RB 65

The first idea, a negative departure from Kant: the denial of the general supposition of modern philosophy stating that the only things immediately given to us are our own ideas. The second idea, both a negative and positive departure from Kant: every judgment presupposes the reality of the judgment’s object (but not necessarily the object’s existence). The third idea, a negative departure from Kant: physical, sensible reality is not illogical to its nature. Finally, the fourth idea, a negative departure from Kant: it is the philosophically recurrent idea of reality in itself, or absolute reality that is self-contradictory rather than physical, sensible reality being so (here Hägerström performs the final shift of perspective from epistemology to pure ontology). Hägerström argues that the Kantian idea that reality in itself, or absolute reality concludes falsely that some specific real thing is assumed to be identical with the concept of reality in its entirety. This metaphysical line of thought necessitates the conclusion that everything else other than the specifically real thing(s) therefore lacks reality to some degree. However, Hägerström objects that since reality in itself and absolute reality constitute self-contradictory ideas, they cannot correspond to reality and are thus not real ideas.8 Hägerström’s observation consequently leads him to the conclusion that metaphysical idealism and materialism alike must be rejected, as the two positions define the problems incorrectly.9 Hägerström’s positive departures from Kant can be summarized by reference to his adoption of Kant’s critical method of scientific inquiry, as well as Hägerström’s adoption of Kant’s idea that the object and purpose of philosophy (or “metaphysics” as Kant would call it) must be to secure the foundations of knowledge in general and science in particular.This is a task that Hägerström alludes to in Selbstdarstellungen, where he describes the object of p a r t i 1 , c h a p t e r 1 38 8 Hägerström, “Hägerström.”; “The Philosophy of Axel Hägerström.” 9 Hägerström, “Hägerström.”; “The Philosophy of Axel Hägerström.”