Hegel and realism

In John R. Shook & Joseph Margolis (eds.), A Companion to Pragmatism. Blackwell Pub (2006)
This article summarizes the systematic importance of Hegel’s philosophy for pragmatism, and in particular for the contemporary revival of pragmatic realism. Key points lie in Hegel’s internal critique of Kant’s transcendental idealism, on the basis of which Hegel demonstrates that we can be self-conscious only if we are conscious of nature. This insight enables Hegel to develop genuinely transcendental proofs without invoking transcendental idealism. Hegel uses this result to defend realism about the molar objects of empirical knowledge against Pyrrhonian, Cartesian, and Humean scepticism. In this connection Hegel criticizes and rejects both coherentist and foundationalist theories of cognitive justification and argues for a pragmatic fallibilist theory of justification regarding empirical knowledge. Hegel argues (like Dewey) that individuals and social groups are mutually interdependent for their existence and characteristics; neither is more basic than the other.
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