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Hegelian Metaphysics$
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Robert Stern

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199239108

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239108.001.0001

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Peirce, Hegel, and the Category of Firstness

Peirce, Hegel, and the Category of Firstness

(p.299) 10 Peirce, Hegel, and the Category of Firstness
Hegelian Metaphysics

Robert Stern (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter concerns Peirce's claim that Hegel neglected to give sufficient weight to what Peirce called ‘Firstness’, by which Peirce meant immediacy or individuality. Peirce's concerns are compared to a worry that surfaces in the German Idealist tradition with the later Schelling, and goes on to play a crucial role in the thought of many of Hegel's subsequent critics, from Kierkegaard to Deleuze: namely, has Hegel succeeded in addressing Jacobi's worry that our relation to the world must involve an immediacy that cannot be grasped in conceptual terms? Where Peirce's position is interesting, however, is that while he wants to do justice to this concern, he also wants to balance it with a commitment to what he calls Thirdness, and thus to mediation and generality, so that (this chapter argues) Peirce's outlook cannot represent a complete break with Hegel (as Peirce himself thought), but may rather provide a model for thinking about what a properly Hegelian treatment of this issue should really be.

Keywords:   Hegel, Peirce, Schelling, Jacobi, Firstness, Thirdness, category, immediacy, individuality, concepts

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