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Experts in: Philosophy and literature

DUMONT, Augustin

Professeur agrégé

My doctoral dissertation focused on the articulation of the transcendental imagination to language and affectivity in the works of Fichte and Novalis. My starting point is the intersection of German idealism and German romanticism (drawing mainly on Kant, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Novalis, Schlegel, Tieck, Hoffmann and Kleist), a post-Kantian backdrop, in other words. But I also draw on many currents of modern and contemporary philosophy and on other disciplines, psychoanalysis in particular. From this foundation, I am working on developing a renewed transcendental philosophy, assuming its dual performative and perspectivist dimension, at the junction of "theorization" and poièsis, i.e. philosophical "doing" as a writing practice (doing justice both to the conceptual and abstract discourse and to the literary and poetic register and their interaction). Within this framework, I am interested in particular in the sensitive experience, following the thread of imagination and fiction. I am also examining the questions of nothingness and negativity and of the possible and impossible; in addition, I am interested in the relations between transcendentalism and historicity or between transcendentalism and the philosophy of nature. By contributing in this way to both epistemology and philosophical anthropology, I am trying to bring the transcendental gesture by various means back to what Fichte termed its initial "problematicity." The issue for me is not so much to permanently assign the transcendental to a particular epistemological tradition (realism, idealism, etc.), nor to illustrate a given clearly limited ontology, as it is to recognize a privileged reflexive strategy for it: that of the speculative genesis of different possible perspectives on the world, i.e. different types of knowledge of our relationship with the world. This kind of genesis is inseparable from these many perspectives yet cannot be reduced to them, since it is not one of many perspectives but nonetheless remains a singular perspective that must be seen in a relationship of productive tension with its "other" perspectives and with empiricism in general. In this way I am seeking to reactivate the dimension of imagination implicit in any transcendental quest for conditions of possibility of our relationship with the world and knowledge of the world, and to question anew the possibility of "attesting" in common to these conditions from their character as necessary fiction. In that respect, the transcendental is seen as a constant rewriting process rather than as a set of decrees whose necessary character always risks becoming arbitrary. The goal is to envisage transcendental philosophy as a true experiment, where the enigma of our finitude is indefinitely re-elaborated and interpreted.


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