Introduction to Kant's Anthropology from a pragmatic point of view

Micheal Foucault

Translated by Arianna Bove

Translator's Note

The following text is my translation of Michel Foucault’s Complementary Dissertation on Kant’s Anthropology from a pragmatic point of view, presented as his doctoral research in 1961. The original version in French can be found here. Foucault translated Kant’s text into French for Libraire Philosophique J. Vrin (Paris: 1964), but this Introduction was never published. It is now held at the Foucault Archive in Paris at the at the Institut de mémoires de l’édition contemporaine (IMEC {D60/D61}). A much shorter version of this text, which merely presents the intellectual context in which Kant elaborated his views on anthropology, appeared as the Introduction to Foucault's published translation in the Vrin edition of Kant's Anthropology. In my view, the importance of the text that follows has been largely underestimated. It is not only important as a scholarly appreciation of Kant’s oeuvre as a whole, but also because it outlines an explicit relation between what would later become Foucault's own main concerns and the history of philosophy as innovated by Kant. The notion of technology, the role of language in an anthropological study of subjectivity, and the warnings against the dangers of a metaphysical treatment of epistemology are here taken up by Foucault through an exegesis and critical interpretation of Kant’s text. Of great interest is Foucault's view on the problematic relation between inner perception - Gemut- (as an empirical mode of knowledge) and being in the world, especially where this relation results into a philosophy of consciousness. Kant had asked: how can psychology help our pragmatic knowledge of man as a world citizen? Foucault takes up this question to level his criticism against structuralist anthropology and the status of the human sciences in relation to finitude, as will be further developed in The Order of Things, but through Kant, he also engages with the fallacy of epistemology as metaphysics. Following Kant’s concern as expressed in the Critique of Pure Reason, Foucault questions whether psychology has come to supplant metaphysics in man-centred reasoning.
Foucault also takes on a further suggestion from the Anthropology concerning how any empirical knowledge of man is tied up with language. The conclusion he draws from Kant’s text is that man is a world citizen in so far as he speaks. For Foucault and Kant, anthropology is therefore concerned neither with the human animal nor with self-consciousness, but with Menschenwesen, the questioning of man’s limits in knowledge and concrete existence. [read more...]

This translation is incomplete and based on my manuscript which at times resulted unclear. Only the first few pages of the original text are missing, where Foucault historically contextualises Kant's text. They will be uploaded eventually, but I have given priority to what was missing from the published introduction, and what was of more philosophical relevance. The paragraph headings are mine, as are the translations of German terms. The original French version of the Introduction can be found here (thanks to Marcio Miotto who made it available and Colin Gordon who checked the text). I am currently working on improving the translation and would welcome any comments or suggestions (simply write to ari at In 2006 this text came to the attention of various publishers and some of them will unfairly be capitalising on the work you see here. Hence, the licence. If you are interested in the story, read on.

Introduction to Kant's Anthropology from a pragmatic point of view

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This text took shape over a period of twenty five years, and the only stage available to us, transformed in line with Kant’s thought as it brings out new formulations, is the last one. […] Would the archaeology of the text, if it were possible, allow us to see the birth of ‘homo criticus’, whose structure would essentially differ from the man who preceded him? The Critique, with its own propaedeutic character in philosophy, will play a constitutive role in the birth and becoming of concrete forms of human existence.
Comparing what can be apprehended through the texts of the Anthropology with those of the Critique, one can hopefully see how Kant’s later works are engaged with the series of pre-critical researches, with the whole enterprise of the Critique itself and also with the group of works which, in the same period, attempted to define a knowledge specific to man. Paradoxically this triple engagement makes the Anthropology contemporary to what precedes the Critique, to what carries it out and also to what would soon eliminate it.
For this reason, in the analysis of the work it is impossible to separate the genetic perspective from the structural method: in its own space, in its final presence and in the equilibrium of its elements we are dealing here with a text that is contemporaneous to all of the movement that encloses it.
The structure of the relations of the Anthropology to the Critique alone will allow us, if correctly defined, to decipher the genesis that moves towards this last equilibrium- or last but one - if it is true that the Opus Postumum already walks the first steps on the finally rejoined soil of transcendental philosophy.
In 1797, Kant was working on The Conflict of the Faculties. One can see similarities in the analysis of temperament between the Observations on Beauty and the Sublime, dated 1764, and the Anthropology, dated 1798. The perspective in the two works is without doubt entirely different. In the Observations it is organised around moral sentiments –their classification being seen then as a given, a matter of fact - whilst the description in the Anthropology is ordered by a sort of deduction of the temperaments, starting with the tension and the release [détente] of activity and of feeling. However the content is amazingly similar when it comes to expressions and choice of words.

Beilegung [insertion/settlement]
Beck regards Beilegung – the imputation of a representation – as the determination of the subject to an object which differs from it and for which it becomes the element of knowledge [connaissance]. Kant remarks that representation is not reserved to an object, rather a relation to something other is devolved to representation and through the latter this relation becomes communicable to others.
He also points out that the apprehension of the multiple and its subsumption under the unity of consciousness is one and the same thing as the representation of what is only made possible through this combination. Only from the perspective of this combination can we communicate with one another: in other words, the relation to the object renders representation valid for each and therefore communicable; this does not prevent the fact that we have to operate the combination ourselves. The main themes of the Critique –the relation to the object, the synthesis of the multiple, the universal validity of representation- are here strongly grouped around the problem of communication.
There the subject is not found as determined by the manner in which it is affected, but rather as determined within the constitution of the representation ‘wir können aber nur das verstehen und anderen mitteilen, was wir selbst machen können’ [we can only understand and communicate with others, what we ourselves can do].

Inner sense.(1) The apperception on the one hand is defined, in a sense closer to the Critique, by the consciousness of the understanding alone. It is not related to any given object or to any intuitive content: it concerns nothing but an act of the determining subject and to this extent it is to be accounted for neither by psychology nor by anthropology, but by Logic. Hence there emerges the great danger evoked by Fichte of the division of the subject into two forms of subjectivity that can only communicate with one another within the disequilibria of the subject-object relation. This is, as Kant recognises, the ‘great difficulty’: but one must be careful that the spirit is not a ‘dopplettes Ich’, but a ‘dopplettes Bewusstsein dieses Ich’ [a double consciousness of these I].
This debate allows one to define the space within which anthropology in general is possible: that would not be the region within which the observation of the self arrives to a subject in itself, nor to the pure ‘I’ of synthesis, but to a ‘me’ that is object and present solely in its single phenomenal truth. But this me/object, given to sense in the form of Time, is not foreign to the determining subject since it ultimately is nothing but the subject as it is affected by itself, as an analysis of the concrete forms of observation of the self. Put together, the unpublished and the published texts constitute, at two different levels, the unity of one course that simultaneously responds to Beck, conjures up the Fichtean danger and denotes an exteriority, an empty space, as the possible place for Anthropology. [creux]

The discussions regarding the metaphysics of right. [Kant and Schutz]

Since the 16th century juridical thought has primarily been concerned with the definition of the relation of the individual to the general form of the State, or of the individual to things within the abstract form of property. In the second half of the 18th century, the relationship of belonging amongst individuals themselves in the concrete and particular form of the couple, the family group, the household and the home come under question: how can civil society, which the bourgeoisie presupposes as its own foundation and justification, particularise itself in these restricted unities, which do not follow the feudal model, yet need not dissolve themselves at the moment of its permanent disappearance?
C. G. Schutz was concerned when seeing that in Kant’s ‘Metaphysics of right’ these relationships were too faithfully modelled on the major forms of right [droit] over things. Kant doesn’t give them a place in the section entitled: ‘Von dem auf dingliche Art persönlichen Recht’, which is divided into three domains, following the three essential forms of acquisition - Erwirbt [to have gained]: namely man acquires woman, couple acquires children, family acquires domestics.
Schutz refuses to believe that in the matrimonial relation ‘the woman becomes a man’s thing’. The form of satisfaction that, in the order of marriage, a man can get out of a woman does not reduce a woman to a state also primitively simple; the reification of another has no truth outside of cannibalism: marriage and rights that are given do not turn people into ‘res fungibiles’.
In brief, the problem that Schutz poses is brought back to the constitution of this concrete islet of bourgeois society for which neither the right of the peoples nor the right of things can account for: a spontaneous synthesis that is not exhaustible by contract theory, nor by the analysis of appropriation, fringes on the law where domination is neither sovereignty nor property.
In his protestation Schutz confuses the moral with the juridical point of view, the human being with the subject of the law: a distinction that is re-established, in its rigour, in Kant’s response. But Schutz’s objection goes to the very heart of the anthropological preoccupation; that is a certain point of convergence and of divergence of the law and morality. The Anthropology is pragmatic in the sense that it does not envisage man as belonging to the moral city of spirits (that would be named practical), nor to the civil society of the subjects of law (that would be named juridical); he is considered as a ‘citizen of the world’, which means as a member of the concrete universal within which the subject of law, determined by judicial rules and subjected to them, and is at the same time a human being who in his freedom carries his universal moral law. To be a citizen of the world is to belong to a certain region that is as concrete as an ensemble of precise judicial rules that are as universal as the moral law. To say that an anthropology is pragmatic and to say that it envisages man as a citizen of the world amounts to saying the same thing. Within these conditions it will be the task of the Anthropology to show how a legal relation that is of the order of possession, that is to say a jus rerum, can preserve the moral nucleus of the person taken as subject of freedom without compromising it at the same time.
The right to be jealous up to the point of murdering is a recognition of the moral freedom of the woman; the first revendication of this freedom is to escape from jealousy, and to feel that one is more than a thing in provoking a jealousy that will remain impotent before the irrepressible exercise of this freedom; then there emerges the right to monogamy, gallantry, as the point of equilibrium between the jus rerum that makes the woman her husband’s thing and of his morality that recognises in each person a subject of freedom.
Moreover, a point of equilibrium does not mean a point of arrival nor an equitable sharing, for gallantry is nothing but an entangling of pretentiousness: the man’s pretension to reduce the freedom of the woman in the marriage that he hopes for; the woman’s pretension to exercise, in spite of marriage, her sovereignty over man. Thus, a whole network is created where neither right nor morality are ever given in their pure state; a network where they, intertwined, offer to human action its space of playing; its concrete latitude.
This is neither the level of foundational freedom nor the level of the rules of right. It is the appearance of a certain pragmatic freedom, where it is a question of pretension of cunnings, of fishy intentions, of dissimulations, of undisclosed efforts to influence, of compromises and waiting.
Without doubt, there is a whole host of things that Kant makes allusions to within the preface of the Anthropology. Here his declared objective is to determine what makes man, -or what he can and should do of himself as ‘freihandelndes Wesen’ [free handling of being]: an exchange of freedom with itself and the manipulation of the compromises of exchange can never be exhausted within the clarity of recognition pure and simple. By treating man as a ‘freihandelndes Wesen’ the Anthropology brings out a whole area of ‘free-exchange’ where man lets his freedoms circulate as if from one hand to another: man socialises with others for a deaf and uninterrupted commerce that provides him with a residence on the whole surface of the world.

World Citizen.
See the third part of the Conflict of the Faculties: the research done by Hufeland helps Kant solve one of the difficulties that had not ceased to weigh on the Anthropology: how to articulate an analysis of what Homo Natura is on the basis of a definition of man as subject of liberty.

1. Anthropological thought will not claim to provide the definition of a human Wesen in naturalistic terms: Wir untersuchen hier den Menschen nicht nach dem was er natürlicher Weise IST’, [here we will examine man not as a natural being] as the Kollegenwurfe of 1770-80 had already stated. But the Anthropology of 1798 turns this decision into a constant method: in a resolute desire to follow a path where man is never expected to find himself absolutely within a truth of nature.
The original meaning of the Anthropology is to be Erforschung [tr.: examination/enquiry]: an exploration, an ensemble never offered in its totality, never in peace with itself because given within a movement where freedom and nature are entangled within Gebrauch, of which our word of usage covers some of the senses.

2. Hence, not to study memory, but the way one makes use of it. Not to describe what man is, but what he can make of himself. This theme has been without a doubt, at the origin, the very nucleus of anthropological reflection and the indication of its singularity. Such was the programme defined by the Kollegenwurfe. In 1798, it appears modified twice. The Anthropology will not try to know ‘how one can use man’ but ‘what one can expect from him’. On the other hand, it will determine what man ‘can and should’ do with himself. This means that the usage is taken out of the level of technical actuality and placed within a double system: of obligation affirmed towards oneself and of respectful distance towards the others. It is placed within the text of a freedom that one posits at once as singular and universal.

