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The Owl of Minerva

Volume 38, Issue 1/2, Fall/Spring 2006

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1. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1/2
From the Editor
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2. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1/2
John Burbidge H. S. Harris (1926–2007)
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3. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1/2
George di Giovanni Memories of H. S. Harris, Mentor and Friend
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4. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1/2
Kenneth R. Westphal Homage to Harris
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5. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1/2
Robert R. Williams Hegel’s Critique of Kant
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This essay examines Hegel’s critique of Kant’s concept of critical philosophy, set forth principally in his Phenomenology of Spirit and Encyclopedia. In the former Hegel presents a hermeneutical critique of Kant, to wit, the concept of critique presupposes a concept of knowledge construed as an instrument. On this assumption the “instrument” of knowledge is supposed to be examined apart from and in advance of its application. But Hegel objects that the underlying conception of knowledge as an instrument undermines the cognitive project because it separates the knower from the known; it is self-defeating because it cuts us off from what we seek to know. Further, Hegel asks, what is the status of the critique? Is it knowledge? In order to determine the boundaries of cognition, Kant is forced repeatedly to transgress those very boundaries. Hegel’s objection does not signal a repudiation of critique. Rather Hegel demands that critique not be separated from actual cognition, and that it constitute an integral moment of speculative philosophy. The exploration of this requirement takes us into an examination of Hegel’s account of phenomenological critique, his account of Kant’s paralogisms, his analysis of the spurious infinite and its overcoming in the genuine infinite.
6. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1/2
Daniel O. Dahlstrom Challenges to the Rational Observation of Nature in the Phenomenology of Spirit
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This paper concerns Hegel’s much-neglected discussion of the rational observation of nature in the first part of the chapter on reason in the Phenomenology of Spirit. The paper focuses, in particular, on the themes of nature’s inexhaustibilit y, animal life’s holistic character, and the earth’s individual distinctiveness insofar as Hegel appeals to them to challenge a certain kind of self-understanding of what it means to observe nature rationally. In addition to examining the significance and trenchancy of this challenge, the paper inquires whether these same themes have implications for Hegel’s own philosophical understanding of reason as spirit.
7. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1/2
Chris Lauer Reason at Play: The Place of Schellingian Childishness in the Phenomenology’s Dialectic of Reason
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In both the Phenomenology’s discussion of the observation of organic nature and in its section on the “Spiritual Animal Kingdom” Hegel shows how superficial reason can be when it becomes too playful. In these sections, I argue, Hegel is directing his comments at least in part at Schelling. Reading Hegel’s comments on play in light of Schelling’s Nature and Transcendental Philosophies reveals both the limitations and the necessit y of play in reason’s struggle to find itself in the world.
8. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1/2
Shannon Hoff Restoring Antigone to Ethical Life: Nature and Sexual Difference in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit
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Many feminist and other interpreters of the Phenomenology of Spirit have misconstrued the motive behind Hegel’s representation of ethical life and his assessment of Antigone’s agency in its downfall. Upon developing an alternative interpretation, based on Hegel’s challenge of ethical life’s purportedly immediate reading of the meaning of sexual difference, this paper assesses several prominent feminist interpretations in its light. Hegel’s critique of the unstable and unsustainable relationship between nature and law, or sexual difference and legal identification, is shown to constitute a valuable resource for contemporary feminist and legal approaches to the politically volatile negotiation of nature and culture and the critique and elaboration of law.
9. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1/2
Saul Tobias Hegel and the Politics of Recognition
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While political philosophers have turned to Hegel’s notion of recognition in their development of a theory of identity politics, a careful reading of the Phenomenology of Spirit, and of the master-servant dialectic in particular, reveals the limits of this approach. For Hegel, recognition cannot be separated from a process of self-determination, which is as essential to the development of genuine autonomy as the affirmation of claims to recognition. This article examines the role of self-determination in the Phenomenology of Spirit and considers its implications for the theorization of contemporary politics.
10. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1/2
Brian O’Connor Hegel’s Phenomenology and the Question of Semantic Pragmatism
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This paper criticizes the assumptions behind Robert Brandom’s reading of Hegel’s Phenomenology, contending that Hegel’s concern with the rational structure of experience, his valorization of reflection over ordinary experience and his idea of the necessit y of progress in knowledge cannot be accommodated within the framework of semantic pragmatism. The central contentions are that Brandom’s pragmatism never comes to terms with Hegel’s idea of truth as a result, leading to a historicist distortion, and also that Brandom’s failure to deal with Hegel’s distinction between natural consciousness and the phenomenological observer collapses Hegel’s phenomenology into a philosophy restricted to the level of natural consciousness.
book reviews
11. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1/2
Michael H. Hoffheimer The Philosophy and Politics of Bruno Bauer, by Douglas Moggach
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12. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1/2
Scott Jenkins Hegel’s Epistemology: A Philosophical Introduction to the Phenomenology of Spirit, by Kenneth R. Westphal
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13. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1/2
Adam Konopka French Hegel: From Surrealism to Postmodernism, by Bruce Baugh
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14. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1/2
Riccardo Pozzo Dai primi hegeliani a Hegel: Per una introduzione al sistema attraverso la storia delle interpretazioni, by Cinzia Ferrini
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15. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1/2
Nathan Ross Hegel Handbuch, Leben-Werk-Wirkung, by Walter Jaeschke
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16. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1/2
Daniel Shannon Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit: New Critical Essays, edited by Alfred Denker and Michael Vater
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17. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1/2
Willem A. deVries Hegel’s Concept of Action, by Michael Quante
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18. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1/2
Gabriel A. Gottlieb The Philosophical Foundations of Early German Romanticism, by Manfred Frank
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19. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1/2
Jane Dryden Hegel’s Philosophy of Reality, Freedom, and God, by Robert M. Wallace
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20. The Owl of Minerva: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1/2
Mark C. E. Peterson Petrified Intelligence: Nature in Hegel’s Philosophy, by Alison Stone
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