Popular in Course
verified elite notetaker
Popular in Business
This 522 page Document was uploaded by an elite notetaker on Monday December 21, 2015. The Document belongs to a course at a university taught by a professor in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 11 views.
Reviews for The-Cambridge-Companion-To-Hegel
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!
Date Created: 12/21/15
FREDERICK C . BEISE R Introduction: Hegel and the problem of metaphysics Few thinker s i n th e histor y of philosoph y ar e more controversia l than Hegel . Philosopher s ar e eithe r for or against him . Rarely do they regar d hi m wit h cool detachment , weighin g hi s merit s an d faults wit h stric t impartiality . Hegel has been dismissed as a charla- tan an d obscurantist , bu t h e ha s als o been praised a s one of th e greatest thinker s of modern philosophy. As a result of these extreme views, Hegel has been either completely neglected or closely studied for decades. Whether we love or hate Hegel, it is difficult t o ignore him. We cannot neglect him if only because of his enormous historical signifi- cance. Mos t form s of moder n philosoph y hav e eithe r bee n influ - enced b y Hegel o r reacte d agains t him . Thi s i s tru e no t onl y of Marxism and existentialis m - th e most obvious cases in point - bu t also of critical theory, hermeneutic s and, if only in a negative sense, analytic philosophy. Hegel remains the watershed of modern philoso- phy, the source from whic h its many streams emanate and divide. If the moder n philosophe r want s to know th e roots of his own posi- tion, sooner or later he will have to turn to Hegel. Hegel demands our attentio n for more than historical reasons. If we consider any fundamental philosophica l problem, we find that Hegel has proposed an interesting solution for it. He claimed that his system provides th e onl y viable middl e pat h betwee n every philosophica l antithesis . He held tha t it preserves the strengths , and cancels th e weaknesses, of realism and idealism, materialis m and dualism, rela- tivism and absolutism , skepticis m and dogmatism, nominalis m and Platonism, pluralis m and monism, radicalism and conservatism. In- deed, th e mor e we stud y Hegel th e more we find tha t hi s syste m seems to accommodate every viewpoint and to anticipate every objec- CambrdgeComppanonsOnlne© Cambrdge UnierrsPress2006 2 2 TH E CAMBRIDG E COMPANIO N T O HEGE L tion. Of course, it is at least arguable that Hegel solved any of these problems. But can we safely ignore his claims to do so? Hegel's sheer presumptio n challenges us to make a closer study of his philosophy. But if Hegel is important, he is also problematic. The Hegel renais- sance, whic h began i n the 1960s and continue s today, has still not removed hi m from al l suspicion. On e o f the chief reason s Hegel remains supsec t lie s wit h hi s notoriou s obscurity, whic h ha s pu t him at odds with the premiu m placed upon clarity in contemporary philosophy. Another, more importan t reason is Hegel s apparent in- dulgence in metaphysics , a subject tha t has been much discredite d by the legacy of Kant and positivism . Hegel seems to fly in the face of every strictur e upon the limits of knowledge, blithely speculating about suc h obscur e entitie s a s "spirit " an d "th e absolute. " Thi s image o f the irresponsibl e metaphysicia n began wit h Russell' s fa- mous contentio n that Hegel's entire system rests upon a few elemen- tary logical blunders. 1 Not onl y contemporar y philosopher s hav e difficulty comin g to terms with Hegel's metaphysics : Hegel scholars also remain deeply divided over its statu s and worth. Broadly speaking, there have been two antithetica l approaches to Hegel's metaphysics. There is first of all the traditiona l historica l approach, which accepts Hegel's meta- physics a s a fait accompli, an d whic h attempt s t o explain i t b y describing it s relation s t o its historica l antecedents . For example, Hegel's metaphysic s is described as "inverted Spinozism," "dialecti- cal neo-Thomism, " or "monisti c Leibnizianism. " This approach can be found mainl y i n the older Germa n studie s o f Hegel, especially those by Dilthey, Haym, Haering, Rosenkranz, and Kroner. Opposed to the historica l approach is the more-modern positivisti c approach, which tends to dismiss Hegel's metaphysic s as a form of mysticis m or speculation, but which values him for his many ideas in the fields of epistemology, ethics , politics , and aesthetics . According to thi s modern approach, we can find much of "philosophical significance " in Hegel, but i t has nothin g to do with his metaphysics , whic h is only th e "mystica l shell " of the "rationa l core. " This approach to Hegel can be found in the Marxist tradition , in the Frankfurt school, and also in those recent studie s that regard Hegel's philosophy sim- ply as a form of "categorical analysis." 2 Both o f these approache s suffer from obviou s difficulties. I f the historical approach lacks a philosophical perspective, virtually invit- Cambrdge CompanonsOnnne ©CambbrdgeUnierrssPess2006 2 Introduction : Hegel and the problem of metaphysics 3 ing us to suspend our critical faculties, the positivistic approach has an anachronisti c or tendentiou s conceptio n of Hegel's "philosophi - cal significance/ 7relegatin g almost 90 percent of the actual Hegel to the dustbi n of history . Apart from thei r separat e difficulties, bot h approaches suffer from a common shortcoming : they fail to see that Hegel himself regarded metaphysic s as a very problematic undertak- ing in need of legitimation , and tha t he accepted the Kantian chal- lenge to metaphysics , insistin g that "any future metaphysic s that is to com e forward a s a science " mus t b e based upo n a critiqu e of knowledge. The main task of this introductio n is to address the chief problem confronting th e understandin g an d evaluatio n of Hegel's philoso - phy: the problem of metaphysics . It will do so by examining, if only in rough outline , Hegel's defense of metaphysics, his response to the Kantian challenge . If w e investigat e Hegel' s ow n justificatio n of metaphysics, we will be able to avoid the pitfalls of the traditiona l approaches to Hegel. We will not have to accept his metaphysics as a fait accompli, no r will we have to reject it as mysticism or specula- tion. Rather, we will be able to appraise it on its own merits, seeing whether it really does meet the Kantian challenge. The chief advan- tage of this approach is that we should be able to produce an interpre- tation of Hegel that is neither obscurantis t nor reductivist, that nei- ther regards his metaphysic s as speculatio n about the supernatura l nor reduces it to mere categorical analysis. Any introductio n to Hegel's metaphysics should answer four basic questions. 1) What doe s Hegel mea n b y "metaphysics" ? 2 ) What does he mean by "the absolute"? 3) Why does he postulate the exis- tence of the absolute? 4) How does he justify the attempt to know it in the face of Kant's critiqu e of knowledge? Before we examin e Hegel' s defense of metaphysics , we need some account of wha t h e mean s by "metaphysics. " Th e ter m is notori - ously vague and ambiguous . It can refer to several different kind s of discipline: to an ontology, a study of the most general predicates of being; to a theology, a study of the highest being; or to a cosmology, a study of the first principle s and forces of nature . Rather than defin- ing his use of the term, however, Hegel refuses to adopt it. When he does use the term, it is almost always in a negative sense to refer to the antiquate d doctrine s an d method s of th e rationalis t tradition , CambbrdgeCompanionsOnlne© CambrdgeUnnierrsPress2006 2 4 TH E CAMBRIDG E COMPANIO N T O HEGE L the metaphysic s o f Descartes, Leibniz, and Wolff, whic h had been discredited by Kant's critiqu e of knowledge s The term "metaphys - ics" had fallen int o disreput e by the early 1800s, as Hegel himself noted / so reviving it would have been impossible without invokin g negative connotations . Nevertheless , eve n i f Hegel avoide d th e term, he had a conception of philosophy that can only be described as "metaphysical. " In his early Jena years, and indeed throughout his career, Hegel saw the purpose of philosophy as the rational knowl- edge of the absolute . 