The Systematic Presuppositions of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit

Hegel_portrait45Describing the exact starting point of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit is always an issue. Oftentimes people fall back on the idea that the outset of the Phenomenology is without presuppositions, a claim which I will contest.

I claim that Hegel, at the outset of the Phenomenology, presupposes certain things which are central to all ref lective thought.

These presuppositions are not mere assumptions but will rather be proven by the project of the Phenomenology itself. This is why Hegel starts the Phenomenology with knowledge (as an activity). Continue reading

The Rational Content of Patriotism in Hegel’s Concept of the State

Hegel_portrait45This essay attempts to defend a Hegelian form of patriotism. Specifically, there seems to arise the problem that a Hegelian view of patriotism is one that is based on blind habit, a rejection of conscience, and a rejection of ‘objective’ truth in ethics in favor of mere communal consent.

First, it is argued that Hegel’s view of objective ethics and conscience is tied to his understanding of a rational state, and hence should be seen as an attempt to give associative duties a proper foundation. Continue reading

The Problem of Self-Interest in Hegel’s Philosophy of Right

Hegel_portrait45In the Philosophy of Right, Hegel presents an outline of the modern state which attempts to preserve the freedom of individuals and grant an independent and necessary existence to the state. To achieve this aim, the main problem which Hegel must overcome is how to reconcile the self-interested individual with the universal interest of the state.

He outlines three processes whereby this selfinterest is universalized: the inherent rationality of civil society, membership of a corporation, and the ‘harmonization’ of private and universal interest. Continue reading

Ref lective Thinking in the Substantial Estate: Hegel on the Logic of Agriculture

Hegel_portrait45The way in which Western societies produce and consume food now stands at the center of a massive ethical, ecological, and human health crisis.

The industrialization of agriculture in the name of economic efficiency has increased the food supply, (temporarily) defying Malthusian expectations of global mass starvation, but it has also brought with it a series of unprecedented problems. Accordingly, the philosophical literature on questions relating to the ecology of agriculture has multiplied many times over in the last twenty years. Continue reading

Linguistic philosophy of Wittgenstein

vitgenchteynLudwig Wittgenstein was an Austrian philosopher. He has taught at the University of Cambridge for many years. A lot of people often said that he was the most prominent philosopher of the 20th century in the West. If this statement has an element of exaggeration, but only because of it has ground.

Wittgenstein’s exploring were in the center of philosophical research, when the subject matter of analysis became a language. The linguistic turn is more characteristic for the philosophy of the 20th century. In the a lot of things that happened because of analytic philosophy of language, which developed by Wittgenstein. Continue reading

Philosophical Anthropology (Abstracts)

aczentGeorg Simmel and his Notion of Life

Author Rosanne Claes (MA)
Abstract: Mainly famous as a sociologist and known in the philosophy of culture, Georg Simmel wrote at the end of his days the book The View of Life, developing a metaphysical view on life. The most important element in his metaphysics is the notion of life as transcendence.

For Simmel life is always situated between two poles of determinacy and richness, the boundary and the boundless, the known and the unknown. Continue reading

Philosophy of History: Interruption, Continuity, and Modernity (abstracts)

To Scatter, to Distract, and to Entertain

This paper is a meditation on the German word zerstreuen taken from the writings of Walter Benjamin. Zerstreuen is a verb which carries a particularly interesting multiplicity of connotations including the verbs: to scatter, to distract, and to entertain. By elucidating the nuances of this word, I will attempt to give the audience a glimpse into, what may be called, Walter Benjamin‘s attitudes towards ―our coming to terms with modernity. Continue reading

Phenomenology: From Classical to Contemporary Approaches (abstracts)

PhilosWhitehead‘s Narration of the Crisis

This paper examines Alfred North Whitehead‘s treatment of the ―crisis of the European sciences,‖ in contradistinction to Edmund Husserl‘s analysis. For this task, I rely primarily on Whitehead‘s Science and the Modern World. Whitehead‘s analysis of the crisis of Western science and civilization is in Continue reading

Contemporary Political Thought (abstracts)

Political John Rawls‘ Phenomenology of the Human Person
John Rawls‘ later work is largely concerned with understanding how his theory of justice, justice as fairness, can be neutral towards the plurality of opinions and doctrines concerning the good life that characterize modern constitutional democracies.

His account is based on what he calls the ―political conception of person‖, Continue reading

Language & Logic (abstracts)

logikaOutline of a Game Theoretical Approach of Semantic Normativity

Saul Kripke‘s famous but controversial interpretation of Wittgenstein‘s rule-following considerations ignited an ongoing debate on the normativity of meaning. The idea that meaning has a normative, action-guiding component, i.e. that the meaning of a word Continue reading