By Karin de Boer
Hegel is most famed for his view that conflicts among opposite positions are unavoidably resolved. while this optimism, inherent in modernity as such, has been challenged from Kierkegaard onward, many critics have misconstrued Hegel's personal intentions. targeting the technological know-how of good judgment, this transformative examining of Hegel at the one hand exposes the vast strength of Hegel's perception of tragedy, common sense, nature, historical past, time, language, spirit, politics, and philosophy itself. Drawing out the consequences of Hegel's perception into tragic conflicts, however, De Boer brings into play a kind of negativity that permits us to appreciate why the entanglement of complementary positions constantly has a tendency to show into their clash, yet no longer inevitably into its answer.
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Additional resources for On Hegel: The Sway of the Negative (Renewing Philosophy)
On his account, both understanding and reason tend to transcend their inherent limit. The understanding, not satisfied with determining the content of empirical representations, tends to penetrate the domain of speculative thought in order to determine the ideas of reason by means of pure concepts alone. Reason, on the other hand, tends to let itself be governed by the understanding in order to turn its ideas into objects of knowledge. This defective cooperation of understanding and reason gave rise to a mode of philosophy that comprehended its objects in terms of oppositions such as those between infinity and finitude, indivisibility and divisibility, freedom and necessity.
The second step he takes consists in extracting the principle that produces synthetic concepts from its merely subjective guise, that is, from reason considered as a human faculty. This transition from reason to the concept occurs only in the Science of Logic itself. Hegel here conceives of reason as the way in which the concept unfolds in the element of finite subjectivity. He recognizes, Logic 43 however, that the absolute nature of this principle could not have been grasped without Kant’s resorting to the subject: But in order for philosophy to make any real progress, it was necessary that the interest of thinking should be drawn to a consideration of the ego, of consciousness as such .
Contrary to Kant, he defends the possibility of purely rational knowledge. This is not to say, however, that Hegel thought this knowledge should be achieved in the manner of former special metaphysics, that is, by predicating pure concepts of the soul, the world as such, and God. This brings us to the question as to how Hegel saw the relation between his objective logic, Kant’s transcendental dialectic, and special metaphysics. 5. Hegel, Kant, and Special Metaphysics Kant maintained in the first Critique that the concepts which allow thought to acquire knowledge of objects cannot be used to achieve knowledge of reality as it is in itself, that is, of the soul, the world as such, and God.