5This conforms to one of the classical senses of the term "metaphysics, " a sense given to it by Kant in the Critique of Pure Reason: th e attemp t t o know th e unconditione d throug h pure reason. 6 If we define metaphysic s as the knowledge of the absolute, we are still far from a clear understandin g of its purpose and nature. For, to address our second question , wha t does Hegel mean by "th e abso- lute"? Althoug h Hegel himself never provides a simple definition of the term , on e is given b y hi s former philosophica l ally , F.W.J. Schelling. According to Schelling, th e absolut e i s that whic h does not depen d upo n anythin g else i n order t o exist or be conceived.? Both in its existenc e and essence, the absolute is independent of, or unconditione d by, all othe r things . In other words, the absolut e is causi sui, tha t whos e essenc e necessaril y involve s existence . Th e historical anteceden t of this concept is Spinoza's definition of sub- stance in the Ethics: "By substance, I mean tha t which is in itself, and i s conceived throug h itself ; i n other words , tha t o f which a conception can be formed independentl y of any other conception." 8 Making no secret of his debt to Spinoza, Schelling readily followed his definition by calling the absolute "the infinite substance " or, less eloquently, "th e in-itself " [das An-sich). Schelling and Hegel did not hesitat e to draw Spinozistic conclu- sions from thi s definitio n o f substance. Like Spinoza, the y argued that onl y on e thin g ca n satisfy thi s definition : th e univers e a s a whole. Since the universe as a whole contains everything, there will be nothing outside it for it to depend upon; for anything less than the universe as a whole, however, ther e will be something outside it in relation to which it must be conceived. With these Spinozistic argu- ments in mind, Schelling wrote in his 1800 Presentation of My Sys- tem of Philosophy:"Th e absolute is not the cause of the universe but the universe itself. "9 Hegel too embraced Spinoza's conclusions. As Cambrdge CompanonsOnnne © ambbrdgeUnierrssPess2006 2 Introduction : Hegel and the problem of metaphysics 5 late as the 1820s, he paid handsome tribute to the Spinozistic concep- tion of the absolute : "When one begins to philosophize one must be first a Spinozist. The soul must bathe itself in the aether of this single substance, in which everything one has held for true is submerged/' 10 If we keep in mind Schelling's and Hegel's Spinozistic conception of th e absolute , w e ca n avoid som e of th e vulgar misconception s surrounding thei r metaphysics . According to one common concep- tion, metaphysic s i s a form of speculatio n abou t supernatura l en- tities, such as God, Providence, and the soul. Such a conception has nothing to do wit h Schelling' s and Hegel's metaphysics , however, for their metaphysic s does not concern itself wit h a specific kind of entity. Their absolut e is not a kind of thing, but simply the whole of which all thing s are only parts . No less than Kant, then, Schelling and Hegel warn agains t th e fallacy of hypostasis , whic h treat s th e absolute as if it were only a specific thing. 11Schelling and Hegel also insist tha t thei r metaphysic s has nothing to do with the supernatu - ral. Their conceptio n of metaphysics is indeed profoundly naturalis - tic. The y banis h al l occul t forces an d th e supernatura l from th e universe, explainin g everythin g i n term s of natura l laws. 12 The y admired Spinoza precisely because of his thoroughgoing naturalism , precisely because he made a religion out of nature itself, conceiving of God as nothing more than the natura naturans. It woul d b e a mistake , however , t o conceive of Schelling' s and Hegel's metaphysic s in purely Spinozistic terms . In the early 1800s Schelling developed a conception of the absolute as "subject-object identity " a conception whose ultimat e meaning is tfnti-Spinozistic. What Schelling mean t by describing the absolute as "subject-object identity " i s apparently Spinozistic : th e menta l an d physical , th e subjective and objective, are only different attribute s of a single infi- nite substance . Nevertheless , Schelling gave this doctrine a further meaning tha t would have made Benedictus tur n in his grave. Con- trary t o Spinoza' s rigidly mechanisti c conceptio n of th e universe , Schelling conceived of the single infinite substanc e in vitalistic and teleological terms . Following Herder, 13 who insiste d o n breathin g life into Spinoza's dead and frozen universe, Schelling saw substance as living force, "th e force of all forces" or "primal force." According to Schelling's Naturphilosophie, 1* al l of nature is a hierarchic mani- festation of this force, beginning with its lower degrees of organiza- tion and developmen t in minerals , plants, and animals, and ending CambbrdgeCompanionsOnlne© CambrdgeUnnierrsPress2006 2 6 TH E CAMBRIDG E COMPANIO N T O HEGE L with its highest degree of organization and development i n human self-consciousness. The absolute is not simply a machine, then, but an organism, a self-generating and self-organizing whole. Schelling though t he had good reason to conceive of the absolut e in organic rathe r tha n mechanica l terms . Only a n organicconcep- tion of nature, he argued, agreed with all the latest results of the new sciences. The recent discoveries in electricity, magnetism, and biol- ogy made it necessary to conceive of matter in more dynamic terms. Rather tha n regardin g matte r a s static, s o that i t acts onl y upo n external impulse , Schellin g felt i t necessary t o see i t as active, as generating and organizing itself. Spinoza's more mechanical concep- tion of the absolute was, then, only the product of the sciences of his day, which were now obsolete. Schelling also saw his vitalism as the solution t o a problem tha t had haunte d philosophy ever since Des- cartes: how t o explain the interactio n betwee n the mind and body. According to Schelling, the mind and body are not distinct kinds of entity, but simply different degrees of organization and development of living force. Mind i s the mos t organized and developed form of matter, an d matter i s th e least organize d an d developed form of mind. Suc h a theory, Schellin g argued, avoids th e pitfalls o f both dualism and mechanisti c materialism . Since living force has t o b e explained i n teleological terms , the mind is not merely a machine; and since force embodies itself only in the activity of matter, it is not a ghostly kind of substance. Hegel inherite d thi s organi c conceptio n o f th e absolute fro m Schelling in the early 1800s, the period of their collaboration on the Critical Journal of Philosophy(1802-04) . Hegel accepted the broad outlines of Schelling's conceptio n of the absolute . He agreed wit h Schelling's definitio n o f th e absolute : tha t whic h has a n indepen- dent essence and existence. He also followed Schelling in conceiving of the absolute in organic terms, so that the mental and physical are only its attribute s or degrees of organization and development. Nev- ertheless, even during their collaboration, Hegel began to have seri- ous doubts about some of Schelling's formulation s of the nature of the absolute . In his Presentation of My System, Bruno, and Philoso- phy and Religion, 1* Schelling sometime s spoke of the absolute as if it were nothin g more than "subject-object identity/ ' the single infi- nite substanc