3. This defines the ‘pragmatic’ character of the Anthropology: ‘Pragmitisch’, the Kollegentwurfe said, ‘ist die Erkenntnis von der sich ein allgemeiner Gebrauch in der Gesellschaft machen lässt’ [is the discovery from the self of a general usage society]. Then the pragmatic was not understood as the useful given to the universal. In the 1798 text, it becomes a certain mode of relation between the Können and the Sollen [can and must/ought]. A relation that Practical Reason had assured a priori in the imperative and that the anthropological reflection had guaranteed in the concrete movement of the daily exercise: in the Spielen [playing]. This motion of the Spielen is singularly important: man is the game of nature, but he plays this game, and he plays with himself: and if he comes to be played, like in the illusions of the senses, it means that he himself has played to be a victim of the game; whilst it is in his duty [appartient d’être] to be master of the game, of taking back unto himself the devises of intention (2). The game then becomes a ‘künstlicher Spiel’ and the appearance in which the game receives its moral justification. The Anthropology is then deployed according to this dimension of the human exercise that feeds on the ambiguity of the Spiel (tr.: game=toy) and the ambiguity of the Kunst (tr.: art=artifice).

4. Book of the daily exercise, not of theory and of ‘school’. This opposition is irreducibly organised and within its lessons of the Anthropology, that are, after all, a school teaching, form a fundamental tension: the progress of culture, in which the history of the world is summed up, constitutes a school that leads itself to the knowledge of and the practice of the world. The world is its own school; the anthropological reflection will have for meaning the placing of man in this constitutive element. Therefore [anthropological reflection] will be, together: an analysis of the way in which man acquires the world (its usage, its knowledge [connaissance]), that means, how he can constitute himself in it and enter the game: Kittspielen; and synthesis of the prescriptions and rules that the world imposes upon man, through which he is formed and that he puts into play to dominate the game: das Sollverstehen.
The Anthropology will not be then a history of the culture, or an analysis of its forms in succession; but a practice at once immediate and imperative of a fully given culture. It teaches man to recognise in his own culture the school of the world. It is not the case that, in certain ways like a parent with his hilheim Meister, it reveals, also, that the world is a school. But what Goethe’s text and all the Bildungsromane say for the course of history, the Anthropology repeats ad infinitum within the present form, imperious, always restarting from the daily usage. Time there reigns, but within the synthesis of the present.
Here are some elements, at the same level as the Anthropology, that are suggestive of the line of slope that is appropriate to it. At the beginning, as the Kollegenwurfe testify, the Anthropology deploys itself in the accepted division of nature and man, of freedom and utility and of school and world. Its equilibrium is at the moment found in their admitted limits, without them being ever posed into a question, even less so at the anthropological level.
It explores a region where freedom and utility are already tied within the reciprocity of usage; where the ability and the duty belong to the unity of a game that measures one against the other; and where the world becomes school within the prescriptions of a culture. We touch upon the essential: Man, in the Anthropology, is neither homo natura nor the subject of freedom; he is given within the already operating syntheses of his relation with the world.
But if the discourse of the Anthropology has remained foreign to the work and the word of the Critique, will the 1798 text be able to say what was not said in the Kollegenwurfe?
Something of the knowledge of the world is then wrapped with this knowledge of man that is Anthropology. The preface to the text of 1798 assigns itself as its object man as resident in the world, the Weltbürger. The Anthropology, at least until the last page, hardly ever seems to take as privileged theme the examining of man as inhabitant of the world: of man establishing, through the cosmos, the laws and the duties, the reciprocities and the limits and exchanges of citizenship. And this lacuna is even more perceptible in the edited/published text than in the fragments of the Nachlass. The greater part of the analyses, and approximately all those of the first part, is developed, not in the cosmo-political dimension of the Welt, but in that interior of the Gemüt. In that, moreover, the Anthropology remains within the same perspective where Kant has placed it in order to make emerge, according to an encyclopaedic organisation, the link to the three Critiques. If it is true that the Gemüt is the question of the Anthropology or the primary element of its exploration, one has grounds to pose a certain number of questions:

How a study of Gemüt allows knowledge of man as citizen of the world.

If it is true that the Anthropology analyses, on one side, the Gemüt, whose irreducible and fundamental faculties determine the organisation of the three Critiques, what then is the relationship of anthropological knowledge to the critical reflection?
In what does the investigation of Gemüt and of its faculties differ from a psychology, be it rational or empirical?
To this last question, the texts of the Anthropology and of the Critique of Pure Reason seem to answer directly, even though they do not provide a complete reply. One knows the distinction established by the Architectonic between Rational Psychology and Empirical Psychology. The first belongs to pure philosophy, hence to metaphysics, and is thus opposed to rational physics as the object of the inner senses is to the object of external senses.
With respect to Empirical Psychology, a long tradition has made it necessary for it to be placed within metaphysics, and furthermore, the recent failures of metaphysics have been able to make one believe that the solution of the insolvable problems is concealed in the psychological phenomena that pertain to an empirical study of the soul; and thus psychology has confiscated a discouraged metaphysics within which it had already taken an improper place.
An empirical knowledge cannot, in any case, provide the principles or clarify the fundaments of a knowledge derived from pure reason and consequently entirely a priori. Empirical Psychology will then have to be detached from metaphysics, to which it is foreign. And if such displacement cannot be made within the immediate, and given that it is necessary to prepare psychology for its stay in an empirical science of man within an Anthropology that will balance the empirical science of nature, all seems clear in this abstract organisation.
Therefore, the Anthropology, as we can read it, has no place for any psychology, whatever that would be. It is given explicitly as a refusal of psychology, in the exploration of the Gemüt, which does not intend to nor claim to be knowledge of the Seële [soul]. In what does this difference consist?

a) From a formal point of view, psychology postulates an equivalence of inner sense and apperception, without knowing their fundamental difference, given that apperception is one of the forms of pure knowledge, -hence without content, and solely defined by the ‘I think’ (cogito), whilst the inner sense designates an empirical mode of knowledge, that we make appear to ourselves in the ensemble of the phenomena tied to their subjective condition of time.

b) From the point of view of the content, psychology cannot avoid being trapped in the interrogation of change and identity: does the soul remain itself within the incessant modification of time? Do the conditions of experience that it makes of itself, and the necessarily temporal progress of phenomena need to be considered themselves as affectations of the soul that exhausts itself in the phenomenal dispersion, or does the soul retire on the contrary in the non-empirical solidity of the substance? All these questions show, in different light, the confusion between the soul, metaphysical notion of a simple and immaterial substance, the I think, that is the pure form, and the ensemble of phenomena that appear to the inner sense.

These texts of the Anthropology are situated in the direct obedience to the Transcendental Dialectic. What they denounce is precisely the ‘inevitable illusion’ that the paralogisms account for: we make use of simple representation of the I, that is devoid of any content, in order to define this particular object that is the soul. However, it is necessary to point out that the paralogisms are neither concerned with rational psychology, nor with empirical, and that they leave open the possibility of a ‘sort of psychology of inner sense’ the contents of which are dependent on the conditions of all possible experience. On the other hand, rational psychology can and should subsist as a discipline, allowing escaping both materialism and spiritualism, and marking an avoidance of this speculation ‘zum fruchtbaren praktischen Gebrauch’ [faisant sign de nous détourner de cette spéculation]. Consequently, and despite the fact that it seems to be excluding all forms of possible psychology, the Anthropology does not put out of the way what had already been denounced in the Critique of Pure Reason. Without saying it, it is towards rational psychology that it takes its distance.
In so far as it leaves two options open, one empirical psychology and one discipline gone back towards the practical usage – what are its relations to the Anthropology?

Firstly, nothing in the text of the Anthropology makes one suppose that an empirical psychology or a rational psychology as a discipline can be founded elsewhere, at the outer margins or in the proximity of the Anthropology itself: there is no indication of a close exteriority.
But inversely, no element, no section, no chapter of the Anthropology is given as a discipline planned by the Dialectic or as this empirical psychology perceived on top of the Methodology.
Does this lead to the conclusion that the Anthropology, for a sliding of perspectives, has become itself, at once this transcendental discipline and this empirical knowledge? Or on the contrary has it rendered/made them forever impracticable at the outset?
Is it the Gemüt itself that needs to be interrogated now, whether it is or not in the order of psychology?
It is not Seële, but on the other hand, it is and it is not Geist. To be discrete, the presence of Geist in the Anthropology is no less decisive. This definition is truly brief and does not seem to promise much: ‘Geist ist das belebende Prinzip im Neuschen’, a banal sentence, and one that maintains in its triviality this example of daily language.

We are dealing with a Prinzip [principle]. Neither with a Vermogen [faculty] such as memory, attention or knowledge (connaissance) in general nor with one of the forces (Krafte) mentioned in the Introduction to the Critique of Judgement. Not even, finally, with a simple representation such as the ‘pure I’ of the first Critique. Therefore, a principle: but is it determining or regulative? Neither one nor the other, if one has to take seriously this ‘invigoration’ (vivification) that he partakes in.

In the Gemüt, in the course in which it [tr.: the principle] is given to experience or within its virtual totality- does one have something that relates it to life and that pertains to the presence of the Geist? And here a new dimension opens up: Gemüt is not merely organised and equipped with powers and faculties that share in its domain; the great tripartite structure in which the Introduction to the Critique of judgement seems to provide the definitive formulation, cannot be but what, of the Gemüt, can appear within experience. Like all living beings, its duration does not scatter within an indifferent dispersion; it has an oriented course, something in it that projects it, without stopping it, towards a virtual totality.

Nothing is clearly indicated to us as to what this principle itself is. But what we can take hold of, is the reason why this invigoration takes place, the movement through which the Geist gives to the spirit the figure of life. “Durch Ideen” [through ideas], the text says. What does this mean? In what can “a necessary concept of reason, to which no object of correspondence is given in sensibility” (Cassirer) give life to the spirit?

Here one must avoid a counter-sense (paradox). One could believe that Gemüt, within this temporal dispersion that is originary to it, proceeds towards a totalisation that is actualised through and by the Geist. The Gemüt would owe its life to this distant, to this inaccessible, but efficacious presence. But if this had been the case, the Geist would be defined to enter the game as a regulative principle, and not as an invigorating one. On the other hand, all the curve of the Anthropology is not oriented towards the theme of man as inhabitant and resident of the world, with his duties and rights, in this cosmopolitan city; but towards the theme of a Geist that little by little invests man, and the world with him, of an imperious spiritual sovereignty. Then one cannot say that it is the idea of Geist to ensure the regulation of the empirical diversity of Gemüt, to promise, without respite to its duration, an impossible achievement.

Hence the “durch Ideen” that we inhabit has a different meaning. The important paragraph of the Critique entitled: “Of the ultimate end of the pure use of reason” allows one to apperceive the organising role of ideas within the concrete life of the spirit (3). The fact is that the Idea liberated of its transcendental usage and of the illusions that it cannot help originating, has its meaning within the plenitude of experience: it [the idea] anticipates a scheme that is not constitutive, but opens the possibility of objects.

1) It doesn’t have to reveal the nature of things in an ostensive movement, but it indicates in advance how to research such nature.

2) In indicating finally that the access to the end of the universe lies beyond the horizon of knowledge (connaissance), it engages empirical reason within the task of an infinite labour.

3) In other words, since ideas receive from experience itself their own domain of application, they make the spirit enter the mobility of the infinite, give themselves continuously to ‘the movement in order to go further’ without however losing themselves in the insurmountable horizon of this dispersion. Then the empirical reason never dozes off on the given, and the idea, in the sociability/sociable to the infinite refused to it, can live within the element of the possible.
Such is the function of the Geist: not to organise the inner sense Gemüt in order to make it a living being, or the analogous of organic life, or even the life of the Absolute itself; but to vivify it, to give birth within the passivity of the Gemüt, which is that of empirical determination, to the swarming movement of ideas, these multiple structures of a totality in becoming, that are made and remade like as many particles that live and die in the spirit. In this way the Gemüt is not simply “that which is”, but “that which it makes of itself”. And is this not precisely the field that the Anthropology ascribes to its investigation? To which it suffices to add that what Gemüt has to make of itself is “the biggest possible empirical usage of reason”, a use that will only be the greatest possible, through (durch) the Idea.

The movement that, in the Critique, gives rise to the transcendental mirage is that which in the Anthropology makes pursue the empirical and concrete path of the inner sense (Gemüt).

A. An Anthropology is only possible in so far as the Gemüt is not fixed to the passivity of its phenomenal (phenomenic) determinations, but rather it (the Gemüt) is animated by the labour of ideas at the level of the field of experience. The Geist then will be the principle, within the Gemüt, of dialectics de-dialecticised, non–transcendental, turned towards the domain of experience and being one with the very game of phenomena. It is the Geist that opens to the Gemüt the freedom of the possible, the uprooting (arrache) of its determinations and gives it a future that it does not owe to anything but itself.
B. One understands that, basically, the Anthropology has rendered impossible an empirical psychology and a knowledge of the spirit completely developed at the level of nature. It will always only be able to return to a drowsy spirit, inert, dead and without its ‘belebendes Prinzip’. This will be a ‘psychology’ minus life. Witness the preface to the text of 1798. The possibility of a non-pragmatic anthropology is recognised in theory and within a general system of the knowledge of man. But indicated on grounds of symmetry in the structures, it is challenged as content of knowledge: the study of memory as a simple natural fact is not only useless, but also impossible: ‘all theoretical reasoning on this subject is in vain.' (4)
The presence of the Geist, and with it, of this dimension of the liberty and of the totality that transcends the Gemüt, is such that there can be no truthful anthropology that is not pragmatic, each fact is then taken within the open system of Können and of Sollen. And Kant finds no reason to write of any other [system].

