Life, Logic, and the Pursuit of Purity

Hegel-Studien 50:63-95 (2016)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In the *Science of Logic*, Hegel states unequivocally that the category of “life” is a strictly logical, or pure, form of thinking. His treatment of actual life – i.e., that which empirically constitutes nature – arises first in his *Philosophy of Nature* when the logic is applied under the conditions of space and time. Nevertheless, many commentators find Hegel’s development of this category as a purely logical one especially difficult to accept. Indeed, they find this development only comprehensible as long as one simultaneously assumes that Hegel breaks his promise to let the logic do the leading. However, if Hegel were to in fact allow the logical development to be led by biological analogies at this point, problems would ensue. Not only would it contradict his own speculative method, which should secure the necessity of the categories, but it would also endanger the ontological generality of the category of life itself. Beyond undermining his method and the logical integrity of the category, however, I will argue that such a reading makes the transition to the next category of “cognition” unintelligible and problematic. My aim in the first part of this paper is to argue how logical life can be read as a pure category. I then argue in the second part how my reconstruction makes the transition to cognition intelligible without resorting to profane or supernatural interpretations.

Links

PhilArchive

External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Hegel’s Living Logic.Jon K. Burmeister - 2013 - Research in Phenomenology 43 (2):243-264.
Brandom on Hegel’s Objective Idealism: An Ecological Amendment.Berker Basmaci - 2024 - European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy (1).
Logical and natural life in Hegel.Anton Kabeshkin - 2022 - European Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):129-147.
A commentary to Hegel's Science of logic.David Carlson - 2007 - New York: Palgrave Macmillian.

Analytics

Added to PP
2017-04-03

Downloads
400 (#54,028)

6 months
79 (#74,950)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Alexander T. Englert
Institute for Advanced Study

Citations of this work

Hegel’s “Idea of Life” and Internal Purposiveness.Daniel Lindquist - 2018 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 8 (2):376-408.
Logical and natural life in Hegel.Anton Kabeshkin - 2022 - European Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):129-147.

Add more citations

References found in this work

The View from Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 92 (2):280-281.
The view from nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (2):221-222.
The View from Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 43 (2):399-403.
Hegel.Charles Taylor (ed.) - 1975 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

View all 15 references / Add more references