Scheler's critique of Kant's formalism and intellectualism Cover Image

Schelerova kritika Kantovog formalizma i intelektualizma
Scheler's critique of Kant's formalism and intellectualism

Author(s): Muslija Muhović
Subject(s): Philosophy
Published by: Naučnoistraživački institut »Ibn Sina«

Summary/Abstract: Scheler, a major 20th century thinker, effects a major shift in ethical thougght. The essence of this lay in his desire to demonstrate that the source of morality lies in the subject component that was unilaterally rejected in earlier teachings or, at best, with the emergence of English ethicists in the 17th and 18th centuries, was given but inadequate importance. Scheler’s ethics, then, are a trenchant reaction to all earlier ethical doctrines, and in particular to Kan’s formalism and intellectualism. The foundations of ethics lie in the emotions, which Scheler regards as a priori. But it should be borne in mind that phenomenological ethics are not treated exhaustively in the critique of Kant’s ethical doctrine. Some regard it as the acme of the study of the ethical, and regard Scheler’s Formalism in Ethics and Non-Formmal Ethics of Values and Hartmann’s Ethics as the most significant events in 20th century ethical thought. Scheler’s starting point is the thesis that “a priori content” or “a priori subbject- matter” is a given in phenomenological experience, hence he defines his ethics as a “non-formal ethics of values”. He believes that values can be determined by content, in which he is in sharp contrast to Kant’s ethical formalism and intellectual a priorism. Scheler sets out his phenomenological ethics in the substantial work Formmalism in Ethics and Non-Formal Ethics of Values (1913-1916), in which he expounds a critique of Kant’s formalism and intellectualism. Of course, the critique of Kant’s formalism and intellectualism, from the perspective of a phenomenologically-oriented ethics, or “non-formal ethics of values,” cannot be understood without its fundamental points of reference, just as his ethics cannot be understood without this well-argued critique. It is only a well-argued critical stance on the limits of Kant’s formalist and rationalist ethics that sheds light on the areas in which it is lacking.

  • Issue Year: 2005
  • Issue No: 28
  • Page Range: 42-54
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: Bosnian