Sophie Loidolt: "Experience, Reasons and the Transcendental"

Lecture by Sophie Loidolt, Institut für Philosophie, Universität Wien, Austria

Title: "Experience, Reasons and the Transcendental" 


If we agree with John McDowell that experience is “openness to reasons” and not just a causal intermediary between facts and reports about them, we will have to look for a conception of experience which can elucidate this claim. I would like to present Husserlian phenomenology and its core idea of intentionality as a possible way of doing this, which also allows us to analyze the correlative structure of mind and world, or: of experiencing and the experienced. That experience has e.g. a horizon-structure, that it has a positing structure (Urdoxa) etc. is a very basic form of object-relation that implies an openness to reasons. Thus, I would like to argue, reasons don’t add to experience but are there in the structure of experience.

Speaking of a “transcendental” approach in connection with this, implies the thought that one must sustain the tension of subjectivity (as making objectivity possible) and objectivity (as the manifestation of independence of subjectivity) without slipping into an overly idealist nor an overly naïve-realist conception. By examining different conceptions of the transcendental in Husserl and Kant (being foundational for the whole concept/intuition-debate) I would like to throw a light on which possibilities and problems each approach entails for the project of an “object-guided” transcendental philosophy that wants to hold on to the basic intelligibility and simplicity of experience.