The Representation of an Action: Tragedy between Kant and Hegel

European Journal of Philosophy 24 (4):573-594 (2016)

Andrew Cooper
University of Warwick
Hegel's theory of tragedy has polarized critics. In the past, many philosophers have claimed that Hegel's theory of tragedy removes Kant's critical insights and returns to pre-critical metaphysics. More recently, several have argued that Hegel does not break faith with tragic experience but allows philosophy to be transformed by tragedy. In this paper I examine the strength of this revised position. First I show that it identifies Hegel's insightful critique of Kant's theoretical assumptions. Yet I then argue that it fails to note the practical importance of Kant's separation of knowledge and aesthetics. I propose an alternative approach to tragedy that builds from the revised view and yet maintains the autonomy of aesthetics. Tragedy represents an action, a set of events that are internally unified and yet cannot be reduced to theory. This is to say that tragedy confronts us with an aesthetic sphere of making and doing that, while constrained, is incessantly open and free.
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DOI 10.1111/ejop.12166
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References found in this work BETA

Phenomenology of Spirit.G. W. F. Hegel & A. V. Miller - 1977 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (4):268-271.
Aesthetic Theory.Henry L. Shapiro - 1986 - Philosophical Review 95 (2):288.

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