e or "the point of indifference" betwee n the subjective and objective. But thi s limite d way of speaking about the absolut e CambrdgeComppanonsOnlne© Cambrdge UnierrsPress2066 2 Introduction : Hegel and the problem of metaphysics 7 suffers fro m a serious difficulty. If we conceive of th e absolut e as only subject-objec t identit y apart from th e apparan t dualis m be- tween the subject and object in our ordinary experience - if we see it as only th e infinit e substanc e without it s finite mode s - the n w e seem t o exclud e th e real m of th e finit e an d appearanc e from it . Contrary to its definition, th e absolut e then becomes dependent in its essence , conceivabl e onl y i n contras t t o somethin g i t i s not , namely the realm of appearance and finitude. Hence, in the preface to his Phenomenology, Hege l felt tha t i t was necessary to correc t Schelling's restricte d formulatio n of the absolute. Since Schelling's absolute excluded its modes, which determine the specific character- istics of a thing , Hege l likene d i t t o " a nigh t whe n al l cows are black." If we are to remain true to its definition, Hegel argued, then it is necessary to conceive of the absolute as the whole of substanc e and it s modes , a s th e unity o f th e infinit e and finite. Sinc e th e absolute must includ e all the flux of finitude and appearance withi n itself, Hegel called it "a Bacchanalian revel in which no member is not drunken. " Hegel's ridicul e of Schelling should not blind us, however, to his deeper debts to his erstwhil e colleague. All his life Hegel adhered to Schelling's organic conceptio n of the absolute, attemptin g to work out som e of it s implications . What Hegel was objecting t o in th e preface of the Phenomenology wa s more Schelling's formulation of the absolut e tha n hi s underlyin g conception . Althoug h h e vacil- lated, Schelling himself woul d sometime s conceive of the absolut e in more Hegelian terms , explicitl y includin g the realm of finitude within it. 16 When Hegel later insisted (in the preface to the Phenome- nology) tha t th e absolut e is not only substanc e but also subject, he was not so much attackin g Schelling as attackin g Spinoza throug h Schelling. B y conceivin g o f Spinoza' s substanc e a s livin g force , Schelling ha d lai d th e groun d for seein g th e absolut e a s subject . Hegel's philosophica l developmen t in his formative Jena years con- sisted no t s o muc h i n a "brea k wit h Schelling " as in a persisten t attempt t o provid e a bette r epistemologica l foundatio n fo r hi s views. X7 Now tha t we have examine d Schelling' s and Hegel's conception of the absolute , we are in a much bette r positio n to understan d thei r belief in the possibilit y of metaphysics . Because of their conceptio n CambbrdgeCompanionsOnlne© CambrdgeUnnierrsPress2006 2 8 TH E CAMBRIDG E COMPANIO N T O HEGE L of the absolute , Schelling and Hegel believed they were justified in exempting thei r philosoph y from muc h of Kant's critiqu e of meta- physics. The targe t o f Kant's critiqu e - the victi m o f all the "am - phibolies/ ' "paralogisms, " an d "antinomies " - was th e old meta - physics of the Leibnizian-Wolffian school . But this metaphysics was in the service of a deistic theology, which conceived of the absolute as a supernatura l entit y existin g beyon d th e sphere o f nature . Schelling and Hegel happily agreed with Kant tha t metaphysic s in this sense is indeed impossible . They had, however, a different diag- nosis of its impossibility : i t is not because the supernatura l is un- knowable, as Kant thought , bu t because the supernatura l does not exist. Al l o f Kant's worrie s abou t th e unknowabilit y o f the nou - menal world were, in Schelling's and Hegel's view, simply the result of hypostasis , of conceiving of the absolute as if it were only a spe- cific thing . I f we conceiv e o f the absolut e i n naturalisti c terms , Schelling and Hegel argue, the n metaphysic s does not requir e th e transcenden t knowledge condemned by Kant. All that we then need to know is nature herself, which is given to our experience. Schelling an d Hege l wer e convince d o f the possibilit y o f their metaphysics chiefly because they regarded i t as a form of scientifi c naturalism , a s the appropriat e philosoph y for th e new natura l sci- ences of their day. They rejected any sharp distinction between the a priori and the a posteriori, insistin g that their metaphysica l princi- ples be confirmed throug h experience. And, as we have already seen, they insisted on banishing all occult forces from natur e and explain- ing everything according to natural laws. Although, to be sure, they conceived of the laws of nature in teleological rather than mechani- cal terms , the y were adaman t tha t th e purposes o f nature be con- ceived a s internal t o nature herself an d no t a s imposed by som e external designer. For Schelling and Hegel, then, the question of the possibility of metaphysic s depended in no small measure upon the possibility o f Naturphilosophieitself . We ignore this dimensio n of Schelling's an d Hegel' s philosoph y onl y a t the risk o f positivistic anachronism. 18 Seen i n its proper historica l perspective , Schelling' s and Hegel's metaphysics should be placed within the tradition of vitalistic mate- rialism, whic h goe s bac k t o Bruno an d th e earl y free-thinkers of seventeenth-centur y England. ^Thi s traditio n attempte d to banish the real m o f the supernatural , ye t i t was not atheistic . Rather, it Cambrdge CompanonsOnlne ©CambbrdgeUnierrssPess2006 2 Introduction : Hegel and the problem of metaphysics 9 conceived of Go d a s th e whol e of nature . Althoug h i t hel d tha t nature consist s in matte r alone, it conceived of matte r in vitalisti c rather than mechanisti c terms . Matter was seen as dynamic, having self-generating an d self-organizing powers. 20The similaritie s wit h Schelling's and Hegel's metaphysic s are apparent. But Schelling and Hegel shoul d als o b e place d withi n thi s traditio n becaus e the y shared some of its underlying moral and political values: a commit- ment to egalitarianism , republicanism , religious tolerance, and po- litical liberty . If it seem s strang e to regard Hegel as a materialist , given all his tal k abou t "spirit/ 7 the n we must lay aside the usua l mechanisti c picture of materialism . We also must not forget that for Hegel, spirit is only the highest degree of organization and develop- ment of the organic powers withi n nature . If it were anything more, Hegel would relapse into the very dualism he condemns in Kant and Fichte. It is noteworth y tha t thi s materialisti c elemen t t o Hegel's metaphysics was not lost on his contemporaries , who were quick to praise and damn him accordingly. 