en


Judgement and Procedure: Kant, Husserl, Lyotard, Derrida
By Peter W. Milne
This dissertation has two aims. The first is to fill a gap in the literature on Lyotard and Derrida by conducting an analysis of their relation to transcendental philosophy, primarily that of Kant but with some consideration of Husserl also. The second is to counter the usual conceptions of so-called "postmodern" philosophy as being relativistic, liberal and individualistic, or even reducible to political conservativism. I show how both Lyotard and Derrida oppose the teleology at work in the Kantian Idea as it appears in the Critical writings and in Husserl's historical rationalism. But I connect this opposition to the way they closely follow Kant's reluctance to "close" his system in the way that, for instance, Hegel does through what he calls Absolute Knowing. Both French authors rely on the basic notion of the "event," by which is meant something which comes only once, for which the mind is unprepared, but which nonetheless demands to be judged. In Kant, the aesthetic judgment is one that operates in this way, without clear rules for deciding the issue. Taking some impetus also from Freud's notion of Nachträglichkeit or "deferred action," both Lyotard and Derrida see in this interruption a model for the ethical or political responsibility to think and judge in respect of that which does not immediately appear as "well formed." For each, this way of judging is of primary importance in a multi-cultural and international political sphere, where Western, humanistic cultural and historical norms have come under suspicion. I argue that although neither French thinker believes in the much vaunted "death of man" or the "end" of history, our conceptions of both humanity and history must be re-evaluated and reoriented to account for this need to find norms by which to judge what is unfamiliar without subordinating it to pre-given categories.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations...i
Introduction: Time(s) of Crisis...1
Chapter One: The "Project of Modernity": Critical Philosophy and the Kantian Idea

1.1 Modernity and the "Idea in the Kantian Sense"...10
1.2 Kant and the Crisis of Enlightenment...19
1.3 The first Critique: Teleology and the Idea...27
1.4 The third Critique: Nature, Freedom and Judgment...44

Chapter Two: Historical Teleology in Kant and Husserl

2.1 Politics, History, and Morality in Kant...57
2.2 Husserl, History and the Crisis of Philosophy...70
2.3 Reason, History, and the Idea...88
2.4 Opening to Crisis: The Idea and Philosophy...95

Chapter Three: Lyotard: Narrative, the Sublime, and Affective Temporality

3.1 Crisis and the "Postmodern"...126
3.2 A Heterogeneity of Ends...138
3.3 Crisis and Subjectivity: Temporality in the Sublime...150
3.4 Freud, Emma, and "Affectivity"...160

Chapter Four: Economy and Chance: The Law of the Frame

4.1 Economimesis and the Work of the Frame...171
4.2 "A Nonknowledge Intervenes" - The Sans of the Pure Cut...204
4.3 "There Shall be no Mourning"...218

Chapter Five: Of Crisis, Justice, and an "Enlightenment" to Come: Philosophy, Politics, and the Event

5.1 The End(s) of Humanism...236
5.2 A Strange Remainder: Lyotard's Inhuman...259
5.3 Derrida: The "Enlightenment" to Come...280
5.4 The End(s) of Crisis...294


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