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Clinton Tolley

{ctolley [at] ucsd.edu}
office: H&SS 8018 [map]
phone: 858-822-2686


[research interests]

figures/traditions: Kant, 19th and 20th century modern European philosophy (especially German idealism, neo-Kantianism, phenomenology, critical theory), history of Mexican philosophy, history of philosophy in the Americas
topics: idealism and its critics, theories of intentionality, philosophical psychology (philosophy of mind),  history of philosophy of logic and metaphysics (categories, ontology), social philosophy, aesthetics, philosophy of culture

[working groups]

North American Neo-Kantian Society
(NANKS) discussion of research in the history of post-Kantian philosophy, organized by Lydia Patton (Virginia Tech), Nick Stang (Toronto), and myself

the Southern California Research Group in the
History of Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics (HPLM), headed by Erick Reck (UC Riverside)
with Jeremy Heis (UC Irvine) and myself

California Phenomenology Circle
(CPC) discussion of phenomenology as both a historical movement and a contemporary methodology, organized by David Woodruff Smith (UC Irvine), Jeff Yoshimi (UC Merced), and myself

Seminar in Phenomenology and the History of Philosophy
(SIPHOP) annual seminar (currently on pause) with presentations on the engagement with the history of philosophy by phenomenology, organized by Matthew Shockey (Indiana-South Bend), James Reid (Metropolitan State University of Denver) and myself

Bolzano and German Philosophy
a research project on Bolzano's critical engagement with German Idealism (especially Kant), headed by Sandra Lapointe (McMaster), with Timothy Rosenkoetter (Dartmouth), Nicholas Stang (Toronto), and Waldemar Rohloff (Missouri-St Louis)

[at UCSD]

History of Philosophy Roundtable
bi-weekly discussion of work in progress in the history of philosophy, hosted at UCSD

Phenomenology Reading Group
weekly discussion of central texts in modern European philosophy, with a special emphasis on the phenomenological tradition, hosted at UCSD

Mexican Philosophy Lab
(filomex) bi-weekly discussion of classical and contemporary work in the history of Mexican Philosophy (including Mexican American Philosophy), review of new work on translations, hosted at UCSD

[ongoing writing projects]

transcendental idealism as a theory of intentionality
an interpretation of Kant's thesis of the ideality of appearances (and space and time) that begins from considerations about the nature of the intentionality (content) of acts of sensibility, rather than assumptions about the epistemological or metaphysical status of such contents

post-Kantian theories of intentionality
research into the inheritance and transformation of Kant's cognitive psychology, focusing especially on the German Idealists (Schelling, Hegel), the philosophical psychologists (Helmholtz), and the early phenomenologists (Brentano, Husserl, Stein)

the rise of social philosophy
the excavation of the conceptual and theoretical roots of sociology in the history of early 19th century German philosophy, especially in Hegel's philosophy of 'objective' spirit (spirit which is 'objective' to, 'over and against' itself); the investigation of society as subject, as person, as possessing cognitive, volitional, affective capacities (as in 'group' psychology (Freud)); as enjoying a distinctive phenomenology (Stein); in relation to other types of human collectivities ('race' (Vasconcelos, Du Bois), 'community' (Toennies)), and in relation to specifically political/governmental structures (Goldman, Kropotkin, Arendt)

Kant's conception of logic
an analysis of Kant's views of both formal and transcendental logic; the place of Kant's views about logic within the system of transcendental idealism; the influence of Kant's views on the history of philosophy of logic

post-Kantian theories of concepts in the (long) 19th century
a study at the intersection of logic, psychology, semantics, mathematics, and ontology, tracing two different lines of development after Kant: (1) a turn away from subjectivity, away from conceiving of concepts as intrinsically linked to mental acts, with the rise of semantic objectivism about conceptual contents (Bolzano, Husserl, Frege), and the eventual set-theoretic analysis of concepts, the rejection of the priority of intensions, and the attempt at a thorough 'extensionalization' of logic in the mid 20th century (Russell, early Carnap); with particular focus on the late 19th century disputes between Inhalts- and Umfangslogiker; and (2) a counter-turn toward subjectivity, away from conceiving of concepts as static or occurrent representations of universal or common features (properties) and toward conceiving of concepts as normatively-infused practically efficacious rules for directing human activity (German Idealism (esp. Hegel), pragmatism)

logical knowledge as self-knowledge
an exposition and evaluation of two theses: (i) the thinking subject has the same structure as (or just is) the domain of logic (das Logische, 'the Concept') and vice versa, and (ii) the thinking subject's relation to logical content has the same form as (or just is) its relation to itself -- especially as these theses are put forward in the German Idealist tradition

Kant and phenomenology

an investigation into the causes of the shift in assessment of Kant's idealism from Brentano, through the early Husserl, into the later Husserl and early Heidegger (and eventually Merleau-Ponty)

Kant and early analytic philosophy
an investigation into the influence of Kantian questions and answers on the early development of the analytic tradition in philosophy, especially with respect to Frege, Russell, early Wittgenstein, and early Carnap

post-Fregean logic as a transcendental logic
an attempt to elaborate worries (from a broadly Kantian point of view) about how the (implicit and explicit) function of the concept of an individual and of reference within logic after Frege complicates its claim to formality

the relation between logic and ontology (Gegenstandstheorie)
an investigation into the dependence-relations that obtain between (a) a general theory of concepts, judgments, and inferences and (b) a general theory of objects of various orders (individuals, properties, states of affairs, consequence-relations, etc.); looking especially at Hegel's apparent identification of logic and metaphysics, the early tradition of object-theory (Bolzano, Meinong, Husserl), and Fregean (and neo-Fregean) semantics; throughout worrying about questions such as: what are the dangers in construing concepts (or intentionality-relations more generally) as objects of a certain sort? can assertions be nominalized without 'losing the phenomena'? can everything which can be 'used' be 'mentioned' unproblematically?; is there an acceptable form of unrestricted quantification?




UCSD history
of philosophy