Hegel's critique of Kant

South African Journal of Philosophy 34 (1):129-142 (2015)
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In this paper we present a reconstruction of Hegel's critique of Kant. We try to show the congruence of that critique in both theoretical and practical philosophy. We argue that this congruence is to be found in Hegel's criticism of Kant's hylemorphism in his theoretical and practical philosophy. Hegel is much more sympathetic to Kant's response to the distinction between matter and form in his theoretical philosophy and he credits Kant with ‘discovering’ here that thinking is an activity that always takes place within a greater whole. He, however, argues that the consequences of this are much more significant than Kant suspects and that, most importantly, the model of cognition in which thought (form) confronts something non-thought (matter) is unsustainable. This leads to Hegel's appropriation of Kantian reflective judgements, arguing that the greater whole in which thinking takes place is a socially shared set of meanings, something resembling what Kant calls a sensus communis. From here, it is not far to Hegel's Geist, which eventually gains self-consciousness in Sittlichkeit, a whole of social practices of mutual recognition. In practical philosophy, Hegel argues for the importance of situating oneself within such a whole in order to attain the self-knowledge required for autonomous, or ethically required, action. For this to happen, he claims, it is necessary to recognise the status of Kantian Moralität as a form of Sittlichkeit or social practice. This would justify our practices without an appeal to a ‘fact of reason’ and also allow a wider range of actions that could count as autonomous.



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Author Profiles

Aaron James Wendland
King's College London
Rafael Winkler
University of Johannesburg

Citations of this work

The Compatibility of Hegelian Recognition and Morality with the Ethics of Care.Andrew Molas - 2019 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 50 (4):285-304.

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References found in this work

Critique of Judgment.Immanuel Kant & Werner S. Pluhar - 1941 - Indianapolis, Indiana: Hackett Publishing Company.
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.
Faith and Knowledge.G. W. F. Hegel, Walter Cerf & H. S. Harris - 1981 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 12 (1):63-64.

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