About my current research project:
In their quest to establish indubitable and scientific knowledge, the rationalists of the Early Modern Era departed from a principle independent of an external world related to the senses. The principle of knowledge in Descartes is a thinking thing, res cogitans, which possesses the certainty (of consciousness) that the external world, to which perceptions relate, does not possess. For Leibniz and Du Châtelet specific principles, namely the principle of contradiction and the principle of sufficient reason, as raisonnements, are the foundation of knowledge, - the generality of which allows for their respective universal application. All three have in common that a rational principle is posited independent of physical existence, i.e. the object of perceptions and representations. In other words, their principle of knowledge is not derived from or constituted through its relationship to the object of the senses, but instead is established as an inner principle (of reason or of consciousness), which I refer to as rational principle. In my current research project I aim to show that the rational principle or ‘thought’ in the Early Modern Era is indeed nothing more than the form of (sense) representation in absence of the content. I aim to show how this approach to philosophy initiated by Descartes shaped an entire Era and I ask how it, in turn, influenced Kant’s philosophical foundation.