David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In K. R. Westphal (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. Blackwell. 1--36 (2009)
This chapter argues that Hegel is a major (albeit unrecognized) epistemologist: Hegel’s Introduction provides the key to his phenomenological method by showing that the Pyrrhonian Dilemma of the Criterion refutes traditional coherentist and foundationalist theories of justification. Hegel then solves this Dilemma by analyzing the possibility of constructive self- and mutual criticism. ‘Sense Certainty’ provides a sound internal critique of ‘knowledge by acquaintance’, thus undermining a key tenet of Concept Empiricism, a view Hegel further undermines by showing that a series of non-logical a priori concepts must be used to identify any particular object of experience. Most importantly, Hegel justifies a semantics of singular cognitive reference with important anti-skeptical implications. ‘Perception’ extends Hegel’s criticism Concept Empiricism by exposing the inadequacy of Modern theories of perception (and also sense data theories) which lack a tenable concept of the identity of perceptible things. Hegel demonstrates that this concept is a priori and integrates two counterposed sub-concepts, ‘unity’ and ‘plurality’. Hegel’s examination of this concept reveals his clear awareness of what is now called the ‘binding problem’ in neurophysiology of perception, a problem only very recently noticed by epistemologists. ‘Force and Understanding’ exposes a fatal equivocation in the traditional concept of substance which thwarts our understanding of force and causal interaction. Hegel’s disambiguation of that concept enables us to comprehend how relations can be essential to physical particulars. Hegel contends that Newtonian universal gravitation shows that gravitational relations are essential to physical particulars, and he criticizes a series of attempts—including the infamous ‘inverted world’—to avoid this conclusion. Hegel’s cognitive semantics supports Newton’s Fourth Rule of philosophizing, which rejects mere logical possibilities as counter-examples to empirical hypotheses. This is an important anti-Cartesian, also anti-empiricist, insight. Finally, Hegel’s cognitive semantics reveals a previously unnoticed link between Pyrrhonian and Cartesian skepticism and empiricist anti-realism about causality within philosophy of science: all three appeal to premises, hypotheses, or counter-examples which, as mere logical possibilities, lack in principle fully determinate, cognitively legitimate meaning. ‘Consciousness’ thus establishes basic principles and features of human cognition to which Hegel returns throughout the Phenomenology. The chapter concludes by summarizing Hegel’s over-arching epistemological analysis in the Phenomenology.
|Keywords||binding problem singular cognitive reference anti-Cartesianism|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Ivan A. Boldyrev & Carsten Herrmann-Pillath (2013). Hegel's “Objective Spirit”, Extended Mind, and the Institutional Nature of Economic Action. Mind and Society 12 (2):177-202.
Similar books and articles
Kenneth R. Westphal (2011). ‘Self-Consciousness, Anti-Cartesianism and Cognitive Semantics in Hegel’s 1807 Phenomenology’. In S. Houlgate & M. Baur (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Hegel, pp. 68–90. Blackwell.
Kenneth R. Westphal (2009). ‘Consciousness, Scepticism and the Critique of Categorial Concepts in Hegel’s 1807 Phenomenology of Spirit’. In M. Bykova & M. Solopova (eds.), Сущность и Слово. Сборник научных статей к юбилею профессора Н.В.Мотрошиловой. Phenomenology & Hermeneutics Press.
Kenneth R. Westphal (1998). Hegel and Hume on Perception and Concept-Empiricism. Journal of the History of Philosophy 36 (1):99-123.
Kenneth R. Westphal (2000). Hegel's Internal Critique of Naïve Realism. Journal of Philosophical Research 25:173-229.
Kenneth R. Westphal (2006). Hegel and Realism. In John R. Shook & Joseph Margolis (eds.), A Companion to Pragmatism. Blackwell Pub..
Kenneth R. Westphal (2006). Contemporary Epistemology: Kant, Hegel, McDowell. European Journal of Philosophy 14 (2):274–301.
Kenneth R. Westphal (2003). Hegel's Manifold Response to Scepticism in the Phenomenology of Spirit. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (2):149–178.
Kenneth R. Westphal (2011). ‘Kant’s Cognitive Semantics, Newton’s Rule Four of Philosophy and Scientific Realism’. Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain 63:27-49.
Alasdair C. MacIntyre (1972). Hegel. Garden City, N.Y.,Anchor Books.
Alasdair C. MacIntyre (1976). Hegel: A Collection of Critical Essays. University of Notre Dame Press.
Kenneth R. Westphal (2008). ‘Force, Understanding and Ontology’. Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain 57:1-29.
Kenneth R. Westphal (2000). Hegel, Harris, and Sextus Empiricus. The Owl of Minerva 31 (2):155-172.
John Russon (2006). Reading: Derrida in Hegel's Understanding. Research in Phenomenology 36 (1):181-200.
Kenneth R. Westphal (2010). Hegel, Russell, and the Foundations of Philosophy. In Angelica Nuzzo (ed.), Hegel and the Analytical Tradition. Continuum.
Xiaomang Deng (2009). Heidegger's Distortion of Dialectics in “Hegel's Concept of Experience”. Frontiers of Philosophy in China 4 (2):294-307.
Added to index2012-03-11
Total downloads15 ( #126,925 of 1,692,642 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #46,145 of 1,692,642 )
How can I increase my downloads?