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Making Spirit MatterNeurology, Psychology, and Selfhood in Modern France$
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Larry Sommer McGrath

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226699790

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226699967.001.0001

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The Institutions of the Intellect, or Spirit contra Kant

The Institutions of the Intellect, or Spirit contra Kant

Chapter:
(p.135) Chapter 5 The Institutions of the Intellect, or Spirit contra Kant
Source:
Making Spirit Matter
Author(s):

Larry Sommer McGrath

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226699967.003.0006

Contestations over the intellect's role in science, spirit, and selfhood came to the fore at the turn of the twentieth century. The chapter focuses on neo-Kantian thought, which was cultivated in The Review of Metaphysics and Morals (Revue de métaphysique et de morale). Launched in 1893 by Léon Brunschvicg, Élie Halévy, and Xavier Léon, the journal was a reading community in which philosophers confronted spiritualism's ascendence. For neo-Kantians, the locus of spirit was not our fleshly life but the intellect, whose rationality served to bolster the progress of science and the modernization of French society. These debates spilled into organizations such as the International Congress of Philosophy and the French Society of Philosophy (Société française de philosophie). Ultimately, the most celebrated achievement of the period was Bergson’s opus Creative Evolution (1907), in which the author exposed the limitations of intellection from the vantage of evolutionary biology.

Keywords:   Léon Brunschvicg, neo-Kantianism, Élie Halévy, Charles Renouvier, The Review of Metaphysics and Morals, French Society of Philosophy

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