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Reason in the World

James Kreines

Published in print June 2015 | ISBN: 9780190204303
Published online May 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780190204327 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190204303.001.0001
Reason in the World

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This book defends a new interpretation of Hegel’s theoretical philosophy. It is argued that Hegel’s project in his central Science of Logic has a single organizing focus, provided by the metaphilosophical commitment that metaphysics is fundamental to philosophy. Hegel pursues more specifically the metaphysics of reason, concerned with the reasons, or conditions in terms of which things can be explained. Straightforward epistemological or skeptical worries do not threaten this project. The real threat is Kant’s Transcendental Dialectic from the Critique of Pure Reason, arguing that metaphysics comes into conflict with itself. But Hegel has a powerful case that Kant’s own insights here can be turned to the purpose of constructive metaphysics. And the unified focus of the seemingly disparate arguments at the conclusion of Hegel’s Science of Logic can be understood in these terms. Hegel defends, first, his general claim that the reasons which explain are always found in immanent concepts, universals, or kinds. And he will argue from here to conclusions which are distinctive in being metaphysically ambitious, yet surprisingly distant from any form of metaphysical foundationalism, whether scientistic, theological, rationalist, or otherwise. This means that Hegel’s project will be fundamentally neither Kantian nor Spinozist. The aim of his project is more distinctively his own: it is to turn the most powerful criticism of metaphysics, from Kant’s Dialectic, to the end of a systematic reconstruction of metaphysics. Finally, we can still learn a great deal from Hegel about ongoing philosophical debates concerning everything from metaphysics, to the philosophy of science, to the nature of philosophy itself.

Keywords: Hegel; Kant; metaphysics; rationalism; epistemology; Critique of Pure Reason; Science of Logic; philosophy of science; metaphilosophy; early modern philosophy

Book.  304 pages. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy ; Philosophy

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