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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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Hegel and Pragmatism

Hegel and Pragmatism

(p.209) 7 Hegel and Pragmatism
Hegelian Metaphysics

Robert Stern (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the relation between Hegel and the pragmatist tradition. It explores the way in which Hegel puts forward a presuppositionless approach in his Logic, and considers whether this is at odds with the pragmatist, who characteristically argues for a more Neurathian picture, according to which certain claims must be taken for granted in any inquiry. The motivation behind Hegel's commitment to presuppositionlessness in the Logic is explored, and it is argued that this is neither a Cartesian desire to refute the sceptic nor a concern to think in an autonomous way without taking anything for granted; rather, it is motivated solely by the particular character of the Logic as an investigation into the nature of thought. It is then argued that whilst the first two conceptions of a presuppositionless inquiry might have set Hegel at odds with pragmatism, the latter does not, so that Hegel's approach can be made compatible with the pragmatist's concerns, and indeed is in many ways motivated by a similar set of considerations.

Keywords:   Cartesian, scepticism, free thought, presuppositions, Logic

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