Varieties of the transcendental : transcendental arguments and transcendental description

Shahid, Sidra (2017) Varieties of the transcendental : transcendental arguments and transcendental description. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Transcendental claims offer necessary, universal, and a priori conditions for the possibility of various phenomena (cognition, perception, language etc.). The current discussion in epistemology takes transcendental arguments, specifically, to serve as refutations of skepticism. However, despite the critical intentions with which they are deployed, transcendental arguments run into problems centering on undeclared metaphysical presuppositions. The aim of this thesis is to challenge these dogmatic presuppositions and to liberate the transcendental from its narrow and problem-ridden focus in epistemology by turning to transcendental themes in the descriptive philosophies of Merleau-Ponty and Wittgenstein. While anti-skeptical transcendental accounts in epistemology are forced to posit strong and metaphysically charged conditions in order to refute the skeptic decisively, this thesis argues that Merleau-Ponty and Wittgenstein, by transforming the notions operative in transcendental claims – necessity, universality, and apriority – offer a non-metaphysical orientation for transcendental claims. In order to restore the critical impulse Kant once sought in transcendental considerations, this thesis details the basic elements of a pluralist and non-dogmatic transcendental perspective.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
Depositing User: Jackie Webb
Date Deposited: 16 May 2018 15:25
Last Modified: 16 May 2018 15:25

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