Bursting the Bounds of Reason?
Models of Immanence and Transcendence
This paper examines Kant’s metaphor of reason as an island in the Critique of Pure Reasonin order to suggest an unresolved tension at the heart of his critical project, which is addressed in a different way in his Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason. That tension is between the transcendental circumscription of pure reason and reason’s on persistent pretensions to transcendence. Kant’s model of transcendence is contrasted with two phenomenological models that attempt to articulate the desiderative nature of reason. Yet, precisely on this question of motivation differences between Husserl and Heidegger become clear and instructive. The paper concludes, in view of these differences, with a proposal for conceiving of transcendence in non-topological categories, but instead as the activity of questioning.
Keywords: Transcendence, Heidegger, Husserl, Kant, Phenomenology