Revista Studii Teologice


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Critica argumentului ontologic şi proiectul noii metafizici la Immanuel Kant. O încadrare teologică a unei (re)surse a modernităţii

The Criticism of the Ontological Argument and the Project of the New Metaphysics at Immanuel Kant. A Theological Framing to One (Re)Source of Modernity

Autor(i): Nicolae DRĂGUŞIN

The study aims at sketching the project of the new metaphysics that Immanu-el Kant endeavoured to make in his Critique of Pure Reason. The structure follows closely the kantian argumentation: firstly, the presentation of the metaphysics as science and secondly, the criticism of the ontological argument. This objective is fra-med by a short introduction to the 18th Century defined as preocupation for the status of Reason in knowledge and a conclusion that pushes forward the discussion whether das Ding an Sich (“The Thing-in-Itself”) could be seen as kantian translati-on of God. The main reason for framing the discussion on the kantian metaphysics (with the question whether noumenon for Kant is God for theology) within the En-lightenment relates to the exigency of the ongoing dialogue between (Christian) teo-logy and (European) philosophy, such as the following question: what is relevant in one domain for the other? However, there is one more reason which makes even more useful such approach: Immanuel Kant, especially by his new metaphysics be-comes part of the genealogy of the theological personalism in the 20th Century. In order that such hypothesis is validated, there are two conditions to fulfill simultaneo-usly: das Ding an Sich is something that by pure reason we are not able to know and das Ding an Sich is the Kantian understanding of God. Of course, the study does not aim at proving something that is just an indirect conclusion. Nevertheless, as long as the study argues both ideas, then we are able to presume that Immanuel Kant tacitly appropriated one of the main teachings in the Christian theology of the East: man is not able to know God’s essence through his reason. Had Kant become a Christian theologian if claimed that God is person? We may reply affirmatively but the fact is that Immanuel Kant remained within the traditional preoccupation for the God’s essence (irrespective of his person) even if he denounced any attempt to know by reason what is God. From a strict theological perspective, torn between continuati-on of metaphysics (understanding of God solely as essence) and break with it (the claim that we can not know by reason God as essence), what is more important to Kant is, obviously, the latter. Hence, it is legitimate to speak of traditional me-taphysics (or pre-Kantian metaphysics), Kantian metaphyisics (which is the me-taphysics as science) and post-Kantian metaphysics that aimed at explaining that misterious concept of das Ding an Sich. It is exactly this post-kantian metaphysics (notably G. W. F. Hegel and one of his pupils – L. Feuerbach) that moved the dis-cussion even closed to theology by stressing the fact that we are able to know God as long as God is transposed from Heaven (the religious variant of Enlightenment was Deism) to the Earth (the religious variant of Romanticism was Pantheism and, preci-sely, Panenteism to G. W. F. Hegel). From this point of philosophy to the theology of Karl Barth and personalist theology of the East (e.g. Rev. Dumitru Stăniloae) was just a short border, easy to step out.
The ambition of this study is to contribute to the dialogue between theology and philosophy by pointing out the main questions of one field that the other may and can properly address. And, to be precise, I consider that what is of utmost inte-rest is the status of das Ding an Sich. With the intention to shed light on this mat-ter, the Critique of Pure Reason is not sufficient. Moreover, only on its base one can argue that there is no indication to support the assimilation of das Ding as Sich to God. Hence, while the main bibliographical source, the Critique of Pure Reason has to be supplemented with Opus postumum a largely forgotten kantian book at least as regards the Romanian readership. The bibliography suggests not only the absence of any systematic discussion of this matter in Romanian academic life, but also the scar-city of foreign language books from the shelves of public libraries.

Pagini: 209-260