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Friday, February 1, 2008

Hegel’s major contribution is his recognitive conception of ‘spirit’

Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, The Spirit of the Age: Hegel and the Fate of Thinking Home > The Spirit of the Age: Hegel and the Fate of Thinking > Redding
Hegel, Idealism and God: Philosophy as the Self-Correcting Appropriation of the Norms of Life and Thought Paul Redding
Abstract
Can Hegel, a philosopher who claims that philosophy ‘has no other object but God and so is essentially rational theology’, ever be taken as anything other than a religious philosopher with little to say to any philosophical project that identifies itself as secular? If the valuable substantive insights found in the detail of Hegel’s philosophy are to be rescued for a secular philosophy, then, it is commonly presupposed, some type of global reinterpretation of the enframing idealistic framework is required. In this essay, this assumption is challenged.
Kant’s interpretation of space and time as a response to Newton’s theologically based spatio-temporal realism is taken as a model of what it is to be a Kantian idealist about God and the self. In turn, Hegel’s philosophy is taken as a development of this approach that overcomes the limitations of Kant’s formal approach. Hegel’s major contribution to Kant’s revolutionary transformation of the task of philosophy is, it is argued, his recognitive conception of ‘spirit’. While this has been widely appreciated with regard to the relations between ‘subjective’ and ‘objective’ spirit, it is suggested that a fuller understanding of the nature of Hegel’s absolute idealism requires a proper understanding of how this approach also applies to the domain of ‘absolute spirit’. Full Text: PDF

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