21 If we consider Schelling' s and Hegel's naturalisti c conceptio n of metaphysics, i t migh t see m as if ther e is no point of conflict be- tween the m and Kant after all . It is as if Hegel engages in a kind of metaphysics tha t Kan t himsel f woul d approve , a metaphysic s of nature. Bu t thi s woul d b e a prematur e conclusion , on e whic h misses th e rea l poin t a t issu e betwee n Kan t an d Hegel . For, i n claiming tha t we can know natur e as an organism, as a totalit y of living forces, Schellin g and Hegel were flying in the face of Kant's strictures upo n teleolog y i n th e Critique of Judgement. I n thi s work Kan t argue s tha t w e canno t confir m th e ide a of a natura l purpose throug h experience , and tha t we attribut e purposes to na- ture only by analogy wit h our own conscious intentions . The idea of an organism has a strictly heuristi c value in helping us to system- atize ou r knowledg e o f th e man y particula r law s of nature . We cannot assum e tha t natur e is a n organism, then , bu t we can pro- ceed only as if it were one. In the terms of Kant's first Critique, th e idea of an organism is not a "constitutive " but only a "regulative " principle. Rathe r tha n describin g anythin g tha t exists , i t simpl y prescribes a task , th e organizatio n of al l ou r detaile d knowledg e into a system . Here , then , lie s th e basi c stickin g poin t betwee n Kant and Hegel: Kant denies, and Hegel affirms, tha t we can know that natur e is an organism. Cambrdge CompanionsOnlne© Cambrdge UnierrssPess2006 2 IO TH E CAMBRIDG E COMPANIO N T O HEGE L We have now come to our third question: Why postulate the exis- tence of the absolute? In other words, why give constitutiv e validity to the idea of nature as an organism? Hegel's answer to this question comes i n his first publishe d philosophica l writing, his 1801 Differ- ence between the Fichtean and Schellingian Systems of Philosophy. The thesi s of this early work i s that ther e i s a fundamental differ- ence betwee n Fichte' s an d Schelling' s philosophy, and tha t Schel- ling's system is superior to Fichte's . Such a thesis would have been news to Schelling himself, who had collaborated with Fichte for the previous five years and regarded their positions as the same in princi- ple. Hegel' s trac t wa s instrumenta l i n effecting Schelling' s brea k with Fichte and forging the alliance between Schelling and Hegel. 22 The essenc e o f Hegel's argumen t for th e superiorit y of Schelling's system i s that w e can resolv e th e centra l outstandin g problem of Fichte's philosoph y onl y if we assum e the existenc e of Schelling's absolute, tha t is, only if we give constitutiv e statu s t o the idea of nature as a living organism. To understand Hegel's argument, then , we must first have some idea of Fichte's problem and of his difficul- ties in finding a solution to it. The fundamental problem of Fichte's early philosophy, the Wissen- schaftslehre o f 1794, 23 began with the Transcendenta l Deductio n of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason.In this notoriously obscure secton of his enigmati c masterpiece , Kant raised a question that would haun t the entire generatio n after him : How is empirical knowledge possi- ble if it requires a universalit y and necessity that cannot be verified in experience? This problem arose in the context of Kant's dualisti c picture o f the facult y o f knowledge. According t o Kant, empirica l knowledge require s th e interchang e betwee n universa l and neces- sary concepts, which provide the form of experience, and particula r and contingen t intuition s or impressions, which supply the matter of experience. While these concepts originate a prioriin the under- standing, a purely active and intellectua l faculty, th e intuition s are given a posteriori t o our sensibility, a purely passive and sensitiv e faculty. The question then arose: If our a priori concepts derive from the understanding , how do we know that they apply to the a poste- riori intuition s of sensibility? Or, more simply, if these concepts do not derive from experience, then how do we know that they are valid for it? Kant's answer to this question - if we can summarize in a few words th e extremel y involve d and intricat e argumen t of the Tran- Cambrdge omppanonsOnlne ©CambbrdgeUnierrssPess2006 2 Introduction: Hegel and the problem of metaphysics n scendental Deductio n - i s that these a priori concepts apply to expe- rience only if they are its necessary conditions. If they determine the very condition s unde r whic h w e hav e representations , the n the y will indeed be valid for them , althoug h the y will have no validit y beyond them . Under the influence of some of Kant's early critics, Fichte quickly became dissatisfied wit h Kant's solution to the problem of the Tran- scendental Deduction . According to such early critics of Kant as J.G. Hamann, G.E. Schulze, and Salomon Maimon, th e very manner in which Kant posed his problem made its solution impossible. Kant had postulated such a wide divide between the faculties of understanding and sensibility that there could not be any correspondence between a priori and a posteriori intuitions . If th e understandin g is a purely active intellectua l faculty, whose activities are not in space and time, and if sensibilit y is a purely passive sensitiv e faculty, whose opera- tions are in space and time, then how is it possible for these faculties to interac t wit h one another? According to Maimon, one of Kant's sharpest critics , Kant's problems with the understanding-sensibilit y dualism were analogous to Descartes's problems with the mind-body dualism. 2* Just as Descartes could not explain how two such heteroge- neous substance s as the mind and body interact, so Kant could not explain how two such heterogeneou s faculties as understanding and sensibility could cooperate with one another. Kant's dualism left his philosophy vulnerabl e to skeptical objections, for it seemed that his faculties coul d interac t onl y i n virtu e o f som e mysteriou s pre - established harmony . The mai n proble m for philosopher s after Kant, then, was to find some mean s o f unitin g Kant' s disastrou s dualisms . Philosopher s searched for some higher power or source of the mind, of which the understandin g and sensibilit y were only aspects or manifestations . They insiste d upon raising a question tha t Kant himself refused t o answer: How is th e faculty of though t in general possible? 2* What makes th e understandin g an d sensibilit y differen t function s o f thought in general? Althoug h it is well known that the overcoming of Kant's dualism s was a central objective of post-Kantian philoso- phy, this point is usuall y made in the contex t of Kant's moral phi- losophy, where Kant postulates a struggle between reason and desire. What we mus t se e here, however, is tha t th e overcoming of thes e dualisms wa s not onl y a moral imperative . Rather, i t was also an Cambrdge CompanonsOnnne ©CambbrdgeUnierrssPess2006 2 12 TH E CAMBRIDG E COMPANIO N T O HEGEL epistemological one, since only in this way would it be possible to solve the problem of the Transcendenta l Deduction . Recognizing the problemati c statu s of Kant's dualisms, Fichte in- sisted that the only way to resolve the problem of the Transcenden- tal Deductio n was to postulat e a principle of "subject-object iden - tity. 26 According to thi s principle , all knowledge requires nothin g less tha n th e identit y of th e knowe r and th e known . The subject who knows mus t be one and the same as the object tha t is known. We must postulat e such a principle, Fichte argues, because any form of dualism leaves us prey to skepticism . If the subject and object are consciousness and th e thing-in-itself, the n we cannot step outsid e our consciousnes s t o see if it corresponds to th e thin g as it exist s prior to it. But if they are the concepts of the understanding and the intuition s of sensibility, then we cannot conceive how such distinc t faculties interact . Hence the only means to avoid skepticism and to explain the possibilit y of knowledge, Fichte concludes, is to postu- late some principle of subject-object identity . Assuming tha t subject-object identit y is a necessary condition of knowledge, unde r wha t condition s is it realized? Where is subject- object identit y to be found? Fichte' s answer is that only one kind of knowledge realizes the demanding conditions of subject-object iden- tity: self-knowledge . Onl y i n self-knowledge i s th e subjec t wh o knows on e and th e sam e as th e object tha t i s known . Hence, for Fichte, self-knowledge becomes the paradigm of all knowledge. If we can show that our knowledge of an object in experience really is only a form of self-knowledge, the n we will be able to show how knowl- edge i s possible . Thi s strateg y wa s perfectly summe d u p b y th e young Schelling when he was still a disciple of Fichte: Only in the self-intuitio n of a mind is there the identity of a representation and it s object. Henc e t o explai n th e absolut e correspondence betwee n a representation and its object, upon which the reality of all of our knowledge depends, it must be shown that the mind, insofar as it intuits objects, really intuits itself. If this can be shown, then the reality of all of our knowledge will be assured. 