Tag Archives: Hegel

The Role of Recollection in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit

Hegel_portrait45In the last paragraph of absolute knowing, recollection (Erinnerung) comes on the stage as a leading actor which plays a significant role in achieving a whole complete system.

The Phenomenology of Spirit, as the science of experience of consciousness, begins its process with the most primitive form of consciousness and gradually penetrates to true knowing or to absolute knowing.

Throughout its self-educating process, consciousness tests the actuality of its knowledge which means that it tests whether its notion corresponds to its object. Continue reading

Hegel as a Conservative Political Thinker: Elaborations on Roger Scruton’s Project

Hegel_portrait45There is a contemporary scholarly consensus that the Popperian characterization of Hegel’s politics as totalitarian is mistaken.

However, Roger Scruton also rejects the view put forward by many Hegel scholars that Hegel is some form of liberal and or communitarian thinker.

Rather, Scruton argues that Hegel’s vision of the state is best characterized as a form of classical conservative political philosophy. Continue reading

Hegel and Brunonian Medicine

John Brown, Scottish physician, 1791. Brown (1735-1788) proposed the Brunonian system of medicine which had two classes of disease; sthenic (resulting...

John Brown, Scottish physician, 1791. Brown (1735-1788) proposed the Brunonian system of medicine which had two classes of disease; sthenic (resulting…

This paper aims to explore the reception of the biological concept of ‘excitability’ in early nineteenth century German philosophy, in order to examine Hegel’s mobilisation of this concept in his Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences.

Firstly, this will involve addressing John Brown’s introduction of ‘excitability’ [in his Elementa Medicinae, 1780] as an fundamental characteristic of the animal organism which can be brought into play in a theory of medicine.

Secondly, the paper will address the reception of this concept in early nineteenth century German philosophy, which was important in the work of thinkers such as Roschlaub, Kielmayer, Fichte and Schelling. Continue reading

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

The indeterminable boundary between Sanity and Madness in Hegel and Freud

Sigmund FreudSome half a century before Freud, Hegel suggested that mental derangement (Verr?cktheit) is a reversion to the earlier stages of the development of the soul and that it discloses the psychic origins of the mind to theoretical analysis. Freud never quotes Hegel and generally dismisses Hegelianism as the epitome of wild philosophical speculations. Continue reading

Revisiting Hegel’s radicalism

Hegel_portrait45In recent decades, the heart of Hegel’s Wissenschaft der Logik––his enterprise of calling into the question and systematically substantiating all of thinking’s basic concepts and rules––has struck many commentators as outdated if not outright misguided.

In an effort to make Hegel’s thought relevant, Hegel studies have largely focused on the aspects of Hegel’s philosophy that are most compatible with our current philosophical climate. In contrast, however, my approach embraces Hegel’s philosophical radicalism. In my paper, I will first sketch out Hegel’s place within a broader tradition of what I term radical philosophy. Continue reading

The relationship between law, moral and morality in Hegel’s Philosophy of Law

Hegel_portrait45German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770 – 1831) doesn’t take a significant place in ethics compared with philosophy in general. But he made a very decisive step forward – the transition from ethics of goodwill to the ethics of socially meaningful activity. This step was necessary for the appearence of a historical-materialistic theory of morality.

In general, according to Hegel a law can be understood in its three core values. I. A right in the sense of freedom. Freedom and law have the united understanding. So the freedom is the existence of will, as Georg Hegel believed that thinking and will – Continue reading