The “felt need of reason” in Kant’s Was heisst : sich im Denken orientieren?
Is part ofKant in Asia ; Hong Kong, Chine, 20-23 mai 2009, p. 1-11
In his text “Was heisst: sich im Denken orientieren?” Kant takes the risk of stressing the role of feeling in rational faith. There is a risk involved here because feeling is at the very center of the thesis he opposes: Jacobi’s conception of faith as an inner revelation. Kant is nevertheless ready to integrate feeling as a constitutive part of his view on rational faith as long as it expresses a “need of reason” itself, and not an act of blind faith. He sees that Mendelssohn’s rationalism, which aims at establishing a proof of God’s existence and of a future life on strictly theoretical (objective) grounds, is clearly insufficient and provides no orientation. In fact, orientation in the sensible as well as in the intelligible world always involves the mediation of a subjective feeling. The unity of personhood in the realm of rational faith has therefore to take into account the sensible and the rational aspects of the phenomenon.