We reconstruct Hegel's implicit version of the ontological argument in the light of his anti-representationalist idealist metaphysics. For Hegel, the ontological argument had been a peculiarly modern form of argument for the existence of God, presupposing a ‘representationalist’ account of the mind and its concepts. As such, it was susceptible to Kant's famous refutation, but Kant himself had provided a model for an alternative conception ofconcept, one developed by Fichte with his notion of the I=I. We reconstruct an Hegelian version (...) of the ontological argument by considering the possibility of aFichteanversion, and then subjectingitto a critique based on Hegel's critical appropriation of Fichte's I=I. (shrink)
In this paper I rely on recent literature that emphasises the importance of recognition in Hegel's philosophy in order to apply the recognition-theoretic approach to the notion of sacrifice in the Phenomenology of Spirit. Firstly, I conduct a preliminary analysis by examining the general meaning of sacrifice as a form of determinate negation. Secondly, I focus on two phenomenological moments (the struggle between ?faith? and ?pure insight?, and the cult) in order to answer the question, ?Is a real (effective and (...) unselfish) sacrifice possible?? Finally, I argue that sacrifice should be considered as a Darstellung, and I explain the twofold connection between sacrifice and recognition. I conclude that there is no sacrifice without recognition, and the process of recognition is intrinsically sacrificial. (shrink)
In this article, I draw upon the ‘post-Kantian’ reading of Hegel to examine the consequences Hegel’s idea of God has on his metaphysics. In particular, I apply Hegel’s ‘recognition-theoretic’ approach to his theology. Within the context of this analysis, I focus especially on the incarnation and sacrifice of Christ. First, I argue that Hegel’s philosophy of religion employs a distinctive notion of sacrifice (kenotic sacrifice). Here, sacrifice is conceived as a giving up something of oneself to ‘make room’ for the (...) other. Second, I argue that the idea of kenotic sacrifice plays a fundamental role in Hegel’s account of Christ. Third, I conclude by sketching some of the consequences of Hegel’s idea of a God who renounces his own divinity for an idealistically conceived metaphysics. My main thesis is that the notion of incarnation is conceived by Hegel as the expression of a spirit that advances only insofar as it is willing to withdraw and make room for the other. A kenotic reading of the Hegelian notion of the incarnation is also useful in terms of a clarification of the dispute between ‘left Hegelians’ and ‘right Hegelians’ concerning the status of the idea of God in Hegel’s philosophy. (shrink)
The author argues that one of the “circles” that constitute Hegel’s philosophical system, as it is displayed in the Encyclopedia, is the circle between the I and the spirit. Specifically, the author focuses on the emergence of spirit as a self and an I, and on the encounter of the I with nature. The author also argues that absolute spirit maintains fundamental intersubjective and perspectival features that are proper to the I, and that grasping the circular movement between the I (...) and the spirit in the context of Hegel’s discussion of absolute Geist is also relevant to appreciating how normative categories of social thought can be challenged and altered through Geist’s ability to achieve critical distance by overcoming subject/object distinctions. (shrink)
The main goal of this paper is to argue the relevance of Hegel’s notion of the Trinity with respect to two aspects of Hegel’s idealism: the overcoming of subjectivism and his conception of the ‘I’. I contend that these two aspects are interconnected and that the Trinity is important to Hegel’s strategy for addressing these questions. I first address the problem of subjectivism by considering Hegel’s thought against the background of modern philosophy. I argue that the recognitive structure of Hegel’s (...) idealism led him to give the Trinity a decisive role in his philosophical account. Next, I discuss the Trinity by analysing the three divine persons. This analysis paves the way for the conclusion, where I argue that the Trinity represents a model for re-thinking the ‘I’ in a way that overcomes a ‘naïve realist’ and a ‘subjective’ account of the self. I suggest that Hegel’s absolute idealism can be conceived as an approach to the ‘I’ that considers the role of acts of mutual recognition for the genesis of self-conscious thought, and that the Trinity is the Darstellung of the relational and recognitive structure of the ‘I’. (shrink)