2? Although Ficht e followed Kan t in spurnin g metaphysics , insist - ing tha t th e ver y spiri t o f hi s philosoph y wa s th e limitatio n of knowledge t o experience, 28 h e neve r conceale d th e metaphysica l dimensions of his principle of subject-object identity . These become CambbrdgeComppnionsOnlne© CambbrdgeUnierrssPess2006 2 Introduction : Hegel and the problem of metaphysics 1 3 apparent a s soon as we raise th e questio n "Wh o is th e subject of subject-object identity? " It is clear tha t thi s subject canno t be the ordinary empirical or individual subject, a person like you or me, or like Jones, Bloggs, or Smith . Such a person does not know himself or herself i n knowin g empirica l objects, whic h appear to be given and external . Indeed, it would be absurd to attribut e to any individ- ual or empirical subject th e power to create all of his or her experi- ence. Ficht e is perfectly awar e of this . He flatly rejects Berkeley's idealism, insistin g tha t an y successful idealis m mus t explai n th e givenness and contingenc y of experience. ? The subject of subject- object identity , Ficht e maintains , i s "th e infinite " o r "absolute " ego. Thi s absolut e ego, whic h comprise s al l of reality, create s it s objects in th e very act of knowin g them . It is the divine intellect , the intellectus archetypus of Kant's third Critique.^ 0 If th e subjec t o f subject-objec t identit y i s th e absolut e ego, i t would seem as if Fichte is committe d to an idealism where an abso- lute ego create s al l of th e realit y of th e externa l world. The n th e finite ego's knowledge of an external object is really only its subcon- scious self-knowledge as an absolut e ego. But this all-too-commo n picture of Fichte' s idealis m i s a travesty, flying in th e face of hi s strictures upon metaphysics . Fichte himself explicitl y and emphati- cally rejected it.^ 1Remaining true to the Kantian limits upon knowl- edge, Fichte insisted that the idea of the absolute ego should be read as a strictl y regulativ e principle . We have no right to believe in the existence of the absolut e ego, he argued, but we do have a duty to make it the goal of our moral action. According to Fichte, the idea of the absolut e ego is no t onl y a useful heuristi c principl e bu t i s a necessary postulat e of morality itself. ^The moral law demands that we should become completely autonomou s and independent agents, perfectly noumena l or intelligibl e beings subject to the laws of rea- son alone. We can fulfill thi s demand only if we gain complete con- trol over nature, making it submit to our rational ends, for only then do we eliminat e ou r sensibl e nature , whic h i s subject t o natura l causes outsid e ourselves . Henc e th e mora l deman d for complet e autonomy or independenc e require s tha t we strive to become like the absolut e ego, a perfectly intelligibl e bein g tha t create s al l of nature according to its reason. True to his stricture s against metaphysics, Fichte stressed that the absolute ego is a goal that we cannot realize. The finite ego cannot CambbrdgeComppanonsOnlne ©CambbrdgeUnierrssPess2006 2 14 TH E CAMBRIDGE COMPANIO N T O HEGE L attain i t withou t ceasin g t o be finite an d becoming God himself . Nevertheless, th e more th e finite ego strives t o gain contro l over nature, makin g i t conform t o it s rational ends , th e more i t ap- proaches it s ideal. Through its striving it can make the intelligibl e content of experience increase as the sensible content decreases. The underlying spirit of Fichte's 1794 Wissenschaftslehre, then , is profoundly pragmatic : knowledge is the result of action, not contem- plation. We cannot refute th e skepti c by theoretica l reason, Ficht e holds, because mere thinkin g cannot remove the subject-object dual- ism, which is the main obstacle to our knowledge. We can diminis h this dualis m an d approac h th e subject-object identit y required for knowledge, only by acting, only by striving to make nature conform to the demands of our reason. The only cure for skepticism is there- fore action. Hence for Fichte, as for Marx after him, all the mysteries of transcendenta l philosoph y are dissolved only in practice. Such, in a nutshell, was the problem and doctrine of Fichte's 1794 Wissenschaftslehre, whic h became an inspiration for many thinker s in the mid-1790s. But sometim e in late 1799 or early 1800, probably under th e influenc e o f their friend Holderlin , Schelling and Hegel became dissatisfied with Fichte's solution to the problem of the Tran- scendental Deduction . Th e chief weaknes s o f Fichte' s solution , Schelling and Hegel argued, cam e from hi s giving the idea of th e absolute a purely regulative status. If this idea is only a goal for action, and moreover a goal that we cannot ever attain, then how is empirical knowledge possible? It depends upon a condition that cannot be ful- filled, namely , subject-objec t identity . Bu t th e problem goes even deeper than this. It is not only that the process of striving cannot end; it cannot even begin. In other words, we cannot approach, let alone attain, th e goal of subject-object identity . For if the finite ego and nature remain radically heterogeneous from one another - if the spon- taneous activity of the ego is purely intellectua l or noumenal and the sphere of nature is purely sensible or phenomenal - then the ego can- not even begin to act upon nature to bring it under its rational control. Hence Fichte's philosophy leaves the possibility of empirical knowl- edge hanging in the balance, still prey to skeptical objections. We are now in a position to understan d why Schelling and Hegel think we must give constitutiv e statu s to the idea of the absolute. If we give thi s ide a a purely regulativ e status-i f w e assume tha t subject-object identit y i s only a goal fo r action - then w e cannot Cambrdge CompanonsOnnne ©CambbrdgeUnierrssPess2006 2 Introduction : Hegel and the problem of metaphysics 1 5 explain th e interactio n betwee n subjec t an d object i n ou r actua l experience. We must assume , therefore, tha t subject-object identit y exists, and moreover that it exists within th e subject-object dualis m we find in our experience. It is necessary to suppose, in other words, that whe n th e finite eg o know s a n object tha t appears given and external to it, thi s is really only its subconscious self-knowledge as an absolute ego. This is the point behind Hegel's famous insistenc e that the absolute is not only subject-object identit y but the identit y of subject-objec t identit y an d subject-object non-identity . Onl y if subject-object identit y exist s withi n th e subject-object dualis m of our experience is it possible to explain the necessary condition s of empirical knowledge . If we are to solve the problem of the Transcendenta l Deduction , Hegel argues in his Difference, the n we must not only postulate the existence of subject-object identity . We must go a step further: w e must conceive of subject-object identit y along Schellingian lines. In other words, we mus t regard th e absolut e as a single infinite sub - stance, whos e natur e consist s in living force and whose attribute s are the subjective and objective. The point of conceiving the absolute in this organic or vitalist manner, Hegel contends, is that only then will we be able to overcom e Kant' s disastrou s dualisms . For if we conceive of all of nature as an organism, and the knowing subject as only part of it, the n we can explain the interactio n between subject and object. Rather than being heterogeneous substances