David Kolb

On the Objective and Subjective Grounding of Knowledge

Publication: Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, 1981, 245-261.

A translation, with introduction and notes, of an important essay by the Neo-Kantian Paul Natorp. As well as its intrinsic interest as an argument against psychologism and what has come to be called “the myth of the given,” the essay translated here possesses considerable historical significance both for itself and as a representative of its school. Husserl cites this particular essay as having helped stimulate his thoughts against psychologism. The essay is directly aimed at the classic positivists. The real parallel to Natorp in the analytic tradition comes later. His position, with its renunciation of immediate givenness in favor of the ongoing process of knowing from which both pure subjectivity and pure objectivity are limiting abstract cases, resembles the anti-positivist views of Quine and Wilfrid Sellars.

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