In this paper, I investigate the relations between the notion of the I and the conception of World history in Hegel’s philosophy. First, I address Hegel’s account of the I by reconstructing its phenomenological and logical development from consciousness to self-consciousness through recognition with the other and arguing that the project of the Philosophy of Right is normative, as it provides an account of the logical process of affirmation of the I as the normative source of the realm of objective (...) spirit. I then argue for an account of World history as the self-conscious development and liberation of the I in time and objectivity, and I consider Hegel’s philosophy of history in light of the Philosophy of Right as the historical emergence of the I through the forms of objective spirit in history. Finally, I focus on two of the allegedly most problematic issues related to Hegel’s conception of World history: the nature and very possibility of an ‘intersubjective consciousness’ and the notion of ‘World spirit’. I conclude by outlining how the conception of World history, if reconstructed in light of Hegel’s conception of the I, can have previously unnoticed political implications. (shrink)
The aim of the paper is to clarify the theoretical core of Solger's thought, the foundation for his aesthetics. I first analyze Solger's dialectic of double negation. Secondly I focus on Solger's gnoseology, which is orientated toward grasping the equilibrium between the Infinite and the finite consisting in this double negation. Lastly I investigate the notion of sacrifice, connecting it with Solger's ironic dialectic and showing its relevance to a complete understanding of his thought.
This paper covers the theme of the death of God considered from a Hegelian standpoint. For Aristotle, the image of God as ‘thought thinking itself’ was an image of the knowledge aspired to in philosophy. With the notion of God becoming man and his insistence on the icon of the Cross, Hegel challenged the Aristotelian goal of philosophy as immutable knowledge of an ‘ultimate’ reality. Hegel viewed the crisis of normativity as strictly linked to the conception of the self. It (...) is Nietzsche who is best known for alluding to the full significance of this image for modern life, but Hegel’s thought on the complex relations of philosophy and religion in the modern world can be regarded as an attempt to think through this same historical phenomenon. In this paper, I focus on the philosophical relevance of Hegel’s notion of the death of God. I argue that unpacking the significance of the ‘truths’ presented symbolically in modern Christianity is crucial in unders.. (shrink)
This paper addresses the role of the notion of sacrifice in Kant’s theoretical philosophy, practical philosophy, and in his account of religion. First, I argue that kenotic sacrifice, or sacrifice as ‘withdrawal’, plays a hidden and yet important role in the development of Kant’s transcendental philosophy. Second, I focus on Kant’s practical philosophy, arguing that the notion of sacrifice that is both implied and explicitly analyzed by Kant is mainly suppressive sacrifice. However, Kant’s account is fundamentally ambiguous, as sometimes the (...) kenotic meaning of sacrifice seems to resurface, especially in the context of Kant’s discussion of the happiness of others as an end in itself. Because religious notions are regarded by Kant as necessary transitional forms (Darstellungen) to be used to make moral ideas applicable to the world, I then scrutinize Kant’s view of sacrifice as an improper symbol, and I analyze Kant’s arguments for such a dismissal and discuss the subject matter in recent literature. Finally, I examine the role of sacrifice in Kant’s account of Christ as the prototype of pure moral disposition. I conclude by arguing that Kant indeed grasped the importance of including kenotic dynamics in practical philosophy but was somehow unable or unwilling to integrate it into the formal grounding of his ethics. This tension, however, effectively provides an entry point for features that can be found in the post-Kantians. (shrink)
The aim of the paper is to clarify the theoretical core of Solger's thought, the foundation for his aesthetics. I first analyze Solger's dialectic of double negation. Secondly I focus on Solger's gnoseology, which is orientated toward grasping the equilibrium between the Infinite (God) and the finite (world) consisting in this double negation. Lastly I investigate the notion of sacrifice, connecting it with Solger's ironic dialectic and showing its relevance to a complete understanding of his thought.
