Date of Award

12-1-2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Auxier, Randall

Abstract

The treatment of intensive magnitude in Kant’s first Critique initiates a new standard for reasoning. In the dissertation, I trace the development of the concept of intensive magnitudes from Kant, through the interpretations of the physicist Gustav Fechner, and into a kind of fruition in the thought of Bergson. I illustrate how and why the concept of intensive magnitude was transformed from a spatial notion, relying primarily on sense data, in the works of Kant and Fechner into a temporalized understanding of intensity founded upon Bergson's idea of duration, where the latter is based primarily on feeling. The result of this transformation is found in the promise of creating a technical language for philosophy that is capable of appreciating the concrete unfolding of non-sensuous intensive magnitudes. Such a language renders us capable of meaningful research, conversation, and further development in understanding (at least) human becoming and its relation to time. I argue that the capacity for self-knowledge depends upon an understanding of temporality that accords with the experience of temporality itself. The development of the concept of intensity, through further philosophical reflection and inquiry, is a path philosophers should pursue.

Share

COinS
 

Access

This dissertation is only available for download to the SIUC community. Others should contact the
interlibrary loan department of your local library or contact ProQuest's Dissertation Express service.