Cover: All or Nothing: Systematicity, Transcendental Arguments, and Skepticism in German Idealism, from Harvard University PressCover: All or Nothing in HARDCOVER

All or Nothing

Systematicity, Transcendental Arguments, and Skepticism in German Idealism

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Product Details


$80.50 • £64.95 • €72.50

ISBN 9780674018884

Publication Date: 10/30/2005


452 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

23 linecuts


A notable feature in recent Anglo-American professional philosophy is the mounting return of attention to the post-Kantian development of German Idealism—that development, or outburst, of philosophical activity that became largely off limits in the analytical pedagogy adopted in virtually all of the dominant English-speaking departments of philosophy over most of the twentieth century. The unfailing historical sophistication and the persistent illumination of philosophical questioning that characterize Paul Franks’s All or Nothing, as well as its narrative scope, make it an early culmination of this revived attention. Franks’s presentation demonstrates that a massively influential era and register of Western philosophical heritage need no longer remain strange to those who have not yet found their way to it—or, to put the matter positively, and more accurately, that this register may now become pertinently strange, in a way such that it itself, as Franks insists, recognizes its own unavoidable strangeness. It is part of the pedagogical generosity of his book that Franks includes references and quotations marking various moments from that tradition which help, in their differences as well as their similarities, in articulating the progress of the tradition he has remarkably set in motion.—Stanley Cavell, Harvard University

What Franks has managed to do is to drive a single, unified line of argument through the historical material without distortion or suppression, and in a way which on the contrary throws so much light on the figures and themes dealt with that his central contentions emerge with a very high degree of historical corroboration. He has provided a cogent demonstration that the fundamental thrust of German idealism is not philosophically arbitrary and not of merely antiquarian interest, but has a strong, legitimate claim on our contemporary philosophical interest.—Sebastian Gardner, University College London

The subjects that Franks has taken on are both timely and enormous. He shows what the problems were in Kantian philosophy that ultimately drove the development of what has come to be known as German Idealism, and he shows what motivated those who moved away from Kant. Even more ambitiously, he shows the inherent plausibility of those moves in terms of their own inner dynamics and logic. This is no easy task, and Franks has pulled it off superbly.—Terry Pinkard, Georgetown University

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