Kant's Theory of Experience at the End of the War: Scholem and Benjamin Read Cohen

Modern Language Notes 127 (3):462-484 (2012)
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Abstract
At the end of one side of a manuscript entitled “On Kant” and housedin the Scholem Archive in Jerusalem, one reads the following pro-nouncement: “it is impossible to understand Kant today.” 1 Whatever it might mean to “understand” Kant, or indeed, whatever “Kant” is heremeant to be understood, it is certain, according to the manuscript,that such understanding cannot come about by way of purporting tohave returned to or spoken in the name of “Kant.” For “[t]oday,” sothe document begins, “there are many people who call themselvesKantians, and who profess to have—or actually do have—cognitions inKantian terminology.” Whatever the degree of truth or falsity to suchcognitions, however, neither those who produce these cognitions nor aphilosophy consisting in these cognitions have a right to call themselves“Kantian,” since it is “obvious” that “such terminology is not equivalent to Kantian language” but is abstracted from “language” as innovationstowards the better description of the world.
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