Wie bestimmt Hegel zu Beginn der ‚Wissenschaft der Logik‘ das Problem des Anfangs? (German Edition)

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Often it is mere lip service to say that Hegel builds on Kant, or is as much a critical philosopher as Kant is. This is a long story of course, which I cannot even begin to address in the short space of a response piece.

Sometimes, Hegelians—but also Hegel himself, to be fair—seem to think that Kant just means that the categories apply to how we experience objects or nature, and not to nature or the objects in nature qua their existence as nature or objects. This indicates that the categories are not just the necessary conditions of experience of nature and object, but are equally and at the same time constitutive of them.

She writes:. It is one thing to claim […] that we need a priori concepts in order to think or judge some sense content; it is quite another to claim […] that our concepts can be demonstrated to reflect the nature of that independently given sense content. To claim the latter, according to Kant, would be to overreach the limits of what we can know. The categories are the necessary and formally [2] sufficient conditions for both experience and objects. There is nothing outside of these conditions, cum the givenness of sense content, which could give us more objectivity.

Certainly, there are still things in themselves, which as such are independent of those conditions.


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This in no way implies that our knowledge of objective reality is only relative because supposedly it would not reach the things in themselves. Such a conclusion ignores the fact that the object determined by the judging subject is the appearance of the thing itself, for that judging subject. Although the judging subject does not know the thing as such, i.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel - Wikiwand

In point of fact, the fact that the subject does not know the thing as a thing in itself, namely as it is independently of judgement, follows already logically from the fact that knowledge of something is not possible apart from the necessary conditions under which such knowledge is first possible: For how can I judge of something that it is so and so independently of judgment? Knowledge of objects is thus possible only if the necessary a priori conditions for knowledge of objects are met; outside of those necessary a priori conditions knowledge is ex hypothesi not possible.

This means that things in themselves, that is, things as they are independently of the conditions under which alone they as objects can be known, cannot be known as such as things in themselves under the conditions under which alone objects can be known. Things in themselves do not meet these conditions of knowledge, and this is to be expected from assuming the Copernican hypothesis that says that knowledge of the possibility conditions of objects is possible only on condition that objects conform to our forms of intuition and understanding, rather than that our understanding and intuition conform to the way things are in themselves.

It is hardly plausible to argue that Hegel thinks that we do know that noumenal realm in the sense Kant means. But if it is the whole of empirical nature that Hegel believes the Kantian categories are external to and there are sometimes indications that he thinks this , then it is clear he misconstrues Kant.


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  • In that case, the Hegelian critique of Kantian idealism as a merely subjective idealism, which denies us knowledge of reality itself, is misguided. Hegelians like Sedgwick, and it seems Giladi, believe that Kant should have argued that the categorial structures are not just subjective form but also the intrinsic form of being itself of things in themselves.

    Giladi writes:. Our cognitive activity, according to Hegel, does not consist in being the sources of the unity in objects and does not consist in us being the sources of the unity of the world as a whole. Rather, what this activity consists of is our ability to detect the intrinsic unity of objects themselves and the intrinsic unity of the world as a whole cf.

    In other words, for Hegel, our discursive cognitive architecture, from the standpoint of dialectical Reason rather than nomothetic Understanding, is constituted in such a way that it enables the determinations of thought to reveal themselves as we refine our cognitive practices through inquiry. The activity of making sense of things through Begriffe does not seize the things they are directed at.

    It seems, on this reading, that the world contains dispositional properties that are discoverable by our reasoning capacity, suggesting some similarity between the structure of the world and the structure of our minds, or, reason. This appears to mean that Hegel upturns the very Copernican perspective which stipulates that we regard things as conforming to our forms of intuition and understanding, to reason.

    I am not sure if this does not hark back to a problematic pre-Kantian metaphysics, but I am certain that it is not in any way in alignment with the parameters set by the Critical philosophy. But I am also not convinced that it is a good interpretation of Hegel, and in fact I believe such a reading is directly contradicted by numerous passages in the Logic; this comports with my view that Hegel should be read in a way that does align with the parameters of the Critical philosophy.

    The analysis in my chapter was of course restricted, as I made clear, to how the early Hegel saw the problem with Kant. Whatever the case may be with respect to the broader philosophical issues surrounding the Kant—Hegel relation, in Section 8. At crucial points in his account Kant recoils, Hegel believes, from thinking through the consequences of the assumptions that underpin his theory, most importantly the central place of empirical experience.

    Determinateness is not provided by the sensible manifold—which delivers the material that is a necessary condition for real possibility—but is rather a function of thought itself. There is nothing outside thought that is a determining factor in determining the material content. As McDowell puts it, not without a hint of drama:. Transcendental idealism, which is just this insistence that the apparent spatiality and temporality of our world derive from the way our sensibility is formed, stands revealed as subjective idealism. And the rot spreads.

    But he is of course right that Kant just accepts the thesis that Euclidean-based spatiotemporality is a brute fact about our experience of objects—and one may claim that that is not as such a basic philosophical principle that one must accept. This means that the Kantian insights that Hegel does appraise—such as chiefly the notion of an original-synthetic unity of apperception—will morph into a different philosophical strategy, if that is the proper word, tackling philosophical problems differently, but still from a broadly Kantian perspective.

    This broadly Kantian perspective comprises the central idea that it is the capacity for thought or reason itself that determines what is objectively valid, not sensible input, nor any other exogenous ground or source or properly basic fact, nor reality itself, that provides the justification or warrant for our knowledge. But it also means to emphasise and supplement the Kantian insight that we cannot, but also need not, go beyond our representations to seek the ground of the real possibility of our concepts.

    That is to say, in the Hegelian perspective it is no longer needed to rely, as Kant does for his Deduction argument, on pure intuition that provides our concepts with real possibility. Pure intuition does not lend any more warrant to our conceptual claims than is already provided by the determinative capacity of our judgement, given of course sensible input Hegel does not deny that for some cognitive claims based on empirical evidence sensations are required.

    This has nothing to do with a two-way determination between reality and the ideal form of the understanding, or reality itself being such that our forms of cognising are receptive to those structures of reality that are somehow amenable to being cognised by us. You previously purchased this article through ReadCube. Institutional Login. Log in to Wiley Online Library. Is the information for this product incomplete, wrong or inappropriate? Send us a new image. Is this product missing categories? Add more categories.

    Review This Product. Welcome to Loot. Checkout Your Cart Price. Special order. This item is a special order that could take a long time to obtain. Ein Solches versteht sich im philosophischen Sinne als erster Grund, als Ursprung auf dem alles andere beruht. Dieser Ursprung, dieser Anfang stellt eine Problematik dar, die in der Philosophie seit mehreren tausend Jahren eine Rolle spielt. Schon in der griechischen Antike sind so die verschiedensten Prinzipien entstanden. Der deutsche Idealismus, dessen Weg durch Immanuel Kant geebnet wurde, greift diese Ideenkonzeptionierung wieder auf und ist daher auch genotigt sich mit dem Problem des Anfangs zu beschaftigen.

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