or faculties, they will be only different degrees of organization and development of a single living force. The self-consciousness of the subject will be only the highes t degree of organizatio n and development of all the powers of nature , and inert matte r will be only the lowest degree of organization and developmen t of all the powers of the mind. It shoul d no w b e clear tha t Schelling' s an d Hegel' s idea of th e absolute wa s anythin g bu t a n uncritica l lea p int o metaphysics . Rather than ignoring the challenge of Kant's philosophy, their meta- physics wa s th e onl y mean s t o resolv e it s fundamenta l problem , namely, t o explai n how our a priori concept s apply to experience. Only if we remove Kant's stricture s upon teleology, giving the idea of an organis m a full constitutiv e validity, Hegel and Schelling ar- gue, will we be able to surmoun t those Kantian dualisms that make it impossibl e t o explai n th e possibilit y of knowledge . Wha t thi s means, in more Kantian terms, is that we can provide a transcenden- CambbrdgeCompanionsOnlne© Cambrdge UnierrssPess2006 2 l 6 TH E CAMBRIDG E COMPANIO N T O HEGE L tal deduction of those metaphysica l ideas. For we can show them to be not onl y useful fiction s for systematizin g our empirical knowl- edge but also necessary condition s for the possibility of experience itself. It would be prematur e t o conclude tha t Schelling and Hegel have completely satisfied th e demand s of Kantian criticism . Our fourt h question stil l remains : How do we know th e absolute? Thi s ques- tion was especially pressing for Schelling and Hegel, who wished to avoid any relapse int o the old metaphysica l dogmatism . Like Kant and Fichte , the y to o insiste d tha t we canno t have any knowledge beyond the limit s of experience. ^ Nevertheless , they postulated the existence o f the absolute , whic h i s a necessary conditio n o f our experience. How, then , does the necessary conditio n of our experi- ence become the object of it? Who, indeed, has ever had an experi- ence of themselve s as an absolute ego? But if the idea of the absolute is not to be a transcendent hypostasis , then i t is necessary to show, somehow, that i t lies withi n our experience. In the early 1800s Schelling developed an elaborate epistemology to justify and supply knowledge of the absolute. This was his theory of "philosophica l construction " or "intellectua l intuition/ ' Acutely aware of Kant's challenge to metaphysics , Schelling had no wish to revive the old demonstrativ e method s of Leibnizian-Wolffian ratio - nalism. Following Kant, he insisted that we cannot demonstrat e the unconditione d throug h reasoning. He agreed with Kant that our dis- cursive powers of conception , judgment, and demonstratio n canno t know the unconditioned , and that if they go beyond experience they will end in antinomies , amphibolies, and paralogisms. Nevertheless, Schelling refused to conclude that there could be no rational knowl- edge of the absolute. It is a mistake, he argued, to conceive of reason as a discursive power. Rather, it is a power of intellectual intuitio n or perception, whic h is distinc t from bot h the empirical intuition s of sensibility and th e discursiv e powers of the understanding . Such a power is not subject to Kant's stricture s upon knowledge, Schelling argued, becaus e thes e appl y onl y t o the discursiv e powers o f the understandin g when they attemp t to go beyond the limits of experi- ence. An intellectua l intuition , however, i s a kind of experience, a form of intuitio n or perception, so that i t can provide the basis for a purely immanen t metaphysics . Cambrdge CompanonsOnnne ©CambbrdgeUnierrssPess2006 2 Introduction : Hegel and the problem of metaphysics 1 7 It is ironic tha t th e inspiratio n for Schelling' s theory of intellec - tual intuitio n cam e from Kan t himself , and in particula r from hi s theory of mathematica l construction . In the Critique of Pure Rea- son, Kant argued tha t we demonstrat e th e truth s of mathematica l judgments by presentin g the m in intuition . For example, we show that two parallel lines do not intersec t by drawing two equidistan t lines on a chalk board. Schelling thought that this power of demon- strating mathematica l truth s revealed that we are in possession of a power of a priori intuition . Althoug h Kan t sharpl y distinguishe d between the method s of mathematic s and philosophy, Schelling in- sisted upon extendin g th e metho d of constructio n int o philosoph y itself. Accordingly, som e of his major work s of th e 1800s proceed more geometrico, beginnin g with definitions and axioms and deriv- ing theorems from them . How, mor e precisely, doe s intellectua l intuitio n give us knowl - edge of the absolute? Schellin g sketche d the mechanics of intellec - tual intuitio n in a work he wrote with Hegel in 1802, FurtherPresen- tation of My System of Philosophy^ W e comprehend somethin g through reason, Schelling wrote, when we see it in a whole. The task of philosophica l constructio n i s the n to grasp the identit y of each particular wit h the whole of all things. To gain such knowledge we should focus upo n a thing by itself, apart from it s relations to any- thing else; we should consider it as a single, unique whole, abstract- ing from al l it s properties , whic h ar e only its partia l aspects , and which relate it to other things. Just as in mathematica l constructio n we abstract from all the accidenta l features of a figure (it is writte n with chalk , it is on a blackboard) to see it as a perfect exempla r of some universa l truth , so in philosophica l constructio n we abstrac t from all the specific propertie s of an object to see it in the absolut e whole. If we thus focus upon the object itself, abstracting from all its specific properties , we shoul d also see its identit y wit h th e whol e universe, for things differ from one another only through their prop- erties. 35Hence it is by perfectly grasping any particular thing that we arrive at a knowledge of the absolute, the whole in which all particu- lar differences disappear . In the early years of his collaboratio n wit h Schelling, Hegel too was a champion of intellectua l intuition , which he saw as the indis- pensable organ of all philosophy. "Withou t transcendenta l intuitio n it i s no t possibl e t o philosophize/ ' h e wrot e i n hi s Difference.* 6 CambbrdgeComppanonsOnlne© CambbrdgeUnierrssPess2006 2 18 TH E CAMBRIDG E COMPANIO N T O HEGE L Sometime i n 1804, however, when Schelling left Jena, ending their collaboration, Hegel began to have serious doubts about intellectua l intuition . It no longer seemed to provide an adequate foundation for knowledge of the absolute or a satisfactory response to the challenge of Kantian criticism . In some of the fragments Hegel wrote around this time,37 and in some passages of the slightly later Phenomenol- ogy of Spirit,* 8Hegel came to several critical conclusions about intel- lectual intuition . First, the insights of intellectual intuitio n canno t be demonstrate d against competing views. If the philosopher intuit s his identit y wit h al l things, th e man i n th e street see s the m as external to himself . How, then, does the philosopher prove that his intellectua l intuitio n is the correct vision of things? Second, we can identify th e object of our intuitio n only by applying concepts to it , for i t is only throug h concept s tha t we can determin e what a thing is. Henc e a n intellectua l intuitio n wil l b e at best ineffable an d at worst, empty. Third, th e method of philosophical constructio n can- not explain the place of a particular i n a whole because it abstracts from al l it s specific differences. Th e point, however, i s to see how these specific differences ar e necessary t o the whole and not t o ab- stract fro m them , leavin g th e particular s outsid e th e absolute. Fourth, an intellectua