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1. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 36 > Issue: 3
Martin Donougho Hegel’s Pragmatics of Tragedy
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This paper attempts in a preliminary way to bring out the ‘pragmatics’ or ‘performativity’ in Hegel’s conception of tragedy and the tragic in the Phenomenology of Spirit. The secondary literature has tended to focus on ethical content (the tragic) at the expense of cultic form and dramaturgical enactment (tragedy); and even with the tragic it has tended to overlook the different linguistic levels in use. I argue that the peculiar term ‘Individualität’ allows Hegel, in chapter VI, to describe a logic of equivocal representation he sees at work in ancient ‘Sittlichkeit’ (ethical life). I argue furthermore that we seriously misrepresent Hegel’s conception of tragedy if we do not include the astonishing claims made of ‘Art-religion’ in chapter VII. Here tragedy takes on a meta-aesthetic color. Hegel sees tragedy as more than an ancient phenomenon, but as a recurring feature in attempts to represent (vorstellen) a speculative truth in sensuous form.
2. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 36 > Issue: 3
Christopher Lauer Space, Time, and the Openness of Hegel’s Absolute Knowing
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While Hegel argues in the Phenomenology of Spirit’s chapter on “Absolute Knowing” that we must see the necessity of each of spirit’s transitions if phenomenology is to be a science, he argues in its last three paragraphs that such a science must “sacrifice itself ” in order for spirit to express its freedom. Here I trace out the implications of this self-sacrifice for readings of the transitions in the Phenomenology, playing particular attention to the roles that space and time play in absolute spirit’s externalization.
3. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 36 > Issue: 3
Tom Rockmore Hegel and Epistemological Constructivism
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This is a paper about Hegelian constructivism in relation to theory of knowledge. Constructivism, which is known at least since Greek antiquity, is understood in different ways. In philosophy, epistemological constructivism is often rejected, and only occasionally studied. Kantian constructivism is examined from time to time under the heading of the Copernican revolution. Hegelian constructivism, which is best understood as a reaction to and revision of Kantian epistemology, seems never to have been discussed in detail. This paper will sketch the outlines of Hegelian constructivism in relation to the critical philosophy. Hegelian constructivism amounts to an intrinsically historical view of epistemology as a trial and error process situated in the social context. Knowledge emerges from a trial and error process in which we construct a cognitive framework to grasp objects constructed in and through this process. I suggest that the considerable interest of a historical, constructivist, phenomenological approach to knowledge, such as Hegel’s, lies in its largely unexplored possibilities for advancing the epistemological debate.
4. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 36 > Issue: 3
Edward Beach Hegel’s Misunderstood Treatment of Gauss in the Science of Logic: Its Implications for His Philosophy of Mathematics
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This essay explores Hegel’s treatment of Carl Friedrich Gauss’s mathematical discoveries as examples of “Analytic Cognition.” Unfortunately, Hegel’s main point has been virtually lost due to an editorial blunder tracing back almost a century, an error that has been perpetuated in many subsequent editions and translations.The paper accordingly has three sections. In the first, I expose the mistake and trace its pervasive influence in multiple languages and editions of the Wissenschaft der Logik. In the second section, I undertake to explain the mathematical significance of Gauss’s discoveries. In the third section, I take a look at the deeper implications of Hegel’s treatment of Gauss’s work as a window onto the nature and limitations of analytic cognition. In conclusion, I seek to explain how the linear method embodied in deductive reason leads by its own inner principle, according to Hegel, to its dialectical Aufhebung (sublation). The result is a kind of deliberately circular reasoning that he describes as “the Absolute Idea.”
5. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 36 > Issue: 3
David Vessey Language as Encoding Thought vs. Language as Medium of Thought: On the Question of J. G. Fichte’s Influence on Wilhelm von Humboldt
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In this paper I take up the question of the possible influence of J. G. Fichte on Wilhelm von Humboldt’s theory of language. I first argue that the historical record is unclear, but show that there is a deep philosophical difference between the two views and, as a result of this difference, we should conclude that the influence was small. Drawing on a distinction made by Michael Dummett, I show that Fichte understands language as encoding thought while Humboldt understands language as a medium of thought. The consequences of this difference affect a wide range of issues from their views on the nature of personal pronouns, to their theories of communicative understanding, to their theories of the proper nature of inquiry into language.
6. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 36 > Issue: 3
Volumes 26–35 Cumulative Index
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7. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 36 > Issue: 3
Volume 36 Index
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