C. Within these conditions, doesn’t the Geist deal with this enigmatic ‘nature of our reason’ and then with the question of the Dialectics and of the Methodology of Pure Reason?
This is the disconcerting notion that seems to suddenly refer the Critique, once reached its apex, towards an empirical region, towards a domain of facts where man will be doomed to a very original passivity [longe]; will be given all of a sudden to the transcendental; and the conditions of experience will be related finally to the primary inertia of a Nature. But does this ‘nature of reason’ here play the same role as the nature of human understanding in Hume: of primary explication and final reduction? For the moment let us just point out an analogy of structure between this ‘nature’ that pushes reason to leave ‘an empirical usage’ in favour of ‘ a pure usage’, without however containing in itself (is it not pure and simple nature?), ‘illusions of originary prestige’, and the concrete life of the spirit such as it is described in the Anthropology: this too is animated by a spontaneous movement that exposes it ceaselessly to the danger of being played within its own game, but that deploys itself always within an initial innocence. One and the other are always ready to lose themselves, to escape from themselves, but for all that, in their very movement, [they also are] ‘the supreme tribunal of all rights and of all pretensions’.

D. If this analogy is founded, one could ask whether the Geist, which is designated at the margins of the anthropological reflection, is not an element secretly indispensable to the structure of Kantian thought: something that will be the nucleus of pure reason, the un-rootable origin of its transcendental illusions, the infallible judge of its return to its legitimate patria, the principle of its movement within the field of the empirical, where the faces of truth arise tirelessly. The Geist will be this original fact that, in its transcendental version, entails that the infinite is never there, but always in an essential withdrawal, and in its empirical version, that the infinite animates therefore the movement towards truth and the inexhaustible succession of its forms.

The Geist is the root of the possibility of knowledge.

And, for knowledge itself, it is the inextricable presence and absence of the figures of knowledge: it is this withdrawal, this invisible and ‘visible réserve’ within the inaccessible distance of which knowing and takes place and acquires positivity. [The nature of] its being is of a not being there, designating, in itself, the locus of truth. This original fact hangs over its structure unique and sovereign, the necessity of the Critique and the possibility of the Anthropology.

What relations authorize within these two forms of reflection this radical element that seems their common being? To be honest the difference of level between the Critique and the Anthropology is such that it discourages, at the beginning, the undertaking of the establishment of a structural comparison of one with the other. As a collection of empirical observations, the Anthropology has no “contact” with a reflection on the conditions of experience. And therefore, this essential difference is not of the kind/order of a non-relation. A certain crossing analogy lets one half-see in the Anthropology like a (photo) negative of the Critique.

a) The relations of the synthesis and of the given are presented in the Anthropology alongside the universal image of what they are within the Critique. Take subjectivity, for instance. On this point, the anthropological analysis has hesitated for a long time. The texts of the period between 1770 and 1780 link the expression of the ‘I’ to the possibility of being an object for itself. But it is not clearly decided whether the root of this possibility is the ‘I’ itself, or the objectifying it allows. The Critique will take that decision: The ‘I’ can never be object, but only form of the synthesis. Or in the text of 1798, the ‘I’ is not considered in its fundamental synthetic function, without for all that finding again a simple object status. It appears and it suddenly fixes itself in a figure that will remain unchanging in the field experience. This incidence of the spoken ‘I’ marks the passage of feeling to thought -from Fuhlen [feeling] to Denken [thinking]- without being either the real agent or the simple coming to consciousness of this passage, it is the empirical and manifest form within which the synthetic activity of the ‘I’ appears as a figure already synthesized, as structure inextricably primary and secondary: it is not given to man to enter the game, in a sort of a priori of existence (elle n’est pas donneé d’entrée de jeu á l’homme, dans une sorte d’a priori d’existence); but when [the I] appears, it inserts itself in the multiplicity of a temporal sensibility, it offers itself as already there, as the irreducible foundation/bottom of a thought that cannot operate but this figure of already constituted experience: it is within this ‘I’ that the subject will come to recognize its own passage and the synthesis of its identity. In other words, what is an a priori of knowledge from the point of view of the Critique is not immediately transposed in the anthropological reflection as an a priori of existence, but appears within the density of a becoming where its sudden emergence takes infallibly, in retrospect, the meaning of the already-there. The structure is inverted by the original dispersion of the given. According to the anthropological perspective, the given is not in fact ever offered according to an inert multiplicity indicative in an absolute fashion of an originary passivity and calling on its diverse forms the synthetic activity of conscience. The dispersion of the given is always already reduced in the anthropology, secretly dominated by a whole series of syntheses carried out apart from the visible workings of conscience: it is the unconscious synthesis of the elements of perception and of obscure representations that even the light of understanding always to dissociate, that are the schema of exploration that trace, within space, the kind of insular syntheses; that are in sensitivity the reorganisations that allow for the relation of one sense to another; that are finally the reinforcements and the weakening in the sensible effects that anticipate, as spontaneously on the voluntary synthesis of attention. Thus what the Critique welcomes as the infinitely thin surface of a multiple that has nothing in common with it apart from being originally given is lightened, for the Anthropology, by an unexpected depth: already grouped and organised, having received the provisional or solid figures of the synthesis. What is for knowledge the merely given, is not offered as such in concrete existence. For an Anthropology, passivity that is absolutely originary is never there [does not exist]. Thus the relation between the given and the a priori takes on, in the Anthropology, an inverted structure with respect to that which has been employed in the Critique. The a priori in the order of knowledge, becomes, in the order of concrete existence, an originary that is not chronologically primary, but which, as soon as it appears in the succession of figures of the synthesis, reveals itself as already there; on the other hand, what is given is lightened, in the reflection on concrete existence, by soft lights that give the depth of the already operated.

b) The Anthropology follows the division of the faculties –Vermogen- that the Critique admits too. However, the domain that it privileges is not that of where the faculties and powers positively manifest what they have. On the contrary, it is the domain where they manifest their weakness – or at least the dangers/perils where they risk of losing themselves. What is indicated, more than their nature or plain forms of their activity, is the movement for which, to move away from their centre and justification, they want to alienate themselves in the illegitimacy. Without doubts the Critique, in its fundamental project of propaedeutics, intended to denounce and dismantle the transcendental usage of reason but with a constant reference to the domain of positivity of each Vermogen [faculty]. In the anthropological research each faculty follows a line/track that is also the path of all possible deviations. Self-consciousness, for example, is not defined as a form of experience and condition of limited but founded knowledge; it appears rather as the always re-emerging temptation of a polymorphous egoism: the possibility of saying ‘I’ gives rise, in consciousness, to the prestige of a ‘me good-soul’ (moi bien-aime) that fascinates it, to the extent that, in a paradoxical return, consciousness will renounce the language of this first person –as decisive as to what has been (aussi décisive cependant qu’il ait été) – to decline itself in the fiction of a We. The study of sensibility, whilst reworking the great critical opposition of Schein [appearance] and Erscheinung [phenomenon], does not explore what can be held as well-founded in the phenomenon, but what has something at once fascinating and precarious within the fragment of appearance, since the latter veils what it makes shimmer (dangle), and also comes to transmit what she steals.
The long analysis of deficiencies and diseases of the spirit follows a brief paragraph on reason; and the increasing importance given to the considerations on mental pathology in the notes and projects - up to the developed text of 1798 – attests to the fact that these reflections on negativity have been in the line of force of the anthropological research. [In relation] to the Critique, [an investigation of what is conditioning in foundational activity] it represents the investigation of the unconditioned within the conditioned. In the anthropological region, there is no synthesis that is not threatened: the domain of experience is almost emptied of content by dangers that are not of the order of arbitrary supersession, but of the collapsing on itself. Possible experience defines equally well, in its limited circle, the field of truth and the field of the loss of truth.

c) One detail finally has its importance. All the Kollegentwurfe and the text published by Starke, however late, presents two parts as general plan to the Anthropology: one Elementarlehre and one Methoderlehre. The text of 1798 offers likewise two sections; but one is a Didactic, the other a Characterisation. This change, which occurred without date in the last years, is all the more surprising since the content and the ordering seem not to have been modified at all, the distinction between one doctrine of elements and one doctrine of method goes hand-in-hand with the critical research: on the one hand, that which constitutes the faculty of understanding, and on the other, that which governs its exercise in the domain of possible experience.
Apparently, the Anthropology is cased according to the same model: at the beginning, the different faculties in the organisation form the totality of the Gemüt: Elementarlehre; then, the rules of their exercise in the individual, within a family, inside a people or a race, internal to humanity: Methoderlehre. But this is no doubt a false opening: an adjustment to the norms of the Critique that would not correspond to the vocation of the text.
The terms of the Didactic and the Characteristic that appear in the last stage of reflection, and that substitute the traditional distinction, are curiously accompanied by subtitles of which one can hardly see the relation they have with the title. For the Didactic, [the subtitle] is “on the art of knowing the interior as well as the exterior of man”; for the Characteristic, “on how to know the interior of man [starting] from his exterior”. Is this change a reorganisation of the whole, a distancing in relation to the Critique? No, without doubt.
[Rather, it must be] the discovery of what has already been, obscurely, and prior to all explications, the thematic of the Anthropology: to know, the immediate coordination that permits that research in the dimension of Gemüt does not only open on the interior knowledge of the self, but also extends beyond itself, and spontaneously, without passing the limit of extrapolation, [it also extends] on knowledge of man in the exterior forms the manifest it.
So much the term Elementarlehre has been imposed by the symmetry of the Critique, that the analysis of Gemüt can only be conscious of itself in the space of a research of “powers”, in the virtuality of Vermogen and at the root of the possible. Disengaged in its veritable signification, this exploration knows that in dealing with the interior, it announces at the same time the exterior: that man does not dispose of his possibilities without being engaged, at the same time, in their manifestations.
What the Critique distinguishes as the possible within the order of conditions (Vermogen [faculty]) and the real within the order of the constituted (Erscheinung [phenomenon]) is given by the Anthropology in one inextricable (insecable) continuity: the secret of Power is revealed in the luminosity of the Phenomenon, where it finds at once its truth and the truth of its perversion (since the use becomes abuse, as in the language in the first person), and is denounced in its perversion by the Phenomenon, power is imperially recalled to this radical truth that binds it to itself in the mode of obligation. This is what gives each paragraph of the first part this obscurely tertiary rhythm: Power at the root of its possibility, Power found and lost, made possible and betrayed in its Phenomenon, Power imperatively tied to itself.(5)
For instance, self-consciousness, egoism, effective consciousness of representations; or more, the imagination as power of original ‘invention’, imagination in the fantastic shipwreck of dreaming, imagination in the poetry tied to the sign. Or again: the power to desire with one’s emotions; the false truth of passions; the place of the supreme good. From Vermogen [faculty as ability/wealth/potential] to Erscheinung [Phenomenon], the relation is at once of the order of manifestation, of the adventure of perdition, and of the ethical connection. It is precisely where this articulation of Können [be able to] and Sollen [ought to] resides, as we have seen, that what is essential to anthropological thought [is found]. The art of knowing the interior as well as the exterior of man, is then, in full right, not a theory of elements, but a Didactic: it does not discover without teaching.
With regards to the Characteristic, it reveals that the groups of phenomena –the bodies, the couple, race, the species- are not given once and for all and […] on themselves, but rather they come back from the apparently static truth of phenomena to the radical possibilities that give them meaning and movement; allowing to go back from the sign to power, ‘das Innere des Menschen aus dem Ausseren zu erkennen’ [to recognise the inner of man from its outside].
To the model of the Critique, that has imposed itself for a long time, follows an articulation that repeats it as a negation: the theory of the elements becomes prescription with regard to all the possible phenomena (what has been properly speaking the end of the Methodenlehre); and inversely the theory of method becomes regressive analysis towards the primitive nucleus of powers (that was the meaning of the Elementarlehre): a mirroring reproduction.
So simultaneously close and distant are the regions where the a-priori of knowledge is defined and where the a-priori of existence is determined. What is enunciated in the order of conditions appears, in the form of the original, like same and other.

