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Philosophical Essays

Critic Rationalism as Historical-objective Transcendentalism- Edited by Fabio Minazzi- Translation from Italian by Richard Sadleir


Fabio Minazzi

These Philosophical Essays by Giulio Preti explore, with particular acuteness and originality, some of the major problems addressed by contemporary philosophy. Preti’s objective was to outline a «scientific» philosophy capable of embodying the rigour and concern for the factual found in scientific procedure.
His analysis engaged with the complex tradition of logical empiricism and he also devoted attention to pragmatism and the philosophy of praxis in early Marx. Preti succeeded in establishing a dialogue with these traditions of thought while also considering both Husserl’s early phenomenology and the methodical approach derived from Kantian and neo-Kantian transcendentalism.
He used this wide range of theoretical and practical horizons in innovative ways, presenting a critical metareflection receptive to these varying positions. In doing so Preti developed a new critical rationalism that incorporated a historical-objective transcendentalism.


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53 I Two Orientations in Epistemology I. Since the word “epistemology” is very uncertain in meaning, I will begin by briefly trying to clarify it. Here, following a practice that is widespread, though one not universal, I distinguish “epistemology” from both “gnoseology” (which is by and large the meaning given to epistemology in the English-speaking world) and the “philosophy of science” (which is the meaning it generally has for writers in Italian). I will use “epistemology” to denote that set of studies that the Germans have recently called Naturphilosophie and the English-speaking world usually calls philosophy of science. This is a very diversified field of research, ranging from symbolic logic to philosophy of nature,1 from the methodology of science to the concept of matter, but they all have in common this fact: they study problems that arise from within science, in close connection with the sciences themselves, and they can generally be approached by means of the same methods as the science from which they stem. In this respect, research into epistemology differs from that into the “philosophy of science”. The latter approaches science as an object distinct from phi- losophy and heterogeneous to it. Its problems arise from the philosophi- cal tradition and not from scientific practice; the categories and methods which it employs are traditional philosophy. Research into the philoso- phy of science turns on science, but is not scientific. Research into epistemology cuts across the traditional horizon of philosophy, but it is philosophical, at least in...

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