Bryant's summary of philosophy since Kant and the limits of its anti-realism

Prof. Levi R. Bryant on the results of Kant's revolutionary thesis:

Nearly all the major trends of contemporary philosophy are direct descendants of the Kantian turn in one way or another. Whether the philosophy proposes the structuration of the world by language, the symbolic, the signifier, or signs, or whether it is proposed that the world is structured by social forces or power, the unquestioned thesis is that the world conforms to humans rather than humans to the world.

This human-world orientation resulted in important social insights, but the resultant anti-realism is inhibiting:

The Copernican Turn has generated genuine advances in our understanding of social phenomena of all kinds. These insights and discoveries should be retained in some form. However, the anti-realist turn has foreclosed the possibility of asking all sorts of vital questions. Within the framework of the anti-realist turn it is impossible to ask vital questions about technology, the environment, social structure, political thought, etc., precisely because the world is treated as being given in advance and is resulting from the agency of human structuring activity.

Philosophy's path out the ant-reailst trap requires

a fourth blow to human narcissism, where man is dethroned from his position of centrality in the order of being and situated in his proper place as one being among others, no more or less important than these others.

I study philosophy and social theory at the University of South Florida. I am also a photographer, map lover and sometimes poet.