The Province of Conceptual Reason: Hegel's Post-Kantian Rationalism


Authors
W. Clark Wolf
Marquette University
Abstract
In this dissertation, I seek to explain G.W.F. Hegel’s view that human accessible conceptual content can provide knowledge about the nature or essence of things. I call this view “Conceptual Transparency.” It finds its historical antecedent in the views of eighteenth century German rationalists, which were strongly criticized by Immanuel Kant. I argue that Hegel explains Conceptual Transparency in such a way that preserves many implications of German rationalism, but in a form that is largely compatible with Kant’s criticisms of the original rationalist version. After providing background on Hegel’s relationship to the traditional rationalist theory of concepts and Kant’s challenge to it, I claim that Hegel’s central task is to provide a theory of conceptual content that allows a relationship to the objective world without being dependent on the specifically sensory aspect of the world, which Kant’s theory of concepts required. Since many interpreters deny that Hegel’s use of the term “concept” is comparable to other historical philosophers, I first show that Hegel’s critique of standard conceptions of concepts presupposes an agreement of subject matter. I then show how Hegel’s account of the “formal concept” provides the skeleton for a view of conceptual content that relies on negative relations between terms, rather than a relation to sensibility, to provide content. Hegel’s account of conceptual content is completed when he shows how a universal term is further specified so that it can determine singular objects. This occurs in its adequate form in a teleological process. I argue that Hegel’s account of teleology in the Science of Logic is an attempt to explain how and where Conceptual Transparency obtains. A teleological process is one in which a concept constitutes an object, and this means that a concept is perfectly adequate to express that thing’s nature and not merely to represent it. However, in the final chapter, I show that Hegel’s concept of teleology is meant paradigmatically to illuminate how human purposive processes have constituted a social world that is conceptually accessible to us. In this way, the primary “province” of Hegel’s rationalism is the human constructed world.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 44,283
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Mind and World.Huw Price & John McDowell - 1994 - Philosophical Books 38 (3):169-181.

View all 185 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Rethinking Hegel's Conceptual Realism.W. Clark Wolf - 2018 - Review of Metaphysics 72 (2):331-70.
Hegel's Idealism.Robert Stern - 2008 - In Frederick C. Beiser (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Hegel and Nineteenth-Century Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 137--74.
I—Hegel's Critique of Kant.Stephen Houlgate - 2015 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 89 (1):21-41.
Between Kant and Hegel.Garth W. Green - 2005 - Review of Metaphysics 59 (2):423-425.
The Metaphysical Foundations of Hegel's Aesthetics.Robert Lawrence Wicks - 1986 - Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
Historical Objectivity and Conceptual Frameworks: A Critical Study of Kant and Hegel.Kenneth Alfred Lambert - 1984 - Dissertation, Rutgers the State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-08-06

Total views
3 ( #1,185,782 of 2,270,949 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #422,367 of 2,270,949 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature