The Owl of Minerva

Volume 39, Issue 1/2, Fall/Spring 2007/2008

Jim Vernon
Pages 1-24

Universal Grammar
The Necessit y of the Linguistic Judgment

In this paper, through Hegel’s account of the predicative judgment in the Greater Logic, I develop an immanent, presuppositionless deduction of grammatical form from the very idea of language in general. In other words, I argue that Hegel’s account of the judgment can be read as a demonstration of a truly universal (rather than empirically “common” or “general”) grammar through which any and all determinate thought must be expressed. In so doing, I seek to resolve the problem that linguistic contingency poses for systematic philosophy by deducing a necessary linguistic form from a contingent linguistic content.