The Relationship of Philosophy to Religion Today is a collection of texts authored by philosophers with an interest in contemporary philosophy of religion, its merits and its limitations. The collection has been stimulated by such questions as: "What ought philosophy of religion be?" and "How ought philosophy relate to religion today?" In pursuing such questions, the editors have asked the contributors to offer their insights and reflections on issues that they see as important to contemporary philosophy of religion, with the (...) goal of producing a collection of texts offering the reader a variety of perspectives without privileging any particular philosophical, religious or irreligious orientation. The book covers such themes as the relationship between religion and modernity, faith in keeping with reason, contemplation, the merits and limitations of the atheism, and the relationship between philosophy, religion and politics. (shrink)
Do we really need philosophy? The present collection of jargon-free essays aims at answering the question of why philosophy matters. Each essay considers the central question from different angles: the unavoidability of doing philosophy, the practical consequences of philosophy, philosophy as a therapy for the whole person, the benefits of philosophy for improving public policy, etc.
René Girard’s mimetic theory has significantly influenced the fields of comparative literature and cultural studies, as well as sociological anthropology and philosophy. Nevertheless, I argue that a somewhat different line of interpretation, an interdisciplinary one, has not been sufficiently investigated. This involves an interpretation which focuses on the vicissitudes of the mimetic and “victimage” circle not (or not only) in sociological terms, but by analysing their articulation on the level of knowledge. The sociological and epistemological perspectives do not exclude each (...) other, but can be integrated. The main aim of this paper is to clarify this articulation, and to show that integration between these two perspectives is possible only by bringing into play a real ‘literary aesthetics’. The notion of literary aesthetics needs to be considered in both the common and the etymological sense, as a theory of feeling and of experiencing. In doing so, I firstly cover in brief the main stages of Girard’s thought in the light of this perspective, to then focus on the relationship between literary aesthetics and knowledge. Finally I argue that this picture, if seriously considered, could lead to a mystical outcome, and will discuss the possible alternatives to that outcome. (shrink)
This book offers new critical perspectives on the relationship between the notions of speculation, logic and reality in Hegel's thought as basis for his philosophical account of nature, history, spirit and human experience. The systematic functions of logic and pure thought are explored in their concrete forms and processual progression from subjective spirit to philosophy of right, society, the notion of habit, the idea of work, art, religion and science. Engaging the relation between the Logic and its realisations, this book (...) shows the internal tension that inhabits Hegel's philosophy at the intersection of logical speculation and concrete analysis. The investigation of this tension allows for a hermeneutical approach that demystifies the common view of Hegel's idealism as a form of abstract thought, while allowing for a new assessment of the importance of speculation for a concrete understanding of the world. (shrink)
Vattimo argues that the core of Gadamer’s hermeneutics resides in the identification of interpreting with changing the world, and analyzes the ontological turn in hermeneutics in light of such identification. Vattimo advocates for a radical reading of Gadamer’s claim “Being, which can be understood, is language” and maintains that hermeneutics requires a profound revolution in ontology, overcoming the idea of Being as a given object “out there”. In light of the dialogue that Gadamer’s Truth and Method establishes with Heidegger’s Being (...) and Time, Vattimo concludes that hermeneutic ontology has its core in the identification of reality with the history of effects; not as a descriptive proposition, but as the meaning of Being in whose horizon hermeneutics interprets the experience of the world. A coherent philosophy of interpretation, conceived as a call to transform the objective reality of things “out there” into truth, namely into language and project, actually changes the world. (shrink)