The relation between the Critique and the Anthropology: the structure

In so far as this far proximity appears more clearly, the question becomes more insisting of knowing what relation is established between the Critique and the Anthropology.
Two texts are of singular importance: a passage regarding psychology in the transcendental Methodologie to which we have already referred; and one very enigmatic indication that appears in the Logic. (6)

The architectonics of pure reason.(7)

From the point of view of pure philosophy (that wraps the Critique within the Propaedeutics), no place is made for the Anthropology. The ‘rational Physiology’ that considers Nature as Inbegriff aller Gegenstande der sinne knows nothing but Physics and Rational Psychology. On the other hand in the vast field of empirical psychology, two domains balance each other out: that of a Physics and that of an anthropology that will have to accommodate (welcome) the more restrained edifice of an empirical psychology. (8)
With regard to the first, [there is] not the rigorous symmetry between pure philosophy and empirical philosophy. The correspondence that goes immediately for the Physics is not carried out in details.
The Anthropology, unlike Psychology, only appears on the empirical side; it cannot therefore be regimented or controlled by the Critique, in so far as the latter concerns itself with pure knowledge. But more than Newtonian physics it has no need for a critical reflection in order to identify and verify itself: the Anthropology, in order to constitute itself and occupy the place that he had granted to the Architectonic, will not have resorted to a prior Critique.
There is not then a possible critical influence on the form or content of an Anthropology. The contact between one and the other form of reflection is null. Isn’t all this negatively further confirmed by the Anthropology itself? Nowhere is the prior Critique invoked: and if the correspondence of the two texts is easily visible, it is never given nor reflected upon as such. It is buried in the text of the Anthropology where it forms the framework; and one has to envisage it as a fact, like a structural given, not as the manifestation of a prior and intentional ordering.

The Logic.

We know the three fundamental interrogations accounted for in the transcendental Methodology:
What can I know? – a speculative question to which the Critique answers ‘where reason has to limit itself’; what must I do? – a question that is practical; what can one hope for? – an interrogation at once theoretical and practical.

These three questions that hang over and, to a certain extent, command the organisation of critical thought, can be found at the beginning of the Logic, but affected by a decisive modification. A fourth question appears: what is man? –which only follows on from the first three in order to take hold of them again in a reference that wraps them all: because they all have to relate themselves to that one; as they should all be accounted for by the Anthropology, the Metaphysics, the Ethics and the Religion.
Doesn’t this sudden movement that knocks off balance the three interrogations towards the anthropological theme betray a rupture in thought?
Philosophieren seems to be able to deploy itself exhaustively at the level of a knowledge of man; the largely empirical status that the first Critique assigns to the Anthropology is, by this very fact, challenged: it is no longer the last empirical stage of a knowledge organised philosophically, but the point where philosophical reflection comes to culminate into an interrogation of the interrogations themselves.
However, one needs to be careful not to hurry this point, neither in the denunciation of a so-called rupture affecting this transcendental resolution of criticism, or in the discovery of a hypothetical new dimension along which Kant would approach at last that to which he had originally been the closest.
And first, what does their ‘relation to the fourth question’ mean for the three? (sich bezeihen auf)
Are we to understand this relation as that of knowledge to its object, or as that of this same knowledge to the subject -if it is true as a text of the Logic claims that knowledge has ‘eine zwiefache Beziehung: erstlich, eine Beziehung auf das Objekt, zweitens eine Beziehung auf das Subjekt’? [a twofold relationship: to the object and to the subject]
In other words, are we to comprehend that in these three questions, man was obscurely the ‘Gegenstand’ (sensible concrete object)? That towards whom they would disclose themselves and who stands opposite them, ready to give the unexpected answer that they solicit in another language?
Or rather are we to think on the contrary that these three questions ought to be in their turn interrogated, surrounded in their power by questioning and reinstalled, by a new Copernican revolution, in their original gravitation around man, who naturally believes himself questioned in them, at the moment when it is him who asks them and who is concerned with asking them in relation to himself (to dissipate all philodoxia)?
Let us just note, to begin this examination, that the Anthropology as we know it does not lend itself at any moment to answer the fourth question, not even as the empirical exploitation of the question in its broadest sense; but that the question is only posed much later, outside of the Anthropology, and within a perspective that does not belong to it properly, the moment when in Kantian thought the organisation of Philosopheren totalises itself, that is to say in the Logic and in the Opus postumum.
It is in the light of the answers provided, in these texts, to: Was ist der Mensch? that we would try to understand, on the path of retour, that which the Anthropology wants to say.

What is man? The Opus Postumum

The texts of the Opus Postumum that are dated in the period of 1800-1801 tenaciously repose, with regards to the division of transcendental philosophy, the definition of the relation between God, the world and man. What might seem to us a rupture or discovery in the text of the Logic, reveals itself then as the fundamental interrogation of philosophical reflection, regains scope both in the rigour of its limits and in its greater extension.

A fragment attests to this: ‘System der transcendental Philosophie in drei Abschnitten: Gott, die Welt, universum, und Ich selbst der Mensch als moralisches Wesen’. However, these three notions are not given as the three elements of a planned system that juxtaposes them along a homogeneous surface. The third term is not there as a complement: it plays the central role of ‘medius terminus’; it is the concrete and active unity in which and for which God and the world find their unity: ‘Gott, die Welt, und der Mensch als Person, d.i. als Wesen das diese Begriffe vereinigt as beings which unites this concepts’. One must leave to the fragments of the Opus Postumum their tentative character, and through the haunting repetition of the themes, take ear to this divergence that makes a body with the originary unity of the effort.
What is the correct meaning of this unification of God and the world in man and for man? What synthesis or what operation confronts it? Can it be situated at the level of the empirical or of the transcendental, of the originary or of the fundamental?

a) Certain texts point to it as the very act of thought. If man gives unity to the world and God, it is in so far as he exercises his sovereignty as a thinking subject- thinking the world and thinking God: ‘Der medius terminus…ist hier das urteilende Subjekt (das denkende Welt-Wesen, der Mensch…)

b) This unifying act is then the synthesis itself of thought. But it can be defined exactly in this sense starting from the power where it takes its origin: ‘Gott und die Welt, und der Geist des Menschen der beide denkt’ [God and the World, and the spirit of man thinks the two of them]; where everything is thus well considered in its sole form, as if with God, the world and man, in their coexistence and their fundamental relations, the structure itself of judgement is brought back onto the regime of traditional logic; the trilogy Subjekt, Praedikat, Copula define the figure of the relation between God, the world and man. [Man is then] that which is then the copula, the link- like the verb ‘to be’ of the judgement of the universe.

c) Finally man appears as the universal synthesis, forming the real unity where the personality of God and the objectivity of the world, the sensible and supra-sensible principle, come to rejoin; and man becomes the mediator starting from which ‘ein absoluter Ganze’ [an absolute totality] is designated. Starting from man, the absolute can be thought.
Answers or solutions? These texts should not be regarded as either. Rather, they are possible paths and tests for a thought that advances on the ground of a finally attained transcendental philosophy. And at each instant, every time the geography of these new territories needs to be located, the interrogation on man emerges as the question to which the entire problematic of the world and God cannot avoid to be related to.
But this relation to the question on man does not have the value of an absolute reference, thus freeing a serenely fundamental thought from the content itself of the question: Was ist Mensch? It cannot be deployed within an originary autonomy: because of the entry to the game, man is defined as the inhabitant of the world, as ‘Weltbewohner’ [world inhabitant]; ‘Der Mensch gehort zwar mit zur Welt’ [man really belongs to the world]. And all reflection on man is brought up again circularly into a reflection on the world. Therefore, it is not about pointing to a naturalist perspective whereby a science of man entails a knowledge of nature. Rather than to the determinations in which the human beast is taken and defined at the level of phenomena, what this pertains to is the development of self-consciousness and of the I am: the subject is affected in the movement through which it becomes object of itself: ‘Ich bin. –Es ist eine Welt ausser mir (praeter me) im Raume und der Zeit, und ich bin selbt ein veltresen; bin mir jenes ver haltnisses beurisst und der bevengenden Krafte zu Empfindungen (Wahrnehmungen). – Ich der Mensch bin mir selbst ein ausseres Sinnenobjekt, ein Teil der Welt.’ The world is discovered in the implications of the ‘I am’, as a figure of this movement for which the me, in becoming object, takes place in the field of experience and finds there a concrete system of belonging. Then this world thus disclosed is neither the Physis, nor the universe of validity of the law. And to be honest what is disclosed to it is anticipated and made possible by the transcendental Analytics and the Refutation of Idealism, but it is not exactly the same world, or rather the world in the same sense, that is in question in the fragment of the Opus Postumum. The ‘exterior things’ of the Refutation of Idealism have been the conditions of the determination of Time as a form of inner experience; the world of the Opus postumum is concomitant to the determination of me as objective content of experience in general. And in place of it being defined by the ‘perseverance’, and ‘obstinacy’ (Beharrliches) of a spatial coexistence, [the world] is sketched out in the bending of a tout that permits it to be, for the experience of a me, more wrap (envelopment) than landmark. It is no longer correlative of a Zeit-bestimmung (9), but the precondition (le presuppose) of a Sinnenbestimmung of me. It is not given at the opening of the whole; it is present in the flexion on the (me) self of Ganz .
It is no longer easy to talk of this world. The accomplishment of the closure of this folding seems to entail the exclusion of language, and of its primary form that is predication: a text of the Opus postumum talks about ‘personality’ as a predicate of God; but it makes illegible (achoppe) what the predicate of the world ought to be by way of symmetry. And this predicate remains unfilled (en blanc), on this side of language, because the world, as a whole (Ganz) is beyond (au-delà) all the predications and maybe at the root of all the predicates. However, this world is not without structure and signification. Its opposition to the universe allows one to fix its meaning in a transcendental philosophy.

The world and the universe in the Opus Postumum.

Differently from the universe, the world is given within a system of actuality that envelops all real existence. It envelops existence because as well as being the concept of its totality, starting from the world, existence develops its concrete reality: a double meaning enclosed in the very world Inbegriff [epitome]. ‘Der Begriff der Welt ist der Inbegriff des Dasein’ [the concept of the world is the complex of existence]. The world is the root of existence, the source that, by containing it, simultaneously retains and frees it.

2) One can only have – by definition – one universe. The world, on the other hand, could be given in numerous examples (‘es mag viele Welte sein’). The universe is the unity of the possible, whilst the world is a system of real relations. This system is given once, and it is not possible for the relations to be other [than what they are]; but absolutely nothing impedes to conceive an other system or other relations to be defined differently. This is to say that the world is not the open space of the necessary, but a domain where a system of necessity is possible.

3) But however lawful this supposition is (‘es mag…’), one cannot avoid recognising that there cannot be but one world: ‘Es mag nur Eine Welt sein’. Because the possible is only thought starting from a system given by actualité; and the plurality of worlds is only delineated starting from an existing world and from what can be offered to experience: the world is ‘das Ganza aller moglichen Sinnen Gegenstander’. The correlative of the possibility of conceiving of other worlds, -whereby the world is nothing but, de facto, a domain- consists in the impossibility of surpassing it and the imperious necessity of accepting its frontiers as limits. Thus the world, taken back in its signification as ‘Inbegriff des Daseins’ appears according to a triple structure, conforming to Begriff der Inbegriff, of source, of domain, and limit.

This is then in the Opus postumum the world where man appears to himself. Or, going back to the Logic, the place where we had left him: this is to say, the time when the three questions had been referred to the one: what is man? This question, in its turn, does not remain stable and fixed on the vacuum that it designates and interrogates. Straight from when the ‘was ist der Mensch’ is formulated, three other questions emerge; or rather three imperatives of knowledge are formulated that give to the anthropological question its character of concrete prescription: ‘Der Philosoph muss also bestimmen Können:

Die Quellen des menschlichen wissens
Der Umfang des moglischen und naturlichen Gebrauches alles wissens
Und endlich die Grenzen der Vernunft.’

[The philosopher must be able to determine: the source of human knowledge, the extension of possible and useful use of human knowledge, the limits of reason.]

What do they mean, and what are these three prescriptions in which the interrogation on man is distributed related to? It is easy to recognise, at the watermark of these three themes, both the reconsideration of the first three questions, and the sketch of what will be in the Opus postumum the fundamental structure of the ‘Inbegriff des Daseins’.
On the one hand, in fact, the determination ‘the sources of human knowledge’ give (contenu) meaning to the question: what can I know?; the determination of the ‘domain of the possible and natural usage of knowledge’ indicates what could be the reply to the question: ‘what shall I do?’; and the determination of the ‘limits of reason’ give its meaning to that ‘what is possible to hope’. The content, once specified, of the fourth question is then not fundamentally different from the meaning that the first three questions had; and the reference to them in the end does not entail either that the former disappear in the latter, nor that they point towards a new interrogation that has surpassed them: but simply that the anthropological question poses – by taking them back - the questions that relate to itself. We are here at the level of the structural foundation of the anthropological-critical repetition. The Anthropology does not say anything more than what the Critique says; it is sufficient to go through the text of 1798 to see that it overlaps exactly the domain of the critical undertaking.

A paradoxical repetition: source, domain and limit.

