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Idealistic Studies

Volume 46, Issue 2, Summer 2016

Igor Hanzel
Pages 119-134

McDowell and Hegel
A Comparison

I shall compare John McDowell’s Mind and World with Hegel’s later philosophy in the Science of Logic and the Encyclopedia of Philosophical Sciences in Outline. I begin by presenting McDowell’s epistemology. I then delineate the most important aspects of Hegel’s epistemology and, because McDowell claims that he draws on Kant’s views on the relation between receptivity and spontaneity, their relation to Kant’s epistemology. Here, I suggest that even if Hegel’s epistemology displays idealistic features which determine the construction of the category-clusters in the Science of Logic and Encyclopedia, these clusters can make a valuable contribution to epistemology once subjected to a realistic reinterpretation. Next I compare Hegel’s epistemology with that of McDowell and show that under this reinterpretation Hegel’s epistemology can be used to overcome the limitations of the epistemology presented by McDowell. Finally I propose a return to the reconstruction of categories as the direction towards which the future development of epistemology should go.

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