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Journal of Philosophical Research

Volume 25, 2000

Kenneth R. Westphal
Pages 173-229

Hegel’s Internal Critique of Naïve Realism

This article reconstructs Hegel’s chapter “Sense Certainty” (Phenomenology of Spirit, chap. 1) in detail in its historical and philosophical context. Hegel’s chapter develops a sound internal critique of naive realism that shows that sensation is necessary but not sufficient for knowledge of sensed particulars. Cognitive reference to particulars also requires using a priori conceptions of space, spaces, time, times, self, and individuation. Several standard objections to and misinterpretations of Hegel’s chapter are rebutted. Hegel’s protosemantics is shown to accord in important regards with Gareth Evans’ view in “Identity and Predication.”

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