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Idealistic Studies

Volume 46, Issue 1, Spring 2016

Joseph Carew
Pages 79-96

Describing The Rationality of Human Experience
The Anthropological Task of Hegel’s Logic

I argue that Hegel’s logic is an anthropology. Appealing to the fact that we, as the kind of beings we are, search for meaning in our sensory encounter with things and in our actions, it articulates the rationality that guides this search and explains the fundamental shape of human experience. This has three implications for his logic. First, since this rationality is first and foremost an instinctive activity, it is an elaboration of our unconscious knowledge of the rules of thinking. Second, it is an account of the universe of meaning that we create in order to make sense of what is around us and our lives, a theory of the discourses through which we engage in the project of world-interpretation. Third, I contend that it is a work of human self-knowledge and cannot be understood in isolation from the rational form of life whose basic normative structure it distills.

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