l intuitio n is esoteric, the privilege of an elite few, whereas philosophy should be accessible to everyone. Hegel's rejectio n o f intellectua l intuitio n made i t imperative for him to find some discursive method by which to know the absolute. Only a conceptual and demonstrativ e knowledge would be exoteric, appealing t o th e intellec t o f everyone alike ; and only i t would be able to prove the philosopher' s viewpoin t against those of common sense. Yet thi s deman d fo r a discursive knowledge of the absolut e put Hegel a t odds with Kant' s critical stricture s upon reason in the Critique of Pure Reason. Somehow, Hegel would have to show that, despite Kant's strictures , ther e can be a conceptual and demonstra- tive knowledge of the absolute . He would have to avoid the pitfalls of bot h intellectua l intuitio n an d th e syllogistic metho d o f the Leibnizian-Wolffian school . Hegel's response to this challenge was his famous dialectic, which he began to sketch in the early 1800s, even during his collaboration with Schelling.39 This dialectic is plain from Hegel's early plans for a "logic" tha t woul d demonstrat e th e viewpoin t of absolute knowl - edge by beginning with the concepts of the understanding. This logic Cambrdge CompanonsOnlne ©CambbrdgeUnierrssPess2006 2 Introduction : Hegel and the problem of metaphysics 1 9 would show how the concepts of the understanding necessarily con- tradict themselves , an d ho w thei r contradiction s ca n be resolved only by seeing them as parts of a wider whole. More specifically, th e dialectic would proceed through three stages, a) Some finite concept, true of only a limite d part of reality, would go beyond its limit s in attemptin g to know all of reality. It would claim to be an adequate concept to describe the absolut e because, like the absolute, it has a complete or self-sufficient meanin g independen t of any other con- cept, b) This claim would come into conflict wit h the fact tha t th e concept depend s for it s meanin g o n som e othe r concept , havin g meaning onl y i n contras t t o it s negation . Ther e woul d the n be a contradictio n betwee n it s clai m t o independenc e and it s de facto dependence upo n anothe r concept , c) The only way to resolve th e contradictio n would be to reinterpre t the claim to independence, so that it applies not just to one concept to the exclusion of the other but to the whole of both concepts . Of course, the same stages could be repeated on a higher level, and so on, until we come to the com- plete system o f all concepts, which is alone adequate to describe the absolute. Although the early logic contained en nuce the germ of the dialec- tic, Hegel did not writ e his matur e logic unti l after hi s Jena years. The pla n for a dialecti c leadin g t o absolut e knowledg e wa s first completed in the Phenomenology of Spirit. The dialectic of the Phe- nomenology i s different fro m tha t of the early logic, since it deals not with the concepts of the understandin g but with the standpoint s of consciousness . Nevertheless , th e basic structur e and purpose of the dialectic are the same. Hegel shows how the attempt by ordinary consciousness t o kno w realit y in itself end s in contradiction , an d how this contradictio n can be resolved only through rising to a more inclusive standpoint . Th e dialecti c of ordinary consciousnes s con- sists in its sei/-examination , th e compariso n of its actual knowin g with it s own standar d of knowledge . This self-examination essen- tially consist s in two tests : the claim of ordinary consciousnes s to know realit y itself is tested against its own standard of knowledge; this standar d of knowledg e is itself teste d agains t it s own experi- ence. The dialectic continue s until a standard of knowledge is found that is adequate to the experience of consciousness. This standard is, of course, that of subject-object identit y itself. It is especially in the Phenomenology tha t we find Hegel's attemp t CambbrdgeComppnionsOnlne© CambbrdgeUnierrssPess2006 2 2O TH E CAMBRIDG E COMPANIO N T O HEGE L to legitimat e metaphysic s before the challenge of Kantian criticism . What Hegel attempt s to provide in this work is nothing less than "a transcendenta l deduction " of absolute knowledge. Just a s Kant at- tempted to provide a transcendenta l deduction of the concepts of the understandin g by showing them to be necessary conditions of possi- ble experience, so Hegel attempt s to do the same for absolute knowl- edge. It is indeed strikin g tha t Hegel refers t o his dialectic as "th e experience of consciousness " and tha t he calls his phenomenolog y "the science of the experience of consciousness."40 This was Hegel's way of meeting the critical challenge on Kant's own terms. The aim of the Phenomenologywa s to show the possibility, indeed the necessity, of a strictly immanen t metaphysic s based upon experience alone. Of course , i t was one thin g fo r Hegel t o sketch th e plan fo r his dialectic an d another fo r him t o execute it . Surely, th e Hegelian dialectic makes demands of a tall order, which perhaps can never be fulfilled. Ye t ther e can be no doubt tha t th e dialectic presented an original and ingenious solutio n to the problem facing Hegel: how to legitimate metaphysic s in the face of the Kantian critique of knowl- edge. Even if Hegel's dialecti c fails, w e cannot accus e hi m o f a n uncritical indulgence in metaphysics . It should be clear by now that this would be only to beg important philosophical questions . The essays in this volume attemp t to introduce the modern studen t to the central topics and issues of Hegel's philosophy. They cover the whole range of his philosophy, his contribution s to logic, epistemol- ogy, ethics, aesthetics , religion, and history. They also consider He- gel's historica l significance , particularl y th e development o f He- gelianism in the early nineteent h century, the influence of Hegel on Marx, and the problemati c legacy of Hegel for analytic philosophy. The first article , "Hegel' s Intellectua l Development " b y H.S. Harris, introduce s Hege l and places hi m i n his historica l contex t by providin g a survey o f hi s most formativ e period , th e years in Tubingen and Jena before th e publicatio n of the Phenomenology of Spirit in 1806. Five o f th e essays trea t som e o f th e classical problem s i n th e interpretatio n o f Hegel. The essay b y Robert Pippin considers th e question of the coherence of Hegel's Phenomenology. Ever since its publication, the structur e of this work has been the source of puzzle- ment, sinc e i t divides int o epistemologica l an d historica l halves , Cambrrge CompanonsOnnle © ambbrdgeUnierrssPess2006 2 Introduction : Hegel and the problem of metaphysics 2 1 which have no apparent connectio n with one another. Pippin argues that the connectin g link between these halves is provided by Hegel's attempt to provide a theory of social subjectivity. The essay by John Burbidge discusse s th e problemati c statu s of Hegel's logic. Is Hegel's logic a metaphysics , a transcendenta l sys- tem of categories , or a traditiona l formal logic? Burbidge contend s that al l thes e characterization s ar e partiall y correct , an d tha t th e guiding thread behind every aspect of Hegel's logic is his attempt to provide a general theory of reasoning about reasoning. Tom Wartenberg deals wit h th e troublesom e questio n of Hegel's idealism, th e precis e characterizatio n of whic h ha s created muc h dispute. Hegel' s idealis m ha s bee n described a s th e doctrin e tha t "only minds and menta l events exist" (Russell), but it has also been claimed tha t Hegel's philosophy is not idealism at all but a form of materialis m (Lukacs). Wartenberg maintain s tha t ther e i s a clear sense in whic h Hegel' s philosoph y is idealist, althoug h not in th e Berkelian or Kantia n mould . Rather, Hegel's idealis m is a form of