Self-Explanation as the Basic form of Explanation

Christopher Yeomans

in Freedom and Reflection

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199794522
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919253 | DOI:
Self-Explanation as the Basic form of Explanation

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This chapter reconstructs Hegel's response to doubts about the reality of free will grounded in the requirements of explanation by exploring his theory of explanation in the Logic's treatment of the category of ground. It shows that Hegel sees the basic form of explanation holistically in such a way that all explanation is partially self-explanation as a three-term relation between explanans, explanandum, and conditions. The way that Hegel develops the role of the conditions within self-explanation is shown to internalize an anarchic externality within the ‘self’ that is self-explanatory. This internalization partially destabilizes the explanandum as an orienting point of reference while simultaneously providing it a content that makes it a true locus of responsibility. Throughout it is shown that Hegel's conception of the grounding relation is essentially one of expression.

Keywords: Hegel; explanation; erotetic analysis; ground; logic

Chapter.  21319 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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