Resistance As the Ground of the Experience of Reality


Epistemology is often understood as an attempt to justify knowledge. But this attempt refers us back to a problem which precedes all questions of justification. Before knowledge can be justified, the object of knowledge needs to be experienced (be known). The hypothesis of this project is that this holds true also and especially of the experience of reality. One existing answer to the question of how we experience reality is: by means of the experience of the resistance of the world (i.e., both the mental and physical world). The aim of this project is to critically assess this answer, to elucidate its meaning not only for epistemology but also for practical and social philosophy, and ultimately to defend it. The project is divided into three parts: (a) The first part consists of a historical and systematic examination of the argument that the experience of reality grounds in the experience of resistance. I will first discuss Dilthey’s and other early versions of this argument, focusing on the question why modern philosophy restricts the concept of reality to external world. Then I will critically examine the way in which the argument was further developed by Max Scheler. Here the focal point is Scheler's comprehensive attempt to make the phenomenon of resistance the foundation of epistemology (b) The next step of the project is no longer hermeneutical but only systematic. I address specifically the collective experience of reality. In other words, I bring together on the one hand the argument that the experience of reality grounds in the experience of resistance and on the other hand recent debates about the nature of collective experience. (c) Finally, I will reap the fruits from the previous two steps. I will try to show how we can apply the argument of resistance in social philosophy and psychopathology, for instance by interpreting certain collective experiences as phenomena of collective alienation. My project demonstrates that, although we can distinguish between questions of theoretical and of practical philosophy, we cannot effectively address these two kinds of questions separately.
Epistemology is often understood as an attempt to justify knowledge. But this attempt refers us back to a problem which precedes all questions of justification. Before knowledge can be justified, the object of knowledge needs to be experienced (be known). The hypothesis of this project is that this holds true also and especially of the experience of reality. One existing answer to the question of how we experience reality is: by means of the experience of the resistance of the world (i.e., both the mental and physical world). The aim of this project is to critically assess this answer, to elucidate its meaning not only for epistemology but also for practical and social philosophy, and ultimately to defend it. The project is divided into three parts: (a) The first part consists of a historical and systematic examination of the argument that the experience of reality grounds in the experience of resistance. I will first discuss Dilthey’s and other early versions of this argument, focusing on the question why modern philosophy restricts the concept of reality to external world. Then I will critically examine the way in which the argument was further developed by Max Scheler. Here the focal point is Scheler's comprehensive attempt to make the phenomenon of resistance the foundation of epistemology (b) The next step of the project is no longer hermeneutical but only systematic. I address specifically the collective experience of reality. In other words, I bring together on the one hand the argument that the experience of reality grounds in the experience of resistance and on the other hand recent debates about the nature of collective experience. (c) Finally, I will reap the fruits from the previous two steps. I will try to show how we can apply the argument of resistance in social philosophy and psychopathology, for instance by interpreting certain collective experiences as phenomena of collective alienation. My project demonstrates that, although we can distinguish between questions of theoretical and of practical philosophy, we cannot effectively address these two kinds of questions separately.


Principal investigators
Schloßberger, Matthias Dr. (Details) (Philosophy in Practice Specializing in Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy)

Financer
DFG: Sachbeihilfe

Duration of project
Start date: 03/2018
End date: 02/2021

Research Areas
Humanities and Social Sciences, Philosophy, Practical Philosophy, Theoretical Philosophy

Last updated on 2022-08-09 at 19:09