The analytic neo-hegelianism of John McDowell & Robert Brandom
In Stephen Houlgate & Michael Baur (eds.), A Companion to Hegel. Blackwell (2011)
The historical origins of the analytic style that was to become dominant within academic philosophy in the English-speaking world are often traced to the work of Bertrand Russell and G. E. Moore at the turn of the twentieth century, and portrayed as involving a radical break with the idealist philosophy that had bloomed in Britain at the end of the nineteenth. Congruent with this view, Hegel is typically taken as representing a type of philosophy that analytic philosophy assiduously avoids. Thus, while Hegel’s writings are regarded as indirect, metaphorical and “darkly Teutonic”, analytic philosophers usually think of themselves as prizing the clarity of plain speech, except when making use of the precision of scientific logical notation. This analytic directness, furthermore, is usually seen as consonant with the increasingly “naturalistic” outlook of analytic philosophy, especially as practiced in the United States. In contrast, Hegel is seen as regarding philosophical thought as mysteriously engaging with a content that is somehow generated out of the mind’s own activities, linking philosophy more to art and religion than natural science. Moreover, it is usually accepted that Russell had shown Hegel’s bizarre metaphysic doctrines to be based on a few fundamental logical mistakes, even if the details of Russell’s criticisms have been largely forgotten
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