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The Owl of Minerva

Volume 39, Issue 1/2, Fall/Spring 2007

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1. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1/2
Jim Vernon Universal Grammar: The Necessit y of the Linguistic Judgment
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In this paper, through Hegel’s account of the predicative judgment in the Greater Logic, I develop an immanent, presuppositionless deduction ofgrammatical form from the very idea of language in general. In other words, I argue that Hegel’s account of the judgment can be read as a demonstrationof a truly universal (rather than empirically “common” or “general”) grammar through which any and all determinate thought must be expressed. In so doing, I seek to resolve the problem that linguistic contingency poses for systematic philosophy by deducing a necessary linguistic form from a contingent linguistic content.
2. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1/2
Thomas A. Lewis Speaking of Habits: The Role of Language in Moving from Habit to Freedom
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Hegel’s account of habit plays a vital, though often overlooked, role in his philosophical anthropology as well as his ethical thought. Although first introduced in relation to basic physical capacities, habituation reappears in his account of language and in the unconscious appropriation of ethical life. Because acting out of habit is not acting freely, our freedom depends upon the abilit y to reflect consciously on our habits—which for Hegel requires articulating them in language. Contrasting Hegel with Bourdieu on the expressibilit y of practices, I argue that Hegel’s view is more optimistic than Bourdieu’s yet more sober than it first appears.
3. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1/2
Richard Dien Winfield From Representation to Thought: Reflections on Hegel’s Determination of Intelligence
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The logical investigation of thinking must not be confused with inquiry into the mental reality of thought, which properly falls within the philosophy of mind. Hegel provides an important, but much neglected contribution towards accounting for the psychological conditions of reason by detailing in his Philosophy of Subjective Spirit how intelligence can progress from representation to thought. By thinking through Hegel’s argument, we can comprehend why thinking is a matter of intelligence rather than consciousness, why representation cannot provide the universality of conceptualization, and how semiotic imagination enables intelligence to leave representation behind and enter the domain of thought, unencumbered by the opposition of consciousness. Through this result, the philosophy of mind can account for the psychological conditions of its own theorizing.
4. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1/2
Robb Edward Eason Commentary on Richard Dien Winfield’s From Representation to Thought: Reflections on Hegel’s Determination of Intelligence
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Winfield’s explication of Hegel’s theory of mind, especially Hegel’s theory of intelligence, is, he suggests, important for solving three problems that continue to haunt contemporary work in the philosophy of mind and epistemology: 1) A problem concerning the acquisition of language and its place in an account of consciousness, 2) A problem concerning the objectivity of representations, and 3) A problem concerning the grounds of knowing. I think Winfield is correct in identifying all three problems as having their source in Kantian philosophy. I examine these three problems more carefully through a critical lens aimed at recent work by John McDowell and Robert Brandom. Both philosophers claim certain Hegelian influences. I argue that, in crucial ways, both Brandom and McDowell have each inherited the problems Hegel sought to solve and that are so clearly articulated in Winfield’s essay.
5. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1/2
Kenneth R. Westphal Intelligenz and the Interpretation of Hegel’s Idealism: Some Hermeneutic Pointers
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Hegel’s idealism and his epistemology have been seriously misunderstood due to various deep-set preconceptions of Hegel’s expositors. Thesepreconceptions include: Idealism is inherently subjective; Hegel’s epistemology invokes intellectual intuition; Hegel was not much concerned with natural science; Natural science has no basic role to play in Hegel’s Logic. In criticizing these notions, I highlight four key features of Hegel’s account of intelligence: (1) Human cognition is active, and forges genuine cognitive links to objects that exist and have intrinsic characteristics, regardless of what we may think, believe, or say about them; (2) The Denkbestimmungen that structure and thus characterize worldly objects and events can only be grasped by intelligence (not merely by consciousness); (3) Intelligence obtains genuine objectivity by correctly identifying characteristics of a known object; (4) Central to our intelligent comprehension of Denkbestimmungen is natural scientific investigation. These findings show that Hegel’s Logic is much more closely tied with Naturphilosophie and with natural science than is commonly supposed. I conclude with eight hermeneutical pointers for understanding Hegel’s writings.
6. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1/2
William Maker Hegel’s Realism: Comments on K. R. Westphal’s “Intelligenz and the Interpretation of Hegel’s Idealism”
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Agreeing that Hegel is a realist, I take issue concerning how Hegel establishes realism. Westphal’s Hegel develops a Kantian formal-transcendentalphilosophy founded in an epistemology which establishes how consciousness apprehends a given world. My account contends that Hegel has moved beyondfoundational epistemology, beginning philosophical science in a logic which develops conceptual self-determination independently of and prior to any assumptions about consciousness and world. This methodological idealism leads to metaphysical realism in that the completion of logic’s selfdeterminationnecessitates the subsequent consideration of the nonlogical in the Realphilosophie. This reconciles Hegel’s insistence that philosophy be thoroughly self-grounding with his recognition of a world beyond thought which philosophy conceptualizes realistically as a distinct domain that is neither thought itself nor thought-like.
7. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1/2
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8. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1/2
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9. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 39 > Issue: 1/2
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