Search our site
Search our site

Mr Terrence Thomson

Research project: Variations of Transition: A Study in Kant's Opus postumum

Abstract

The project seeks to put forward a new reading of Immanuel Kant's last, unfinished work, what would have been his ‘chef d'oeuvre', the so-called Opus postumum. Focusing on the Transition from Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science to Physics drafts, the thesis proposes a reading which simultaneously situates and complicates the work with respect to its own shifting premises and to its relationship with Kant's wider corpus. Whilst in recent years Kant scholars have been more forthcoming in tackling Opus postumum, the literature often limits itself to proposing either a singular continuity or discontinuity with the critical edifice to make sense of it. Often this takes the form of a grand consistency (e.g., the epistemological continuity of the aether discussions with Critique of Pure Reason) or inconsistency (e.g., the change of the status of repulsive forces from the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science). Mostly within the bounds of the natural sciences (which are at the forefront of Opus postumum), this thesis attempts to account for both continuities and discontinuities within Opus postumum and in constellation with some of Kant's other work. I argue that if we fail to adopt a pluralistic approach, we run the risk of missing the surprising philosophical twists and turns enacted in the text. The strategy for such a reading lies in an attempt to construct a concept of transition (Übergangskonzeption) located within Kant's Transition project. In this regard the thesis offers a set of variations on the theme of transition (transitions between faculties, transitions between subjects, transitions between disciplines) in the key of Opus postumum.

Biography

I graduated from Central Saint Martins with a BA in Fine Art in 2010. I then worked for around seven years in a bookshop, and gained my MA in Modern European Philosophy from CRMEP in 2017.

Areas of research interest

  • Immanuel Kant
  • Opus postumum
  • 18th century continental philosophy
  • Philosophy of science
  • Natural Science

Qualifications

  • MA in Modern European Philosophy, CRMEP, London
  • BA in Fine Art, Central Saint Martins, London

Funding or awards received

  • TECHNE DTP

Publications

Thomson, Terrence. (2019), 'A Suspicion of Architectonic in Kant's Transition Project', Angelaki, 24, vol 5, pp. 11-28. (https://doi.org/10.1080/0969725X.2019.1655267)

Thomson, Terrence (2019), 'The Understanding in Transition: Fascicles X, XI and VII of Opus postumum', Con-Textos Kantianos, 9, pp.23-48. (http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3250380)

Thomson, Terrence. (2017), 'Nonidentity, Materialism and Truth in Adorno's Negative Dialectics,' Cosmos and History, 13, vol 1, pp. 343-360.

Thomson, Terrence. (2017), 'What Can Kant's Concept of History Teach us Today?,' The Wednesday Magazine, Issue 9, pp. 2-4.

Site menu