Hegel's Critique of Foundationalism in the 'Doctrine of Essence'

Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 44:25-45 (1999)
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It is a commonplace among certain recent philosophers that there is no such thing as the essence of anything. Nietzsche, for example, asserts that things have no essence of their own, because they are nothing but ceaselessly changing ways of acting on, and reacting to, other things. Wittgenstein, famously, rejects the idea that there is an essence to language and thought – at least if we mean by that some a priori logical structure underlying our everyday utterances. Finally, Richard Rorty urges that we ‘abandon … the notion of “essence” altogether’, along with ‘the notion that man's essence is to be a knower of essences’.



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Stephen Houlgate
University of Warwick

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Wittgenstein's Idealism: from Kant through Hegel.Guido Tana - 2022 - Cuadernos Salmantinos de Filosofía 49 (1):49-88.

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References found in this work

Phenomenology of Spirit.G. W. F. Hegel & A. V. Miller - 1977 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (4):268-271.
Consequences of Pragmatism.Richard Rorty - 1984 - Erkenntnis 21 (3):423-431.
Phänomenologie des Geistes. Hegel & Georg Lasson - 1908 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 65:218-219.
Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature.Jonathan Lieberson - 1980 - Philosophy of Science 47 (4):657-659.

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