However, the meaning of this fundamental repetition does not have to be asked either to the repeated word or to the language that it repeats: but to that towards which this repetition goes. This is to say, towards the disclosure of this ternary structure in which the question in the Opus postumum and that characterises the Inbegriff of Daseins is: source, domain and limit. These concepts are common to the themes they specify, in the Logic, in the fourth question, and to which they give meaning in the last Kantian texts, to the notion of world as whole (tout). They determine the structural belonging of the interrogation on man to the questioning of the world. And here we find it in the rigorous undertaking (reprise) of the three questions that dominate the three Critiques. In other words, these three notions, Quellen (source), Umfang (domain), and Grenzen (Limit), already present in the web of critical thought, for their own perseverance and weight, have reached the fundamental level where the Inbegriff of existence is interrogated, and where they appear finally to themselves (pour elles-mêmes). At the more superficial level, they are given as common forms of the interrogation on man and the meaning (signification) of the world. But, without doubt, at the level of transcendental philosophy where finally they are formulated, they have a whole different import. “Was notwendig (ursprunglich) das Dasein der Dingen ausmacht gehort zur Transcendental Philosophie”. [What necessarily makes up the existence of things belongs to Transcendental Philosophy]. Or what necessarily (originally) belongs to the existence of things, is this fundamental structure of its Inbegriff that we already know. The wealth of the source, the solidity of the domain and the rigour of the frontier are inseparably linked to what it has as a necessity (this is to say originary). The totality of existence thinks as Ganz (entirety) and not as Alles (tout).
And through this is disclosed, in its fundamental character, the relationship of man and the world, -this relation that seemed locked within the indefinite repetition of its circularity, since the world had been unified by man, who hadn’t been but an inhabitant of the world. Doesn’t a text of the Opus postumum say: ‘Der Mensch in der Welt gehort mit zur Kenntnis der Welt [Man in the world belongs with knowledge of the world]?
But these paradoxes are at the level of natural knowledge. At the level of a transcendental philosophy they dissipate immediately to let a correlation emerge where the whole of existence defines what belongs to it necessarily and originally.

The world, as source of knowledge, offers itself on the space of the manifold that designates the originary passivity of sensibility; but this source of knowledge is inexhaustible precisely because this originary passivity is indissociable from the forms of Vereinigung [merging] of spontaneity and of the spirit. If the world is source, it means that it has a fundamental correlation, beyond which it is impossible to go back into passivity and spontaneity [on the background of a transcendental correlation between passivity and spontaneity].

The world, as domain of all the possible predicates, offers itself in the gripped solidarity of a determinism that sends back to a priori syntheses of a judging subject (eines urteilenden Subjekt). And by the same token, the world is only domain in relation to a founding (fondatrice) activity that opens itself on/to freedom; and consequently ‘der Mensch gehort zwar mit zur Welt, aber nicht der seiner Pflicht Angermessene’ [on the background of a transcendental correlation between necessity and freedom ](10).

The world, as limit of possible experience, excludes all transcendental usage of the Idea. But it is only limit because there exists a certain ‘nature’ of reason whereby the labour is one of anticipation on the totality, and of thought precisely as limit, in so far as it is proper to the ambiguity itself of this notion to designate the frontier too easy to cross, and the inaccessible term where one is always approached really but in vain. The ambiguity is well expressed in this fragment: ‘Gottuber mir, die Welt ausser mir, der menschliche Geist in mir in einem system das All der Dinge befassend…’.

One sees the scope of the field of reflection that covers these three notions: source, domain and limit. In a sense, they match the trilogy internal to the first Critique, of sensitivity, understanding and reason.
Later, they resume and strengthen in one word the work of each Critique: pure reason, practical reason and faculty of judgement. They repeat the three fundamental questions which, according to Kant, animate all philosophy. Finally, they provide a triple content to the interrogation on man to which they relate all others. But by resuming each of these tri-partitions, they put on hold, by their very repetition, the level of the fundamental, and substitute to these systematic divisions the organisation of the transcendental correlatives. Thus one notices that the world is not simply source for a faculty of sensation, but the foundation of a transcendental correlation between passivity and spontaneity; that the world is not simply the domain for a synthetic understanding, but the basis of a transcendental correlation between necessity and freedom; that the world is not just limit for the use of Ideas, but the basis of a transcendental correlation between reason and spirit (Vernunft-Geist). And here, within this system of correlation the reciprocal transcendence of truth (vérité) and freedom is founded. One sees what the place of the fourth question is within the economy of Kant’s later work, in other words, within the passage from a critical reflection –hence necessarily propaedeutic- to the accomplishment of a transcendental philosophy. The anthropological question is not of independent content; to be explicit, it repeats the first three questions, but it repeats them by substituting to a tri-partition that more or less directly follows the distinction of the faculties (Vermogen), the play of the three notions that account for the relations of man and of the world: no longer empirical and circular relations of immanence at the level of a natural knowledge (connaissance), but necessary correlation, in other words, originary- necessity (notwendig, ursprunglich)- that develop at the root of the existence of things, of inseparable transcendences.
The meaning and function of the question: what is man? consists in the bringing of the divisions of the Critique to a level of fundamental cohesion, that of a structure which – in its most radical aspect than that of all possible faculties- offers itself to the word (parole) and is finally liberated from transcendental philosophy.
Therefore, we are not at the end of our path. Or rather, at this stage we are already too far on the path that should have taken us to the exact situation of the Anthropology – to the place of its birth and insertion in critical thought. As if the Anthropology became impossible (at the level of a fundamental rather than merely programmatic possibility) unless taken from the point of view of a Critique completed and already lead to accomplishment by a transcendental philosophy.
But we also find: the question ‘what is man?’ is given in the Logic as the anthropological interrogation par excellence; and therefore in the Opus postumum it is linked, from the beginning, to an interrogation on God and on the world; the question is developed entirely at this level as if it had never pertained to this singular domain that is the Anthropology. The reference of the Logic to an anthropology that reduces to itself all philosophical interrogation seems to be nothing more, in Kantian thought, than an episode. An episode within an anthropology that does not have any claim to such universality of meaning and a transcendental philosophy that takes the interrogation on man at a much more radical level. This episode has been structurally necessary: its passing character was linked to a passage that reassures it.
The relation of the 1798 text to the Critique is thus paradoxical. On the one hand, the Critique announces it and makes it pace inside of an empirical philosophy; hence the Anthropology does not refer back to the Critique, or to the principal organising elements laid out by it. On the other hand, the Anthropology refers back to, as its own drive, the great articulations of the Critique, and the division, become traditional, of the faculties; hence, despite this implicit and constant reference, the Critique only has foundational value in relation to the Anthropology, which in turn rests on its work but does not root itself in it. It is divided of itself towards what it ought to bring together (fonder) that is no longer the Critique, but transcendental philosophy itself. It is the function and the web of its empirical status.

This empiricity must now be attended to /followed in itself. What, for anticipation, we have been able to determine of its path will allow without doubt to better understand how the Anthropology was able to be at once marginal in relation to the Critique, and decisive to the forms of reflection that offer themselves as goals to achieve it. The Anthropology itself asserts that it is at once ‘systematic and popular’; and it is by dwelling on these two words that we can decipher its own proper meaning: in repeating the Critique at a popular level of advice, of story and of example secretly heading Kantian thought towards a founding reflection.

Empiricity and Time

1. The Anthropology is systematic: which is not to say that it enunciates all that can be known of man, but that it forms, as a knowledge, a coherent whole: no longer Alles, but Ganze. The Principe of this totality is not man himself, as an already coherent object, because he is linked to the world, and only the indefinite labour of enquiry, the wear (usure) of the frequentation (Umgang) [of the world] will be able to research find out what he is. If the Anthropology is systematic it is in so far as it borrows its coherence from all of the thought of the Critique, -each of the three books of the Didactic repeat the three Critiques, and the Caracteristique refers back to the texts on history, the becoming of humanity and its path towards inaccessible goals. There, and only there, resides the organising principle of the Anthropology.

[There is] one example to determine how exactly this repetition occurs: the text entitled ‘Apology of sensitivity’’ refers to the relation between intuition and understanding. This repetition is not a going back to the same. The relation described by the Anthropology has its own dimension within the slow, precarious and always doubtful labour of the succession: the manifold as it offers itself to the senses is not yet (noch nicht) ordered; the understanding must come to add itself (hinzukonsmen) and insert an order that it supplies itself (hineinbringen). A judgement that is produced before this ordering activity [putting into order (zuvor)] risks being false. On the other hand, this relation of succession does not put up with/withstand being extended with impunity; if, in the order of time, the retrospective reassessment of reasoning (Nachgrubeln) and the indefinite folding (repli) of reflection (Uberlegung) intervened, the error could equally slip. The given is therefore never deceptive, not because it judges well, but because it doesn’t judge at all, and what judgement inserts within time, forms truth according to the measure of this time itself. The time of the Critique, form of the intuition and of the inner sense, only provides the multiplicity of the given through an activity already constructive at the outset; it only offers the diverse already dominated within the unity of the I think. On the other hand, the time of the Anthropology is guarantor of an insurmountable dispersion; because here the dispersion is no longer that of the given and sensible passivity; it is the dispersion of synthetic activity in relation to itself – dispersion that offers itself as a ‘jeu’. Its (dispersion) is not contemporaneous to itself in the organisation of the manifold; it inevitably succeeds/follows itself, thus giving rise to error (donnant ainsi prise á l’erreur), and to all the slippings that have been made (Ver Kunstein, Verdichten, Ver ruchen). Given that the time of the Critique had reassured the unity of the originary (from the originally given until the originary synthesis), thus deploying itself at the level of the Ur…, the Time of the Anthropology remains doomed to the domain of the Ver…, because it maintains the dispersion of the syntheses and the always renewed possibility of seeing them escaping from one another. Time is not that in which, and through which, and because of which the synthesis is made. It is that which gnaws at the synthetic activity itself.

However, it affects it not in the manner of a given that indicates a primary passivity, but in the way of an intrinsic possibility that raises the hypothesis and the threat of an exhaustive determination: that the possibility of error is linked to the duty, and to the freedom, of avoiding it.

What affects the synthetic activity -the opening to this freedom- is what limits it –placing it, for the same fact, in an indefinite domain. In the Critique, time becomes transparent to a synthetic activity that was not temporal itself, since it was constituent; in the Anthropology, dispersed time mercilessly obscures and renders impenetrable the synthetic acts, and substitutes to the sovereignty of the Bestimmung [determination], the patient, friable and compromised incertitude of an exercise that is called Kunst .

The word ‘Kunst’, with its derivatives (verkunstein, erkunstein, gekunstelt), is one of the terms that frequently recur in the Anthropology – and one of those that remains the most inaccessible to translation. Neither art nor technique are concerned there; but rather the fact that nothing is ever given without being at the same time offered to the danger of an undertaking that is simultaneously the ground in the construction, and the dodging in the arbitrary.
Kunst is in a sense the negation of originary passivity; but this negation can and must be comprehended also as spontaneity (in relation to the determinations of the diverse) as well as artifice (in relation to the validity of the given); moreover, its role is that of building - above and counter to/against the phenomenon (Erscheinung)- an appearance (Schein), as well as giving to appearance the plenitude and meaning of the phenomenon: this is to say that the Kunst retains (détient), -more in the form of freedom-, the power of reciprocal negation of Schein and Erscheinung.
Equally, the deeper the layers are buried in originary passivity, the more there is in the sensible given that is open to this game of freedom: the content of sensible intuition can be utilised artificially as Schein; and this Schein can be used intentionally, as Erscheinung: thus in the exchange of signs of morality, the sensible content can be nothing but a mask and it is in the service of the cunnings of a lie; or also it can be cunning of the cunning and refined form that transmits the value, and as simple appearance, the seriousness of the phenomenon. Then, the Kunst that, in proximity of the sensible (au ras du sensible) already inhabits the whole domain of the given, exercises its sovereignty in three ways: it is the puissance/power of the negative, it is the decision of the intentional, it is the language of exchange.

Time, Kunst and the Subject: a relation between truth and freedom.

Thus the time that eats into and crumbles the unity of the synthetic act, and dooms it to a diverse, where it can never rejoin/meet itself in an a-temporal sovereignty, opens it by the very fact, to a liberty that is negation to exercise, without offering itself, communication, to establish, dangerous freedom that links the work of truth with the possibility of error, but makes thus escape from the sphere of determinations the relation to truth. To the relation of time and the subject, that has been fundamental in the Critique, corresponds in the Anthropology the relation of time to Kunst.

In the Critique, the subject had self-consciousness (conscience de soi) as ‘determined in time’, and this insurmountable determination refers back to the existence of an external world in relation to which an inner experience of change had been possible; this is to say that time, and the primary passivity that it indicates, had been the root of this ‘Beziehung auf’ [relation to] that characterises the first opening of all knowledge. In the Anthropology, time and the dispersion it determines, show in the texture of the ‘Beziehung auf’ a reciprocal belonging (appartenance) of truth and freedom. From the Critique to the Anthropology, is it not the same thing that is repeated? Time receives and reveals a ‘relation to…’ a primary opening that is, consequently and simultaneously, a connection between truth and freedom. This link will be, in its turn, the privileged theme of transcendental philosophy, and the interrogation that animates the relentless question of the Opus Postumum; ‘Was ist der Mensch?’.
As the Beziehung auf [relation to] becomes visible in the Critique through the structure of Vorstellung [imagination], so the connection of truth and freedom starts to be deciphered in the Anthropology, through the labour and the dangers of Kunst.

