RB 65

scientific judgment too must correspond to the laws of necessity, rather than to the laws of causality. Hägerström had difficulties accepting Kant’s position regarding the objectivity of synthetic cognition, because if Kant’s position was implemented consistently, then the synthetic a priori must be reduced to abstract conceptual formalism containing no tangible information whatsoever about objective reality.115 Had Kant’s position not adversely influenced the theoretical possibility of tenable empirical knowledge, then the results of his conclusions would perhaps not have been that damaging to science in general, whereupon Hägerström would then not have acted. As has been shown earlier, what undermines the possibility of establishing secure synthetic knowledge is Kant’s philosophy’s inherent opposition between object and subject. If followed to its necesssary conclusion this opposition necessarily results in the logical impossibility of determining the object of cognition.116 Hence, the subject, in addition to its inability to gain direct access to the noumena, das Ding an sich, cannot but fail to gain knowledge of the phenomena. Hägerström’s conclusion is that Kant’s rationalism amounts to epistemological nihilism.117 For how is it at all possible to gain cognition of that which is inaccessible to the epistemological subject? While Kant’s goal with his Copernican revolution was the establishment of a priori cognition of the objects, free from the restraining fetters of object-ivity and governed only by the laws of thought, Hägerström’s aim was, in order to secure the objective validity of knowledge, the reestablishment of the epistemologically necessary connection between subject and object. Hägerström thus wished to establish synthetic knowledge that necessarily corresponded to the qualities of the object of the cognia ca l l f o r s c i e n t i f i c p u r i t y 71 2 . 6 two e p i stemolog ical revolut ions 115 See Hägerström, Selbstdarstellungen, pp. 1-5. 116 Ibid., pp. 2-3. 117 Ibid., pp. 1-5.