Abstract The present paper suggests to consider Kierkegaard?s use of Abraham?s story in Fear and Trembling in regulative terms, that is, to consider it as a model ? not for our moral behaviour but rather for our religious behaviour. To do so, I first rely on recent literature to argue that Kierkegaard should be regarded as a distinctively post-Kantian philosopher: namely, a philosopher who goes beyond Kant in a way that is nevertheless true to the spirit of Kant?s original critical (...) philosophy. Then, I present a post-Kantian reading of Fear and Trembling, focusing on the problematic implications that result from comparing this text with Hegel?s theory of recognition. Finally, I submit that sacrifice in Fear and Trembling is a regulative notion in a Kantian sense. This interpretation addresses some of the most problematic aspects of the text. I conclude that the regulativity of sacrifice may be regarded as an important and perhaps an essential component of Kierkegaard?s overall philosophical strategy. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 175 - 196 This article provides an analysis of the development of the notions of “self” and “nature” through three stages of Heidegger’s thought. The main contention is that Heidegger’s conceptions of the self and nature are indissolubly connected to each other, and that such connection appears through three concerns that represent important elements of continuity: 1) the “irreducibility of the self,” conceived in a non-subjectivist way; 2) the recovery of a non-objectivist “originary” (...) account of nature; 3) the overall commitment to the overcoming of the polarization between subject and object. I argue that there is a parallelism in the way self and nature are addressed in each of the three phases; and that the transformations of the notions are functional to the project of addressing the concerns mentioned earlier. I conclude by addressing the “violence of nature,” which remains a “blind spot” in the philosophy of the later Heidegger. (shrink)
This paper has two related goals. Firstly, after briefly clarifying the theoretical core of Solger's thought, it will analyse his metaphysics from Hegel's point of view, emphasizing that sacrifice is, for Solger, the fundamental structure of the relationship between the finite and the Infinite. Secondly, it will investigate the main reasons behind Hegel's criticism of Solger, showing that they have different conceptions of privation and negation and concluding that Solger and Hegel have different aims. Hegel's aim consists in recomposing the (...) unity of finite and infinite, whereas Solger's thought is structured on the rupture between these two. (shrink)
René Girard's mimetic theory has been object of much interest in the last few years, both in the 'Continental' and in the 'English-speaking' philosophical areas. Nevertheless, Girard's thought is not always accepted in the academic circles. The main cause for this is that his theory is considered too 'philosophical' in the Human Sciences Departments, and it seems too close to cultural anthropology and literary criticism to be appreciated by philosophers. This is the reason why it could be fruitful to focus (...) the attention on the philosophical aspects of René Girard's thought. I clarify what is meant exactly by 'philosophy' within the mimetic theory of René Girard and I define the borders of the problem of the 'death of philosophy,' as it appears from Girard's work. Then, I focus on philosophical hermeneutics and its relationship with the mimetic theory. Finally, I try to answer a central question: is it still possible to speak of 'philosophy' within the Girardian universe? (shrink)
It may seem strange to connect the ontological argument for God‟s existence with René Girard‟s thought. My first aim is to clarify this connection.In order to do so, we must first suggest three distinct hermeneutical approaches to Girard. Ifwe take an internal, literal approach, we find that Girard writes nothing about theontological proof. Nevertheless, he does cite Anselm. If we take an internal, nonliteral approach to Girard, we can try to deduce what he might have thought about the ontological proof (...) on the basis of his mimetic theory, thereby extending his thought while remaining within his theory. If we take a critical approach, we can interpret Girard from an external perspective and critically analyze analogies between the ontological proof and his mimetic theory on the assumption that there is no a priori reason why there cannot be a relationship between an argument and a thinker, even without that thinker‟s awareness and in spite of his intentions. (shrink)
In this paper, I contend that both Hegel’s and Heidegger’s philosophies can be regarded as attempts to overcome Cartesian subjectivism and to by-pass traditional oppositions between subjectivist and objectivist accounts of the ‘I.’ I explore Hegel’s notion of the ‘I,’ stressing how Hegel takes up Kant’s ‘I-think,’ freeing Kant’s philosophy from its subjectivism. Then, I submit that Heidegger, in the twentieth century, was similarly concerned with the overcoming of subjectivism, and that an analysis of his notion of mineness and its (...) development in the context of Heidegger’s thought can support this argument. Finally, I suggest that Hegel’s and Heidegger’s analyses can be used to elaborate an alternative and more flexible model of the ‘I,’ which avoids individualism, allows thinking of the formation of the self as a collective enterprise, and thus provides the conceptual resources to transform our identity without losing it. (shrink)