Tuesday, February 01, 2011

William Koch on the the ontic-ontological distinction.
For those educated in a Kant dominated philosophical context the tendency is certainly to think of it in terms of the empirical-transcendental distinction. I feel, however, that we would be much closer to Heidegger's own thoughts on the issue if we focus instead upon Emil Lask's matter-form distinction. Recognizing the difference between these two models is useful because the Kantian distinction is absolute. Transcendental structures always remain transcendental, and according to most readings of Kant they are not open to change because of events on the empirical level. Lask's matter-form distinction, however, is not absolute. What is formal on one level counts as matter on another and so on. Furthermore, these distinctions are not epistemic but rather constitute distinct ontological levels of reality.
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