The Anthropology is systematic. Systematic by virtue of a structure that is that of the Critique, and that the Anthropology repeats. But what the Critique states as determination, in the relationship between passivity and spontaneity, the Anthropology describes along a temporal dispersion that is never ended and never starts, what the Anthropology deals with is always already there, and never entirely given; what is primary for the Anthropology is doomed to a time that completely envelops it, from far and high. This is not because the problem of origins is foreign to it: on the contrary, time gives it back its true meaning, that it is not of disclosing and isolating, in the instant, the originary; but of finding again a temporal web that, having already begun, is not less rooted [radical]. The originary is not the really primitive. It is the truly (vraiment) temporal. This is to say that the originary is where, in time, truth and freedom belong to each other. One can have a false/ wrong Anthropology – and we know it too well: it is that which attempts to shift towards a beginning, towards an archaism of fact and of right, the structures of the a priori. Kant’s Anthropology offers us another lesson: to repeat the a priori of the Critique in the originary, i.e. in a truly temporal dimension.

2. Despite this systematic deep-rootedness (enracinement), the Anthropology is a ‘popular work: where examples can be found by each reader’. What is meant by this? Neither a certain nature of the content (an empirical analysis can only be popular), nor a certain quality of the form (a non popular knowledge can receive a ‘garment’ that makes it accessible). A text of the Logic offers a definition of the notion of Popularitaät. In relation to knowledge, it is not an addition, epithet, or style of expression: it is perfection … ‘eine populare Vollkommenbeit des Erkenntnisses’. It distinguishes itself from technical and scholastic perfection: not that it is not compatible with them, on the contrary, but they add something to it because in the discourse of scholastic knowledge one can never be sure that the proof is not ‘einseitig’[biased/one-sided], there is, on the other hand, in popular knowledge an exigency of discourse that goes towards the whole, towards the exhaustive and dissipates the danger of particularity, thus authorising, ‘eine Vollstandige Einsicht’ [a complete view]. Its own character lies not so much in the particularity of a style, but in the manner of administering the evidence; its arguments are no better (nor other) than those of scholastic savoir, - its truth is the same, but it offers the certitude that the whole is given in the inexhaustible multiplicity of the diverse. The various proofs offered never give the impression of being particular. Which is what the Anthropology wants to say itself: the reader finds himself in such environment of total evidence (Vollstandige Einsicht) that he can indefinitely find new examples. But the popularity is not the primary, earliest and the most naïve form of truth.

In order to become popular a knowledge must rely on ‘eine Welt-und Menschentkenntniss’, a knowledge of concepts, of tastes and of inclinations of men.’ How come, in this sentence of the Logic that circumscribes the requirements of popular knowledge, the definition of anthropology is not found? This is to say that the Anthropology, as oeuvre of popular form, relies on itself in so far as it is knowledge of man and the world.
As popular knowledge and knowledge of the ‘popular’, it is what implicates itself in order to exist.

This circle is not about unravelling, but taking as it is given and where it is given, -in language- what resides in language: the possibility at once to speak it and to speak about it, and to do so in one and the same movement; in the current usage lies the inexhaustible source of these ‘examples’, through which the writing extends towards the reader, without interrogation and in the familiarity of the recognised.
To say that a text is popular because the readers can find examples for themselves, is to say that one finds between the author and its public the undivided basis of daily language that continues to speak, without transition and without changes, the page that once was blank.
The Anthropology, popular knowledge, can rely on itself, since it speaks a common language, it will speak of him and, of the interior, will clarify it. It will be a knowledge of man that man himself will be able to immediately comprehend, recognise, and indefinitely extend, because man and that knowledge are within the obedience of one inexhaustible language.
Differently from the non popular texts, the Anthropology does not try to fix and justify its vocabulary. On the contrary, it welcomes language in the totality of a practice that is never put back into question. In the web of the texts, the empirical guiding thread is different from the patient effort to exhaust the verbal forms of a theme, and to give to each, in its precise meaning, the real extension of its domain. Within the classification of mental illnesses in the 18th century, terms such as einfaltig, dumm [stupid], tor, narr [fool], Geck [fop], and unklug [idiot] are challenged as mystifying and vain, only relevant to a popular usage founded solely on the obscurity of a dubious tradition; one erases them for the sake of a terminology that is supposed to reproduce a logical articulation of the real within the space of nature. But these are words that, for Kant, form the support and the substance itself of analysis. It is not at all a matter of providing a silent Logos of nature with a prolific language of men; but rather of totalising this language on the supposition that there is no folding in it that is not accompanied by a particular modality of meaning. The differences that daily language gives to dumm, tor, and narr are all as valid and full of meaning as those established by the naturalists amongst the terms of vesania and insanity established in the species. At the anthropological level, there is neither mystified language nor erroneous vocabulary.
In a sense, the Anthropology is a sort of general idiomatic. All the expressions given there are thought with all their weight of seriousness. Something is thought within the whole that is said. It is sufficient to interrogate and to give a hearing to it. Why does one regularly say: ‘ein richtiger Verstand, eine geubte Urteilskraft, eine grundliche Vernunft?’

Isn’t there something that goes right to the essence? Which serious game is played in the opposition ‘eine langweilige Unterredung, ein kunrzweiliger Mensch’? What does one say when saying: ‘Geld ist die Losug?’. Furthermore, there are all the ‘moral idioms’ that exist in the customs and relations between men and in their language they are known expressions: rules of politeness, uses in fashion, conventions and habits in meetings. They all have their justification. But they do not derive from a cause foreign to human practice; they are no longer hidden in a distant past: apart from a note on the meaning and taste for business amongst the Jews, there is no historical explanation in the Anthropology. The meaning of these idioms is always actual to them. It is in following the thread of language and of practice in examining them at a slower pace, and in comparing them in a sort of empirical plane, that they will reveal/say what they really want to say. The Anthropology is the elucidation of this language tout fait – explicit or silent – by which man spreads on things and amongst his kind a network of exchanges, of reciprocity, of solid comprehension, that does not form either the city of spirits, nor the total appropriation of nature, but this universal inhabiting of man within the world.

Popularity and Language

The Anthropology is therefore not rooted in a system of expression and of experience that is a German one. Without a doubt Kant would surpass (essaie-t-il) this domain given by the analysis of foreign practices, or by the references to other linguistic ensembles. No doubt it is this that is the most particular in his experience to dominate limits: Konigsberg, administrative capital, University city and commercial centre, crossroad, near the sea, has a constant educative value in the comprehension of man as citizen of the entire world. But all this does not prevent the Anthropology from unwinding itself in its entirety within a geographical and linguistic domain from where it is not, neither by fact nor by right, dissociable. This is a reflection upon and in a system of constituted and enveloping signs. Since Latin starts emerging as language of savant and philosophical universality, the usage of modern languages does not contest, for those who employ them or understand them, the universal meaning of the preferred word (parole). The secret right of a Latinity - that is not yet absorbed even if buried, and that grants what is said with an intrinsic value of exchange, without residue - watches over the language effectively used (mise en oeuvre).

The meticulousness, with which Kant, in the Critiques, annotates all the time the corresponding Latin word, sufficiently indicates that the universality of his purpose is one and the same as a certain implicit Latinity. The Latin reference there is systematic and essential. In the Critique of Pure Reason, he experiences even German language as an embarrassment and limitation. And when in his own language he feels ‘embarrassed to find an expression that is exactly appropriate’, he recurs to ‘some dead and savant language’, even if its words have been deviated by an excessively long usage, to arrive at the meaning that is proper to them’. He thinks it is better to use Latin than to hinder, through refinements of the Germanic language, ‘the march of science’.
The reference to Latin is maybe more frequent in the Anthropology than in the Critiques. But it is not more essential, nor does it have value beyond indication and landmark. Sometimes, it allows distinguishing an ambiguity of meaning: Leicht and schwer mean light and heavy as well as easy and difficult; sometimes, it replaces the analysis in a scientific tradition: Unsinninngkeit – amenita, Wahnsinn – sementia; Wahnwitz – insana; Aberwitz –vesania; sometimes it fixes a system of correspondences between the critical level and the anthropological domain. But the real labour, the path of thought in the Anthropology, does not go though Latinity; it follows the lines of force of the German system of expression. The term of Melancholia, for example, does not concern what constitutes the veritable meaning of the tiefsinnigkeit; this meaning, must be asked to a whole dynasty of language (de la langue): on the one hand, the series Scharfsinnigkeit, Leichtsinnigkeit etc.; on the other hand the subtle opposition, difficult to untangle, with the tiefdenken. There is also the verbal domain of Sagen: Wahrsagen, vorhersagen, and weissagen. And moreover, the great dynasty, so complex, of Dichten [writing poetry]. On the surface, and almost at the level of quasi-synonymes, it plays with words that designate other forms, psychological or technical of invention: entdecken, entfinden, and was ausfinding machen er sinnen, ausdenken, erdichten, but in following the vertical dimension, and the web of powers of the spirit, one finds firstly, and of a general manner, the ‘vermognen Idem zu schaffen’, plus the power of their giving form according to the laws of productive imagination: it is the vermogen zu bilden; when the spiritual power and the taste lead these productions, one has to do with Dichtkunst [literature], in the broad sense, -that can address itself also to the eyes and the ears; finally, when this art takes form in the justified solemnity of verses, it is about poetry in the strict sense. But to each of those levels, the Dichtung [literary work] finds itself embroiled in a couple of oppositions where it risks alienating itself and losing itself, and it is not taken back to its rigorous meaning: danger of the Beredskeit in which the relations of understanding and of sensibility are inversed; danger of the Naturmalerei, that limits itself to imitation; danger of the Versmacherei, deprived of spiritual power. Also what is identified and defined is the complex network of the Dichtung thanks to a totalisation of the verbal domain related to it. The faculties, the powers also put into action, do not form in their structure the guiding thread of the analysis; they are disengaged or seen through the net of words, as they have for a long time been tied up with daily usage. Surely, one sees Kant criticise this or that confusion in the manner of expression; but it is not in the name of a really existing distinction that one can denounce those who do not make use of it and do not consider it, in the practice of a native word, as having occurred. This abandonment of the philosophical reflection in relation to a universality of the Latin form has its importance. From now on, philosophical language recognises the possibility to find its locus of origin and define its field of exploration in a given language. The fact that this language is linked to a language does not make it relative nor limits the meaning that it provides, but situates this disclosure in a determined verbal domain.

This relation of philosophical meaning to significations of a langue –which will be so decisive in German thought- is not yet reflected on in itself in the Anthropology: but it is used at every moment; the real ground of anthropological experience is much more linguistic than psychological; the langue accordingly is not given as system to be interrogated, but rather as an element that goes by itself, at the interior in which one is placed within a game; as instrument of exchanges, vehicle of dialogues and virtuality of intent, langue is the field common to philosophy and non-philosophy. It is in language that they confront themselves, -or rather communicate.

The banquet. (11)

There is then a Kantian Banquet –an insistence, in the Anthropology, on these minuscule forms of society that are the common meal; the importance of the Unterhaltung, of what there is to exchange, and what must be exchanged; a prestige of this social and moral model of a Gesellschaft where each finds himself at once sovereign and friendly (close to). The value of a discourse that from one to the other and amongst everyone is born and ends. From the point of view of the Anthropology, the group that has the value of model is neither the family nor the state: it is the Tischgesellschaft [dinner society]. Isn’t this a peculiar image of universality? There must be established, by the transparency of a common language, a relation of all to all; nothing must be felt privileged or isolated, but each, whether silent or speaking, must be present in the common sovereignty of the parole. None of the three great functions of language must be omitted: enunciation of contingent fact (Erzahlen), formulation, exchange and rectification of judgement (Raisonieren), free play of language on itself (Scherzen). Round and round, there must be these three dominant functions, in a movement that is the rhythm proper to this form of meeting: initially the novelty of the event, then the seriousness of the universal, finally the irony of the game. As far as the content itself of the discussion is concerned, one must obey the laws of an internal structure: those of the supple continuity, without rupture, of the manner in which each person’s freedom to formulate his opinion, to insist upon it, or to make the discussion deviate are never experienced by others as abuse or constraint. Also in the regulated element of language, the articulation of liberties and the possibility, for individuals, of forming a whole, can be self-organised without the intervention of a force or an authority, without renunciation nor alienation. In speaking in the community of convivium, liberties meet each other and are spontaneously universalised. Everyone is free, but in the form of totality.