conceptualis m i n tha t Hege l think s tha t concept s determin e th e basic structur e of reality. Michael Forster examine s perhaps th e most controversia l aspect of Hegel's thought , hi s dialectica l method . Some scholars have de- nied that Hegel has such a method, while others dismiss it for com- mitting elementar y logical blunders . Forster argues that Hegel has, indeed, such a method, tha t it is not guilty of any simple fallacies, and that it plays several importan t roles in Hegel's thought . Kenneth Westphal, whil e providing a general introductio n to the structure of Hegel's Philosophy of Right, investigate s Hegel's politi- cal views. Ever since the division of the Hegelian school into a left and a right wing, Hegel's philosoph y has been seen as both radical and reactionary . B y examinin g Hege l i n hi s historica l context , Westphal finds tha t i t is more accurat e to view Hegel as a liberal reformer wh o was anxiou s to steer a middle path betwee n th e ex- tremes of revolutio n and reaction . Another four essay s discus s som e centra l bu t less controversia l aspects of Hegel's philosophy. Allen Wood analyzes Hegel's ethica l theory, whic h he regards as neithe r teleological nor de-ontological, but a s a theor y abou t th e condition s of self-actualization . Rober t Wicks survey s Hegel' s aesthetics , outlinin g Hegel's accoun t of art history, his organizatio n of the arts, his analysis of beauty, and his CambbrdgeComppnionsOnlne© CambrrdgeUnierrssPess2006 2 2 2 TH E CAMBRIDG E COMPANIO N T O HEGE L "end of art" thesis . Laurence Dickey attempt s to explain the histori- cal significance of Hegel's philosophy of religion by locating it in the context o f his Berlin period (1818-1831) . Only by placing Hegel's philosophy o f religion i n such a context, Dicke y argues, ca n w e determine what is characteristi c of Hegel's position and rescue him from some of the stereotype s foisted upon him by his contemporar- ies. Finally, my own essay considers Hegel's historicism, the central role i t plays i n his philosophy, and th e method , metaphysics , and politics behind it. The last four essays consider either Hegel's historical influence or his problematic relation to other philosophers. Paul Guyer examines Hegel's polemic against Kant, arguing that it usually misses its tar- get while obscuring their more importan t philosophical differences. Allen Wood considers Hegel's influence upon Marxism by focusing on the close affinities in their social and political theories. Investigat- ing the question of Hegel's relationshi p to analytic philosophy, Peter Hylton concludes that Russell and Moore were reacting more to the legacy o f Kant tha n Hegel. Finally, John Toews provides a general survey of the development of Hegelianism in Germany from 1805 t o 1846. If there is a common convictio n behind all these articles, it is that Hegel's philosoph y i s important, bot h philosophicall y and histori - cally, but tha t we stil l have a long way to go in appropriating th e Hegelian legacy. I wish t o thank Alle n Wood, Paul Guyer, Kennet h Westphal, Ray- mond Geuss , and Michae l Hardimo n for thei r advice i n preparing this volume. NOTE S 1 Bertran d Russell, Our Knowledge of the External World (London: Un- win, 1914), 48-4 9 n. Cf. History of WesternPhilosophy (London: Un- win, 1961), 713-15- 2 See especially Klaus Hartmann' s "Hegel: A Non-Metaphysical View" in Hegel: A Collection of Critical Essays, ed. Alasdair Maclntyre (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1972), 101-24. A similar approach is followed by Alan White, Absolute Knowledge: Hegel and the Problem of Metaphys- ics (Athens: Ohio University Press, 1983), and by Terry Pinkard, Hegel's Dialectic: The Explanation of Possibility (Philadelphia: Temple Univer- sity Press, 1988). Cambrdge CompanonsOnnne ©CambbrdgeUnierrssPess2006 2 Introduction : Hegel and the problem of metaphysics 2 3 3 See , for example , Hegel' s characterizatio n of metaphysic s in the Enzyklo- pddie, Werke, ed. E. Moldenahue r an d K. Miche l (Frankfurt : Suhrkamp, 1969-72) , VIII, 93-106 , §26-36 . 4 Se e Hegel' s essa y "We r denk t abstrakt, " Werke II, 575 . Cf. Wissenschaft der Logik V, 419. 5 Se e Hegel' s Diffeienz des Fichte'schen und Schelling'schen Systems der Philosophie, Werke II, 25. 6 Se e Critique of Pure Reason, B 366-96 , esp . B 395. 7 Se e Schelling , Werke, ed. Manfre d Schrote r (Munich : Beck'sch e Verlag, 1927), III, ii ; IV, 98, 115 ; Ergdnzungsband II, 78, 128. 8 Spinoza , Ethics, Par t I, def. 3. 9 Schelling , Werke III, 25, 32. 10 Hegel , Werke XX, 165. 11 Thi s warnin g i s especiall y apparen t i n th e earl y writing s of Schelling . See his Vom Ich als Prinzip der Philosophie, Werke I, 105, 130, and 167. One of th e target s of Schelling' s Briefe u'ber Dogmatismus und Kriti- cismus i s th e attemp t t o justif y belie f i n th e existenc e o f Go d a s a regulativ e idea . See Werke I, 208-16 . In hi s Enzyklopddie Hege l woul d late r argu e tha t th e Kantia n thing-in-itsel f i s onl y th e hypostasi s of th e abstrac t ide a of pur e being . See Werke VIII, 120-21 , §44 . 12 O n Schelling' s naturalism , se e hi s Erster Entwurf eines Systems der Naturphilosophie, Werke II, 180 . On Hegel' s naturalism , se e hi s state - men t tha t reaso n explain s thing s accordin g to thei r immanen t necessity . Enzyklopddie VIII , 41 , §1, and IX, 15, §246. 13 Se e Herder' s Gott, Einige Gesprdche, in Herder , Sdmtliche Werke, ed. B. Supha n (Berlin : Weidmann , 1881-1913) , XVI, 451-52 . The youn g Schel- ling was an avi d reade r of Herder . 14 Th e essentia l work s for Schelling' s Naturphilosophie ar e hi s Ideen zu einer Philosophie der Natur (1797) , Von der Weltseele (1798), and Erster Entwurf eines Systems der Naturphilosophie (1799) . 15 Se e Schelling , Presentation of My System, §16 , 33; Werke III, 17, 25-26 ; Bruno, Werke III, 140, 194 ; Philosophy and Religion, Werke IV, 25. 16 Set Bruno, Werke III, 131-32 ; and Jahrbucher, Werke IV, 88. 17 O n Hegel' s relationshi p to Schellin g in thi s respect , see the essay by H.S. Harris , Chapte r 1, pp. 40-41 , 42 , 44, 45-46 . 18 Thi s is a pitfal l of the approac h develope d by Hartman n and others . Seeing Hegel' s philosoph y as a form of categoria l analysi s doe s not explai n th e importanc e h e or Schellin g gav e to Naturphilosophie, howeve r respect - able it migh t mak e the m appea r from a mor e contemporar y perspective . 19 O n thi s tradition , se e Margare t C . Jacob , The Radical Enlightenment: Pantheists, Freemasons and Republicans (London : George , Alle n &. Un- win , 1981) . Cambrdge ComppanonsOnnlne© CambbrdgeUnnierrssPress2006 2 24 TH E CAMBRIDG E COMPANIO N T O HEGE L 20 Th e locus classicus fo r thi s vie w of matte r wa s John Toland' s Letters to Serena (London : Lintot , 1704) , pp. 163-239 . 21 Fo r som e of thes e earl y reaction s t o Hegel , see Shlom o Avineri' s articl e "Hege l Revisited " i n Hegel: A Collection of Critical Essays (Garde n City, N.Y. : Anchor , 1972) , pp. 3^9-48 , esp . 335, 337, 338, 339~4O. 22 Se e Klau s Dtising , "Spekulatio n un d Reflexion : Zu r Zusammenarbei t Schelling s un d Hegel s in Jena/ 7 Hegel Studien ¥(1969) , 95-128 . 23 Th e fundamenta l work s of thi s phas e of Fichte' s though t are the Grund- lage der gesammten Wissenschaftslehre [Doctrine of Science) trans . P. Heat h an d J . Lachs , (Cambridge : Cambridg e Universit y Press , 1981) , Uber den Begriff der Wissenschaftslehre, Grundrifl des Eigenthum- lichen der Wissenschaftslehre an d Vorlesungen iiber die Bestimmung des Gelehrten (al l translate d by Danie l Breazeal e in Fichte: Early Philo- sophical Writings (Ithaca , N.Y. : Cornel l Universit y Press , 1988). 24 Se e Maimon , Versuch uber die Transcendentalphilosophie, Gesammelte Werke, ed. V. V
Are you sure you want to buy this material for
You're already Subscribed!
Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'