We are no longer surprised by these promises made at the opening of the Anthropology, of studying man as ‘citizen of the world’, - and that the work seems to give up on delivering, in limiting itself to an analysis of the Gemüt. In fact, the man of the Anthropology is Weltburger, but not in so far as he must belong to such social group or such institution: purely and simply because he speaks. It is in the exchange of language that, all at once, he attends to and accomplishes himself the concrete universal. His residence in the world is originally an inhabiting of language. The truth that the Anthropology exposes is then not a truth anterior to language and that it will see to transmit. It is a truth more interior and more complex, since it is in the movement itself of exchange, and that exchange accomplishes the universal truth of man. Similarly whilst at any time the originary could have been defined as the temporal itself, one can now say that the originary does not reside in a preliminary and secret signification, but in the more manifest route of the exchange. It is there that language assumes, achieves and finds again its reality; it is there also that man deploys its anthropological truth. The Anthropology is then ‘systematically projected’ by a reference to the Critique that passes through Time; it has, on the other hand, popular value because its reflection is situated at the interior of a given language that makes it transparent without reforming it, and whereby the particularities themselves are the legitimate birthplace for universal significations. In an anthropological perspective, truth takes then shape through the temporal dispersion of syntheses and in the movement of language and of exchange; there, it doesn’t find its primitive form, nor the a priori moments of its constitution, nor the pure impact of the given; it finds, in a time already sold, in a language already spoken, inside a temporal flux and a linguistic system never given in their point zero, something that is like its originary form: the universal emerging (naissant) in the middle of the experience in the movement of the truly temporal and of the really exchanged. It is by this that the analysis of the Gemüt, in the form of internal sense, becomes cosmo-political prescription, in the form of human universality. We have noted above how the anthropological reflection can constitute, by the repetition itself of the Critique, the moment of passage to transcendental philosophy. It is easy to understand how this repetition can have structure, function and value of passage: it is because the Critique, instead of being simply repeated at the level of the empirical, is repeated in such a manner that the syntheses of truth (i.e. the constitution of the necessary within the domain of experience), now appear in the element of freedom (in the recognition of the particular as universal subject). The Anthropology repeats the Critique of Pure reason at an empirical level where one finds it already repeated the Critique of Practical reason: the domain of the necessary is all the same the domain of the imperative. The Anthropology is therefore by essence the investigation of a field where practice and theory are mutually traversed and resorted/appealed to entirely.
Addition: the Anthropology will move indifferently from the problematic of necessity to that of existence; it will conflate the analysis of conditions and the interrogation of finitude. (on prêtera à l’Anthropologie á la fois les privilèges de l’a priori et le sens du fondamental, le caractère préalable de la Critique et la forme achevée de la philosophie transcendantale; elle se déploiera sans différence de la problématique du nécessaire á celle de l’existence; elle confondra l’analyse des conditions et l’interrogation sur la finitude.)

Post Kantian confusions.

It will be useful one day to envisage all the history of post-Kantian and contemporary philosophy from the point of view of this confusion, starting from the outlined confusion. Without doubt, this ‘de-structuration’ of the philosophical field has never been as perceivable as in the wake of phenomenology. It has surely been of the initial project of Husserl, as one witnesses in the Logische Unversuchungen, to free the regions of the a priori, of the forms where the reflections on the originary had confiscated it. But because the originary can never be itself the ground of its own liberation, the effort to escape the originary conceived as immediate subjectivity has finally referred to the originary conceived within the density of the passive syntheses and of the already there. The reduction would only open on a transcendental of illusion, and it would manage to play the role to which it had been destined, -and that consists in keeping the place of a critical reflection elided. Even the reference to Descartes, substituting, in a moment of Husserl’s thought, the domination of Kantian memories, could not manage to hide the structural disequilibria. During the whole opening on the region of the fundamental it will not be able to, starting from there, lead to what will have to be its justification and meaning, the problematic of the Welt and the In-der-Welt will not be able to escape the ‘threat’ of empiricity. All phenomenological psychologies and other variations on the analysis of existence are the dismal evidence of this. What have we blindly renounced to by failing to see that the authentic articulation of Philosophieren was at the level of the present much more restrictive, in a thought that maybe has not noticed that it keeps some filiations and fidelity to the ‘Chinese views of Kuningsberg’?
One probably needs to understand what to ‘philosophise with the hammer’ means, see at first glance what the ‘kurgenrot’ is and understand what we return to in the Eternal Return, in order to see there the authentic repetition - in a world that is ours - of what has been - for an already distant culture - distant, the reflection on the a priori, the origin and finitude. There, in this thought that thinks the end of philosophy is where the possibility of still philosophising and the injunction to a new austerity reside.

A problem remains that even the movement of Kantian thought has not at all helped to solve: it is the problem of empiricity in the anthropologic-critical repetition. Must one consider the bending towards empiricity as essential to all reflection which aims to move from the a priori towards the fundamental? And when a science of man becomes possible it is included with all rights in the trajectory of philosophy towards itself. Can one conceive of an anthropology that will take the empirical as its content and its laws, but that is addressed to essences in a reflection on man to which only intuition provides richness and life? The empirical would only be applied as an example, neither defining nor compromising the very form of knowledge. Kant’s Anthropology does not provide a clear answer to this. Without doubt it is only an empirical collection; but precisely, it is nothing but collection and rhapsody of examples, the reflexive movement that divides it comes from somewhere else and goes somewhere else, without a precise definition of the manner in which this knowledge relies on the empirical domain that it covers. In the Anthropology one finds a double system of solidarity: on the one hand with the critical reflection and transcendental philosophy, but on the other hand with the immense series of anthropological researches that developed, especially in Germany, in the second half of the 18th century.
It is very difficult to properly establish the way in which Kant’s work is inserted in the chronology and the network of influences of these anthropological texts. This is for two reasons: one is the very ascendancy of Kantian thought on science and singularly on psychology and medicine of his epoch, the other reason is the delay of the publication of the Anthropology, a delay which has given cause to the distribution of students; notes, of course notebooks as those used, some year later, by Starke. Despite the fact that many texts published well before the Anthropology explicitly or implicitly refer to Kantian thought and present a resemblance to it, it is often impossible to trust the dates of publication in order to establish the order of influences and of presences.
As guidance, we only have in this complex network three kinds of landmarks: the texts that contain an explicit reference to Kant, as for instance Ith: Versuch einer Anthropologie (Berne: 1794), or Schmid: Empirische Psychologie (Iena: 1791), or Hufeland: Macrobiotik. In all these texts we already find references to Kant. One must also add the second edition of the Anthropologie by Platner, and certain works that immediately place themselves within the Kantian obedience, like Kollner: Bestimmung der organischen Krafte nach Grundsatzen der Kritischen Philosophie.
On the other hand the anteriority of certain texts gives one ground to believe that Kant has really known and used them in his Anthropology. First of all one ought to include without doubt: Tetens: Versuch über die Menschliche Natur (1777), the Anthropologie by Platner (1772), and obviously the Psychologia empirica by Baumgarten (1749). This work which Kant had noticed served as a guiding thread for the Anthropology. The analogy of place in the two texts is striking; one could compare them by the paragraph. Still one must add that there had been a classical reordering of psychologies in the 18th century, and that one should see the point of origin or the means of their definite accomplishment in Wolff. But there is more: the Psychologie of Baumgarten has provided schemas that the Anthropology had used and elaborated on: the distinction between ‘perceptio primaria et secundaria’, and of ‘perceptio principalis et adharens’. Similarly the analysis of Wahrsagen and of Weissagen in Baumgarten, is identified in Kant in a distinction between Vorhersagen, Wahrsagen and Weissagen.

Finally, one can without making too big a mistake find the influence of certain texts on the development itself of Kant’s work. There are modifications or novelties in the last edition of the Anthropology that have their origin in these recently published texts. One can be sure, for instance, that Kant has read Empirische Psychologie by Schmid and has used it. In Nachla’s notes, in the courses published by Starke, one cannot find any mention of empirical sources that help or sustain the anthropological reflection. It is only in the text of 1798 that one finds a mention of Hilfsmittel, which are, in this order, history, the world, biographies, theatre and novels. Or in 1791, Schmid dedicated a paragraph to Hilfsmittel of the empirical study of the soul: history books, biographies, observations on character, tragic and comic poetry, novels. But more importantly: Schmid himself distinguishes three kinds of human sciences: that which addresses man’s interiority (sein Inneres) and all that appears to the inner sense: this is psychology; that which address exteriority (sein Ausseres) and the body: that is medical anthropology; whilst so called Anthropology must study the mutual relations of interior and exterior. It is difficult not to think that there one finds the origin of the titles that after 1791 Kant will give to the two parts of the Anthropology.

Thus there’s a whole network of empirical knowledge that constitute, at the end of the 18th century, the domain of Anthropology. The link between this network and Kant’s text is evident, even if it is not possible to situate exactly the chronological order of their reciprocal relations and the prestige of influences yet. But for now one can question the general significance of the field of empirical knowledge that comes into being, in this period, under the pretext of constituting a science: the Anthropology.

Leaving aside the archaeology of a term the form of which, if not the fate, had already been fixed at the 16th century. What can these new anthropologies mean in relation to a science of man of the Cartesian type?

It seems that the initial project of anthropology was linked at the beginning of the 18th century to a host of precise scientific difficulties: what is often too hastily called the Critique of the Cartesian mechanicism was for the contemporaries a mode of formulating within a theoretical vocabulary the new labour of their knowledge (connaissance). In a general manner, one could say that in this period the researches on the functioning of the human body were the occasion (provided the opportunity) of a capital conceptual de-doubling: in the unity of the Physis, that one would not put under challenge, what is by the body the physique starts to be detached from what is, for the bodies, the physics (dans l’unité de la Physis, qu’il n’est pas question de mettre en cause, ce qui est par le corps le physique commence á decoller de ce qui est, pour les corps, la physique). The physique in man will be of the order of nature, without being of physics. How to explain such curious notional crossings, sometimes contradictory, but that refers to this difficulty of ordering together the savoirs of physics [la Physique], the physiques and the Physis?

Wolff maintains the Physica as the most general form of knowledge of nature, and he prescribes ‘physiology’ as the science of bodies. On the contrary, Kant will group together in the ‘Physiology’ all the empirical knowledges of nature, of which ‘Physics’ only covers one sector. In fact, if a science of nature seems to shift away from a science of Physics, it is in so far it can no longer cover the domain of the human body. The existence of anthropology is at once the cause and effect, in any case the measure of this gap.

-2- But why is this gap linked to anthropology rather than to biology in general? Why does Wolff say that Physiology is a science ‘de corpore animati, praesertim humano’? Surely because the knowledge of man finds itself at the crossing point where the determination of a metaphysical privilege, that is the soul, and the mastery of a technique that is medicine, meet. Man is then the first theme of knowledge that could appear in the field left free by the decoupling of Physis and Physics [Physis et Physique].
“Definitus Physiologia per scientiam corporis animati; strictius a medius per scientiam corporis sani; alii tractationem physicam de homine in specie Anthropologiam vocant”. {Wolff, Logica} It is in so far as it is an anthropology that Physiology acquires its specificity; anthropology is the reason for its not being pure and simple Physics.

-3- This paradoxical posture of anthropology (that is the reason of what it is part of-party to-) is full of consequences. It will be at once limit of the science of Physis and science of this limit; it will be this limit pulled down, on this side of herself, on the domain that she limits, and will define also in terms of relations what is not related to her, in terms of continuity what is rupture and in terms of positivity what is finitude.
Platner says: ‘One could regard the body and the soul in their reciprocal relations and limitations, and that is what I call Anthropology’. But Telena had clearly seen that the relation cannot be circumscribed, in the Anthropology, unless one takes the standpoint of Physis. This is by opposition to their philosophical methods; according to his, one must take the modifications of the soul ‘wie sie durch das Selbstgefuhl erkannt werden’; in the analytical Psychology of the Anthropology, he regards the modifications of the soul ‘von der Seite da sie etwas in dem Gehirn als dem innern Organ der Seële sind’, and one tries to explain ‘als Solche Gehirnsbeschaffen heiten und Veranderungen’.

-4- Due to what is most initial in its project, the Anthropology cannot avoid being at once reductive and normative. Reductive, because it will not accept anything of what man knows of himself, by the ‘Selbstgefuhl’, but only what he can know by the movement that goes through the mediation of the Physis. The Anthropology will only be addressed to a phenomenon of phenomenon, to the terms of a bending that always presupposes the horizon of Nature. But on the other hand, it will always be the science of an animated body, finalised towards itself, and developing according to a right functioning. The Anthropology will be knowledge of a health that to man is synonymous to animation. In some way the science of the normal par excellence: ‘Die Lehre von der Beschaffenheit von dem Nutzen der Teile des menschlichen korpers in gesunden Zustand’.

-5- The Anthropology thus finds itself enveloping and surrounding all knowledge of man. It functions as explicit or implicit horizon to all that man can know about himself. And each domain of the sciences can take place within the large field of the Anthropology, in so far as something of man is implicit in it: ‘the first object that strikes me in this vast groups of our knowledges is that which is concerned with man considered in his personal relations, and of men united in political associations’. [Lacratelle: ‘Of the establishment of human knowledges’, ‘De l’ établissement des connaissances humaines’. 1792]
But as a natural being man grounds his knowledge by limiting it, and by inserting it in a little of nature that does not provide him with the possibility unless he retracts its value (mais entant qu’etre naturel l’homme ne fonde sa propre connaissance qu’en la limitant, qu’en l’inserant dans un peu de nature qui ne lui donne de possibilite que s’il retire sa valeur). And an anthropologically founded science will be a reduced science, measured on man, deposed of its own truth, but for this given back to the truth of man. It is thus that the Anthropology, as it is simultaneously foundation and reductive rule, takes the form of a normative knowledge, prescribing in advance to each science that calls man into question its course, its possibilities and its limits. Ith predicted in this manner an Anthropology that would be physiological, a second one that will be psychological, and a third historical, a last one moral or teleological. In founding knowledge (savoir), where less than constituting the science that founds knowledge (savoir), the Anthropology, by a single movement limits and finalises it (ou du moins en constituant la science de ce qui fonde le savoir…). Whatever its empirical contents, the Anthropology then has an epistemological structure that is proper to itself. It conveys a meaning that cannot be superposed to the ‘traites de l’homme’ in the style, nor less, even less in the Cartesian obedience, nor to the empiricisms that always hang over Locke’s thought. Surely, as the basis, it is a savoir in the language of nature, and like the others, an assignation of the originary. But these are only moments in its total epistemological structure. In fact, they are balanced around something that is not the human animal, nor self consciousness, but the Menschenvesen, which is to say at once the natural being of man, the law of its possibilities and the a priori limit of knowledge.

The Anthropology will then not only be science of man and horizon of all sciences of man, but also science of what grounds and limits for man his knowledge. It is there that lies the ambiguity of this Menschen-kenntniss by which the Anthropology is characterised: it is knowledge of man, in a movement that objectifies him at the level of his natural being and in the content of his animal determinations; but it is knowledge of the knowledge of man, in a movement that interrogates the subject on itself, on its limits, and on what he authorises within the savoir that one gains on him. The Anthropology was believed to put in question a sector of nature; it poses in fact a question that would transfer on the philosophy of our epoch all the shadow of a classical philosophy now deprived of God: can one have empirical knowledge of finitude? Cartesian thought, even though it struggled well early, and from the experience of error, reencounters this finitude, only has been definitely expelled/referred back to starting from an ontology of the infinite. And empiricism practices this finitude and refers to it without pause, but as limit of itself as much as frontier of knowledge. The anthropological interrogation has a different meaning; it is about knowing – savoir – if, at the level of man, a knowledge of finitude can exist, so liberated and grounded that one can think such finitude in itself, i.e. in the form of positivity.
It is here that the great reordering operated by Kant intervenes. In fact, the internal structure of the Anthropology and the question that secretly animates it take the same form as the interrogation of the Critique; there is an ambition to know the possibilities and the limits of knowledge; it imitates of the exterior and in the gestures of empiricity the movement of a Critique; and what is given in it seems to be able to function as an a priori. For a long time the anthropologies have thought they could welcome the Kantian lesson without difficulties or thinking twice: Schmid, Heifeland, Ith are only the first proofs of a list that could be long and not stop at the 18th century. We need even the resistible naivety of our contemporaries to celebrate in the Anthropology the passage of finally secured associations or we would lose the austerity of rationalism; soul and body, subject and object. The moment in the wonder of this reconciliation they only reencounter the miracle; few of them are surprised of their deafness to the grammatical misunderstanding of Menschenkenntniss.

In fact, the moment one believes to assert critical thought at the level of a positive knowledge, one forgets what was essential in the lesson left by Kant: the difficulty of situating the Anthropology in relation to the critical ensemble, one would only have to indicate that this lesson is not at all simple. Anyway, this lesson says that the empiricity of the Anthropology cannot be founded on itself; that it is possible only as a repetition of the Critique; but that is will not stop referring to it and that if it figures as the empirical and exterior analogon it is in so far as it is supported by structures of the a priori already named and displaced. Finitude, in the general organisation of Kantian thought, can never reflect itself at the level of itself; it only offers itself to knowledge and discourse in a secondary manner; but what it is constrained to refer to is not an ontology of the infinite, it is, in their total organisation, the a priori conditions of knowledge. This is to say that the Anthropology will find itself doubly subdued to the Critique: as knowledge, to the conditions that the Critique fixes and to the domain of experience that determines it; as exploration of finitude, to the primary and unsurpassable forms that the Critique manifests. Thus understood, the situation of the Anthropology bears some resemblance to that of Aufangsgrunde der Natur: to put forward the system of articulation between the Critique and the a priori forms of knowledge on the one hand, and on the other hand the principles of an empirically constituted savoir, historically developed without the Critique. But on this symmetry of surface reigns a deep dissymmetry: in the Anfangsgrunde it is a question of Physics and of a science thus constituted in its plenitude and its truth: in the Anthropology it is about the Physis, that layer of knowledge where it is a question of imperfection, of boundaries, of failures: shortly, of the negativity at the level of nature.
In other words, from the Critique to Anfangsgrunde the continuity is assured by the forms of synthetic activity and the field of truth that it founds and structures; from the Critique to the Anthropology, the continuity is established by the common insistence on limits and the rigour of the finitude that they indicate.

The Principles of Nature go by God and render superfluous the hypothesis of an actual infinite, whence the Critique has showed the internal contradiction; the Anthropology points a finger to [montre du doigt] the absence of God and it deploys itself in the gap left by this infinite. Where the nature of physical bodies says synthesis, the empirical nature of man says limit. This reciprocal and inverse character and this dissymmetric symmetry of the synthesis and of the limit surely lie at the core of Kantian thought: it is to them that the Critique retains its privileges with respect to all possible knowledge.

Now it is time to come back to our starting problem. This accompanying of the Critique by an anthropological teaching, this monotone counter point through which Kant doubled the effort of transcendental reflection by a constant accumulation of empirical knowledge on man. The fact that for twenty-five years Kant has taught Anthropology has to do with things other than the exigencies of his university life; this obstinacy…of linking to the structure itself of the Kantian problem: how to think, analyse, justify and ground finitude, within a reflection that does not go through an ontology of infinite and does not find justification in a philosophy of the absolute? A question that is effectively at the outset in the Anthropology, but which cannot assume in it its veritable dimensions since it cannot be reflected upon, by itself, within empirical thought. The marginal character of the Anthropology resides there: it is at once the essential and the inessential, -this constant border in relation to which the centre is always shifted, but that keeps referring to it and interrogating it. One could say that the critical movement is disengaged (degage) from the anthropological structure: at once because it only takes its value from liberating itself from it, from going against it, and by that, founding it. The epistemological configuration proper to the Anthropology mimics the Critique; but we must not be taken in by this prestige, and give back to this resemblance a rational order. This order consists in making the Anthropology gravitate around the Critique. And this re-established order has been for the Anthropology the authentic form of its liberation, the putting into place of its veritable meaning: it can appear then as that in which the passage from the a priori to the fundamental is announced, from critical thought to transcendental philosophy. One would see in what network of counter-senses and illusions the Anthropology and contemporary philosophy have engaged one another. One wants to value the Anthropology as Critique, as a Critique liberated from prejudices and of the inert dead weight of the a priori; once it cannot give access to the region of the fundamental that if it remains in obedience of a Critique. One has wanted to make (what is nothing but another modality of the same forgetting of the Critique) the field of positivity where all human sciences find their foundation, and their possibility; once in fact it cannot speak but the language of the limit and of negativity: it cannot but have the meaning of transmitting of the critical vigour to the transcendental foundation the presence of finitude. In the name of what is, i.e. of what must be according to its essence the Anthropology within the entire philosophical field, one must challenge all these ‘philosophical anthropologies’ that present themselves as natural access to the fundamental; and all these philosophies where the point of departure and the concrete horizon are defined by a certain anthropological reflection upon man.

Here and there an illusion is at play: what is proper to western philosophy since Kant. This illusion balances, in its anthropological form, the transcendental illusion that concealed pre- Kantian metaphysics. It is by symmetry and by referring to this as guiding thread that one can understand in what this anthropological illusion consists of. In fact one historically derives from the other, or rather it is by a slipping/sliding of meaning in Kantian Critique of the transcendental illusion that the anthropological illusion could be born. The necessary character of the transcendental appearance has been more and more often interpreted not as a structure of truth, of phenomenon and experience, but as one of the concrete stigmata of finitude. What Kant designated in it, in a very ambiguous manner, as ‘natural’ has been forgotten as fundamental form in relation to the object and recuperated as ‘nature’ of human nature. The illusion, consequently, instead of being defined by the movement that would criticise it in a reflection upon knowledge, has been referred to an anterior level where it appears at once de-doubled and founded: it becomes truth of truth, -this starting from which the truth is always there and never given; it becomes thus the raison d’ être and the source of the Critique, the point of origin of this movement for which man loses truth and incessantly finds himself called back by it. This illusion currently defined as finitude becomes par excellence the withdrawal of truth: that in which it hides and in which always one can find it again. In this the anthropological illusion resides, from a structural point of view, as the inverse, the mirror image of the transcendental illusion. What consists in applying the principle of understanding out of the limits of experience, and then in admitting an actual infinite in the field of possible knowledge, by a sort of spontaneous transgression or anthropological illusion resides in a reflexive regression that must account for this transgression. Finitude is only superseded if it is something other than itself and where it rests on a in-this side of where it finds its source; this in-this side of (en-deca) is finitude itself, but replicated in the field of experience where it proves/tests itself on the region of the originary where it is founded. The problem of finitude is shifted from an interrogation on the limit and transgression onto an interrogation on the return to the self; from a problematic of truth to a problematic of the same and the other. It enters the domain of alienation.

The paradox consists in this: in freeing itself from a preliminary Critique of knowledge and from a primary question on the relation to the object, philosophy is not liberated from subjectivity as fundamental theses and point of departure of its reflection. It is on the contrary locked up/shut up in giving itself thickness, hypostasised and closed in the insurmountable structure of ‘menschliches Wesen’, in which this extenuated truth that is the truth of truth sits and silently takes it in.
One can then understand why in one single movement characteristic of the reflection of our epoch, all knowledge of man is either presented dialectically at the outset (dialectics of origin) to enter the game or it is rendered dialect in full right, - i.e. a meaning where it is a question of return to the originary, to the authentic, to the founding activity, to that by which there is in the world signification; and all philosophy is given as being able to communicate with the human sciences or the empirical reflections on man without going through a Critique (detour), an epistemology or a theory of knowledge.

The Anthropology is this secret path that, towards the foundations of our savoir, links by an un-reflexive meditation the experience of man and philosophy, the insidious values of the question: ‘was ist der Mensch?’ are responsible for this homogeneous field, de-structured and indefinitely reversible where man gives his truth as the soul of truth. The polymorphic notions of ‘meaning’, of ‘structure’, of ‘genesis’, -those which would be the value that they could have and that would be right to give back to them in a rigorous thought- only indicate for the instant the confusion of the domain where they take their role of communication. The fact that they circulate indifferently in all the human sciences and in philosophy does not found a right to think as of a single holder these and those, but only signals the incapacity we are in to exercise against this anthropological illusion a real Critique. And then of this Critique we have received the model since more than half a century.

The Nietzschean enterprise could be understood as end point finally given to the proliferation of the interrogation on man. The death of God is a manifest effect in a gesture doubly deadly that, by ending the absolute, is at the same time assassin of man himself. Because man, in his finitude, is not separable from the infinite of which he is at once negation and herald; it is in the death of man that the death of God is accomplished. It is impossible to conceive of a Critique of finitude that would be liberatory then in relation to man as well as in relation to the infinite, and that would show that finitude is not end, but this bending is the knot of time where the end is beginning?
The trajectory of the question: was ist Mensch in the philosophical field is completed in the answer that challenges it and disarms it: der Ubermensch.

Translator's footnotes:

(1) see I. Kant, Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View, [Victor Dowdell trans.] Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 19961996, p. 29-30.

(2) I. Kant, Anthropology, 1996, p. 49 on mental illness: ‘Mental illness lies in the inclination to accept the play of ideas of the inner sense as empirical knowledge, although it is only fiction, or to deceive ourselves by intuitions which are formed in accordance with such fictions (day dreaming).’

(3) On this issue, Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, (trans. by Norman Kemp Smith) Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003, p. 630 B826

(4) I. Kant, Anthropology, Preface, p. 2

(5) On this, see Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, p. 239-240 B266: ‘That which agrees with the formal conditions of experience, that is, with the conditions of intuition and concepts, is possible. That which is bound up with the material conditions of experience, that is, with sensation, is actual. That which in its connection with the actual is determined in accordance with universal conditions of experience is (that is, exists as) necessary.’

(6) Here Foucault is likely to be referring to Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, section $24, B150, p. 164-165: Of the application of the categories to objects of the senses in general, where Kant asserts that: ‘In so far as imagination is spontaneity, I sometimes also entitle it the productive imagination, to distinguish it from the reproductive imagination, whose synthesis is entirely subject to empirical laws, the laws, mainly, of association, and which therefore contributes nothing to the explanation of the possibility of a priori knowledge. The reproductive synthesis falls within the domain, not of transcendental philosophy, but of psychology.’

(7) see I. Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, p. 653 B860

(8) Kant writes: ‘[Empirical psychology] is a stranger who has long been accepted as a member of the household, and we allow it to stay for some time longer, until it is in a position to set up an establishment of its own in a complete anthropology, the pendant of the empirical doctrine of nature.’ Critique of Pure Reason, p. 664, B877

(9) Temporal determination as form of intuition

(10) see Kant on the ‘Third Antinomy’ in the Critique of Pure Reason, p. 464 B560

(11) see Anthropology, 1996, $88, p. 185.

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